Information for Parents

Information for Parents [Updated December 14th 2021]

This section provides helpful information and guidance for parents on children in settings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Early Learning and Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC) services operate during COVID-19, it is important for babies, toddlers and young children that child-centredness continues to be a basis for how we develop our response for children. When all the child’s most important adults—parents and practitioners—work together, going to childcare can be a positive experience for everyone.

Everyone will need to remain vigilant and continue to follow Public Health guidance.

Key messages

Don't send your child to the service if:

  • they have any symptoms* of COVID-19.
  • any member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • they have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case.
  • they have been advised to self-isolate or restrict their movements.

See here for more information on when you should keep your child at home

*A child with a runny nose, not ill, in good form, good energy and normal appetite, no fever, not requiring paracetamol, ibuprofen or any other medicine for fever can attend childcare.

See here for more information on when your child needs to self-isolate or restrict their movements.

If returning from another country, follow the travel advice at

If the service calls to say your child is unwell, collect them as soon as possible, self-isolate and ring your GP.

Drop-offs and collection times

Follow the services direction in relation to staggered drop-off and collection times

At drop off/collection, wear your face covering and don't congregate with others outside

Good handwashing and hygiene practice is important for all children.

Talk to your child about washing their hands regularly.

Talk to your child so they know to ask for and use a tissue to cover coughs or sneezes or to cough or sneeze into their elbow.

Face coverings

Children in settings are not required to use face coverings.

November 2021, it has been advised that children 9 years of age and older should wear face masks/coverings when it does not interfere with their care and active engagement. On this basis, the use of face masks/coverings for children 9 years of age and older in ELC/SAC settings is not mandatory but advised.

Talk to your child’s setting about the use of face coverings and what is your child’s preferred choice if they are 9 years or old.

Talk to your child and explain that adults will be wearing face coverings most of the time

Parents should wear a face covering if entering the setting and during drop off or collection.


Talk to your child about transport services and remind them that they should:

  • Not use service transport if they have symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Maintain physical distancing while waiting for transport.
  • Always sit in their pre-assigned seating/or where they've been asked to sit. Stay in their seat for the duration of the journey.
  • Use hand sanitiser when getting on and off the vehicle.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and put the tissue in a bin or cough/ sneeze into their elbow.
  • Get on and off the bus in an orderly fashion.

Communicate openly, early and often

Talk to staff regularly and use various ways to keep in touch i.e. video calls, private messages

Talk to your child and remind them that they should talk to grown-ups if something makes them happy/sad or they feel sick.

Choosing Early Learning and School Age Childcare

City/County Childcare Committees (CCCs) are your first contact point for the provision of general information and support in relation to the operation of early learning and care and school-age childcare. You can find your local CCC contact details on

FAQs will continue to be updated at appropriate intervals