Providing care for children of key workers

27 days ago

Following the announcement regarding school closures, there is a need to provide childcare services to ensure the continuation of frontline services.

We have put measures in place to open a limited number of our schools to provide care for children of key workers.

It is vitally important that parents follow Government advice and keep their children at home where possible to help contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and your child cannot stay at home, then your childcare will be prioritised.

  • Health and social care
  • Education and childcare
  • Key public services
  • Local and national government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communication and financial services

The Welsh Government has launched a coronavirus childcare assistance scheme to give critical workers free childcare for 0-3 year-olds and to support vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic. Further information below.

If you are a key worker and require childcare please complete the booking form below. A confirmation email will then be sent to you to confirm your child / children has a place. It is very important that parents do not turn up at the hub locations if they have not received a confirmation email from us.

You should only book your children into the hubs to cover your working hours; and if your children cannot be cared for by a spouse or other family member. These hubs have been provided for critical workers only to ensure essential frontline services can continue during the coronavirus pandemic. Continued misuse of the childcare hubs could result in places being withdrawn.

It is necessary to complete a booking form weekly to request childcare provision for the following week. Please see below timetable for applications.

Dates being applied for Applications open Applications close Notification
e-mails sent
Monday 25/05/20 – Friday 29/05/20 Friday 15/05/20 at 5pm

Wednesday 20/05/20 at 5pm

As soon as possible after the closing date
Monday 01/06/20 – Friday 05/06/20 Friday 22/05/20 at 5pm Wednesday 27/05/20 at 5pm As soon as possible after the closing date
Monday 08/06/20 – Friday 12/06/20 Friday 29/05/20 at 5pm Wednesday 03/06/20 at 5pm As soon as possible after the closing date
Monday 15/06/20 – Friday 19/06/20 Friday 05/06/20 at 5pm Wednesday 10/06/20 at 5pm As soon as possible after the closing date

Hubs with no bookings by 5pm on the Wednesday will not open on those days the following week. 

To cancel, please send a reply to your confirmation email as soon as possible. Unfortunately, an increasing number of children are failing to attend despite places being booked which means we have to send staff home, creating extra work and causing unnecessary stress.
If you have any queries, please send an email to the address on your confirmation email (ECSCommunications@carmarthenshire.gov.uk). Please include your contact number as we may respond by email or telephone.

Register for childcare

The Welsh Government has announced that it is providing funding to all local authorities in Wales to support the cost of childcare for pre-school children of parents whose jobs are critical to Wales’ response to COVID-19.

Under the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme, a parent / guardian is eligible to receive Government-funded childcare if:

They have a child, or children, of pre-school age; and
They are a critical worker;

It is important that parents follow Government advice and keep their children at home where possible to help contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). However, if you are a critical worker, and your child cannot stay at home, then your childcare will be prioritised.

Parents should only apply for childcare to cover their working hours; and if the child/children cannot be cared for by a spouse or other family member.
Evidence of eligibility of critical worker status will be required as part of the application process, for example, a letter from your employer, your work ID card, or payslip.
All parents, including those who already have a childcare provider in place, must complete the online application form on a fortnightly basis.
Applicants will receive an email to confirm their eligibility.
Please also continue to book childcare through your chosen provider as normal. You will be asked by the childcare provider for a copy of your confirmation email and letter.
To find childcare providers that are open to critical workers during the coronavirus pandemic please visit the Family Information Service website.
For vulnerable children, please visit the Family Information Service website or email ChildrenInfo@Carmarthenshire.gov.uk
For any further information or queries please email C-CASApplication@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Apply for childcare 

Do not gather at entrances or in playgrounds and practice social distancing at all times
Please make sure children are in clean clothes as far as possible (cleaning clothes at 60oC may be of benefit)
Children should not bring in items from home, for example, toys, books or phones/tablets for hygiene reasons
Do not send your children in if they are unwell. Please follow the Covid-19 guidance from Public Health Wales. If any of your family have symptoms, please self-isolate for 14 days.
Good behaviour is essential to the smooth running of the hubs and any poor pupil behaviour will not be tolerated. It is important that any incidents of poor behaviour are managed safely in line with social distancing rules and without putting staff and other pupils’ health at risk. As a result, persistent incidents of poor behaviour may result in the child losing their place at the hub.
You should only book your children into the hubs to cover your working hours; and if your children cannot be cared for by a spouse or other family member. These hubs have been provided for critical workers only to ensure essential frontline services can continue during the coronavirus pandemic. Continued misuse of the childcare hubs could result in places being withdrawn.
If you need to cancel a booking you have made, please email us as soon as possible at ECSCommunications@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

We have set up three strategic care hubs across the county to provide care and to trial and further refine our approach before it is rolled out to additional communities on Wednesday, March 25.

Resources have been focused on implementing a graduated approach to ensure robust, sustainable and resilient arrangements for the longer-term, in the event that closures continue after the planned Easter break.

Following advice from Public Health Wales and Welsh Government we are minimising social contact to protect our children, young people and staff, and lower the risk of spreading the virus. Parents are advised to keep their children home whenever possible and as such we are keeping numbers in educational or childcare settings to the minimum possible whilst prioritising care for the children of doctors, nurses, midwives, social care staff and paramedics in the first instance.

Where we have capacity, it has been possible to include care workers. We appreciate that this approach might not meet all needs at this point in time, but we aim to meet demand by Wednesday as further care hubs open. We ask for people’s understanding in that we are working to help as many people as possible whilst considering the Government’s advice.

Applications open every Friday at 5pm to request childcare for the following week and close at 5pm on the following Wednesday. Confirmation e-mails will be issued on Friday. If you have not received an email confirmation, please check your email junk folder. Bookings are being taken for one week at a time in order to accommodate different shift patterns etc.

 

 

To cancel, please send a reply to your confirmation email (ECSCommunications@carmarthenshire.gov.uk) as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of children are failing to attend despite places being booked which means we have to send staff home, creating extra work and causing unnecessary stress.

Unfortunately, we are unable to consider any applications made after the deadline. There has been a significant increase in demand for places at our hubs and we must make sure they are staffed sufficiently. The safety of both staff and pupils is vital and has to be our main priority

The children are provided with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and healthy snacks. However, the children can bring a packed lunch if they so wish.

Please bring the following documents with you:

  • Email confirmation of childcare allocation
  • Photo ID
  • Proof of occupation

If you do not have any of the above with you when you drop-off your child then unfortunately we will be unable to admit you child.

We would like to reassure you that we have strict operating procedures in place for when you bring and collect your child.

We are asking parents / guardians to please refer to the following guidance from UK Government: Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings.

This will help you to decide whether you should send your child to the care hub in the first place; it also advises on how to travel there safely and reminds parents not to congregate at the gates or door.

You can also help by doing your best to ensure that children are in clean clothes as far as possible (cleaning clothes at 60oC may be of benefit); and that they do not bring in items with them from home, for example, toys, books, phones/tablets etc.

This is down to parental choice – the children can wear their normal school uniform or their own clothes.

We are working hard to implement safe working practices in our care hubs. A set of guidelines have been drawn up to help prevent the spread of the virus.

We have adopted procedures on:

  • Social distancing
  • Personal hygiene procedures for all staff and children
  • Reviewing and implementing additional measures to our normal cleaning regimes

These procedures are updated daily as more Government advice becomes available, and as our hub working develops.

We also have the following health and safety measures in place:

  • First aid cover
  • Established fire and evacuation procedures
  • Details of children’s medical needs
  • A record of allergens for preparing food
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