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More key workers offered childcare

More key workers offered childcare

Monday 30 March 2020

More key workers offered childcare


Islanders employed in food supply, post and utilities are among those now able to send their children to nursery or school after the government extended the option to more workers.

If needed, this second wave of 'critical workers' – a sub-set of essential workers in particularly crucial roles – will be able to receive childcare support whilst the schools and nurseries remain closed to most students for the entire month of April.

It follows the Government’s initial announcement that key health workers would be the first group offered the support last week.

The full list of the critical workers entitled to receive the childcare has now been published on gov.je (CLICK HERE), but the further additions include the following: 

  • Working parents in the wider health and community care services including staff at residential and nursing homes, hospice, doctors’ practices, pharmacies and community nurses;
  • Those providing essential food supplies;
  • Postal workers;
  • Telecommunications staff;
  • Gas and water employees;
  • Additional infrastructure organisations including the Ports of Jersey. 

The Government say they have capped the number of childcare places available to ensure strict social distancing is maintained within schools and nurseries to protect children and staff alike.

On its dedicated website page, the Government reminds critical workers that this offer “is intended as a last resort.” 

It states: “Wherever possible, we are asking that critical workers make alternative arrangements to this emergency provision, although we accept that it will not always possible.”

Critical workers who are now eligible for the support must submit an application, supported by their employer and it’s hoped that offers of school and nursery places can be made from Wednesday (1 April) onwards.

In a joint statement, Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois and Children’s Minister, Senator Sam Mézec, said: “We would like to thank all of our schools, nurseries and childminders for supporting our critical workers’ children and vulnerable children during these challenging and unprecedented times. 

 learning_books_school.jpg

Pictured: The Government is inviting applications for those critical workers needing child care during the school closures.

“Providing places for the children of critical workers and those identified as vulnerable is critical in maintaining our island’s essential services and offering safety and security for those children at more risk than others. 

“Figures from the first wave of the critical workers list show that the number of children attending school is low, and we thank parents for making the right choice and minimising the use of this service by making alternative arrangements, playing their part in our fight against corona virus.

“This provision is only to support our front-line critical services and parents must do everything they can to protect our health system and save lives. Organisations must do all they can to enable parents to stay at home, so that their children can also be kept at home, to minimise demand for school place and childcare. 

“Keeping schools open to look after the children of critical workers is intended to help critical workers to go to work and to maintain essential services.

“We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all of our civil servants, headteachers, teachers, our nurseries and their staff and Jersey’s childminders for their commitment to enable essential services to continue across our island and to look after our vulnerable children. This is an unprecedented time for us all and you are putting children first. We applaud your endeavours to rise to this ambition.

“We will continue to work closely with all of our early years providers to ensure that the financial support available from the Government, through the measures announced last week, allows nurseries and childminders to continue to deliver this vital service for the community of Jersey based on our Deputy Chief Medical Officer’s advice.”

CLICK HERE for the full list of critical workers and to apply for childcare. 

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