Public Health Wales have published support and advice for parents during the Coronavirus pandemic. PHW also offer online courses to support parents. Click here to go to Public Health Wales’ dedicated page for more information.
Q. My child/ren are due to go back to school next week but their clothes don’t fit. How do I buy new ones?
A. You can ask the store to allow you to buy items. If you are refused permission you can quote or print and take this with you:
Shops selling multiple types of product: emergencies
“The regulations also allow shops selling multiple product types to sell any other products that are in closed sections of the shop at alert level 4, if they are needed in an emergency or on compassionate grounds.
Examples of such products may include items that are not normally time-sensitive but can become essential in the event of a breakage such as microwaves or kettles, or may be needed to replace outgrown or heavily worn products such as children’s clothes or shoes.”
We would suggest that you call the store ahead of your visit. If you have problems with the store still refusing to let you buy the clothes/shoes please let us know.
We are unable to force the shop to sell the items but we can and will share your experiences with Welsh Government.
How long is the period of self-isolation in Wales?
In Wales, the length of time you are required to self-isolate for has been reduced from 14 days to 10 days, following this Written Statement from the Health Minister on 9th December 2020.
What if I cannot go to work as I’ve been told I have to self-isolate or my child is sent home from school to isolate?
In Wales there is a Self-Isolation Support Scheme of £500 for people on low incomes or facing money worries when asked to self-isolate.
This Scheme was started for people asked to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service. It has now been extended to include parents and carers who have to take time off work to look after their children because of a coronavirus outbreak in their school or childcare setting.
To qualify, they must have a child who usually attends a school or childcare setting up to and including in year eight – or up to age 25 if the learner has multiple and complex additional needs – and who has been told they must self-isolate by Test Trace Protect or their school or childcare setting.
You will be able to apply for the self-isolation payment via their local authority website from 14 December and payments will be backdated to 23 October.
If my child is required to self-isolate, can we go outside for exercise or other reasons?
The Welsh Government has amended their guidance to include some important exemptions to the requirement to remain at home at all times when asked to self-isolate. These are:
- If you have no access to a private garden, you can take exercise outside for up to 1 hour. You must choose quiet areas, not touch external surfaces such as gates or hire bikes, and remain at least 2m away from any other person.
- It is now recognised, as with the original national lockdown, that people with certain health conditions or disabilities may need to go out more than once a day. The guidance gives examples such as those with learning disabilities, autism, dementia or other mental health conditions. All existing advice around social distancing and other protective measures should be followed by the person and their carer(s).
You can find the Welsh Government guidance on this point here.
What happens to my child’s education if they are self-isolating?
They should still be provided with school work and support from their school in term-time. If you are not sure what they are being asked to do, or if your child doesn’t understand the work, then contact your school to ask for help. You can also ask your school for help if your child doesn’t have what they need to do the work, such as a laptop or iPad. Your school may be able to loan equipment.
Does my child still get access to free school meals if they are self-isolating?
Yes, if they normally get free school meals then they will be offered the same level of support that you received in the summer and half-term holidays. That may be a payment, a voucher or a food parcel. You will also get this support in the Christmas holidays. To find out how to access this support in your area please visit this website
What is the expectation around children wearing face coverings while at school?
In secondary schools, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils in all areas outside of the classroom. Face coverings should also be worn by pupils in year 7 and above on dedicated school transport.
However, face coverings are not recommended for use in the classroom. In addition, face coverings should not be worn during P.E lessons, nor in the school yard for primary or secondary schools unless the school risk assessment indicates that additional measures are needed. Learners should not wear face coverings when running round, playing football or other active games.
If you have queries about your child’s school’s policy on face coverings, you can ask to see a copy of their risk assessment.
There are plenty of resources here to help parents during lockdown and beyond, in 70 different languages.
Talking to your children about coronavirus
Save the Children have advice on talking to your children about the coronavirus.
- getting informed and sharing the facts
- answering your child’s questions and addressing any wrong information
- validating their feelings and reassuring them
Explaining Coronavirus to young children
Adapted from a resource by Manuela Molina, this resource uses symbols and simple language to help you talk to young children about Coronavirus, and listen to their concerns.
Visiting hospitals and other health settings
It’s crucial that parents get medical help or advice for the same issues that would have prompted them to see their doctor or local hospital before the coronavirus epidemic. Not doing so could put their children at risk.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have also have resources and advice to help parents keep their children safe.
Advice from a clinical psychologist
Elizabeth Gregory, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with over twenty years experience working with Child and Family services in the NHS, has written about ways to help children and young people.
Advice for parents on non-coronavirus illnesses
It’s just as important as ever to get medical help for your child if you think they need it, for any illness.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has made a one-page guide to help you know where to go for various symptoms.
Staying mentally well
It’s clear that trying to maintain good mental health throughout the next few months will be really important to all of us.
The mental health charity Mind has put some advice together.
See, Hear, Respond Wales
See, Hear, Respond Wales is here to help children, young people and families cope with the Covid-19 crisis.
They offer confidential online referral and have a free helpline.
4 Mental Health resource
This online resource can help you find ways to feel a bit calmer and can give you ideas to help you cope.
We’d recommend this as a resource for adults and older young people.
C.A.L.L – Mental Health Helpline for Wales
Get mental health support over the phone or by text, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This service can be used by children and young people as well as adults.
BAME Helpline Wales
BAME Helpline Wales is a national multi-lingual telephone helpline delivered by a partnership between EYST, Women Connect First, ProMo Cymru, Henna Foundation and other BAME organisations to provide information, referral and signposting for BAME people to specialist advice, mainstream and community organisations. Funded by Welsh Government via the Voluntary Sector Emergency Fund, the helpline is initially a 6 month pilot project, and aims to respond to the disproportionate impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on BAME communities.
The helpline is for anyone over the age of 18 living in Wales, particularly if you identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic, or if you would like to speak to someone in a language other than English or Welsh.
Staying safe online
Welsh Government’s Hwb platform has an Online Safety section which has lots of resources including ‘need to know’ information about popular apps used by children and ideas about how to talk about online safety.
NSPCC Report Abuse in Education Helpline
This is a dedicated helpline for children and young people who have experienced abuse at school, including sexual harassment and for worried adults and professionals that need support and guidance, including for non-recent abuse.
Calls to the helpline are FREE:
Or you can send an email:
Welsh Government Financial Support Leaflet
The WG have launched a Covid-19 financial support leaflet which aims to inform and reassure people about the help and support that’s available. This support leaflet is available in a number of different community languages.