Clarification on indoor visits to your setting and within your community

Clarification on indoor visits to your setting and within your community
We are aware that there is some confusion surrounding visits, and we have received contact from a few members on this. 

For clarification and to confirm, please read the following information carefully:
  • indoor visits from parents into your setting is currently not permitted. Read our news item for more information on this.
  • visits to toddler groups are permitted and allowed, including going to cafes and libraries in your community, provided that you follow the Childminder Services Guidance and in line with the COVID-19 protection level for the area you live in. 
Information and guidance are changing regularly as we progress through the pandemic – and this guidance may change again in the future. It is important that childminders refer regularly to the Childminder Services Guidance

If you have a question regarding COVID-19 and your childminding setting, please read our COVID-19 FAQs. These will hopefully help answer your query, and you can also contact the SCMA Helpline (01786 449063, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm) for further clarity. If we are unable to answer your question at that time, we will endeavour to find out more information and get back to you as soon as possible. 

We recently received confirmation from the Scottish Government on the topics of indoor visits to your setting and attending toddler groups – and as a result, we published two new FAQs to our COVID-19 webpage:

FAQ. Can I invite parents into my setting for a visit indoors?
We have been advised by the Scottish Government that, for the time being, childminders must keep working within current Childminder Services Guidance and as such, visits are not permitted. To be clear this applies to all childcare provider settings.

The Scottish Government is aware that the current risk mitigations in childminding business may feel contradictory as restrictions ease in wider society, particularly when some household mixing indoors is now permitted and given that childminding settings are also childminders’ homes. 

However, there is still a need to be cautious when considering if and how any of the current risk mitigations for formal childcare settings can be eased, as Scotland moves through the protection levels and to avoid easing too many restrictions at once. 

We recognise that some childminders may be very keen to reintroduce visits, but we are also aware that others feel that they have worked very hard to maintain safety in their settings and are keen to avoid a sudden change. Some childminders may prefer a gradual reintroduction of visits once this is permitted, to minimise the potential impact for spreading infection, leading to self-isolation, closing a setting and loss of income. 

The Scottish Government is taking expert public health advice on whether any of the current mitigations in the guidance for the childcare sector can be eased over the coming months.

We will update you as soon as possible if there are any changes - but in the meantime, please continue to adhere to the existing Childminder Services Guidance.

FAQ: My local toddler group is running - can I go along with my mindees?
Childminders who wish to attend ‘unregulated organised children’s activities’ such as toddler or parent/carer and baby groups, which are supervised and operating in accordance with the guidance, can do so in the same way a parent and their children would. 

The guidance for organised children’s activities does not set a universal limit on the number of adults who can attend, this is determined by the individual venue’s capacity and ability to maintain two-metre distancing between adults.  Please ensure that you are up to date with the current guidance here.

Please note: childminders who wish to arrange activities/meeting up with other childminders in outdoor environments and public places may do so taking account of the household meeting guidance for the Protection Level in their local authority area. Find out what COVID-19 Level your local area is in here and enter your postcode.

Visit our COVID-19 FAQs