From 20 March 2020, schools, colleges, early learning and childcare settings, childminders and other registered childcare settings in Scotland closed for all but the most vulnerable children and for children of key workers.
The aim of this is to reduce spread of COVID-19. Every child who can be safely cared for at home by household members should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
It is important to ensure that there is adequate childcare provision for children, if not then there is a potential risk to the child (if vulnerable) or potentially to other family members if elderly grandparents are asked to care for the children.
Where a child does attend a school or childcare setting then this should be for the minimum amount of time required. The choice of educational setting or childcare may need to take account of special requirements due to the child’s health or family needs.
Where essential, children can also be cared for at home by a non-vulnerable carer from another household. This should be the same person wherever possible (i.e. this should not be multiple different people). This could be a non-vulnerable relative or friend, a nanny or babysitter. Such carers are also strongly advised to limit the number of households they provide childcare to in order to minimise the risk of transmission between households. Where possible this should be a single household.
The use of a non-vulnerable carer also applies to families who have ongoing regular or irregular care needs or one-off care scenarios (e.g. birth of a sibling or attendance at a medical appointment).
Further school closure guidance for key workers can be found here.