So bear with me, I have never written a blog before, or at least not for myself.
There is so much happening at the moment however that I feel the need to put pen to paper, or rather finger to keyboard.
The coming weeks are going to be testing times for everyone. For Childminders, we are faced with the stark options of closing our doors for the foreseeable future and coping with no income or staying open to provide care for essential workers or vulnerable children, potentially putting ourselves and our own families at risk in doing so. It is an unenviable decision to have to make, not helped by lack of clarity from the DfE, including tardy guidance that seemingly changes by the hour.
The current position appears to be that:
What is not clear is whether Childminders can advertise emergency spaces to new clients on the key worker list or if they can only accept children directed to them by the Local Authority. In the absence of clear guidance many Childminders have taken the decision to make their spaces available directly to parents, until told otherwise, to give as many key workers as possible the security of knowing their child has a safe place to be whilst they work.
For those Childminders who are having to close for all or some of their children this is not just difficult from a financial perspective, it is also a difficult time emotionally.. We develop very close bonds with our minded children and their families and the prospect of not seeing and interacting with the children is painful for many of us. We are also used to being busy and do not always cope well with having time on our hands or being on our own.
There are ways that we can keep in touch with our families that will benefit them and us.
Think about your own well-being during this time. If you or a member of your family have an underlying health condition that puts you at increased risk, you should not feel under pressure to open and offer emergency care. This is currently an optional process and you must not feel guilty for putting your family's safety first.
My name is Rebecca.