FAQs and information for childminders on Coronavirus 

SCMA regularly updates this page to reflect the questions that many of you are asking us via our phone lines and also to help communicate changes or additional advice which may directly affect you, as professional childminders, and the children and families you support throughout Scotland. Useful links and resources can also be found at the bottom of this page.

Important Update on Childminding in Scotland
All childminders (beyond those who have remained open to support key workers and vulnerable children) can re-open their settings from Wednesday 3 June in line with public health guidance from the Scottish Government, although there is no obligation to do so.

Updated guidance from the Scottish Government for childminders during Phase Three was published on 10 July, and will come into effect from Monday 15 July 2020:

for those settings that are currently open, the Scottish Government has produced a simple and helpful sheet which lists the changes between the existing childminding guidance and that for Phase Three from 15 July 2020.

for those settings that are currently closed, and may be thinking about re-opening, it is important that you read the full updated guidance document, so that you are fully aware of the additional requirements during COVID-19 including conducting a risk assessment before you re-open, notifying the Care Inspectorate and enhanced hand hygiene, social distancing with parents/carers etc.

All childminders will also find the video opposite useful too.


SCMA Wellbeing Service
SCMA is delighted to introduce our new Wellbeing Service to support vulnerable families through childminding during the COVID-19 crisis.

We have been awarded a grant from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisation (SCVO) ‘Wellbeing Fund’ to co-ordinate the matching of vulnerable children with childminders in their area who can provide a safe, nurturing environment for a few sessions each week, for up to eight weeks.

Read more about the Wellbeing Service from SCMA.


Update: Financial Support for Childminders

The Chancellor launched a new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and you may have received an email from HMRC about this. However, we have summarised the main points of interest and action for you as a childminder. Read more

Further guidance is available from the Scottish Government at
Covid-19: Information for childminders about business and financial support


SCMA Statement on Childminding Fees

The subject of fees and what to charge parents during these exceptional times is an area on which we have received an increasing number of requests for advice. We fully recognise the individual nature of members’ businesses and that the final decision regarding what to charge is a personal decision. As such, our advice is only suggestive. Full statement from SCMA (30 March 2020).
 

Information for Key Worker Families

Additional information and contact details for key worker parents to help you find out about applying for childcare in your area. Read more


New Guidance: social distancing in education and childcare settings
If your childminding setting is currently open, please refer to the new guidance (published Friday 15 May) on social distancing in schools and childcare settings. Read more


Information Sheet for Parents
We have produced an information sheet for parents that outlines key infection control measures that childminders will be using within their settings. The aim of this is to reassure parents and set out requirements for childminders to ensure settings meet public health and social distancing guidance during COVID-19. Please us the links below to access:

Download our online information sheet
Download the print version of the information sheet

Expansion of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC)

The Scottish Government has confirmed that it has temporarily suspended the statutory duty on local authorities which would have required the 1140 hours of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) to be available for parents by August 2020. 

Read the latest information from the Parent Club website
Watch a recent video from Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People



Getting in touch

SCMA is now operating an alternative phone system with five phone lines to provide members with increased support, if you are unable to find what you are looking for in our FAQs below.
 
Phone lines are available on 01786 445377, 01786 449063, 07552 279233, 07551 825039 and 01324 555938. Lines are open Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 4.30pm (closed 12noon - 1pm for staff lunch break). We are experiencing a high volume of calls at the moment, so please bear with us if you can’t get through straight away. You can also drop us an email at information@childminding.org.
Please also continue to follow us on social media @ScotChildmind and read our latest news for the latest updates.

FAQs

Q: Do the restrictions on blended care placements just relate to movement between more than one setting on the same day, or does it include childcare delivered by more than one setting over the course of the week?
Q: I am currently closed, when can I re-open?
Q. Do I need to inform the Care Inspectorate I have re-opened?
Q: When we re-open, will there be restrictions on capacity?
Q. When we re-open, what new guidance will I need to follow to ensure I am operating my childminding practice safely?
Q. Is there any help available for childminders carrying out risk assessments relating to COVID-19?
Q. How can I follow social distance from my mindees while ensuring the children feeling safe and secure in my childminding setting?
Q. Some parents have approached me to provide childcare but they are not key workers - can I look after their children?
Q. Should grandparents be involved in providing childcare for their grandchildren?
Q. I have been providing critical childcare for key workers, but they are not my regular clients. What happens when my regular families want to return?
Q. Can a child from a key worker family return to their original childminder who is now re-opening?
Q: Do all childminding settings have to re-open during phase one?
Q. Can I use my car and/or public transport as part of my childminding service?
Q. I am choosing to remain closed during phase one - can I still charge fees to parents?
Q. What financial assistance is available to me if I don’t want to reopen my childminding setting just now?
Q. Does my SCMA PLI Insurance provide indemnity if a child in my setting contracts Coronavirus?
Q: I usually provide childcare for the children of a parent who attends college. Will I still be paid by the college?
Q: Do I or the children need to wear any PPE?
Q: I’m finding it hard to source the routine PPE items I would normally use in my setting – where can I get these?
Q. Do children need to bring their own plates, cutlery and cups?
Q: My setting is open but I / a member of my family has developed mild symptoms of coronavirus – what do I need to do and can I get a test?
Q: What is meant by the term ‘key worker’?
Q: How do I sign up to provide emergency childcare to key workers?
Q. Can I deliver funded hours as a result of childminding re-opening during Phase 1?
Q: How do I get paid for emergency childcare for key workers?
Q: I currently mind children of key workers. If they need additional childcare hours, will this continue to be a private arrangement, or will there be funding to support this?
Q. I employ assistants - how do I get financial support for my employees when the setting is closed?
Q: If I need to exclude a child or close my childminding setting entirely, would I be covered if a parent seeks compensation for having to seek alternative childcare, or for their own loss of earnings?
Q. Will the expansion of funded ELC be going ahead in August 2020?
Q: In light of the impact of COVID-19, how much funded ELC will parents now be entitled to?
Q: A parent/carer wants to use my childminding service for their funded ELC, but the local authority has not presented this as an option for them. What can we do?
Q: Under the new guidelines, can I care for children who receive a 'blended' model of childcare – eg two days at nursery and two days with me?
Q. Can parents provide a bag with a change of clothes?
Q. If a parent who I regularly provide a service for has been paying a retainer fee, but still doesn’t want their child to return to my service - can I take on new children?
Q. What about notice periods for children coming back and my new families?
Q. If I continue to take retainer fees from regular families, does that mean that as soon as they want to bring their children back, I will have to stop minding for my new families?
Q: Now that outdoor restrictions have started to ease, can I take the children on trips to the park etc?
Q. Could I take my minded children to meet another childminding setting in a park?
Q: When playing outside, can children share equipment such as sand, playdough, water tray etc?
Q: What resources are available to help me support my mindees (of various ages) with their home schooling and learning?
Q. Is there any interruption to the nursery milk scheme?​
Q: What is happening with SCMA network meetings, training and events?
Q. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, is SCMA reviewing the contracts that members use?
Q. Can I still order business aids from SCMA?