Childcare arrangements for Keyworkers
At the end of the school day on Friday 20 March 2020, all schools in Monmouthshire were closed.
The number one priority for Monmouthshire at the moment is currently social distancing to keep people safe. If you can keep your children at home it would be really appreciated please.
The Government has stated in its latest advice:
If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
Registering for Keyworker Childcare
Following the announcement made by the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, that Schools will re-open on 29th June to “check in, catch up and prepare”, the Council has agreed that children of keyworkers will be given the opportunity to return to their own school setting with effect from Monday, 22nd June. The schools will be open between the hours of 8.30am and 4pm.
To ensure that all of the individual schools have accurate numbers to plan staffing and ensure compliance with social distancing requirements all parents / carers are required to book a place at their school.
The guidance on eligibility for parents accessing one of these places can be found below.
- Even for critical workers, provision will only be made available for your child(ren) in circumstances where there is no safe alternative for your family.
- If both parents / carers are confirmed as meeting the criteria for critical workers, you are automatically entitled to a place for your child(ren).
- In line with Welsh Government guidance, if one parent is a critical worker but the other parent is not, then the other parent should provide safe alternative arrangements at home, where possible. The Local Authority together with our schools will give consideration to individual circumstances for single keyworker households where it is considered not possible to provide safe alternative arrangements.
- Whilst appreciating that many non essential businesses will soon reopen, meaning many parents will be returning to work, please note that the provision of keyworker childcare in our schools is ONLY available to those meeting the definition of keyworkers
Please note that the individual schools reserve the right to request to see evidence of your keyworker status prior to accepting your child into the School.
Keyworker Childcare – 22nd to 26th June
The booking process for Keyworker childcare for week commencing 22nd June has now closed.
For those that have successful booked places (and been informed that their booking has been successful) please remember to attend your child’s regular school. Your child’s school will be open between the hours of 8.30am and 4pm.
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE YOUR CHILDREN TO THEIR SCHOOL IF YOU HAVE NOT BOOKED THEIR PLACE.
Please also remember that you will need to provide your child(ren) with a packed lunch as meals on site will not be provided.
Booking Keyworker Childcare – 29th June to 17th July
To allow schools to plan effectively for a return to school, as outlined by the Welsh Government key worker parents / carers MUST register for the days required during this period. Only one registration will be required for the whole period.
Under the guidelines from Welsh Government, schools can accommodate up to one third of their capacity to provide opportunities for children to ‘Check in, Catch up and Prepare’. Priority will firstly be afforded to provide support for vulnerable learners and childcare for Key workers’ children. Places are, however, significantly restricted.
THE DEADLINE FOR BOOKING YOUR CHILD(REN)’S PLACE HAS NOW GONE.
Unfortunately, NO further applications of amendments can be considered and keyworker parents / carers will have to make their own childcare arrangements. If you have any concerns you may speak to your child’s school.
For those that have registered, your school will contact you via. email or their normal form of communication to let you know if you have been allocated a keyworker childcare place
In order to allow full compliance with social distancing requirements we will not be able to offer a catered lunch option in our primary schools from the 22 June. All children will need to bring a packed lunch on the days that they attend school (for either childcare or ‘Check in, catch up and prepare’).
Home to School Transport
I am sure you can imagine that the new social distancing requirements have had a significant impact on our ability to provide home to school transport. Our work with our partners suggests that we will have the ability to provide about ten percent of our normal service. In light of this significant restriction, we will prioritise those learners with additional learning needs and those who are looked after by the local authority.
How do I know if I’m eligible for this provision?
Monmouthshire will follow the Welsh Government’s definition of ‘key’ workers – this can be found here along with other guidance about when you should send you child to school.
Should I send my child to one of these hubs?
Please remember that the first option should be to keep your child away from school. In line with Welsh Government advice:
- Children should be kept home to stop the spread of the virus and protect the NHS
- But we still need critical workers to do their jobs and we need to protect vulnerable children
- Critical workers should keep their children home… but they can’t leave them alone if they judge that would not be safe and they can’t leave them with someone in a vulnerable group
- If they have no safe alternative, they can go to a school / childcare setting.