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.

Childminding in Scotland 

All childminders are able to operate their settings in line with Childminder Services Guidance from the Scottish Government, although there is no obligation to do so.

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 guidance below and use of smaller groups to minimise contact between children.

Infographics and posters 
The Scottish Government has developed a range of infographics and posters, designed specifically for childminders, to help you understand and follow the procedures if you have an outbreak of COVID-19 in your setting or someone develops symptoms. Please read through these carefully and keep them handy. You may also find it useful to display them in your setting, so you can refer to them quickly:

Childminding COVID-19 Graphic
Early Learning and Childcare COVID-19 Graphic
School-Age Childcare COVID-19 Graphic

In addition, the Care Inspectorate has also developed a useful poster for childminders to use to help you keep children and families safe when in your settings from the spread of COVID-19. Download the poster here.

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, you can click here to find out the COVID protection level for each local area and get information on what you can and cannot do at each level, and you can also use your postcode to check the restrictions in your area here

Scottish Government's Childcare Monitoring Return
All childminders that are currently open should complete this survey on a weekly basis.  The Scottish Government is asking each childcare provider to complete this short online form each Tuesday by midnight until further notice. Please note that your own children should not be included in your numbers. Complete the survey

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: Now that restrictions have started to ease, can childminding groups meet up outdoors, and can we share toys and resources?
FAQ: Why are childminding settings allowed to remain open at this time?
FAQ: Do I have to remain open?
FAQ: If I choose to close my childminding setting, or if I remain closed, is there any financial support available to me?
FAQ: If I have to self-isolate, is there any financial support to help cover my loss of income?
FAQ: Can I still offer blended placements?
FAQ: Do childminders have access to regular testing?
FAQ: Do I need to close my service if I’m awaiting the result for an asymptomatic COVID-19 test via the Essential Worker Portal?
FAQ: Are childminders classed as key workers?
FAQ: What can I do if my local authority does not recognise me as a key worker?
FAQ: Should I be spending more time outside with my mindees at the moment?
FAQ: I want to restrict the numbers in my setting and only accept vulnerable and key worker children – is this allowed?
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?
FAQ: I / a member of my household is currently shielding – am I safe to remain open?
FAQ. How can I meet prospective parents and their children and support them to settle in?
FAQ: I have a family, where the parents are not adhering to the guidance surrounding COVID-19 – what can I do?
FAQ: Can a child attend my setting if they are on the shielding list?
FAQ: 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?
FAQ: I’m worried that I, or someone in my childminding setting, has had contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 – what should I do?
FAQ: What do I do if a child in my setting has symptoms of COVID-19?
FAQ: Can a child attend my setting if they have a cold?
FAQ: Does the current guidance cover the new variant of COVID-19?
FAQ: Why is it considered safe for children to attend a childminding setting?
FAQ: Do I need to wear any additional PPE?
FAQ. What do I need to do about the new Key Question 5 for the Care Inspectorate as part of my self-evaluation?

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: I’m finding it hard to source the routine PPE items I would normally use in my setting – where can I get these?
FAQ. How can I socially distance from my mindees while ensuring the children feeling safe and secure in my childminding setting?
FAQ: Can grandparents be involved in providing childcare for their grandchildren?
FAQ: I am still closed - do I have to re-open at a specific time as we move through the route-map of recovery?
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: Can I use my car and/or public transport as part of my childminding service?
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: In light of the impact of COVID-19, how much funded ELC will parents now be entitled to?
FAQ: What is happening with SCMA network meetings, training and events?
FAQ. A child under five in my setting is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 – can they be tested?
FAQ. Are there any free resources, tools or activities that could help support children’s mental health?
FAQ: Why are childminders classified as different from ‘Daycare of Children’?
FAQ: What happens to my childminding setting if there’s a lockdown in my local area?
FAQ: A family using my childminding setting has been away on holiday, is there anything I need to do?
FAQ: How do I manage physical distancing with older children in my setting?
FAQ: If a child attends a variety of settings eg. breakfast club, school then childminder, in order to meet the parents/carers needs for flexible quality childcare, is this allowed? Are more than two settings allowed?
FAQ: Under the updated guidance (30 October 2020) do I now need to wear a face covering?
FAQ: I often sing with my mindees as part of learning and play activities – is it ok to continue to do this?
FAQ: What cross-boundary guidance do I follow if I live near a boundary, and have children from more than one local authority?
FAQ: Is the UNITE union related to SCMA, and if I joined would this affect my SCMA membership?