It’s been yet another difficult week for the whole country - and I know that many of you are wondering how the new lockdown restrictions will affect the early years sector, and childminders specifically.
I am in regular contact with the Department for Education, who have confirmed a few important points:
Childminders (and other formal childcare settings) can stay open with the new restrictions, while adhering to the hygiene measures that have been in place since the start of the pandemic
The journey that parents and carers may make to childminders is on the essential travel list, meaning that it’s OK for parents and carers to use public transport to take children to their setting if necessary__
Full details are here - it's worth paying particular attention to the part around visitors to your setting and the settling in process with new children.
Additionally, my contact at the Department has let me know that the government are looking at possible business support for childminders who have had a reduction in their billings due to parents’ incomes being impacted by the virus. We’ll bring you more news on this when we can.
Despite the national feeling of doom and gloom, I am still feeling positive about how our wonderful community of childminders can support working families through these testing times - and even thrive.
With many people working from home, childcare that is both local and flexible is more important than ever. Since most of us do not have space for our children to be cared for in our home while we are also working there, childminders offer the next best thing - a safe, secure, home environment where small ratios effectively form a natural bubble, protecting our children as much as possible while also allowing them to play, learn and socialise with their peers.
I know it’s an extremely worrying time for all of us, so please get in touch if you have any concerns about how the new restrictions are affecting you, your business and your family.
Brett Wigdortz OBE, tiney CEO and co-founder