Gransnet forums


Support bubbles and childcare bubbles

(39 Posts)
Atqui Wed 04-Nov-20 21:42:34

I have searched the gov site but cannot find an answer to my question.Also I have looked on GN and can’t see another discussion about this.
Does anyone know if people in a support bubble ( i e a family linked with a single adult ) can also have a childcare bubble?
I presumed not , but today I read today that a childcare bubble,is not the same as a support bubble.

Luckygirl Wed 04-Nov-20 22:07:44

I am in the same situation. I live alone and am in a support bubble with one DD; but also I need to fetch the children of another DD from school and care for them till she finishes work.

If anyone has the answer to this please let me know!

Atqui Wed 04-Nov-20 22:14:21

Can’t think why it hasn’t been mentioned. I know you can’t have more than one support bubble, or more than one childcare bubble but now they say they are different it needs clarifying.

suziewoozie Wed 04-Nov-20 23:23:34

Yes you can be in a support bubble and in a childcare bubble. Both have different rules that’s all.

maddyone Thu 05-Nov-20 00:43:28

We’re in a support bubble with my elderly mum and we were happy to continue to care for three year old grandson one day a week as we have done since the first lockdown ended. However our daughter has said it’s not safe so she’s sending him to nursery four days a week instead of his usual three.
But we had the six year olds on Monday because their school had an INSET day (teacher training day, but I’ll bet they were working on Covid protocols rather than curriculum.)
I doubt we’ll see any of the children for a month now ?
So I guess it’ll be FaceTime. We started tonight with our grandson, our son’s child.

Ellianne Thu 05-Nov-20 08:28:48

That's an interesting point, I think you can have both as they come under different headings. It isn't unusual for grans of our age to have both elderly parents and school aged GC to care for.
We don't have anyone who needs to be in a bubble and our children don't need us for regular childcare, BUT we would be there in a flash in an emergency or even if they just felt things were getting too much.

Humbertbear Thu 05-Nov-20 08:31:09

I feel as if I am at the centre of a Venn diagram of support bubbles. My 100 yr old mother lives on her own in sheltered housing and we have been allowed to visit her daily. I also collect our youngest GD from school on Fridays. Meanwhile, my sister and best friend are both widowed and live near us but on their own. It they had more in common I would suggest that they move in together!

Iam64 Thu 05-Nov-20 08:32:32

I suspect maddyone is correct and it's not safe to look after children and an elderly relative. Or indeed, look after children if you're in the clinically vulnerable group which includes many of us over 70.
If the children are going to nursery or school for part f the week, there is a risk they bring covid into their grandparents homes. Grandparents could then transmit to elderly parents. Its grim isn't it.

Lucca Thu 05-Nov-20 08:37:35

I am in a bubble with DS and family but they live about 70 miles away. My DIL very kindly said I could move in with them for this lockdown! I declined however as I don’t want to jeopardise my excellent relationship with them. I know I would love being with them mostly but I do like my own space and how can they have a good row with mother(in law) there !!

Madgran77 Thu 05-Nov-20 09:18:19

Yes you can be in 1 support bubble and one childcare bubble

suziewoozie Thu 05-Nov-20 10:17:27

This is the whole issue isn’t it - what you can legally do and what increase in risk that entails? Then balancing that against the problems/ harm created by doing of not doing something. Emergencies (as opposed to inconveniencies) are in a category of their own and would be dealt with appropriately by most of us I’m sure. But for some, routine child care for example is essential so that parents can work. Each family has to decide between itself what risks it can accommodate and live with.

maddyone Thu 05-Nov-20 10:33:01

I looked this up for the second time last night, and it is clear that it is allowed to be in a support bubble and a different bubble for childcare. It’s all on the government site and not difficult to find. As suzie says, it’s up to individual families to decide what is as safe as possible for them. No individual or family is 100% safe unless they choose to completely isolate at home and never go out at all. Even then food and post will need to be delivered to the house, although it has been said that it’s highly unlikely that anyone will catch the virus from shopping or deliveries. Nonetheless I cant stop myself from wiping off the shopping with an antiviral wipe.
This lockdown is a bit less severe and people are able to decide for themselves how best to manage the situation.

suziewoozie Thu 05-Nov-20 10:37:43

‘This lockdown is a bit less severe and people are able to decide for themselves how best to manage the situation.‘

Yes indeed maddy that’s why I worry about how effective it is going to be. ?

Luckygirl Thu 05-Nov-20 10:41:19

In some ways I think it might be safer this time to do school pick-ups as the pupils and their parents will not be out and about meeting people as before.

maddyone Thu 05-Nov-20 10:44:38

Well I think you have a very good point there suzie.

Ellianne Thu 05-Nov-20 10:47:04

It is also quite difficult to withdraw the (not absolutely necessary) support which has previously been relied upon and to which someone might have become accustomed. I'm talking in terms of mental health here. What if that person panicks, can't cope when their usual help is taken away? Say a young mum alone whose partner works long hours or shifts? There has to be a bit of consideration, but that is of course how things start to go wrong and people abuse it.

suziewoozie Thu 05-Nov-20 10:47:17


In some ways I think it might be safer this time to do school pick-ups as the pupils and their parents will not be out and about meeting people as before.

Oh dear - I wish I believed this.

Ellianne Thu 05-Nov-20 10:48:18


In some ways I think it might be safer this time to do school pick-ups as the pupils and their parents will not be out and about meeting people as before.

Good point. At our GCs' school anyone picking up now has to wear a mask.

suziewoozie Thu 05-Nov-20 10:51:05

What you say * Ellianne* is true of course and part of the decision making process of risk management. But I do also think that decision making is inevitably so often made through the prism of what you want to do rather than that what you need to do. Not a criticism just an obvious observation. We’re all good at self justification aren’t we?

Ellianne Thu 05-Nov-20 10:52:08

The parents can no longer meet up in cafés or pubs susiewoozie so that will make a huge difference. Neither can they visit shopping malls when the kids are at school.

Ellianne Thu 05-Nov-20 10:58:51

Yes, we are creatures of habit, and it is difficult to change what we do and how we think. A year ago I used to collect my GC from school in London and half the mothers had spent the day together at Westfield or in local trendy cafes. I would certainly not be doing collections there today.
I'm now doing the odd pick up in Devon where the mothers go off and walk a dog or jog along a beach. Should I feel differently? Yes I think I do.
Thus is causing me a lot of soul searching!!

Atqui Thu 05-Nov-20 11:08:08

Maddyone I looked at the government website and couldnt find the information. Someone asked a representative from the BMA on Spotlight ( local tv) and she said the answer was no. Perhaps the rules have been clarified since I looked so thank you.

suziewoozie Thu 05-Nov-20 11:39:17

Atqui I’m absolutely certain you can be in a support bubble and a different childcare bubble. I’ll try and find a reputable source.

Ellianne Thu 05-Nov-20 11:47:19

Agree with Susie after having read several reliable sources. A support bubble is not the same as a childcare bubble, two separate entities.

Ellianne Thu 05-Nov-20 11:51:16

I love Spotlight Atqui but they do make me laugh sometimes. The other night the weatherman was looking forward to Thursday Nov 5th and said "if you're wanting to know about the weather for your bonfire PARTIES!" I know he probably meant as a single family in your garden, but he made it sound as though we could gather together and eat and drink!