Information regarding when/in what form childcare may re-open for the children of non-keyworkers.

There has been a lot of focus - quite rightly - over when and in what form schools may be allowed to re-open. Some of this discussion has included younger children currently attending school nurseries; there seems to be a general assumption that they will also return to nursery when schools open, whether before or after the Summer break.
However, something that seems to have been overlooked at times is the large number of children in other childcare settings (eg. with childminders or at private nurseries, which are generally open all year round). While the children of essential workers should clearly take priority, the fact remains that there are many parents who, while not key workers, nevertheless have jobs which cannot be carried out from home. It would be very useful for these parents to know what the Scottish Government’s plans are regarding a timeline for the re-opening of childcare as a whole. I am not suggesting that this should be rushed or that private nurseries etc. should open to non-key workers’ children until it is safe to do so. However, when businesses eventually begin to re-open, it would be helpful when planning a return to work to have some information as to what the childcare options are likely to be over the coming weeks and months. This is particularly important given that many grandparents, who may previously have helped with childcare, will now be in the high-risk category and will only be able to have limited, if any, contact with grandchildren.

Why the contribution is important

Not having the ability to plan ahead - even to a limited degree - regarding childcare will make it very difficult for some parents to return to work even when their employers are able to safely re-open, which will have negative consequences both for them and for the economy. Women currently on maternity leave (plus fathers on paternity leave) may be unable to obtain nursery places for their children, and will potentially struggle to return to employment at all. There is also the danger that the financial situation of some families will mean that they feel they have no option but to leave their children with grandparents in order to go to work, thereby putting them at risk of infection.

by Carmelite on May 05, 2020 at 04:31PM

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Based on: 11 votes


  • Posted by Pandamamma May 05, 2020 at 22:45

    I agree, as someone who relies on private nursery to look after my two year old so that I am able to work to pay the bills I have concerns that as businesses start to reopen there will be people like me who may be disadvantaged without the availability of childcare. It is virtually impossible to socially distance young children of nursery age but it is also a vital resource is ensuring working families can continue to make a living
  • Posted by Laura89 May 06, 2020 at 01:46

    There is no way to social distance.
    Childcare settings have a similar sizing ti care care home with regards to square footing per person.
    Childcare settings also have to provide similar care therefore spread would catapult at a similar level.
    My childs nursery had only 5 children at one point with every other child being off with chicken pox......this is how rapidly infection spreads in these settings.
  • Posted by Carmelite May 06, 2020 at 12:22

    I also have concerns about exposing my children to infection when they return to nursery. Social distancing would certainly be very difficult, although increasing the amount of outdoor activities may perhaps help?However, as I've commented elsewhere, I'm not sure whether this virus can be compared to childhood infections like chickenpox as it seems to be transmitted differently and to affect children differently. What is certain is that childcare will have to re-open at some point, and will almost certainly do so before there is a vaccine. Therefore, I think a lot of parents would feel better if they had more information as to what the government's plans are regarding this so we can try to plan ahead.
  • Posted by Nichola1234 May 11, 2020 at 21:47

    I haven’t heard private nurseries mentioned once. Almost all discussion about childcare is school age kids and occasionally school nurseries are mentioned but private nurseries are completely overlooked.

    I appreciate that the younger children are the more impossible social distancing is but both me and my husband are working full time whilst tying to look after a 1yo and 3yo that require constant supervision. Essentially we work most out hours at night which is totally unsustainable. We need our nursery to reopen or even to be able to use grandparents as childcare once a week
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