Current Babysits policy regarding Coronavirus
November 27, 2020 - Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, many parents are struggling with childcare. It is not only parents who work as essential service providers who are in need of a babysitter for their children. Parents who work from home and single parents may also find themselves struggling to balance working from home whilst also caring for their children. At Babysits, we want to give our community the best support possible. We are closely monitoring the situation and listening to the advice from the NHS and GOV.uk.
At present, there are different regulations for different areas in the U.K. - read below for specific information on England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland respectively. Wherever you live, we advise that you exercise caution when returning to babysitting jobs/accepting babysitters into your home. For example, we advise that parents have no more than one regular babysitter. This way, you can limit the number of people in your home and thus limit the risk of potentially spreading the virus.
From Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd Decemeber national restrictions will be in place. In general the government advises everyone to stay at home, with the exception of some specific purposes, such as school. In regards to childcare, parents will still be able to access some registered childcare, as well as other childcare activities (incl. wraparound care), in order to enable parents to work, or for the need of respite care. Nannies are also able to continue providing their services, including in the home. For informal childcare, parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household (when the child is 13 or under). Children are also able to move between homes if their parents are separated. For more information on the new national restrictions please see GOV.uk.
After the 2nd Decemeber, England will introduce a 3-tier system. You can read more about the government's winter plan here and can also use this postcode checker to find out what tier your area is in along with the corresponding covid-19 regulations.
At present, Scotland have introduced a 5-level system. You can find out what level your area is, and thus what regulations there are regarding each level, with this postcode checker on the Scottish government website. From level 0 to level 4, early learning and childcare can remain open, with protective measures in place. You can read more on the Scottish government website concerning guidance on early learning and childcare services and guidance on childminder services. From level 0 to level 3, informal childcare is permitted, but you should still follow the rules for socialising. However, at level 4 informal childcare is only permitted for essential workers. At this level it also states to follow the rules for socialising, and that only children should enter the home of another household. The Scottish government also recommends reading the Parent Club's FAQ page on COVID-19 and childcare.
As of the 9th November, there are new national measures in Wales. This includes all schools being re-opened and all households are now permitted to create a bubble. You are able to travel to access, provide or receive childcare. This includes nannies. However, all settings should still follow the protective measures to ensure they minimise exposure to the virus. Family and friends can also provide care for your child, but if they are not part of your extended household (bubble) you should only ask them if there is no reasonable alternative. It should be noted that the Welsh government states that children should not be cared for outside of their home if they are ill. You can go to the Welsh government website to find out more information and frequently asked questions on the coronavirus regulations here.
The current regulations in Northern Ireland were introduced on the 27th November and will last until midnight on the 10th December. At present you cannot mix indoors in private homes. However, there are exceptions, including childcare and bubbling with one other household. It should be noted that the two households can be of any size, however, indoor meetings between the two households are limited to a maxiumum of 10 people (incl. children) at one time. Childcare can continue to be provided by someone who is registered in accordance with the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, or any childcare which is provided free of charge. Informal childcare arrangements are also permitted to continue at this time. You can read the Northern Irish government website to find out more about what the restrictions mean for you.
Help from Babysits:
Furthermore, we have implemented a new feature: virtual babysitting. Virtual babysitting gives parents an hour to themselves. This is helpful for parents who work from home and who may need to focus on work-related tasks (or even parents who just need an hour to themselves!). Virtual babysitters entertain children with storytelling, educational activities, crafts, and games. It is a great alternative to other screen-related activities such as Netflix or Youtube.
For parents struggling with homeschooling their children as well as working from home, we have implemented online homework assistance. Parents can rest assured knowing that their children are getting the help they need with their schoolwork. Babysitters can indicate on their profile whether they are available for homework assistance and parents can filter their preferences accordingly while searching for the right babysitter for their family.
Do you want to know more about babysitting safely in times of social distancing or other things related to the corona virus? Find out more by checking out our articles below: