Family and Children’s Policy Directorate Department of Health

For the purpose of accessing childcare, key workers have been defined as:

  1. Health and Social Care workers providing clinical care for those who have tested positive for COVID-19);
  2. Health and Social Care workers social workers supporting life threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision; and safeguarding; and

iii.                 All other Health and Social Care workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services (e.g. PSNI/NIFRS/Prison Staff/Social Workers/Teaching, non-teaching and support staff working in schools).

Only one parent needs to be a key worker in order to access childcare under these emergency arrangements, announced by the Health and Education Ministers last week.

We have produced guidance (COVID-19 ADVICE FOR PARENTS)advising key worker parents on what childcare is available to them and how they can access it. A key point in the guidance is no parent will have to pay any more for childcare which is required as a consequence of COVID-19 than they were paying prior to the Pandemic (including those who did not previously require childcare but do now). Government will cover any additional costs.

I would be very grateful if you would assist in raising awareness among staff who fall within the definition of key worker, and who may have childcare needs now or in the near future, by circulating the attached guidance as widely as possible.

Many thanks, in advance, for your help with this.