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How do I deal with Early Learning and Childcare settings and schools closing?

Let’s be honest, this is a tough time for everyone. It’s understandable to be worried about how you’ll cope. But don’t forget, you’re not alone in this and it’s new for everyone.

Take things one day at a time and be kind to yourself and your family. No one is expecting you to be a teacher – you’re already doing the most important job of all, loving your child.

Critical childcare provision details

The Scottish Government and local authorities are working together to ensure key workers with no other option for childcare can request access for childcare to allow them to continue to play their vital role in the national response to COVID-19.

Decisions around eligibility for key worker childcare will be taken locally, in line with the guidance available here: www.gov.scot/keyworkerchildcare.  

We want to reduce the impact of the virus, keep children and families safe and save lives. Only key workers who cannot fulfil their critical functions may qualify for critical childcare provision. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

Where do I even start?

First things first, remember to look after yourself. This is a stressful time for everyone. You can find helpful advice for keeping calm on the Mind website and our pages about managing the challenges of parenting.

If you have younger children

Start small. If you have a young child, the best thing you can do is play together. Read stories, sing songs, dance around and have fun. You can find lots of ideas on our games pages.

Let them take the lead and see what fun you can have. You could even ask them to help you make lunch and snacks or sort the washing. 

If you have older children

If your children are older, their school may have sent you materials and tips. Try not to feel overwhelmed by this, you don’t have to do this all at once. Take your time, and don’t forget you’re learning as well! Your children might be feeling a bit worried at the moment, and that’s understandable, so your priority should be making sure they are secure and happy. If you have any questions, your school will be setting up ways to support you. 

Older children can also learn from everyday activities like cooking and cleaning, and this will help them feel useful and keep them busy.

No matter what age your child is, don’t worry if things don’t go to plan. This is a new experience for everyone. Spending time together is one of the best ways to support your child.

Need more help?

If you’re having to balance looking after your children with working from home, we’ve got some great tips from other parents here

You can find more hints and tips on how to support your child’s learning at home here

If you need further learning resources to help get you started, check out our page here