Post COVID: Your Childminder’s Safe Return to Work
As the COVID lockdown restrictions start to lift, childcare and the safe return to work is a high priority for most families after weeks of being at home. For some, this means their childminders will return to work in their home, other children will be going back to creche and interestingly, we are seeing an increasing number of families now deciding to use childminders for the first time.
Families welcoming childminders back into their home are figuring out how to best manage this for both the childminders and families safety.
Preparing for a childminder to return to work in the family home
- The Return to Work Safely protocol published by the Government outlines the steps to be taken in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and needs to be considered by families who have childminders working in their homes.
- A Return to Work form should be completed before the childminder returns to working in the family home. Templates are available online and are pretty straight forward with questions around symptoms or needing to isolate.
- The parent and childminder should agree any COVID safety measures or changes that should be put in place in the home for everyone’s safety. It’s important these are clearly communicated and agreed on both sides. Essential details to discuss include cleaning and disinfection practises in the home and responsibilities around these.
- A COVID-19 Response Plan needs to be in place in the event of a suspected case of COVID-19 of a family member or the childminder. Plenty of templates are online for this also and they should be adapted for the specifics of each home and family.
What to consider for both parents and childminders
- It’s important for both sides to be open and honest about any concerns they have. Expectations and changes to working practises need to be agreed clearly by both sides.
- Discuss the practicalities of how social distancing will work in the home while the childminder is minding the children.
- If the childminder will be bringing the children outside the home (eg. playground, library etc) it’s good to have discussed this with the parents in advance in case there are concerns on either side.
- Chat with the parents around how they have communicated about COVID-19 with their children so that the childminder can ensure they are sharing the same message. If any of the children have been experiencing anxiety over the situation it’s important for the childminder/babysitter to know this and to be able to answer any questions or reassure the children as needed.
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