Well, it's not quite the start to the new year that we had hoped for! With the third national UK lockdown in full force, regulations have become even stricter now in response to rising Covid infection rates.
During the second lockdown, providers of baby and toddler activities were permitted to continue operating face-to-face classes as the government recognised the important support that we give to parents and carers.
This time, the guidance has been revised and groups focused on social and developmental activities are no longer permitted to operate.
In a message to the Early Years Alliance, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed that the previous exemption for 'parent and child groups' from wider Covid restrictions has been removed.
While support groups, such as breastfeeding, postnatal and groups that provide support to parents and children that is necessary to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants, a spokesperson for DSHC told the Alliance: "this would not typically permit parent-and-child groups focused on social or development activities, such as singalong groups or art classes."
"This is consistent with other changes to exemptions. We also have closed schools and removed the exemption for supervised activities for children (apart from vulnerable children and the children of key workers)."
"We appreciate how important these groups are and how valuable they are for small children, however there is a high transmission risk in these settings and this is a necessary step."
Happily, many providers are offering sessions online now so you can continue to have fun with your little one participating in your usual activities or try something new. Even though it's a bit different than face-to-face classes, your little one still gains developmental and social bonding benefits attending sessions online.
Les Petits Tigres is currently offering French classes for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers online Thursdays and Saturdays with live stream interactive sessions - you can book your space here. Or learn French with your little one at your convenience with our on-demand video song library!