Government changes guidance on childminders

It has been announced that childminders can reopen to children who are not vulnerable or whose parents are not key workers from 13th May after confusion over different government advice.

Beautiful teacher and toddler boy playing with tractor and cars at kindergarten

 

The Government has changed the guidance on whether childminders can reopen to children who are not vulnerable or whose parents are not key workers three times in the space of a few days.

Initially, the Government indicated in its 50-page document on Monday that paid childcare such as nannies and childminders could reopen to other families as of 13th May. However, more detailed guidance from the Department for Education suggested they could reopen on the week of 1st June in line with other childcare providers.

The Department for Education announced today that childminders can open to children from a single household from 13th May if they are not already caring for key worker children or vulnerable children. There is no limit to the number or age of the children that childminders can reopen for, but they must live in the same household. They can then start to welcome other children back from the week of 1st June, subject to safety measures being adhered to.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance: “This is already an incredibly difficult and stressful time for early years providers, and they have frankly had enough of last-minute, contradictory guidance from the government.
“Childminders have been told three different things about plans to re-open in a matter of days. To inform them that they are able to open for children from a single household with less than a day’s notice is simply not acceptable.
“Given that childminders operate from their own homes, providing care during this period poses unique challenges for them and many will need support and guidance to feel able to do so safely. As such, it’s time that government stopped acting as though childminders are an afterthought, recognised that they are a fundamental part of the early years sector and started treating them as such.”


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