Number of adults who can attend baby groups doubled
The number of adults allowed to attend parent and baby groups has been doubled to ten following the publication of updated public health advice.
Parent groups had warned limiting the number of adults who could attend baby groups to five would lead to a lot of sessions having to fold, potentially leading to a rise in postnatal depression and hindering child development.
The new rules mean that when all children in a group are less than 12 months old, and other health and safety criteria are met, groups will now allow up to ten adults to be present at one time.
Where children are over 12 months, however, the maximum number of adults allowed will remain five.
Announcing the updated guidance, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We understand the vital importance of parent and baby groups, especially for supporting mental health and wellbeing in the early months after having a baby.
“That is particularly important just now, as we know the pandemic has the potential to increase stress and anxiety for new mothers.
“We are also, however, trying to keep an extremely infectious virus from spreading and protect the health of families and the wider community.
“I hope that this updated guidance will help us to strike the correct balance. No one wants restrictions in place a moment longer than needed, but until then we are all having to accept circumstances that we would not normally ever want to.”
Scottish Labour health spokesperson Monica Lennon MSP congratulated the “army of parents” who campaigned for this change.
She added: “This is a huge victory for parent campaigners, who have finally had their voice heard by Nicola Sturgeon after days of uncertainty.
“A change to the guidance was necessary to ensure the viability of the classes. This is a positive development, and the Scottish Government must now work with parents and providers to support toddler classes too. We need to get it right for every child.”