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Does My Child Have Access to Early Years Child Care?

 

Under current government guidance, nurseries and other early years settings are currently allowed to stay open.

Children and young people have been shown to be the least affected by coronavirus. You may still be worried that the different rules in place to stop the spread of the virus will make nursery a strange place for your child. 

It is normal to feel anxious and concerned about the safety of your child. It is important you feel confident that your child will be safe and still be able to enjoy their time in their early years setting. 

Under current government guidance there are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare;

  • Early years settings (including nurseries and childminders) remain open. 
  • Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with one other household. 
  • Some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble.
  • Nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home.

If you have any concerns please don't hesitate to contact your child care provider, they may be able to help put your mind at ease.

  • It is completely understandable to feel concerned and anxious about sending your child to nursery or other childcare setting during the pandemic. You may decide to keep your child at home, or you may want them to continue to receive their childcare. If you have decided to continue sending your child to their early years setting and you are worried about safety, rest assured that they will be doing everything they can to keep your child safe.

    • The childcare setting will ensure that everyone cleans their hands more often than usual, including when they arrive, when they return from breaks, and before and after eating.
    • They will promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, to ensure good hygiene. 
    • More cleaning and ventilation, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often.
    • Your child will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days from the day after contact with someone who has tested positive.

    Nurseries and childminders will also minimise contact between individuals where they can. This could mean using different rooms for different age groups and keeping those groups apart.

    For more information about the governments guidance *click here*.

     

  • If another child or member of staff gets a positive test result there is an increased chance of infection. Anyone who has been in contact with someone who has had a positive test result must self-isolate for the 10 day period.

    If your child develops symptoms they should get a test as soon as possible. If they receive a positive test they would then need to isolate according to the government guidance. Even if they have no symptoms they must still isolate for 10 days if they have had a close contact with someone else at the setting.

    The person who had the positive test will also have to isolate for 10 days.

    The nurseries will follow the guidance given by Public Health England and will spend more time on cleaning and hygiene, and less on administration, record keeping and audit during this period.

     

  • If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not go to their early childcare setting and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged *here* or by calling 119.

    All other members of you household must stay at home for 10 days also, this includes anyone in your 'Support Bubble'.

    The 10-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill / started showing symptoms.

    Household members should stay home.

    For more information on the self isolation rules *click here*.

  • You may be worried that if your child's setting is open and you decide not to send them, will you still have to pay fees. This will depend upon the contract with your childcare setting, so get in contact with them to find out what their policy is. 

    If the setting closes, generally you will not have to pay fees if they are not able to provide childcare. Some parents are willing to pay full or reduced fees for a period of time in order for a childminder or nursery to hold their places but this would be something you would have to negotiate with the childcare setting. 

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of the Healthy Child Programme team.

        

       

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