Given the latest advice from the Chief Medical Officer, and in accordance with the statement made by the First Minister, all Perth & Kinross Council schools and nurseries were closed to all staff, children and young people from Monday 23 March 2020 until further notice.
Children's Activity Centres
Perth & Kinross Council is expanding its provision of childcare for key workers.
In addition to partner providers and childminders we opened five Children's Activity Centres last week to look after the children for Category 1 key workers who had no other means of childcare.
Now an expanded range of workers involved in the response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak can submit applications for places at Children's Activity Centres.
People in the following roles can now apply:
- NHS Tayside staff
- Health and Social Care staff
- GPs and associated staff
- Perth & Kinross Council and partner organisations staff providing Children's Activity Centre function
- Energy providers - eligible staff will have been given a letter identifying them as key workers
- Social work staff
- Police Scotland staff
- Scottish Fire and Rescue staff
- Scottish Ambulance Service staff
- Scottish Prison Service staff
- Burial staff
- Military staff involved in COVID-19 work
Sheena Devlin, Executive Director of Education and Children's Services with Perth & Kinross Council, said: "In line with national guidance, we would prefer children to stay at home wherever possible.
"But we will provide care, at one of Children's Activity Centres or through Partner Providers, for key workers where necessary.
"Expanding the range of eligible workers will mean an increasing number of children being looked after, however we will maintain arrangements where they are looked after in small groups in order to minimise the spread of Coronavirus."
The five Children's Activity Centres are currently located at North Inch Campus, Kinross Primary School, Community School of Auchterarder, Newhill Campus, Blairgowrie and Invergowrie Primary School. More may be required depending on the identified needs of families.
We will be keeping our response to the needs for childcare under continual review to ensure that there is sufficient supply.
The centres will operate seven days a week.
A number of Partner Provider Nurseries and registered childminders will also be providing spaces for children over the coming weeks.
Only those children who have been offered places can attend.
How to apply
Applications can be made by completing our online application form.
Parents and carers who completed the key worker survey and think they meet the criteria for place at one of the Children's Activity Centres should contact their line manager for confirmation of their key worker status.
National guidance recommends that employers should work with unions and staff to identify those workers who are vital to the Coronavirus response and for the delivery of essential and safe services; consider introducing new shift patterns, home working, recruiting more staff or dropping non-essential tasks to reduce demand for places at Children's Activity Centres.
Employers should also speak to staff to see if they have access to any other appropriate childcare. This may include another parent or carer who is not a key worker.
School meal provision
In response to a further update on the social distancing advice, a decision has been taken to cancel the provision of meals in school buildings this week. We will provide direct payments to families entitled to free school meals with the first payment being made this week. If you have not made an application for free school meals previously because of automatic entitlement (likely to Primary 1 to Primary 3 pupils) parents should email email@example.com or call 0345 30 111 00 to let us know bank details to process payment.
If you have queries about provision for your children, please view our Coronavirus: FAQs about schools or call 0345 30 111 00. This line will be open from 8.45am tomorrow.