A LIMITED number of childcare facilities are opening in Argyll and Bute from Thursday to look after children of 'key workers' in the area.

Eligible parents who indicated a need for the service have been told by Argyll and Bute Council of the individual arrangements that have been out in place for their children.

The number and location of childcare providers that are opening was not made public when the local authority announced the measure on Wednesday evening, describing the available facilities as "a last resort".

In line with government instructions, the council says children should be looked after at home where possible, with the childcare service only available to key workers and where there are no other options.

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The council's policy lead for education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “It is vital that we do everything we can to ensure that key workers can continue to do their job without worrying about the wellbeing of their children during this time.

“Our education team has worked tirelessly to make appropriate arrangements for those who need them, and we will continue to monitor these plans to ensure they work for everyone.

“This service is solely for children of essential key workers, and only if they really need it.

"It is for children where both parents are key workers, or where there is a lone parent who is a key worker, and all other childcare options have been explored.

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"Our facilities should only be used as a last resort."

A useful chart has been created to allow parents to check whether or not their children are eligible for this service - see argyll-bute.gov.uk/sites/default/files/flowchart_0.pdf.

If you have any questions please e-mail seemis@argyll-bute.gov.uk

To find out whether you are classed as a key worker by the Scottish Government see gov.scot/publications/coronavirus---school-and-elc-closures-guidance-on-critical-childcare-provision-for-key-workers/ and gov.scot/news/supporting-coronavirus-key-workers/.

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