COVID-19 - Emergency childcare for essential workers
Thank you for your support and patience during these challenging few weeks. Following the Education Minister’s letter to schools and a discussion with Welsh Government officials late yesterday afternoon, I can now update you on the current position in Rhondda Cynon Taf for child care arrangements for vulnerable learners and essential workers. Apologies for the delay but the LA have been waiting for key definitions for vulnerable learners and essential workers from Government, which have only just been released.
As you are aware schools will not be expected to provide statutory education from Monday 23th March 2020, with children ceasing to attend school at the end of the normal school day on Friday 20th March. However, school buildings need to remain open from Monday 23rd March and school staff are expected to be in work if they are able to do so.
Our schools are in the heart of our communities and as such are pivotal in keeping our essential workforce operational. Schools will remain open to provide effective childcare to support our essential workers and vulnerable children in these significantly challenging times.
During the week commencing 23rd March, emergency childcare will be offered in your children’s usual school settings for 3-14 year olds. This provision will be available during normal school hours and usual school transport will be available for eligible learners from the 23rd to the 27th of March. Due to staffing issues there will be no breakfast provision during the 23rd and 27th of March.
Parents/carers of essential workers (please see the following for the Government definition and eligibility ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision ) will be required to fill in an e-form to identify whether or not they require childcare (please see attached Appendix 1 entitled Emergency Childcare and Free School Meal Breakfast and Packed Lunch.pdf).
Provision for vulnerable learners will be for core school hours only. These include:
• Children on the child protection register;
• Children in need of care and support from social care;
• Looked after children;
• Young carers; and
• Children with disabilities.
Parents and carers of vulnerable learners in the categories above are encouraged to register on-line utilising the link in Appendix 1 entitled Emergency Childcare and Free School Meal Breakfast and Packed Lunch.pdf.
Future childcare arrangements will be clarified prior to the Easter break as arrangements are evolving at a swift pace. The local authority will process all applications from parents and carers and will notify schools in due course.
Mr H Roberts