Since parent and child groups reopened indoors earlier this month in line with the latest easing of lockdown restrictions in England, we have received queries from PACEY members asking whether they are permitted to attend. We have received further guidance from the Department for Education to clarify what the rules are for practitioners:
Can childminders attend parent and child groups?
The parent and child group exemption applies to groups where parents attend with their child for the ‘benefit of children aged under five’. It is a legal requirement that parent and child groups must be organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, or a public body. Childminders may attend these groups and should follow the guidance on 'Trips outside of the setting' in Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak. Groups must follow the protective measures set out in the guidance including limited group size (up to 15 attendees, excluding children under 5 years and those working as part of the group), ventilation, good hand hygiene and social distancing between adults not in the same household or bubble.
Can childminders organise groups themselves?
A childminder organising a formal group for under 5s and their parents, should follow the guidance on Parent and Child groups and ensure that they are meeting the system of controls to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission in the setting. Parent and child groups must not meet in homes or private gardens.
Can childminders meet up with other childminders?
Yes, childminders can meet together with their own and minded children – registered childminders are exempt from the gatherings limit under the regulations for education and childcare. Childminders should however consider the guidance in the section 'Childminders working with other childminders to look after more children together' and in 'Trips outside of the setting' in Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak.
We will update PACEY's Coronavirus FAQs to reflect this new guidance shortly.