The Scottish Government have released their updated guidance for services operating after 26th December 2020.
It has been confirmed that services can operate after 26th December 2020 for children of parents who are both classed as Category 1, 2 or 3 critical workers. The categories are as follows;
Category 1 – Health & Care Workers directly supporting COVID Response & associated staff; Health & Care Workers supporting life threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary & community care provision; Energy supplies (small numbers identified as top priority already); staff providing childcare/learning or other category 1 staff.
Category 2 – All other Health & Care Workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services (for example: fire, police, prisons, social workers), as well as those supporting our Critical National Infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland could be caused.
Category 3 – All workers (private, public or third sector) without whom there could be a significant impact on Scotland (but where the response to COVID-19, or the ability to perform essential tasks to keep the country running, would not be severely compromised).
Services have also been advised that we can provide care for vulnerable children and young people who;
May be vulnerable because of factors related to their personal development, features of their family life or because of wider influences that impact them within their community.
Those children who were considered to be vulnerable prior to the pandemic should have been known to services and are likely to have had a child’s plan.
Where a child requires co-ordinated support from more than one agency, this is likely to suggest greater vulnerability and the plan would be co-ordinated by a lead professional. This includes a range of children & young people such as those;
at risk of significant harm with a child protection plan
looked after at home or away from home including kinship care
‘on the edge of care’ where families would benefit from additional support
with additional support needs where there are one or more factors that require significant or co-ordinated support by disability
where they and/or their parents are experiencing poor physical or mental health
experiencing adversities including domestic abuse and bereavement
requiring support when they are involved in making transitions at critical stages in their lives
Children and families may also experience adversity because of the impact of poverty and disadvantage, and many will be facing this because of the necessary measures to respond to the pandemic. This will include families with loss of income, experiencing social isolation, or otherwise struggling because of the restrictions.
This guidance applies to both nursery and Out of School Care (Breakfast & After School) children. If your child is attending school as you are classed as a category 1, 2 or 3 critical worker then we can still provide the Out of School service to you as normal.
If you feel that you fall under category 1, 2 or 3 or that your child is vulnerable as per the definition above provided by the Government then please confirm if you require care from 4th January 2020 when we reopen.
I will contact the families that have already advised that they believe they are classed as key workers to clarify if you fall under the categories specified and qualify for care under the revised guidance.
The Scottish Government would encourage any parent or family wishing to keep in touch with developments to visit Your Guide to Childcare on the parent club website which includes access to frequently asked questions and other information that you may find helpful.
I will continue to update our blog on our website and our closed group on Facebook so please keep your eye out for any further updates.