Trying to make decisions in such a time of uncertainty is really difficult. The best we can do is to make sure that we are informed by the specialists, so that our actions are based in fact.
We also have to accept the reality that this is an unprecedented situation, and all our own personal situations are different, so what works for another childminding service, may not be appropriate for your own. It is crucial that everyone pulls together at this time.
To protect yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19) it’s important to think about how the virus is spread. Please click on the following link for more information https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/self-isolation-and-limited-social-interaction.html
We understand it can be more difficult to ask adults coming into your home to wash their hands. Here is an article that explains why hand washing is vital (please excuse some of the wording but the message is effective)
At a time of huge uncertainty, we could unwittingly damage relationships unnecessarily. We need to listen to the Public Health experts, make a plan that is proportionate and informed, and then choose our words carefully.
We need to be mindful of how we communicate this plan to our families, friends and those we work with. Remember when this crisis is past, hopefully sooner rather than later, we want to be all still be speaking.
Finance: The Government announced €2.4 billion for income support
The main elements are:
· waiving the requirement for six waiting days for sick pay in respect of medically certified cases of self-isolation in accordance with public health guidelines
· the removal of the means test requirement for Supplementary Welfare Allowance in respect of medically certified cases of self-isolation
· to contain the transmission of Covid-19, the personal rate of Illness Benefit will be increased from €203 per week to €305 per week for a maximum period of two weeks of medically certified self-isolation, or for the duration of a person’s medically-certified absence from work due to Covid-19 diagnoses
· self-employed people will be entitled to receive either illness benefit or non-means tested supplementary welfare allowance
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Employers and Employees
Published: 10 March 2020 by Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/99104a-covid-19-coronavirus/
The Department of Education and Skills is liaising closely with the Department of Health on a continuing basis.
Any decision to close schools will be made on public health advice. There is no such advice at this point. It is essential that any decisions regarding responses to Covid-19 are proportionate, necessary and based on specific public health advice. No other response is appropriate.
For ongoing updates please click on the following link
Childminding Group Scheme insurance, Arachas Insurance have advised the following:
“Childcare settings should consult with the HSE in respect of appropriate guidelines to be implemented and they should follow such Guidelines.
As a minimum Childcare settings should have in place a Policy/Procedure in respect of Parents/Guardians/Children who have recently travelled to affected areas or areas which were subsequently affected and this should address issues such as “quarantine” and return to setting protocols all based on HSE advice/guidelines.
All Childcare settings should reinforce their infection controls policies/procedures.
Separately we need to be clear that under the Business Interruption Section the Notifiable Disease Extension applies only in respect of a Notifiable Disease “at the premises” so there is no cover in place should the HSE/Government order a blanket closure of Childcare settings”
Please also see attached a draft email for you to send to the parents of the children you mind and a draft Coronavirus Policy. Please amend both to suit your own service.
We are working with the relevant Government Departments to ensure that we can offer you the best advice possible. To this end we would ask that you send us in any scenarios that you are concerned about as a childminder by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know whether these are actual scenarios or possible scenarios.
Other Government Updates