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Council working to utilise school settings from Monday

Written by on 20th March 2020

The Council is working to utilise school settings from Monday, March 23, to provide childcare for parents and carers employed in “essential services”.

We will require our schools to remain open so that we can provide effective childcare to support our key workers and vulnerable children in these significantly-challenging times.

The Council will issue specific advice and guidance for parents and carers

to enable them to apply for childcare. This will be provided for children aged 0-3 through existing providers, and for learners aged 3-14 in school-based settings.

This move follows the decision of Welsh Government to cease statutory education provision, from Friday, March 20.

This emergency childcare provision will be available to the most vulnerable learners and for Rhondda Cynon Taf residents employed in the following for the essential service occupations: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision and RCTCBC employees who meet the criteria.

The Council is urgently working on options to provide this facility across all school sites for the week commencing March 23, 2020, with the usual school transport arrangements still in place. For the week commencing March 30, 2020, the childcare provision is likely to be delivered from six key settings across the County Borough. Further information will follow next week.

Priority is also being given to maintaining the provision of free school meals to eligible children in these unprecedented circumstances. Parents/carers of children who are eligible for a free school meal will be able to collect a packed lunch from their local primary school. This can be collected between 11am and midday each day. Each pack will contain a packed lunch for the collection day and a breakfast for the following morning.

County Borough Joy Rosser, Cabinet Member for Education & Inclusion said:

Schools will be used to provide childcare for parents and carers employed in essential frontline services, as defined by the UK and Welsh Governments, from Monday. Provision will also be made for vulnerable children and children eligible for free school meals will all be able to access a free school meal from their local school.

This is a fast-moving situation, which changes daily, and we therefore politely request parents and carers to be patient during this period while we develop these plans and adapt services in response to the latest public health advice.

The Council will continue to act in the public health interests of staff and residents and in-line with the latest guidance from the UK & Welsh Governments and Public Health Wales.”

The parents and carers who believe they fall into these are categories will be required to register through an online process, which will go online with-in 24 hours.

Further updates will be provided through the Council’s dedicated Coronavirus pages.