Urgent: COVID-19 Self-Isolation, Under-5s and Testing - SCMA ‘Snapshot’ Survey

Urgent: COVID-19 Self-Isolation, Under-5s and Testing - SCMA ‘Snapshot’ Survey
Following further engagement from SCMA, the Scottish Government has agreed to put Self-Isolation, Under-5s and Testing on the agenda again of its public health advisory group taking place next week.

SCMA has been asked to share with the Scottish Government any anecdotal information which we can provide to enable public health advisers to understand the experience of frontline childminders.

Throughout the pandemic, and as scientific advice and guidance continues to evolve, SCMA has always encouraged our members and the wider childminding community to tell us your views and experiences so that we can help feed these into on-going recovery discussions with Scottish Government.  

As you will be aware, the updated childminder services guidance published early in August included changes to self-isolation for children under five years old.  Since then, SCMA has continued to receive enquiries from our members and the wider childminding community who find the changes regarding self-isolation and under-5s contradictory to wider measures aimed at reducing transmission.  

Many of you who are also understandably worried about the implications of allowing an untested under-five year old into your childminding setting from a household with a positive case of COVID-19. We have received increasing reports that some childminders, and nurseries, have felt it necessary to go beyond the guidance and to introduce policies which do not allow access to settings from untested under-fives from households with positive cases. The situation is compounded for partner providers who may be  contractually bound to admit untested children. 

We are also acutely aware how swamped many of you are feeling with competing demands on your time just now and we recognise that this has contributed to the weekly monitoring returns only being completed by a small percentage of our workforce; similarly, we suspect that some of you may have felt too overwhelmed to notify the Care Inspectorate of temporary closures to your settings. As such, we believe that the monitoring data available nationally may not be as reliable at this time. 

Recognising the increasing concerns of childminders, and also the Scottish Government’s concerns about rapidly increasing transmission within the community, SCMA is strongly advocating for a modification to the self-isolation guidance, at this time, so that if a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed within a household of a child who is under five years old:

  • The child would be required to be tested in line with requirements for older children and adults 
OR if the parents believe this would be too distressing 

  • The child should be required to self-isolate before they could return to a childminding setting 
In order to fully reflect as many of your experiences and views as possible on this matter – SCMA is conducting an urgent overnight ‘Snapshot’ survey which we can use to evidence your experience of self-isolation and under-5s, and how this recent change to the childminding service guidance has affected your setting.  

CLICK HERE to complete our COVID-19: Self-Isolation, Under-5s and Testing Snapshot Survey

We know you are all working hard and are incredibly busy – but we would please ask that you take 10 minutes to complete our short survey, which is open until 5pm on Thursday 16 September. The results of the survey are anonymised and no personal details are shared.