Last Friday, North East England was put back under new lockdown rules which left millions of parents without childcare.
Amongst other instructions, the new local lockdown rules banned people from socialising with others outside of their own household or support bubble.
This morning parents across the areas that are back under local lockdown had no choice but to break the rules in order to go to work. Petitions have been signed by tens of thousands and it looks as though the voices have been heard.
This afternoon the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has advised that grandparents WILL be allowed to continue looking after their grandchildren as part of a consistent childcare relationship.
Mr Hancock said:
“I’ve heard the concerns about the impact of local action on childcare arrangements,”
For many, informal childcare arrangements are a lifeline without which they couldn’t do their jobs.
Today I’m able to announce a new exemption for looking after children under the age of 14, or vulnerable adults, where that is necessary for caring purposes.
This covers both formal and informal arrangements.
It does not allow for play dates or parties, but it does mean that a consistent childcare relationship that is vital for somebody to get to work is allowed.”
Mr Hancock added he hoped the change would “clarity and comfort to many people who are living with these local restrictions”.
We will have more on this as it’s announced.