Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS)- Information for Parents

If you are concerned about school or childcare, please read the following information:

  • As of 17:00 on Friday 20 March 2020, all schools, and all local authority early learning and childcare settings were closed to children and young people.
  • There are exceptions in place to protect ‘key workers’ and vulnerable children.


  • The Scottish Government have asked local authorities to decide what learning and childcare arrangements for the children of key workers are most appropriate for local circumstances. They are also asking local authorities, where possible, to make provision available beyond the school day, in partnership with providers of out of school care and after school and holiday clubs.
  • Dumfries and Galloway Council will have all 16 Secondary Schools buildings across our region open from 9am – 3pm to provide childcare (From Primary 1 to S6) to those whose parents absolutely have to go to work to respond to COVID-19 and cannot use one of the providers listed on our website
  • In addition Free School Meals will be provided from all secondary schools from 12.30pm-2pm

    Dumfries and Galloway Council will publish over the next few days a clear list of critical local staff in addition to the current Scottish Government list. You can see the current national list of who is eligible to access services by visiting: --school-and-elc-closures-guidance-on-critical-childcare-provision-for-key-workers/


    Young People who are self-isolating or who have underlying medical conditions should not attend.


    If you need help with food provision you can contact the council discreetly by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and they will make arrangements to ensure we can provide you with food


    • Childcare Information for KEY WORKERS
    • The following providers have confirmed that they will be open across Dumfries and Galloway and have availability from Monday 23rd March If you meet the criteria of key worker and the provider has a space available, you will be able to register. Some providers will be able to offer provision to different age groups.
    • Wigtownshire Busy Bees Minnigaff
    • Wigtownshire Childminders:
    • Rebecca Gilmour
    • Fiona Grahams Childminding
    • S Herries
    • Jayne Kirkby
    • Little Tots Farm
    • Catherine Miller
    • Yvonne Taylor
    • Carole Turner
    • Stewartry
    • Birchvale
    • Dalbeattie Playgroup
    • Haugh of Urr
    • Scruffs Castle Douglas
    • Stewartry Childminders:
    • Tanya Gardiner
    • Angela Glover
    • Clare Steele
    • Dumfries
    • Calderbank
    • Dunscore
    • First Steps Nursery
    • Happy Faces
    • Kids Ahoy
    • Kinderhouse
    • Little Acorns
    • Malory House
    • Maxwelltown Playcare
    • MaxPlay2
    • The Orchard Nature Nursery Limited
    • Dumfries Childminders:
    • Marney Brown
    • Louise Hawes
    • Giggle and Grow
    • Harjit Johal
    • Melissa Thomas
    • Penny Walpole
    • Liza Woods
    • Amy Workman
    • Annandale and Eskdale
    • ABC Nursery
    • Jaybees
    • Langholm Playcare Ltd
    • MAP


    • Sparklers Annan
    • Sparklers Gretna
    • Wise Owls
    • Annandale and Eskdale Childminders:
    • Fiona Burton
    • Lois Lane
    • Marie Parker
    • Lorraine Walker
    • Shona Watret
    • Full information on these providers including opening hours are available here
    • If you have any queries at all please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



  • The Scottish Government have said they are working with local authorities to ensure critical childcare provision is in place as soon as possible.


If your child is in S4 to S6, please read the following information:


  • The Scottish Government have said they are working with local authorities to ensure that provision is available for young people who may need to complete coursework.
  • Teachers and schools will discuss with pupils what work they need to finish off and how they should go about doing this.
  • However the SQA have advised that no young person with coursework to complete should attend school to do so. They have also said they will provide further guidance on the completion of coursework and how this will be certified soon.




If you think you may be a ‘key worker’, please read the following information:

  • Local authorities should now be putting critical provision in place so that children of key workers, such as NHS and social care staff, can still get learning and childcare if their parents absolutely must go to work.
  • The definition of ‘key worker’ has been broken up into three categories. If you fit into one of these three categories, your child may be eligible for learning or childcare provision from your local authority:
  • Category 1: Health and Care workers directly supporting COVID-19 response, and associated staff; Health and Care workers supporting life-threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision; Energy suppliers (small numbers identified as top priority already); staff providing childcare/learning for other category 1 staff.
  • Category 2: All other Health and Care workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services (Fire, Police, Prisons, Social Workers, etc), as well as those supporting our Critical National Infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland could be caused.
  • Category 3: All workers (private, public or third sector) without whom there could be a significant impact on Scotland (but where the response to COVID-19, or the ability to perform essential tasks to keep the country running, would not be severely compromised).
  • These categorisations may be slightly different in each local authority area depending on local priorities.
  • If key workers can perform their critical functions from home, then they should do so if at all possible.

If you think you may be a ‘key worker’, but have a partner who is not, please read the following information:


  • The Scottish Government have advised local authorities that if one parent is a key worker and the other is not, the non-key worker should normally be expected to provide childcare. The general rule is that if it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.



 If your child is eligible for free school meals or has additional support needs, please read the following information:

  • The Scottish Government have said that local authorities should put critical provision in place for children who are eligible for free school meals, have additional support needs or are otherwise vulnerable or at risk.
  • Your local authority should make provision available to ensure that your children do not suffer unduly as a result of the current crisis.

If your child attends an independent school, nursery or other childcare, please read the following information:

  • The Scottish Government have said that private or independent schools, nurseries or other childcare setting can remain open, provided they support only the children of key workers and vulnerable children and wherever possible, work with local authorities in their areas to do this.

Private childminding services can remain active, however, they will be subject to new public health guidance which the Scottish Government have said they will issue shortly.