FIFE Council has now released a guide to which key workers can receive free childcare at their Children's Activity Centres.

The local authority has created 29 centres across Fife to support key workers during the coronavirus crisis.

They have been set-up following the decision by the Scottish Government to close all schools, early learning centres and childcare facilities.

Carrie Lindsay, executive director of Education and Children's Services, has issued the following advice to parents and carers who think they may need to access Fife's Children's Activity Centres.

She said: "In the middle of this unprecedented crisis we know there are thousands of people who are working tirelessly to support our local communities. We are very grateful to them all.

“We have now set up 29 Children’s Activity Centres across Fife to support our key workers in the best way possible.

“We want to make things as easy as we can for them by providing childcare if they need it. It is important, though, to remember that we need to try to keep the numbers of children in these centres as low as possible, to minimise the health risks.

“This is why we ask that ONLY those who have no alternative childcare consider using them. We have put in place some clear criteria, so we keep the numbers low.

“I’d like to ask everyone to work with us in these difficult times. Please be kind to our staff who are managing and co-ordinating the centres, they deserve all our respect and thanks.”

The centres have been created across 11 geographical locations which are available to critical key workers children who meet the following criteria.

Category One - criteria - typically front-line Health and Social Care staff.

Key workers include: 

  • Health and Care workers directly supporting COVID response
  • Health and Care workers supporting life threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision
  • Microbiology workers in Health directly supporting the COVID response
  • Workers delivering direct care to patients/clients in an NHS or social care setting (hospital, NHS practices, care home or homecare)
  • Care staff working in residential care homes for children, adults and older people
  • Care staff working in day care services for adults and older people
  • Social Care staff working in Care at Home Services
  • Essential workers at critical national infrastructure sites providing the most significant essential service provision to Scotland, such as fuel refineries, gas terminals, power stations and water sites
  • Workers providing childcare for other category one and two staff.

Category 2 – criteria - all other emergency services workers

  • Health and Care workers, other than those mentioned in Category 1 above e.g. emergency dentist staff
  • Pharmacists/community pharmacists and those staff in a key role of providing medicines to hospitals and care settings
  • Wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services, for example, firefighters, police officers, ambulance staff, prison officers, social workers
  • Those supporting Critical National Infrastructure, without whom there could be serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland e.g. cash payment, data systems, critical energy and water network roles
  • Those staff with a critical role in food, medical supplies and technology or medicines production and delivery.

Category 3 – criteria – other critical services

Further information will follow as Fife Council reviews local need from businesses involved in performing essential tasks, without which the continued running of the country would be compromised.

The advice for local businesses in Fife is that they should make all efforts to ensure that arrangements for employees’ childcare are explored within the organisation, rather than requesting childcare through the limited number of Activity Centres.

This may include looking at shift patterns and alternative ways of working for a greater number of staff, thus allowing them to care for their children, without the need to access the Activity Centres developed by the Council.

Businesses should not contact Fife Council to request key worker status unless all other alternatives have been exhausted by the company or organisation.

If a parent/carer identifies their role as falling within category 1 or 2 above, and they have been unable to gain a place at a centre, they may wish to have their application reconsidered by the Directorate.

They should send an e-mail to:, providing additional information to support their application.