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 https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b4020-travelling-to-ireland-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

    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

    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 www.myccc.ie

    FAQs will continue to be updated at appropriate intervals.


    Visit the First 5  website for more information and click on ‘Guidance for Providers and Practitioners’.

    The new childminding webpage www.gov.ie/childminding is now live. On the website you can find Childminder Guidance during Covid 19.