Ceredigion County Council has put in place childcare provision for essential staff from Monday 23rd March 2020 and has been receiving applications throughout today (Friday 20th March). The Council has defined who it considers to be essential workers at this stage of the epidemic. These are restricted to front line staff, including Health Service workers, blue light services, Social Services or Care Services, workers in Care Homes and domiciliary care in the county. This has enabled the Council to establish an orderly registration process for childcare.
This afternoon we received a Ministerial Statement from Welsh Government which listed a far broader list of key workers who would be eligible for childcare. At this late stage, the Council is not in a position to provide childcare for all the categories of workers who are included on the Welsh Government’s list. Consequently, childcare will be restricted to those who have registered by the deadline of 5pm today who meet the criteria set out by the Council. The Council will keep the criteria for eligibility under review over the coming weeks as the crisis develops.
The Council’s clear priority is to act responsibly with the aim of supporting Westminster Government’s fundamental strategy of social distancing in accordance with the advice of Public Health professionals. The announcement by Welsh Government to close all schools by the 20th of March, 2020 has reinforced the urgency for social distancing. The Council considers that allowing access to childcare to the full range of key workers at this stage would be in conflict with this strategy.