Sinn Féin spokesperson for children and young people, Catherine Kelly MLA is calling on the Department of Education and Health to issue clear and consistent guidance for childminders during the current pandemic.
The West Tyrone MLA was speaking after hosting a zoom meeting with over 100 childminders from across the north this morning.
“Childminders have been quick to respond to the call for their services to provide childcare for the children of key workers but the guidance issued to them has been inconsistent.
“For safety reasons, the number of households from which they can provide care for children has been restricted to two per home setting. But some childminders were instructed this was two a week while others were told it was two a day.
“However, the Department of Health yesterday agreed that from Monday 8th June the family restriction would increase from 2 to 3 families on any given day.
“They advised us that this would increase over the next few months depending on the transmission rate lowering.
“This makes a significant difference in terms of sustainability for childminders who often provide micro or part time care and it will go a small way in sustaining childminders who are eager to support parents back to work.
“These are difficult times and it’s important for us all to work together to get through the problems generated by this pandemic. Responding for a call to help key workers, childminders opened their doors while most households were having to close theirs.
“It is incumbent on the departments to provide clear and consistent guidance that allows them to get on with their job.”