Increase adults permitted in parent and baby classes so they can run

This petition made change with 17,707 supporters!

Today I took my 3 month old baby to a baby sensory class which we have attended for the last two weeks.

I walked in wearing my mask, sanitised my hands, was greeted by the lady who runs the class in her mask and visor.

I duly removed my footwear and carried my baby and my shoes to my socially distanced mat where we remained for the duration of the class. All props were taken out of self contained boxes (one per child). These are washed and sanitised all of these items before they are used again.

As clinical as this sounds, it is the small piece of interaction that I look forward to every week to do something just for my youngest child. My oldest attends school with 19 other children. He goes to sports clubs, which are able to be held indoors. My husband also attends sports at the same club and twice a week he’s in a gym with other adults who are all sweating and breathing heavily.

My two year old goes to gymnastics and both my two year old and five year old both go to swimming lessons, all indoors with multiple people.

In a current average week, baby class is the safest activity I take one of my children to.

With two previous maternity leave periods under my belt, I’m well positioned to reflect on the impact of birthing in a pandemic and maternity leave under these circumstances. Were it not for me having other children and a subsequent reason to go out, it would be extremely isolating. I know first hand how vital other parents support is. These classes are imperative to build such networks.

Today I returned from sensory class to the news that it cannot continue, as baby classes can’t run with more than 5 adults.

I find this not only ludicrous, but completely contradictory. The evidence base which seems to be being drawn upon to make decisions for other activities is simply not being applied here.

At the weekend, I went for a meal with my family. Sitting opposite us was an entire football team. Approximately 20-30 men across 6 tables. They are permitted to do this as they play a team sport and are there fore an ‘extended bubble’. Yet this is seen as less risky than the situation I originally describe?

I can go and sit in a pub tonight until 10pm with various other adults a mere metre away, but this is seen as less risky?

I simply cannot accept that my baby is being deprived of vital socialisation and stimulation but these other situations are deemed to be acceptable.

The reality is these classes simply can’t run with a maximum of 5 adults as it’s not financially viable. Prior to this, the classes were running safely and it’s simply unnecessary and taking away a lifeline for babies and new parents. 

Please sign this petition to have this guidance urgently reviewed and amended by the Scottish Government. 

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Jude Mackay needs your help with “MSP's: Increase adults permitted in parent participation classes for under 5’s so they can run”. Join Jude and 17,706 supporters today.