In terms of the Level 4 lockdown regulations gazetted on 29 April 2020, live-in staff and staff who provide care to the sick, mentally ill, elderly, people with disabilities and children, may return to work in private households, subject to strict health care protocols and social distancing rules.
Please note: Childminders can return to work, but domestic workers cannot. See more here: Are all nannies and domestic workers able to return to work under Level 4 lockdown?
This is a welcome relief to thousands of working parents, who have either been juggling work and childcare as essential workers under lockdown, or are now able to return to work as Level 4 essential workers.
But not everyone is willing to take the risk, and a Parent24 poll revealed that just 31% of respondents are keen to invite their childminders back to work.
44% of respondents said it is too risky to expose their family, and their childminder's family, to infection.
A quarter of respondents said they were still weighing up the risk.
We approached Dr Carol Bosch for some advice for those who have allowed their nannies and childminders to return to work under Level 4.
How to stay safe when entering the home
Dr Bosch recommends the following steps be taken by everyone each time they enter the home, whether it be when arriving at work or returning from work, a walk or a shopping trip:
Remove shoes at the door and leave them outside, or even designate a pair of shoes as 'outside shoes' if possible.
Leave bags at the door.
Safely remove masks, which means taking them off without touching the outside of the mask and then immediately washing hands.
Wash hands for 20 seconds before touching anyone or anything in the home.
Remove outer wear and put it in to be washed, or a bag for the day, and change into clean new clothes or a uniform if available.
Dr Bosch recommends designating a 'hot zone' in the home, where this change over can take place, and which can be sanitised regularly.
She suggests wiping down bags and devices like phones that come into the home.
Vectors of infection
She says it is important to note that every part of oneself, from clothing to handbags, are all things that can be vectors of infection.
Dr Bosch adds that she recommends that family members limit physical affection between children and childminders. As hard as this may be, she stresses that it is important that we protect each other.
Hygiene must be high on your priority list and everyone must be alert to this at all times, she says.
What steps are you taking to keep your family and your childminder safe?
Share your tips with Parent24. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
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