Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 16.30, 3 Aug 2020

Critical childcare for key workers

Information and updates on our critical childcare provision to support key workers and vulnerable families during the Coronavirus pandemic.

On this page 


Critical childcare during summer holidays 

Schools and nurseries and currently closed for the summer holidays. During this time, we will continue to provide critical childcare for the children of key workers and vulnerable families.

Summer critical childcare hubs will close on Thursday 6 August. This will allow us to thoroughly clean our school and nursery buildings before staff return on Monday 10 August. We issued a letter to parents whose child attends one of our hubs confirming the closing date on 21 July. 

You may need alternative childcare for the few days between the hubs closing and pupils being back in school full-time. Childminders and private nurseries are two options you may wish to use following updated national guidance. 

Criteria for accessing critical childcare 

We are able to accommodate children of the following, in line with government guidance

Category 1 

  • Health and Care workers directly supporting COVID response, and associated staff;  
  • Health and Care workers supporting life threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision;  
  • Energy suppliers (small numbers identified as top priority already);  
  • staff providing childcare/learning for other category 1 staff.

Category 2 

  • All other Health and Care workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services (for example: fire, police, prisons, social workers), as well as those supporting our Critical National Infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland could be caused.  

Category 3 

  • All workers (private, public or third sector) without whom there could be a significant impact on Scotland (but where the response to COVID-19, or the ability to perform essential tasks to keep the country running, would not be severely compromised). 

If you met one of the above categories, you can apply for a critical childcare place if: 

  • Your child has no underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes etc 
  • You do not have a parent or carer working from home 
  • No-one in your household is shielding 
  • No other alternative childcare arrangements are available for you 

Infection risk management 

The health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff is of course of paramount importance and robust plans are in place to look after that. All schools and nurseries used for childcare are being thoroughly cleaned each day. Class sizes are reduced to allow physical distancing and ensure pupils are not in close contact. All current handwashing and hygiene advice is being strictly applied. 

When schools and nurseries reopen after the summer break, we will continue to adhere to national guidelines on cleaning, hygiene and safety measures. 

Private nurseries 

Under the Scottish Government's route map for reopening schools and nurseries, private nurseries will work in partnership with their local authorities to provide a prioritised approach to key workers accessing critical childcare. 

From 15 July, private nurseries can reopen if they adhere to the guidance provided by Scottish Government. If your child's nursery has or is reopening, they will get in touch with you to arrange your child coming back into nursery. 

Some private nurseries may choose to remain closed until the start of the new school year on Wednesday 12 August. 

Please speak to your private provider for more information on what they are offering. 

All out-of-school care run by the council or in a council building are currently closed, however we are working with providers on reopening these services when schools start back.

Private providers who operate from a non-council building may still be open and parents should contact them directly to find out more information.