Coronavirus – a Message for Childminders (including important clarification that childminding is open)

Coronavirus – a Message for Childminders (including important clarification that childminding is open)
We know this is a stressful and anxious time for you all, and we are continually working hard to ensure you are kept up-to-date with the most current and accurate information.

As so much is happening and this can result in information overload or things being missed, we are including links to the main updates below:-

· Letter from Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Children and Young People which helps to clarify the position with childminding in Scotland and we are delighted to confirm that childminding remains open – not just for key workers.

We can confirm that SCMA has been pushing for clarity, in active discussions with the Scottish Government and received a briefing this morning, during which it was noted that official statements yesterday were unfortunately contradictory, it has been explicitly affirmed that childminding in Scotland remains open for all childminders (not just supporting key workers) and that SCMA will be consulted on draft public health guidance which is being developed to support childminding practice at this time.

· Our regularly updated FAQs page which we would continue to encourage you to refer to in the first instance during this busy period.
· SCMA Video on YouTube addressing some of your concerns about potential loss of income
· For other updates please visit our website and also view updates shared on social media @ScotChildmind.

We are aware that there are a number of confusing and conflicting messages from organisations all across the UK regarding childminding at this time, and we would urge childminders in Scotland to focus their attention on information that relates specifically to childminding in Scotland.

For absolutely clarity, while the UK Government has decided to close childminding services in England, they remain open in Scotland.

Following Scottish Government guidelines around social distancing, all staff at SCMA Head Office are now working from home. We plan to maintain a ‘business as usual’ approach as much as we can and all contact numbers and email addresses remain the same.

From Monday 23 March, we will be operating an alternative phone system with five phone lines to provide members with increased support. Our Helpline (01786 449063) will continue to operate, alongside additional back-up phone lines available. These are as follows:-

01786 445377 (main line)
01786 449063 (Helpline)
01324 555938

Please be assured that we are working continuously on your behalf during this unprecedented time, to ensure that we provide you with as much information and support as we can.

While we may not be able to answer all of your questions all of the time, our priority is to work with Scottish Government and others to seek the clarity you require.

Thank you for your on-going support and commitment to childminding in Scotland.