Dear Parent/Carer

Childcare from 18 January 2021 - only available for those in critical roles who have to attend work in person.

Dumfries and Galloway has now the highest rate of Coronavirus in Scotland with most of the cases being of the new type of the virus which spreads more easily. The Scottish Government has told us that evidence about the spread amongst children and young people is still being assessed.

The First Minister has extended closure of our schools until the start of February at the earliest and emphasised the stay at home message. We must reduce the number of people in our school buildings and the Scottish Government has updated the guidance on who qualifies for critical childcare. The Government’s position remains that the number of children taking up these places in schools during the strict lockdown period should be kept to the absolute minimum.

As a result of this further Guidance, we have had to revise who is able to access critical childcare in our schools. Only where both parents are key workers who are physically attending their workplace or who cannot fulfil their critical functions when they are working remotely from home may qualify for places. We must make difficult decisions as we are trying to balance the need to help families with critical childcare with being required to reduce the number of people in our school buildings.

As you missed the deadline for the previous application process and registered directly with your school, we are unable to confirm your place at this time. Where alternative options are available e.g. where childcare/remote learning can be provided or supported by one non-key worker parent or carer who is able to work from home, or wider family support – these should be used instead. We have offered you a place until 18 January but cannot extend this. I hope this gives you time to allow you to speak again to your employer and/or put alternative childcare arrangements in place.

There is further information https://www.parentclub.scot/articles/your-guide-childcare

If you have absolutely no ability to provide childcare from home during this lockdown period, then there is an opportunity to ask us to look at this again. You can complete the form below providing the required evidence and it will be reviewed and response sent to you within 2 days. Completed forms should be returned to DirectorateSupport@dumgal.gov.uk. A photo or a scan of your completed forms can be accepted.

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I understand that this is difficult – we always aim to meet the expectations of families but in this situation supervising high numbers of children in school buildings while asking staff to work from home presents challenges. We must make the best use of resources for emergency childcare in order to protect young people and staff and I am asking parents/carers that, where we can, we take all steps to keep children at home until we are advised we can begin to lift these restrictions.

Yours sincerely
Dr Gillian Brydson
Director Skills, Education and Learning