COVID-19 - Childcare Guidance

Date published: 29 June 2020

As more parents begin to return to work in line with the Executive’s recovery plan, demand for childcare provision will increase. That is why from Monday 29 June 2020 access to childcare will no longer be restricted to keyworkers. Advice on how to access childcare is contained in the guidance for parents below.


With the decision to widen the range of workers for whom childcare is available, there are a number of measures to make sure, as far as possible, that safety is maintained in infection control terms. Those measures include:

  • HSC Trust Early Years Teams being part of decisions to re-open childcare settings, assisted by the Public Health Agency
  • the introduction of Play Pods in Daycare and School Age Childcare settings – organising children and staff in small groups (12 children maximum), who don’t mix with other groups in the setting and
  • a gradual increase in the numbers of families childminders can provide childcare for at any one time, from three to four from 29 June, and to  five in August 2020 - the increase will be paused at any point if it is considered that it has introduced an unacceptable level of risk

The guidance for providers below covers issues such as:

  • the need for effective ventilation and the use of outdoor space where possible;
  • PPE;
  • testing;
  • dealing with children who display COVID-19 symptoms while being cared for;
  • children/staff/parents/family members deemed to be at higher levels of risk, including those who are shielding; and
  • self-isolation in the event that any child or staff member tests COVID-19 positive.
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