Information for parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response
The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools and childcare providers to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. Nursery will be closed for all other children from Monday 23rd March 2020.
Nurseries are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for childcare provision.
Health and social care
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
Public safety and national security
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
It is now of upmost importance that if you feel that you fit into one of the key worker roles or your child is in the vulnerable category that you indicate your requirements to us by completing the attached declaration form and returning to us via email to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, but by 12 noon on Saturday 21/03/2020, so that we can make preparations for Monday with regards to staffing levels and food.
We will endeavour to provide childcare for as many of our key workers as possible and for the nursery to remain open to those children, this will of course depend on our staffing levels.
We realise that parents have questions over invoices and fees, we are still gathering information from government as to what support there may be available, we aim to give parents more information regarding this early next week, please do not worry about this.
We would like to express our gratitude to our wonderful team of staff, who are staying upbeat and positive in these uncertain times. They are always there with a smile on their faces to greet the children, hold their hands and give cuddles when needed, no amount of social distancing will stop them from providing the care that these children need whilst they are here with us. We are so proud of them, and of our profession as a whole, for always putting the needs of the children first.
Again, we wish to thank you for your continued support and as always, we will keep you informed, via email, of any updates.
Jane, Elaine, Lianne and Alison