New Guidance to Support the Re-opening of Nurseries

New Guidance to Support the Re-opening of Nurseries
The Scottish Government has today (Monday, 15 June), published new guidance for early learning and childcare (ELC) providers in the local authority, private and third sectors to support the safe reopening of these settings during Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s Route Map.  

The guidance applies to all providers of registered day care of children’s services, including nurseries, playgroups, family centres and crèches which provide care to children under school age.  The new guidance sets out the core public health measures that will need to be taken to allow safe reopening during Phase 3, including:

• enhanced hand hygiene and cleaning practice
• caring for children in small groups and minimising contact between those groups
• maximising the use of outdoor space
• physical distancing between adults and older children at drop-off and pickup times 

Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive, SCMA, said,

“To be absolutely clear, the guidance published today is for nurseries and other larger non-childminding settings which will be allowed to re-open during Phase 3 of Recovery. We already have separate guidance for childminding which supported our wider re-opening in Phase 1, which will be reviewed and updated during Phase 3 and at which time it is expected some of our current restrictions will be lifted. Specific guidance is also being developed for out of school care”. 

“The guidance for nurseries has intentionally been published some time in advance of their re-opening to allow nurseries time to bring staff back from furlough and to enable local authorities to consider the wider implications of reduced capacity within nursery settings in advance of the next nursery and school year and also on the delivery of Early Learning and Childcare policy and what level of funded hours can be offered to parents”.

SCMA will be digesting the detail of this guidance and producing a short video update for members contextualising this and any potential implications for childminding.

The new guidance, available here, was developed in partnership with Health Protection Scotland, local authorities, representatives of private and third-sector childcare providers, trade unions and the Care Inspectorate.  As yet, no date has been provided for moving into Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s Route Map.