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New advice for childminders regarding the COVID-19 Omicron variant

30th November 2021

by Amanda Goode

Note: This is a summary and our interpretation. Please read the updates yourself and follow any local and national rules.

There have been six main updates in the Actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic document (listed on page 4). These changes are based on the Prime Minister’s temporary introduction of new measures due to the Omicron variant. So what does this mean for childminders?

  1. References of Public Health England (PHE) have been changed to UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to reflect name change.
  1. Anyone who is a suspected close contact of a person with the Omicron variant (suspected or confirmed), will be contacted and told to self-isolate immediately and asked to book a PCR test. This is for all ages and for people who have been vaccinated or are unvaccinated.
  1. Anyone arriving in England after 4am Tuesday 30th November must self-isolate and take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after they arrive. If it is negative, they can leave self-isolation. If they are unvaccinated, there are stricter rules to follow. All Red list arrivals will enter quarantine.

(More details here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19#what-you-must-do-if-you-arrive-in-england-after-4am-30-november

  1. It is advised that face-coverings should be worn by staff and visitors – including children aged 11 or above on 31 August 2021 – when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas.

Our advice: Ask parents/carers to wear a face-covering for drop off and pick up, as it is unlikely you will be able to social distance from them. Ask family members or other residents to wear a face-covering if they need to move through the childminding areas when childminded children are present.

  1. There is added guidance on when routine vaccines and teething may cause a mild fever in children. Please access the document (link at the end of the blog) and go to page 26 to see the links.

Our advice: Even though both vaccination and teething can result in a mild temperature, do not be afraid to ask the parents to take the child for a PCR test, just to be sure.

  1. In the Other guidance available section (p.26), they have added advice to childminders, saying that if someone you live with is self-isolating, you can find out what to do on the document sharing platform for primary and early years.

Our advice: At the time of writing, there was no link or advice of how to find this in the document. So we did some (ok, quite a bit) of sleuthing on the internet and found it for you. To find a relevant document, follow the link below and open the ‘Frequently asked questions’ folder, or use the ‘Search in Drive’ box (I typed in ‘childminders self isolating’).

Link for document sharing platform for primary and early years:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1X4fLxy6_ppmpmKrv3hT2M6cduAN_GS54


Link for Actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic document:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures?utm_source=Foundation+Years&utm_campaign=079d043e2b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_03_21_05_01_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8f9a6de061-079d043e2b-321915555&mc_cid=079d043e2b&mc_eid=f00878b97b


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