Fife Council has opened 29 Children’s Activity Centres for children of key workers – where one or both carers are front line health and care workers directly supporting the coronavirus response, or supporting, emergency work. The centres will provide essential child-care to key workers while schools are closed during the virus outbreak.
Carrie Lindsay, Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services said: “Please be aware, this service is for children where both parents are key workers, or where there is a lone parent who is a keyworker. If parents have any other options for childcare when they are working, they should use these. These centres should be a last resort for parents who have no other choice.”
“You may feel it will be better to keep your children at home. “You must have already registered with a centre before your child can attend. You will have received a link to the registration form if you are a category 1 key worker.”
“If you have any concerns discuss these with your school. ”Ms Lindsay added: “We have a limited amount of space within our centres as the children need to be in smaller groups and spaced out to keep them safe, but we will be following all public health guidance within our centres.”
“There will be clear instructions for children when they arrive at the centre, on how they can keep themselves and others safe. Our centres will only be providing childcare for nursery and primary school children at this time. Families who are also entitled to free school meals, or primary one to three children who receive free school milk will also be provided with payments to help cover the increased cost of food while schools are closed. Previously, school canteens were set to open doors at lunch time to those who were entitled to a meal. Ms Lindsay said: “We had to take the difficult decision on Sunday not to open our schools for free school meals.”
“We understand fully the impact that can have on some of our children and the pressure this can put on families who are struggling financially. This decision was taken following advice from Public Health Scotland. “We have now managed to set up an alternative arrangement.
“On Wednesday a payment will be made to all families who are already registered for FME/ school clothing grant and for any P1-3s registered for free school milk. ”If you believe you may be eligible but are not registered you can check at fife.gov.uk/schoolbenefits.”