Coronavirus guidance for fully outdoor childcare providers

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Scottish Government has published guidance for the safe operation of fully outdoor early learning and childcare (ELC) providers in the local authority, private and third sectors in Scotland during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The guidance is designed to support a safe reopening of these settings during Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s Route Map, in line with the Strategic Framework for reopening schools and ELC provision.

Fully outdoor childcare providers should use this guidance to plan their re-opening 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 staff.

Topics covered include:

  • Risk assessment and support for specific groups
  • Communication
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Limiting children's contacts
  • Using outdoor spaces
  • Physical distancing between adults
  • Settling-in
  • Movement in settings
  • Evacuation procedures/sharing premises
  • Blended placements/provision of meals and snacks
  • Applying the guidance/capacity/opening hours
  • Financial impact/allocation of places
  • Workforce support
  • Other useful guidance and resources

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

All providers of fully outdoor childcare services in Scotland.

A fully outdoor childcare provider is defined as one operating in an outdoor setting, sometimes referred to as a forest nursery or kindergarten. In these settings children are outdoors all of the time, except in extreme weather conditions.

This should not be confused with settings which provide outdoor experiences as part of their provision of early learning and childcare or school-age childcare. Only those services listed on the Care Inspectorate HUB as such are considered fully outdoors.

How long does this take?

It will take around an hour to read the full guidance.

Important information

This guidance supersedes the guidance issued on 1 June 2020 and comes into effect from 10 August 2020.

This advice will be reviewed regularly and revised based on new evidence if necessary. Please check back to ensure you are using the most current version of the recommendations.

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

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