Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Childcare Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 16 June 2020

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Ceisteanna (933)

Mary Lou McDonald


933. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will provide guidance to crèches and early learning facilities on revised dropping off and picking up procedures on the reopening of the sector. [11631/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

On 5th June, I launched a range of online resources and guidance to support service providers, practitioners and parents to prepare for the reopening of Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare settings, including childminders. The Guidance for Reopening webpage is available on the First 5 website. 

The webpage includes expert guidance on the safe reopening of childcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic, published by the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) on 29th May. That guidance details options for drop off and collection at Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare settings which seek to ensure physical distancing between adults is maintained as far as practicable. The public health advice is that physical distancing between adults could be achieved by staggering arrival and collection times, by having demarcated waiting areas outside the entrance to the setting, or by asking parents to wait with their children in their car until a childcare practitioner comes to collect them.

Physical distancing between parents and practitioners will not be possible for the drop-off and collection of babies or very young children. It is also acknowledged that the option of collection from cars may not be appropriate in many settings or for younger children and may cause anxiety among children and parents. Collection from cars may work best for school-age children. Service providers are asked to consider what works best in the context of their own setting, the outside space available, the age range of their children, and the needs of parents.

Whatever approach is used, providers should ensure that, wherever possible, physical distance is maintained between adults and between children from different 'play-pods' within the setting.