Department of Health have issued new Guidance for Childcare Providers and Parents. Please see below Guidance issued to Childcare Providers - To be shared as widely as possible with parents.
You may already be aware that from today, you should no longer refer to “keyworkers” for the purpose of accessing childcare.
ALL parents may now access childcare, regardless of their job role.
With this decision to open up access to childcare, we have had to make other changes and put in place a number of measures to ensure, as far as possible, that safety is maintained in infection control terms.
Those measures include:
• HSC Trust Early Years Teams being part of decisions to re-open, assisted by the Public Health Agency;
• The introduction of Play Pods in registered group childcare settings – organising children and staff in small groups (12 children maximum), who don’t mix with other groups in the setting; and
• A gradual increase in the numbers of families childminders can provide childcare for, to a maximum of 4 families from today. It is intended that this will rise to 5 families in August.
We recommend that you share and discuss the guidance that applies to you, and the guidance for parents, with all of the parents of children you care for.
All of the guidance is kept under constant review by the Department of Health, taking medical and scientific advice into account.
Further policy updates will be communicated to you on a regular basis going forward, and will be published on the Family Support NI website along with links to organisations who can offer support and advice, so please continue to check the website.
Finally, we want to thank you for your work and support during this difficult time and, for those who remained open, for the care you have provided to the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
For those settings in the process of re-opening, we hope that this information is useful to you and your local Health and Social Care Trust looks forward to working with you.
We have published 3 separate PDF guides for
which are available to download below :-