With schools across the UK set to shut their doors indefinitely this evening, the Government is urging parents to keep their children at home, where possible, to limit the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).
However, for vulnerable children and those with parents whose jobs are crucial in the fight against the virus, educational care will remain available.
So, to whom does this apply? Are you a ‘Key Worker’? Can your children still go to school?
Our clients and contractors represent all corners of the UK’s private and public sectors. We know that, particularly for those in self-employment, childcare will be yet another worry to add to the long list of concerns brought about by this pandemic. Not least, whether their jobs will survive this period of unfamiliarity.
Later, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, will announce further economic measures in relation to people’s salaries, following his emergency business stimulus earlier this week. And, in the meantime, the Prime Minister has urged struggling businesses to “stick by their employees, because we’re going to need them”. But before that, we’ve pulled together what we know who the school closures will affect and who the Government have identified as a ‘key worker’.
‘If it’s possible for children to stay at home, they should be’
First up, here are the key principles officially unveiled by the Government yesterday. You should heed this guidance carefully:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
- Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
- Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
- Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
Whose children can still attend school?
So, what constitutes someone whose work is ‘critical’? Well, the Government this week revealed a list of those who they consider as particularly important to the Covid-19 response and whose children are therefore eligible to continue attending school. This includes:
- Health & Social Care workers such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, care workers and those in medicine and medical science.
- Education & Childcare workers, like nurses, teachers and social workers.
- Key Public Service This includes people from charities, as well as religious staff, certain people involved in the justice system, undertakers, and journalists who provide public service broadcasting.
- Local and National Government officials and certain Civil Service personnel.
- Those involved in the production, processing, sale and distribution of food and other necessary goods.
- Public Safety and National Security staff, such as the Police, the Armed Forces and the Fire Service, amongst others.
- Transport So, the people who will be crucial to keeping the air, road, rail and waterway transport operating.
- Those in the Utility, Communication and Financial Service.
If you’re unsure whether you fall under one of the roles outlined above, including contractors, freelancers and businesses who operate within said sectors, you should seek confirmation from your employer or local authority that your job is needed for the ‘continuation of this essential public service’.
Furthermore, if your child’s school is closed, you will be redirected to one that your child/ren can attend.
Follow Government’s Advice
For all our clients and contractors though, regardless of their childcare situation, we must urge you to strictly abide by the Government’s guidance. You can find it, here.
And, for more information on Danbro’s response to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, click here.