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15 May 2020
By Alex Gamby

COVID-19: A Letter to Critical Workers on Childcare During the Summer Half Term

Dear Parents/Carers
Kent County Council recognises that Critical Workers, like yourselves, are essential to the local and national effort in fighting Coronavirus (COVID-19), and that access to childcare at this time is vital to enable you to fulfil your roles. We have been working closely with our schools and early years and childcare settings (pre-schools, nurseries, childminders and out of school provision) to ensure that all Critical Workers can access the childcare they need. We are grateful to staff in our schools and early years and childcare settings for their commitment to meeting the challenges they face daily in delivering this essential service to both Critical Workers’ children and those most vulnerable across Kent.
We are mindful that the Summer Half Term Holidays may put pressure on parents/carers who are Critical Workers, as their normal holiday childcare (e.g. family/grandparents) may be compromised due to vulnerable people self-isolating or because Critical Workers themselves may be working extended hours.  Many schools and early years and childcare settings have confirmed to us that they will open during the holiday period to support their families. Others have made arrangements with neighbouring schools or early years and childcare settings to provide this support through joint working. If your child attends a provision that is opening during the holidays, they should have contacted you directly.

If you, as a Critical Worker, have any unmet childcare needs over the Summer Half Term Holiday, please contact the Children and Families Information Service at [email protected] or telephone 03000 412323 where you will be supported to find details of provision that is operating during this period.

Thank you so much for all the hard work you are doing to support everyone at this difficult and unprecedented time.
With best wishes
Alex Gamby
Head of Early Years and Childcare

The Kent Together helpline provides a single, convenient point of contact for anyone in the county who is in urgent need of help during the coronavirus pandemic. If you, or someone you know, needs help please visit the Kent Together website or call 03000 41 92 92. Kent Together is a collaboration between Kent County Council, Central government, District, Borough and local councils, the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and other partners to ensure help is at hand for vulnerable people.