The Government has confirmed (May 12 2020) that childminders can re-open from Wednesday May 13 – ahead of the pencilled-in date for all early-years childcare settings to re-open on June 1. And nannies can resume work, too.
Not every childminder or nanny may be able – or want – to start looking after children again, though.
It is up to them, as individuals, whether they want to open now or take time to prepare for opening on June 1, say PACEY, the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years.
Additionally, childminders who do re-open (or nannies who return to work) can only look after children from 1 (other) household.
What are the new official guidelines for childminders?
After some confusion about what is and isn’t allowed over the past few days, the Department of Education has worked with PACEY to clarify the new guidelines for childminders – and this is the new official position:
If your childminder is already open and currently caring for children of key workers or vulnerable children, they can stay open and continue caring for these children. But they shouldn’t take on any more new non-eligible children.
If your childminder has been closed, they could now open for a child or children from 1 other household, providing they do so with current guidelines to minimise the risk of spreading infection.
Will all childminders re-open on 1 June?
That is the current plan. But the final decision on whether childcare settings (and schools) can re-open on June 1 will be taken on May 28 – and is dependent on the rate of COVID-19 infections continuing to decline at the current rate.