Updated Childminder Services Guidance and Changes to Self-Isolation (11 January 2022)

Updated Childminder Services Guidance and Changes to Self-Isolation (11 January 2022)
Following changes to self-isolation announced last week by the Scottish Government, updated Childminder Services Guidance has been published (10 January 2022), reflecting what this means in practice and which provides advice and support regarding operating your childminding setting safely during COVID-19. While childminders are encouraged to read the guidance fully, there are some key updates which it would be useful to draw your attention to.  

OPERATING CONDITIONS (when a setting can remain open or must close in relation to self-isolation)
In respect of the operation of childminding services, if a childminder or a member of a childminder’s family is identified as a close contact and has no symptoms, a childminder can operate from their domestic premises while a household member who is a close contact (of someone outside of the household) is undertaking a daily LFD tests (if fully vaccinated - double vaccinated plus booster - or aged under 18 years and 4 months) as long as the daily test is negative and they have no symptoms

However, the guidance states that childminders cannot operate from their domestic premises if: 

  • an unvaccinated contact is isolating for their 10-day period (regardless of their PCR test result)
  • anyone in the house has developed symptoms and is awaiting a test result, or
  • anyone in the household has had a positive test.
SCMA was consulted on the draft guidance at the end of last week.  We believe this distinction about when a setting can remain open or should close, is important to childminders and is more proportionate than before when childminding settings had to close if any member of the household was self-isolating.

This change follows an update to the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 5 January which highlighted some changes in relation to self-isolation which the wider public should be aware of (which came into effect on Thursday 6 January). The changes are:

Positive Cases (regardless of vaccination status)
  • must isolate for 10 days; however, if the person tests negative on two consecutive LFD tests (taken at least 24 hours apart, with the first test no earlier than day 6) they may leave isolation if they have no fever after their second negative test
  • this applies to cases aged under 5
Contacts Aged Under Five
  • contacts aged under five years are not required to undertake daily LFD testing in order to leave isolation
  • they should be encouraged, but are not required to, take a one-off LFD test before ending isolation. If any contact develops symptoms at any point during or after the post-contact period, they should take a PCR test
Fully Vaccinated Adult Contacts (NB: definition of “fully vaccinated adult” is now three doses of an MHRA approved vaccine) AND All Contacts Aged Under 18 years and 4 months
  • take seven daily LFD tests and report results instead of isolating – no requirement for a PCR test to be released from self-isolation
  • children aged under five who are close contacts do not need to self-isolate or take daily LFD tests, but are recommended to take a test
  • if you’re a close contact who can end self-isolation, you can help protect others by following guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread
Unvaccinated/partially vaccinated adult contacts (NB: this includes adults with only 0-2 doses)
  • must take a PCR test and isolate for 10 days


The latest version of the guidance also includes an updated section within cleaning on sandpits:
  • sand need not be changed on a daily basis and standard cleaning and changing protocols should suffice if good hand hygiene is carried out prior to and following use of the sandpit. Standard cleaning and changing protocols should be implemented in the event of any visual contamination of the sandpit or its contents

Please do take the time to read the full updates within the Childminder Services Guidance using the links above to ensure that you continue to operate as safely as possible. 

Further information can also be found on NHS Inform.  Your local Health Protection Team can also provide further assistance and support on specific queries relating to COVID-19.

SCMA is also in the process of updating our COVID-19 FAQs to reflect the latest changes, and we will publish these as soon as possible.