FAQs and information for childminders on COVID-19 

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.

Childminding in Scotland
All childminders are able to operate their settings in line with Childminder Services Guidance from the Scottish Government.  

Childminders who wish to deliver their service can do so in line with their usual operating model. Childminders must ensure they are adhering to the latest guidance for operation during the pandemic, including any updates to this guidance. 

There is no restriction to the number of households that childminders can care for, and there is no longer a requirement for large childminder settings to establish cohorts of up to eight children. Large settings should follow the ELC guidance and use of smaller groups to minimise contact between children.

If you have a positive COVID-19 case in your setting, a letter should be sent to parents using your service and any staff, to inform and encourage them to be vigilant and take regular tests. The Scottish Government has provided a Warn and Inform Information Sheet to assist.

It is also useful to make a note of your local Health Protection Team contact details for specific enquiries or further assistance. Other key contacts to have handy are NHS Inform and the Care Inspectorate

For wider general public guidance, please refer to 'Staying Safe and Protecting Others', which you can access here

Infographics and Posters 
The Scottish Government and Parent Club have developed a range of infographics and posters, designed specifically for childminders, to encourage safe behaviours by families, and to help parents and carers to understand the steps that they can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The resources are accessible online, can be printed and displayed in your childminding setting or shared with your families. 
Please read through these carefully and keep them handy.

Care Inspectorate Notifications
If your service is closed due to COVID-19, it’s important to notify the Care Inspectorate, and also inform them when you re-open. To do this, please complete the 'Changes to Service Delivery due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)’ via eForms. Find out more about Care Inspectorate notifications here.

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 Parents
SCMA has 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 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

For any enquiries, regarding childminding, please call our Helpline on 01786 449063 is open Monday - Friday, 10am – 4pm.

Our Head Office phone line 01786 445377 includes three options (Option 1 for membership, insurance and orders; Option 2 for Learn with SCMA and Option 3 all other enquiries) is open Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 4.30pm


We continue to experience a high volume of calls, so if you can’t get through straight away you can also drop us an email at information@childminding.orgPlease also continue to follow us on social media @ScotChildmind and read our latest news for regular updates.

Current FAQs

FAQ: Self-Isolation: What do the new changes mean for my practice?
FAQ: If a child is a close contact of a positive test, can they still attend my setting?
FAQ: What do I do if a child in my setting has symptoms of COVID-19?
FAQ: What do I need to do, if I or a family member have developed symptoms of COVID-19 – and can I get a test?
FAQ: I’m worried that I, or someone in my setting, has had contact with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 - what should I do?
FAQ: Now restrictions have eased, can childminding groups meet up - and can we share toys and resources?
FAQ: Now restrictions have eased, can we visit soft plays and other indoor activity centres?
FAQ: Should I be spending more time outside with my mindees at the moment?
FAQ: Do I need to have a CO2 monitor?
FAQ: Round 5 of the SEISS grant scheme (for the period May – September 2021) requires me to apply based on past income and does not allow me to reflect that I expect my income during this period to decrease further. How do I approach this?
FAQ: Is it safe to use a paddling pool in my childminding setting - and what should I be aware of?
FAQ: My local toddler group is running, can I go along with my mindees?
FAQ. What do I need to do about the new Key Question 5 for the Care Inspectorate as part of my self-evaluation?
FAQ: Do childminders have access to regular testing?
FAQ: Should I close my service if I’m awaiting the result of an asymptomatic COVID-19 test?
FAQ. Can I invite parents into my setting for a visit indoors?
FAQ: Can I offer blended placements?
FAQ: A family using my setting has been on holiday to a red/amber listed country and is asking to return to my service without self-isolating – what should I do?
FAQ: I have a family, where the parents are not adhering to the guidance surrounding COVID-19 – what can I do?
FAQ: If I have to self-isolate, is there any financial support to help cover my loss of income?
FAQ: I / a member of my household is currently shielding – am I safe to remain open?
FAQ: Can a child attend my setting if they are on the shielding list?

FAQ Archive

FAQ: 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?
FAQ. I am planning to re-open, do I need to inform the Care Inspectorate and what new guidance will I need to follow to ensure I am operating my childminding practice safely?
FAQ. If I stay closed, can I still charge fees to parents?
FAQ: Following the outbreak of COVID-19, is SCMA reviewing the contracts that members use?
FAQ: What financial assistance is available to me if I don’t want to re-open yet?
FAQ: Does my SCMA PLI Insurance provide indemnity if a child in my setting contracts COVID-19?
FAQ. Are there any free resources, tools or activities that could help support children’s mental health?
FAQ: Is the UNITE union related to SCMA, and if I joined would this affect my SCMA membership?
FAQ: I provide childcare for a parent who is a student at college, and I am having problems receiving payment from them – what can I do?