Reflections on our journey and the way ahead

Your views needed now please!

Although we are all in this together, the impact of Covid-19 is falling harder for those in existing or new straitened financial circumstances, those risking their own lives, health and wellbeing, as staff on the frontline, and the children. Children everywhere, no matter what their circumstances, are going to be affected by this, forever. For some children, hopefully, it might be discovering a happier and closer family life, with their parents also re-evaluating how and why they work long hours and previously had so little time together.

Some vulnerable children, and those of keyworkers, are at the forefront of those who go to the Childcare and Learning Hubs, learning new rules about social distancing and hygiene, and those children need to be supported, well beyond this present crisis. They, and those caring for them, are being pushed to their creative and emotional limits, in finding ways to be there for each other, together, but apart. I applaud all here, children, staff and parents and carers.

Our role at SOSCN is to support the sector, and, like you, firstly, the children who need us to give them the care they need.

I applaud over and over those of you caring for vulnerable children and key workers, (but really all children) and doing more to get food and support to people across communities, of any faith or none.

I am heartened by the Scottish Government transparent and open approach.

We together in out of school care need to do some deep, visionary thinking about the future.

And we are good at this.

We know you well, the issues ongoing well too, (premises, regulation, staff, funding and, even more now, safety), and the dynamic and innovative people in our sector.

So many of you did not want to “hibernate” but had to, some of you, 16% by our survey, are out there, and Andrew's “stories from the frontline” project will capture your work in social history and, to me, demonstrate the sector and our children's wonderful abilities to adapt.

So email me - - with your thoughts and views.

Some starters…for ten from me... below.

IF we could provide holiday care in July and August… and after school care beyond then, and my instinct here is until we have a vaccine, social distancing is here to stay… what do we need to do provide a decent service?

  1. Funding... first...
  2. Bigger spaced premises? In order to form into smaller, distanced groups, as a routine plan.
  3. Ability to work with smaller groups of children, to save cross transmission and to build important attachment and secure relationships...
  4. Less use of sand, water, and activities which involve too much handling of materials which are hard to keep clean.
  5. More use of the arts and music, physical games that do not involve too much touch.
  6. Direct supplies of food and ensuring connection with all, through internet and devices.
  7. Small groups across bigger spaces including outdoors? So, more staff? On rotas to prevent virus overload (children can transmit without symptoms), and of course, testing where required. And more testing as the system improves.
  8. Priority to vulnerable children in need and keyworkers to give those doing this now a break? In terms of teachers and many of you needing to take time off in the summer.
  9. Remembering children need consistent care and attachment relationships too…you know your children well...
  10. Handwashing stations and PPE where required, and swift action from regulators to allow this work to happen, in new indoor and outdoor spaces.

We want your views and ideas. Send them to me:

last updated: 27/04/2020