Coronavirus guidance for early learning and childcare services

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Scottish Government has published guidance for early learning and childcare (ELC) providers in Scotland to help them operate safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

ELC providers should use this guidance to plan the re-opening of ELC settings or review the delivery of services in settings that are already open to ensure they are operating in a manner consistent with wider efforts to control the transmission of the virus and protect the health of children, their families and ELC staff.

Topics covered include:

  • how this guidance fits within the current pandemic situation in Scotland
  • workforce support, including training, testing and staff wellbeing
  • communication with staff, parents, providers and trade unions
  • risk assessments
  • home working
  • support for groups with specific needs, including those who are shielding or clinically at risk
  • infection prevention and control, including advice on enhanced cleaning and hygiene, ventilation and PPE
  • international travel and quarantine
  • what to do if staff or children show symptoms, including advice on Test and Protect and case management
  • limiting children's and staff's contacts
  • using outdoor spaces
  • advice on singing and the risk of transmission
  • physical distancing between adults
  • the use of face coverings
  • safety measures during drop-off, pick-up and settling-in times
  • visitors to settings
  • moving within and between settings
  • evacuation procedures
  • sharing premises
  • blended placements
  • provision of meals and snacks
  • capacity and opening hours
  • financial support
  • allocation of places
  • workforce support
  • other useful guidance and resources

Specific guidance has been published for school-aged childcare (for children attending school) and childminding services (where children may be from a variety of age ranges). Please make sure you refer to the appropriate guidance for your setting and for the age range of children in your care.

Am I eligible?

Anyone can use this service.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

All providers of registered day care or children’s services in Scotland, including nurseries, playgroups, family centres and crèches who provide care to children under primary school age. This guidance also applies to fully outdoor services for children aged 5 and under.

How long does this take?

It will take approximately 2.5 hours to read the full guidance.

Important information

This advice will be reviewed regularly and revised based on new evidence if necessary. Please check the full guidance on the Scottish Government website regularly to ensure you are using the most current version.

This guidance is not exhaustive, and providers must continue to operate within the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks to ensure the health and wellbeing of children and parents while they are using their service.

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information and to read the full guidance.

Support provided by Scottish Government

Help us improve

We appreciate your feedback but we cannot reply to questions submitted here. Use our contact form if you need a reply. Please don't include personal or financial information like your contact details, national insurance number or credit card details.