Council confirms arrangements for emergency childcare and ‘catch up’ sessions at local schools

Bridgend County Borough Council has confirmed that all schools will close for the 2020 summer break on Friday 17 July.

The ‘Check In, Catch Up and Prepare’ sessions recently announced by Welsh Government will be provided within a three-week timetable, with each participating pupil receiving two full days’ support.

This is being arranged in order to ensure that appropriate supervision can be maintained and to prioritise the safety and well-being of pupils at the sessions, which are entirely voluntary.

Designed to help pupils prepare for the start of the new school term in September, there will be no sanctions or penalties for children who do not take part.

Alternative arrangements will be made for full-time nursery pupils who have been offered places for September 2020. Schools are in the process of contacting parents directly with further details about this and the sessions.

Schools will also provide emergency childcare for the children of eligible key workers between 8.30am – 4.30pm from 22 June – 17 July, but the emergency childcare will not be available during the summer break of 20 July – 31 August and families will need to make alternative childcare arrangements.

Cllr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “The safety of our learners and staff remains our top priority, and the arrangements for Bridgend County Borough have been designed with their best interests in mind.

“The arrangements reduce the risk of not being able to provide adequate support and emergency childcare due to excessive demand for places, and ensure that schools can continue to maintain safe levels of staffing and supervision.

“Please encourage your children to follow the rules around Covid-19, and to remain vigilant for any signs of symptoms in both themselves and their friends.

“On no account should any child be sent to one of the sessions or the emergency childcare if they are experiencing a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of smell and taste.

“Should they or anyone else in the household display these symptoms, national guidance must be followed on staying at home and social distancing.

“Thank you for working with us as we seek to limit the effects of the pandemic, and to continue to provide services and support safely while safeguarding the well-being of pupils, teachers and staff.”