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
Registered childminders are strongly advised to cease all provision apart from critical childcare provision for key worker families and vulnerable children until further notice. Read more

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 childcare in your area and how to apply. Read more

New Guidance: social distancing in education and childcare settings
If you are currently open and providing childcare for key worker families or vulnerable children, 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 our 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: I am currently closed, when can I re-open?
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: The parents of some children I mind have been asked by their employer to go back to work. They are not key workers, but can I look after their children?
Q: Do all childminding settings have to re-open during phase one?
Q. Now that my service is closed, can I charge any fees to parents?
Q: What financial support is available to me now that I have had to close my childminding business?
Q: I usually provide childcare for the children of a parent who attends college. Will I still be paid by the college?
Q. Guidance states that settings supporting key worker families and/or vulnerable children should limit their support to no more than two families (excluding their own). Does this relate to only two families in total or two families at any one time?
Q. As a childminder, do I require to use any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) within my setting?
Q. I am a childminder providing childcare for children of key workers. Can I arrange a test for Coronavirus?
Q. I am currently self-isolating and I can’t operate my childminding service because I have symptoms of Coronavirus – why is a test useful?
Q: What is meant by the term ‘key worker’?
Q: Will all key workers qualify for critical childcare and learning provision?
Q: How do I sign up to provide emergency childcare to key workers?
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 am a childminder with a pre-existing health condition – should I remain open?
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: We are being told that anyone with symptoms must self–isolate for seven days. Is this just for adults? Coughs and colds are very common in children.
Q: If a parent / close friend / family member of a child in my setting is showing symptoms, should I not allow the child to come to my childminding setting?
Q. Will the expansion of funded ELC be going ahead in August 2020?
Q. Can I take my minded children outside to play, even if it is out with my own garden?
Q. Is there any interruption to the nursery milk scheme?​
Q: What is happening with SCMA network meetings, training and events?
Q. Can I still order business aids from SCMA?