The childcare Covid-19 update below has been published on the Family Support NI website at www.familysupportni.gov.uk/NewsStory/117/update-childcare-covid-19–16th-october-2020

  • Schools close for two weeks
  • All childcare remains open (with the exception of school based provision)

As part of the response to the current situation in relation to the increased rate of coronavirus infections the NI Assembly has agreed that all schools will close from Friday 16th of October for two weeks.

Registered childcare is not required to close during this period (with the exception of school based provision) so many parents will be able to continue to access the essential childcare they need through day nurseries, crèches or registered childminders.

However, childcare providers that operate within school premises will not be able to open, because schools will be closed in their entirety to all children over the next two weeks. This provision is expected to reopen, along with schools, on 2nd November.

The household restrictions introduced across Northern Ireland on 22 September 2020 remain in place, and these permit the mixing of households for the purposes of providing both formal and informal childcare.

Informal childcare is valuable, trusted care provided by grandparents and close family. It is not to be confused with unregistered childcare, which is provided by those who are not formally registered with a local HSC Trust but who charge a fee for their services. Unregistered childcare is not permitted at any time. if you have any queries in relation to this please contact your local HSC Trust Early Years Team.

Where parents need to access registered childcare at any time they should consult the familysupportni website for a list of all registered childcare.

Read the letter to childcare providers operating on school premises from Education Minister Peter Weir.