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Is your workplace considering a crèche?

(54 Posts)
DBML Thu 11-Jun-20 02:28:39

My brother called me for a chat this evening. He was very relieved as his place of employment have decided to open a crèche for employees children. They will use a space within the offices; hire child minders; have asked for donations of toys, books; arts and crafts materials and cushions etc. Children up to 12 will be catered for from the next few weeks until schools open fully.

I know many employers won’t be able to run such a provision, but I thought this was such a great temporary idea.

I wondered if anyone else’s employer was doing anything similar?

OP’s posts: |
EmperorCovidula Thu 11-Jun-20 02:30:51

I would happily use that if offered. Great idea.

c75kp0r Thu 11-Jun-20 02:37:22

fab idea

DBML Thu 11-Jun-20 02:42:38

I said to him how fortunate he is. I wondered if this was business thinking going forward, or just a one off.

OP’s posts: |
MaggieMay1972 Thu 11-Jun-20 03:34:04

I run my own business and have been looking at doing just this but it’s a facilities management issue more than anything else. We have limited office space and I can’t have little ones anywhere near big smelly lorries or trundling fork lifts so providing the right environment for small children in a busy commercial operation while coping with social distancing is a challenge. Cost is another consideration and then you have to employing somebody qualified. Not to mention insurance and health and safety. There’s more to it than you think.

twinnywinny14 Thu 11-Jun-20 05:57:05

This kind of child care will need to be registered with OFSTED and the registration process can take up to 20wks. The rules will still apply and there will have be no more than 8 in groups separated from each other. This is not a straightforward operation

Millicent10 Thu 11-Jun-20 06:02:23

That is quite a big age range 0 - 12. Very difficult to cater for I would think.

Quarentina Thu 11-Jun-20 06:03:11

@twinnywinny14 I don’t think it needs to be registered if the parents are on the same site at all times

2anddone Thu 11-Jun-20 06:13:35

The only way childcare doesn't have to be registered is if it is for less than 2 hours at a time.
Places like soft play don't need registration as the parents are there to supervise their own children.
Any childcare provision that requires someone other than the parent (especially someone earning a wage) to supervise the child can only be open for less than 2 hours at a time. Then you have to factor in PLI insurance, paediatric first aid and safeguarding training for the staff.
It's a good idea in theory but registration can take a while. OFSTED only announced this week that pre-registration visits were now starting again so there is currently a almost a 3 month backlog.

Jellycatspyjamas Thu 11-Jun-20 06:14:03

My husbands workplace offered to do this at a cost of £600 per month per childcare which is a significant chunk of his salary - unsurprisingly the staff declined and my husband is on unpaid leave for part of the week.

I’d check on the childcare regulations where you are in terms of registering a childcare facility if it’s needed. It’s a good idea though.

amylou8 Thu 11-Jun-20 06:29:57

Would they have to do this informally? More of a bring your child to work, we'll keep an eye on them, but you're still responsible sort of set up. I can imagine the technicalities of setting up a proper child care facility, Ofstead ect, would be far too great and expensive for a few months.

StrawberryBlondeStar Thu 11-Jun-20 06:34:09

@DBML I’ve heard of no employers doing this, mainly because I can’t imagine any workplace PL/EL insurer agreeing to cover this sort of ad-hoc childcare.

StrawberryBlondeStar Thu 11-Jun-20 06:37:40

If the company have found all these childminders willing to work (not sure where in the country this is because childminder spaces are like gold dust round here) surely the logical thing to do would be to pay those childminders for sole use and employees take their children to them (there by avoiding issues of insurance/OFSTED).

StrawberryBlondeStar Thu 11-Jun-20 06:42:24

Also how would this fit in with the workplace doing a risk assessment of being COVID secure? Are they going to bubble children? You say they are asking for donations of cushions etc - all things which have been removed from classrooms.

StrawberryBlondeStar Thu 11-Jun-20 07:00:09

What about changing facilities for babies/toilets for small children? Outdoor secure space? What about if children show signs of being unwell - would entire crèche be sent home and told to isolate for 2 weeks?

More I think about this the more this sounds like a terrible idea.

concernedforthefuture Thu 11-Jun-20 07:13:05

I can't imagine it would be any good for the mental health of any children from 5+ years to be cooped up in an office crèche all day. Crazy idea from an employer that has no idea about children.

MaverickSnoopy Thu 11-Jun-20 07:22:46

I'm a registered Childminder. I like the concept but I think it's impractical and I dont think it would work.

Childcare settings need to he registered. Pre covid there was a 12 week back log for registration inspections and they have been paused since covid. Childminders need paediatric first aid, safeguarding training, insurance etc. Even if they have these things the setting still needs to be inspected and registered. On a business premises there are also different rules than in a home setting.

