Childminders allowed to open today for some children
In a last-minute change of guidance the Department for Education said last night that childminders will be allowed to look after children from a single household today.
Multiple children from a single household will be able to have a childminder, if they are not already providing care for vulnerable children and children of critical workers.
This would include nannies and has been changed to enable more parents to return to work.
Childminders will be able to reopen to all children from 1 June onwards, subject to scientific advice at the time, alongside other early years providers, the department said.
The last minute change has not been welcomed by everyone.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: “This is already an incredibly difficult and stressful time for early years providers, and they have frankly had enough of last-minute, contradictory guidance from the government.
“Childminders have been told three different things about plans to re-open in a matter of days. To inform them that they are able to open for children from a single household with less than a day’s notice is simply not acceptable.
“Given that childminders operate from their own homes, providing care during this period poses unique challenges for them and many will need support and guidance to feel able to do so safely. As such, it’s time that government stopped acting as though childminders are an afterthought, recognised that they are a fundamental part of the early years sector and started treating them as such.”