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What you need to know about access to schools and childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

First published:
22 March 2020
Last updated:

1. The latest scientific advice

The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. 

Everyone must, as far as possible, minimise social contact and make sure that anyone who is particularly vulnerable to the virus is able to adopt strict social distancing.

2. How does social distancing affect schools and childcare settings?

We have advised schools and childcare should only be open to a limited number of children.

We must keep the number of children in educational, childcare and play settings to the smallest number possible.

We also need to make sure children are not left with anyone who should be following strict social distancing guidance, such as anyone over 70 or anyone with the specified underlying health conditions.

Keeping children safely in their home should limit the chance of the virus spreading and protect those vulnerable to more serious illness as a result of the virus.

If your child receives free school meals, this will continue. But the way your child gets this food depends on your school. Please check with them.

3. What is the latest advice on key workers?

A list of categories of critical workers has been published on the Welsh Government website.

Places in schools and childcare will be highly limited and only particularly vulnerable children and the children of critical workers whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response should be attending during this time.

If you are classed as a critical worker but are able to perform the critical parts of your job effectively when working from home, then you should do so.

Even for critical workers, provision will only be made in schools or other settings where there is no safe alternative for your family.

4. I’m a key worker but my partner isn’t. What should we do? 

If one parent is a critical worker but the other parent is not then the other parent should provide safe alternative arrangements at home when possible.

5. I’ve seen different advice from different councils. How are local authorities working?

Local authorities are doing everything they can to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. They made and communicated plans based as part of an initial contingency to deal with the spread of coronavirus. Those plans will now adapt and change as they respond to the latest guidance available to the Welsh Government. For the very latest advice, please check your local authority’s website and gov.wales/coronavirus

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