COVID-19: Level 4 Restrictions Announced

COVID-19: Level 4 Restrictions Announced
Today (Tuesday 17 November) it was announced by Scottish Government that 11 local authority areas will enter Level 4 COVID-19 restrictions from Friday 20 November for a period of three weeks (ending on Friday 11 December).These are – City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.  

As this is the first time that any areas in Scotland will have been in Level 4, precise local detail is still to emerge. SCMA will share any further information relating to childminding as soon as this is available. 

However, in the meantime, the current Childminding Services Guidance provides detail about what measures are required in each level, including Level 4. The guidance highlights the standard protective measures which must be followed by all childminders in all levels, but for those who find themselves within Level 4, some additional enhanced protective measures (mainly around shielding), will now apply.  

At present, even under Level 4 restrictions, the intent is that schools and childcare will remain open.  

You can check your postcode area and what level of restriction your local authority area is in by visiting the Scottish Government Postcode Checker.

For childminders who are now moving into Level 4 local authority areas, additional enhanced protective measures include: 
• The current advice is that children who are shielding should not attend your setting; however there will be further consideration of how individualised risk assessments might be used to remove barriers to attending.  

• As with Level 3, individualised risk assessments for any setting staff with the highest clinical risk should be in place and updated appropriately. For any childminders or assistants unable to work due to their clinical risk, the Chief Medical Officer will provide a letter similar to a Fit Note.

• Childminding settings should be prepared to engage with enhanced testing where recommended by Incident Management Teams. This may include testing more people who do not have symptoms to support outbreak management.

Finally, the Childminding Services Guidance (published October 30) states that within Level 4 further public health measures could be applied which could affect capacity within your setting. For example, consistent small groups in larger settings and restrictions on blended placements may be considered locally, however the guidance states that going into Level 4 does not automatically result in these measures and that any decisions would be informed by independent advice of local Directors of Public Health. Please be assured that SCMA is engaging with the Scottish Government on this.  We are aware how important blended placements are to childminders and families; we are also not aware of any evidence highlighting any increase in infection arising from such placements.

Finally, it is important that you continue to be familiar with the Childminder Specific Guidance as local authority areas move in and out of different levels and infection rates change and please continue to refer to our dedicated COVID-19 web page for frequently asked questions.  

SCMA’s operates a Helpline Monday to Friday, from 10am-4pm, available on 01786 449063

SCMA COVID-19 FAQs | Level 4 Restrictions for Scotland | Parent Club Scotland