Types of childcare provision on school sites:
- Early Years provision – run by school an external provider on-site
- Out of school clubs – run by school or an external provider on-site
- Holiday provision – run by school or an external provider on-site
Considerations for schools
From 8 March 2021, education settings, out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare providers will be able to offer indoor and outdoor provision to all children. Parents and carers will only be able to access these settings for certain essential purposes outlined in the government’s guidance. Schools should carefully consider how the provision will work alongside their wider protective measures, including keeping children within their year groups or bubbles where possible. If it is not possible to maintain the bubbles being used during the school day then small, consistent groups should be in place and agreed with the partner service.
Where schools have services that are run by an external provider on-site, they should ensure that their risk assessment includes these services. Specific consideration will need to be given to use of toilets/changing areas, use of indoor/outdoor space, car parking, session times and use of entrance/exit ways etc. Schools must ensure that they are following agreements in terms of the lease or licence which are in place with Warwickshire County Council or other landlords with regards to access to the sites and other relevant considerations.
Schools should work in partnership with the external provider to ensure either a joint or separate risk assessments are completed which include all areas of the provision, any shared space and how both parties will reduce the risk of transmission. Agreements will need to be established listing whose responsibility it is to maintain control measures and how the parties can work together to ensure the smooth running of the site whilst meeting the needs of families alongside maintaining a safe and Covid-secure provision. There should be a commitment from both parties that they will comply with the risk assessment/s, government guidance and any legislation from their own regulatory body with respect to operating safely and being Covid-secure.
Working parents continue to need wider care for early years children and either side of the school day and by embedding services on-site that offer sufficiency of places for parents and carers will help to reduce the numbers of families that are needing to access additional care services elsewhere.