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Getting out of school club up and running again is vital to Teatimers long term survival and we have to get going as soon as possible. However, doing this responsibly under the current guidelines is proving challenging. At present there are several significant obstacles in our way:

  1. Government guidance. The guidance on how many ‘educational’ places children may go and mix is weak, verging on non-existent. There are subtle references saying its ok, and subtle references implying it isn’t. Bucks CC are also concerned that the guidance needs clarification and are raising this to the Department of Education.
  2. Insurance. Sometimes insurance companies make decisions that shape our work just as much as the government. In this case, ours have no clear steer. In the absence of any guidance, this gives them the freedom to decide if we were insured with the benefit of hindsight.
  3. Staggered start/end times at schools have created a significant time difference between when school children need to be with us and when other children are there.

For this reason we are not going to reopen after school club on 1st June. We will start it up again as soon as is practicable.

Breakfast club has been running throughout lockdown. We have been lucky – the keyworker families using us happen to fit with good practice as we now understand it. Breakfast club will continue to run, however until some of the above issues are resolved I can only offer spaces to families who are lucky enough to fit with what I can offer.

It is clear from the results of the questionnaire that some families are looking for a form of out of school care that will not be possible under the current guidelines. We will still have to place children into smallish groups across the week, which severely restricts our normal flexible approach.

  • Children booked in for the whole week will get priority as this helps us create an unchanging group.
  • We will look at requirements from families who want fewer days and try and satisfy as many as possible. A lot depends on any guidelines that do come out, but I feel it may be a case of us creating 2 session options for the week and you can choose one or the other.
  • Session capacities will be drastically lower than we are used to. Based on questionnaire responses, we don’t see this as an issue to start with.

I fully understand that this is not what some families will be hoping for. We need to get back to work for yours and our sakes and as soon as there is a way through these problems we will be back and ready to support you all.

Toby