29 May update - This story is also accompanied by ongoing confusion for childcare providers on re-opening in England on 1 June as some LA's have issued varying guidance. Read more here.
As schools across England prepare for a phased re-opening from 1 June, it has come to PACEY’s attention that some registered childminders are being told by their local primary school that they are banned from picking up or dropping off the children in their care.
In response, PACEY has issued the following statement to media.
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive, said: "We need schools to balance the need to maintain social distancing measures with the safety and welfare of children. Some parents are completely reliant on childminders to pick up and drop off their children as their jobs don’t finish at 3pm. Without them doing so some children will be unable to come to school. So banning childminders (their regular childcare provider) from school playgrounds helps no one. Nothing in government guidance says you should do so and, like everyone else, registered childminders will be maintaining social distancing measures to reduce the risk to themselves and the children in their care.
"We’re asking head teachers to use their professional judgement and to recognise that childminders' presence at schools is necessary. They should be treated no differently to the parents or relatives collecting other children attending school. Childminders play a vital role in ensuring that parents and carers can return to work. We know that our members are clearly following government guidance and taking every possible step to minimise the risk of spreading the virus in their settings.
Childminders, like all other childcare providers, have taken a huge hit financially to their businesses yet many have continued to care for key workers’ and vulnerable children whilst others have stayed in touch with their families to provide support for home learning. They need every possible assistance to sustain their businesses so they can continue to provide a vital service to children and families.”