Dear Parents and Carers,
Further to yesterday’s email, Playgroup will close as of Monday to most of our children. We appreciate this is a hugely difficult and worrying time for everyone and would like to thank you for bearing with us whilst we work through the logistical issues these guidelines are giving us.
The Department of Education has now issued further guidance regarding the definitions of the critical workers. If you think you fall into the category of a key worker (see link below), then as a matter of urgency, can you please provide the following details:
a) the occupation of both parents
b) If you consider that you fall into the category of a critical worker, please tell us what sessions (that we normally offer your child) you may potentially need care for.
c) If you have a sibling either at school or in an alternative setting, please give us details
d) If you attend an alternative setting with your child, please let us know.
A short email marked with the responses to a), b) etc will be sufficient.
It is vital to remember that for the spread of the virus to be slowed, we need all people to act responsibly and take appropriate actions to help stop this pandemic. The key to this is social-distancing and isolation for as many as possible.
We therefore ask that parents consider very carefully whether they are a critical worker and whether they will require childcare. We would ask that everybody would try and make alternative arrangements where they can. This care is only being offered to those who most urgently need it. This is not an option to provide childcare for those parents having to work at home. We appreciate working at home with children around will prove challenging, and many of us are in this position. Please remember, this is about helping those essential key workers who have no option but to continue in their jobs to get the country through this crisis.
The following is an extract from the government’s guidance-
‘That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
‘Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.’
Our main aim at this stage is to support key worker families. We are in constant contact with school and local childminders and once we have a clearer idea of those affected, we may be able to offer alternative childcare options to you. Please keep in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We believe we now have most parent/carer email addresses on our circulation list, please let us know if this is not the case. Please bear with us on this, we are working flat out behind the scenes as the situation evolves.
Once again, thank you for your continued support on this matter and please keep you and your families safe and healthy at this difficult time.
Clare, Carly, Tracey & Natalie
For and on Behalf of the Committee