Edinburgh reveals scale of key worker challenge

Scotland's capital will have 3,500 places for children of key workers available from tomorrow amid coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus: Edinburgh reveals scale of key worker challenge

Coronavirus contingency measures in Scotland's capital will result in 3,500 places being opened up for children of key workers from tomorrow.

Learning and childcare arrangements are in place at 23 school buildings across Edinburgh to accommodate thousands of children of key workers from Wednesday 25 March.

City of Edinburgh Council said: "We’ve been working around the clock since Friday going through the online forms parents and carers sent in identifying themselves as key workers. We’re now including Police Scotland employees as Category 1 key workers.

"We’re opening 23 school buildings Monday to Friday each week to provide support for families where both parents and carers fall within the key worker category and have no other possible childcare arrangements.

Coronavirus: Looking after the children of key workers

"We’re looking at providing around 3,500 places for children of key workers to ensure those health and care workers, emergency services staff and other essential workers are able to get on with their vital jobs in these challenging times."

The council added: "We’ve followed government advice and prioritised those who need support to fulfil a key role in keeping our city running and we’re very grateful to all others in Edinburgh for their understanding in making other arrangements during the closures.
 
"Arrangements have been made directly by private nurseries with council contracts for key workers with 40 settings up and running today. More provision is being explored with these nurseries and council nurseries as required over the coming days.

"Emergency day care is also being put in place for specific learners in some of our schools which provide additional support needs."

Council leader Adam McVey said: “Our teams have been working flat out to put in place learning and childcare plans to support our city’s key workers as they are all crucial in Edinburgh’s frontline response to the crisis.

“Providing around 3,500 places for children of key workers will ensure those health and care workers, emergency services staff and other essential workers are able to get on with their vital jobs in these challenging times.

“We’ve followed government advice and prioritised those who need support to fulfil a key role in keeping our city running, and we’re very grateful to all others in Edinburgh for their understanding in making other arrangements during the closures.”

Depute leader Cammy Day said: “In addition to providing learning and childcare in our school buildings, we’ve also been putting in place provision in nurseries and for those families with special needs so our most vulnerable are supported.

“We’d ask parents and carers to be patient as we contact them over the coming days with details about where their children will be going. Our teams are doing a power of work pulling together all these arrangements and will be in touch directly.”

The council said: "We’ll contact all parents and carers directly via e-mail to inform them which school and on what day their children need to attend initially.

"Staff in the school buildings and nursery settings will ensure measures are in place so children follow the latest health protection guidelines to keep themselves and everyone else safe."

Schools in Edinburgh accommodating children of key workers

Primary schools

Bonaly, Broomhouse, Castleview, Craigour Park, Craigroyston, Forthview, Juniper Green, Oxgangs, Pirniehall, St David's RC, St Joseph's RC and St Peter's RC.

Secondary schools

Broughton, Craigmount, Craigroyston, Drummond, Firrhill, Forrester, Gracemount, Holy Rood, St Augustine’s, The Royal High and Tynecastle.

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Henry Hepburn
Henry Hepburn
Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland
Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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