Many parents are worried about childcare at this time. So what are your options?
Childcare is a massive issue as we ease out of lockdown. Apart from schools, nurseries and childminders is there any other form of childcare available since Government guidance aims to reduce contact between different households?
A few weeks ago the Government announced that nannies could provide at-home childcare to children. It appears that this also extends to other paid at-home childcare, including babysitters as long as they keep to government safety guidelines, for instances, frequent hand washing and social distancing from adults or vulnerable people.
The recent Government guidance has been amended “to clarify that paid childcare, for example, nannies and childminders, can take place subject to being able to meet the public health principles at Annex A, because these are roles where working from home is not possible. This should enable more working parents to return to work.” Further guidance also lists “tradesmen, cleaners and others who work in people’s homes” as being entitled to work if they follow safety guidelines.
Another website, www.childcare.co.uk, also states: “It would appear that you can work as a babysitter to provide childcare within a child’s home but you must follow guidelines set by government and public health departments.” It lists “COVID-19 childminders, nannies and babysitters” on its site.
The Government has issued specific safety guidance for workers and their employers when carrying out work in the home. Babysitting app bubble was part of the consultation group used to put the guidance together and has published the measures it expects both parents and its babysitters to take to maintain public safety. For parents, this includes not booking a babysitter from its app if anyone in the household shows COVID-19 symptoms. For babysitters, the same applies and there are a list of other measures, including avoiding public transport as much as possible, removing shoes and outdoor coat and washing hands for the recommended 20 seconds after arriving, social distancing from adults in the house and practising high hygiene standards.
bubble has also issued a video outlining safety measures that should be taken.
It is recommended that parents check out any babysitters, either through checking any first aid or other qualifications or a DBS check [babysitters do not need a DBS check, but many on sites like bubble have one], recommendations and reviews from past clients and asking questions about how they might deal with situations like your child refusing to go to bed, to check if you’re comfortable with their methods.