Crash involving car and motorbike near Sunderland school – updates

Childcare U-TURN as Matt Hancock scraps ban on using family to help out

North East parents WILL be able to use family as childcare after a u-turn from Matt Hancock.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock makes a statement on Covid-19 in the House of Commons, London, confirming local lockdown restrictions will be introduced in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham (Image: House of Commons/PA Wire)

The Health Secretary announced the change in the House of Commons on Monday, just days after he effectively banned grandparents from seeing their grandchildren.

His decision had sparked a massive backlash on Tyneside, from politicians and parents, some of who were left facing the impossible choice between working or breaking the law.

However, parents will now be able to let relatives help after Mr Hancock accepted it may stop people being able to do their jobs.

“I’ve heard the concerns about the impact of local action on childcare arrangements,” he told the Commons.

“For many, informal childcare arrangements are a lifeline without which they couldn’t do their jobs.

“Today I’m able to announce a new exemption for looking after children under the age of 14, or vulnerable adults, where that is necessary for caring purposes.

“This covers both formal and informal arrangements.

“It does not allow for play dates or parties, but it does mean that a consistent childcare relationship that is vital for somebody to get to work is allowed.”

More here.

Chronicle Live – Sunderland