Early years settings also have to follow guidelines issued by the govt for managing coronavirus. It has required a lot of work to go through and work out how provisions need to be run. In addition children must be in separate bubbles and where possible should only attend one setting. Most childminders are having to adjust the hours children come so there is no overlap between bubbles or children who may attend 2 settings. Many provisions have changed what they offer having to remove things like fabrics and many toys, they are not often the places they once were. Toys also need daily cleaning as a bear minimum, if not every time a child outs one in their mouth. It is hard work and much harder at the moment. These are just a few of the things to consider and for further context the dfe changed the guidance 41 times in the week leading up to schools reopening, outlining just how extensive the guidance is.

It is complex. It's not impossible but anything quick that doesn't follow the above would be breaking the law and brings various risks and dangers. As a parent I wouldn't want to send my child if the above was not in place.

As an aside I used to work in HR for a University who planned to their own childcare facility, as a company it was indeed onerous and lengthy. I would be really cautious of any employer advertising it as a quick fix.

Porridgeoat Thu 11-Jun-20 07:30:07

This makes such good sense and had it been the 1980s we would have just cracked on and set something up. The red tape is awful now but necessary In part to keep children safe, however it does mean less efficiency and slow responses

Ickabog Thu 11-Jun-20 07:31:44

StrawberryBlondeStar

What about changing facilities for babies/toilets for small children? Outdoor secure space? What about if children show signs of being unwell - would entire crèche be sent home and told to isolate for 2 weeks?

More I think about this the more this sounds like a terrible idea.

Agreed, the more you think about it the worse it becomes. It sounds like no thought has been put into it, other than if we offer this people will be able to come back to work.

It sounds like an awful environment, with no consideration as to the needs of the children.

StrawberryBlondeStar Thu 11-Jun-20 08:17:35

@Ickabog exactly. Also if they have all these childminders ready to go, why not just book all their places and let children go into environments which have been assessed as appropriate for children? I believe the OP is a teacher so I’m surprised she thinks this is a good idea given the clear risks to children.

Wecandothis99 Thu 11-Jun-20 08:31:43

What a good idea. Creating jobs too

SandieCheeks Thu 11-Jun-20 08:35:52

Workplace crèches/nurseries are a good idea, but this is a long term project rather than a quick fix.

MaverickSnoopy Thu 11-Jun-20 08:37:00

@Porriidgeoat
Think of it as red tape if you want and I get where you're coming from but like you say it's there to protect children.

Paediatric first aid: if you didn't have it and a child choked or had a bad injury the risk of the child being ok is lower.
Safeguarding: for many children this is necessary and it's more than picking up on signs of abuse, it can be about neglect or as simple as signposting parents when they need help.
Health declaration: doctors need to declare whether the person looking after the child/ren have any medical issues that may mean they shouldn't be.
DBS check: to make sure there are no criminal convictions.
Insurance: to protect the childminder/setting against claims etc
EYFS training: so practitioners can deliver the curriculum and get children school ready where children ste under 5.

Each of these steps don't actually take long. I did all of mine across a month, the doctors report took 8 weeks. Then there was the 12 week wait for Ofsted to inspect me. That's not a step that can be skipped.

The above it all of the normal stuff that goes with being a registered provider. Now there's this whole heap of extra stuff to consider due to covid 19. It's perfectly feasible to implement these things but it does require thought and changes to the way childcare settings were run pre covid. And that's certainly not red tape - it's there to protect and save lives. Let's not forget that govt are not requiring practitioners to wear ppe or face masks.

On a practical note, what would the children eat? How would the food be stored. A setting open all day would usually offer breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and tea. Multiply that by 10 children and it's a huge amount of storage. Environmental health would want to inspect as well which would bring a whole host of challenges. And if a case of covid did arise then as an employer based childcare setting that would mean a whole chunk of people self isolating from one employer.

You're right, there are lots of things to consider and it would slow it down. Rightly so. The Professional Association of Childcare and Early Years have come forward and said stressed the importance of only registered settings offering care. Furthermore any place offering unregistered care can be shut down by Ofsted. Unregistered care is not currently allowed by the govt at all and I can only imagine the trouble that the employer would get into for setting up something unregistered from a social distancing perspective and for operating unregistered childcare when govt have said only registered settings can open. A pub local to us opened for take always but was letting people congregate outside. They've been given a £15k fine and have lost their licence. People may be getting small fines but businesses have no room for error.

DBML Thu 11-Jun-20 09:12:04

@StrawberryBlondeStar

I’m a secondary teacher yes, KS4 and KS5. Never had much experience of working with little ones or the rules surrounding that.

I was picturing an ‘IKEA’ crèche sort of thing. But having read these responses, I think my brother is going to end up disappointed as it doesn’t sound as though this idea can come to fruition. And if they are thinking of an informal set-up, I suppose they could end up in a lot of trouble.

Oh well, for a moment there I thought a problem was solved for a lot of people. (I also thought I might get away with not babysitting my brothers little ones over the summer if my holiday doesn’t go ahead lol)

OP’s posts: |
SandieCheeks Thu 11-Jun-20 09:38:12

Ikea crèches avoid registration by only giving you an hour. Same at my local leisure centre - you can only have 1hr55min so they avoid any registration/inspection requirements.
An 8 hour day with meals and toileting is a different prospect.

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