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Castle Gardens Primary School, Newtownards
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Update re Application for Key Worker Child Care

23rd Mar 2020

Updates below. 

We will continue to provide a service for as long as possible. This depends on Government and Departmental guidance, adequate staffing supervision levels and availability of cleaning staff and resources.

There has been very little guidance and no additional resources provided by the Education Authority or Department. 

Parent who have previously required supervision for their children will be contacted on the day prior. Should the current arrangements be required run into next week the application will be reopened later in the week.  

The application is currently CLOSED but details remain below for reference. 


A form to arrange care for children of key workers should be completed by clicking here.

Those parents who have previously made contact will also be required to complete this form. They should receive a text message later this afternoon/evening with a direct link to this page. 

Castle Gardens Primary School will open on Monday 23rd March to provide care for children of key workers. Please take note of the following information and complete the data collection form below.

This information will be confidential and used only for purposes of allocating places and recording medical needs or food allergies. Any medications that we are required to administer should have a form completed via the school app even if previously submitted to the school.

List of Key Workers as Outlined by Department of Education on 19th March 2020. 

1. Health & Social Care: This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, home carers and staff required to maintain our health & social care sector

2. Education & welfare: This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who will remain active during the COVID-19 response

3. Public safety & national security: This includes civilians and officers in the police (including key contractors), Fire & Rescue Service, prison service and other national security roles.

4. Transport: This will include those keeping air, water, road and rail transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response

5. Utilities & Communication: This includes staff needed for oil, gas, electricity and water (including sewage) and primary industry supplies, to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff in telecommunications, post and delivery, services and waste disposal.

6. Food & other necessary goods: This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution and sale, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (e.g. hygiene, medical etc.).

7. Key national & local government: This includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response

We will not have a full complement of staff therefore places will be limited.

Places will be allocated on a priority basis through the above list using the following order.

  1. children with BOTH parents working as key workers, and both parents out at work at the same time,
  2. single parent families, where the main carer MUST be a key worker
  3. children with ONE parent who is a key worker when there is NO OTHER OPTION available to them.

Please note that children that any children previously withdrawn from school on the basis of risk should not return.

Logistics - Updated 

  • Children can be dropped to school from 8.45am at the canteen and collected from the same place at 3pm.
  • All pupils will be able to stay in school until 3pm including P1 to P3 pupils.
  • Children attending will be required to wear their school uniform.
  • Pupils should bring shoes or boots that will allow them to walk on muddy areas.
  • Coats should be sent with the children. 
  • We will not be teaching but instead providing supervised childcare only. 

Food - updated

  • Unfortunately we are unable to provide school dinners or breakfast. 
  • Children should bring packed lunches and snacks with them. 


  • Any medication should be brought with the child and given to a member of staff.
  • Permission to administer medication should be completed by the parent prior to leaving their child.

Contact will be made by text before 6pm on the previous evening to confirm your place.

Places WILL NOT be provided to parents who do not complete this form as it will be the basis on which supervision is organised.

Parents without a place allocated will not be allowed to leave their child at school. Please do not present at school any morning with your child if you have not completed the application form and have had a place confirmed. 

This supervision will only be provided if there are no other options for key worker child care available and until such times as staffing levels fall to untenable levels at which stage options in other schools will be explored.

A form to arrange care for children of key workers should be completed by clicking here.

J Gray