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Highland Council reveals more details of temporary childcare for essential workers

By Andrew Dixon

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Highland Council has set up a process for key workers to apply for childcare, if they have no other provision or support during the coronavirus outbreak.

Provision will operate between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday and will be available for children from birth to 14 years.

Most NHS workers will be regarded as key workers.

A form must be completed by 9am on Monday.

A council spokesman said: "Now that the Scottish Government has announced schools and early learning and childcare settings are closing, Highland Council is working hard to create an offer of care for the children of parents and carers who are essential workers."

The local authority defines essential workers in three categories:

Category 1

Health and care workers directly supporting coronavirus response and associated staff

  • Life threatening emergency services work
  • Critical primary/community care provision
  • Energy suppliers
  • Childcare/learning for category 1 staff

Category 2

  • All other health and care workers/public sector workers – Emergency critical welfare services (eg fire, police, prison, social work, housing)
  • Workers who are critical for national infrastructure (eg water, transportation, telecommunications, food production and distribution)

Category 3

  • Other essential services, people who keep the country running

The spokesman added: "Some educational establishments across Highland will be identified as centres for childcare provision.

"The information provided will be looked at by the relevant team at the end of the completion period. In the meantime, please do not contact the service centre regarding keyworker childcare as they will not be able to assist with your enquiries at this time."

The council vowed to respond to applicants with an offer of childcare as soon as possible after assessing all the requirements.

It is understood some teachers will be involved in meetings on Monday.

Click for application form.

Click for more education news.

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