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Important Information for Parents Regarding Early Years and Childcare Provision

The Prime Minister’s announcement on Wednesday 18 March about early years education and childcare providers and general school closures is being implemented from (today) Monday 23 March 2020.

 

Your childcare setting may be open but will be continuing provision only for children of key workers and vulnerable children. I’m writing to give you an update on our plans for this, following advice from the Local Authority.

 

There is no expectation that children who are not in these groups will attend until the advice from government changes.

 

Emergency Service

While our Childcare Provision will be closed for general admissions, all Childcare Providers across the country are being asked to run an emergency service for the children of key workers in essential services so that they are able to continue to work. The government has issued guidance about Critical Workers: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

 

Critical workers include NHS staff, police, local and national government workers, farmers and food retail workers, who need to be able to go to work. In order to continue to offer critical services, as part of the country’s ongoing response to the virus, children of workers who form a central part of the effort will also continue to attend school, college or childcare provider.

 

Families with at least one parent or carer who is identified as critical worker by the government can send their children to their childcare provider if required.

There is no expectation that children of these critical workers have to attend childcare. If you fall into this group and wish to make other arrangements, then you are welcome to do so.

 

Further information can be found on the government’s website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

 

The Government is also asking that we continue to provide education and support for vulnerable children. This includes:

 

  • Children in care or with safeguarding and welfare needs, including those with children in need plans, those on child protection plans,
  • Looked after children
  • SEND Inclusion Funded children
  • Disability Access Funded children
  • Children with EHCPs

 

What do I do if my childcare provider tells me they will not be open?

There will be some childcare providers that may have temporarily closed due to advice from Public Health England or due to because they have insufficient staffing as a result of those observing government guidance on self-isolation.

 

If this is the case and you meet the Critical Worker status, please contact Services for Young Children on 01962 847070 or email childcare@hants.gov.uk.

 

The Childcare team will endeavour to help you to find you alternative childcare to support your needs.

 

Online materials and learning

For those children who will be at home, there will be online materials that parents can access, including:

 

https://www.hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk

https://www.bbc.co.uk/tiny-happy-people

 

In addition, the BBC has said that it will be increasing its range of resources to support children’s education.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support through these unprecedented times. Please be assured that we will continue to update you as the situation changes and that we will continue to work for the best interests of the children at our setting.

Yours sincerely

 

Sara Gmitrowicz

Executive Headteacher

Harrison Primary School

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