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Coronavirus - Guidance for Early Years & Childcare

12/10/2020 - Early Years & Childcare: Coronavirus (Covid-19): Guidance for Early Years & Childcare Providers

Actions for Early Years & Childcare ProvidersG uidance for providers during the coronavirus outbreak - updated 21 July

Guidance for safe working in education, chldcare and children's social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment:

The Department for Education has published further guidance for out-of-school settings, including holiday clubs. This includes updated information on group sizes - updated 10th July 2020

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending Out of School settings during the coronavirus outbreak - updated 10 July

Implementing protective measures in education childcare settings

Information for parents and carers

New guidance on children and young people with SEND attending educational settings from 1st June has been published and can be found at: Supporting children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening

The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson has asked that all schools and nurseries close from Monday 23 March 2020. However, we need to ask that if you are caring for children of key workers and vulnerable children (those with a Social Worker and or EHC plan) that you stay open as long as possible. This applies to group settings and childminders.

If you have any children of key worker families or vulnerable children and are unable to open or remain open for any reason, then please notify us at or call 01642 527225.

The Department for Education has now published the guidance on ‘Key workers’. Only one parent is required to be a key worker to be able to access childcare although the government have made it clear that, if a child can be cared for safely at home, then they should not go into their educational setting.

Definition of a Key Worker

The Department for Education has now published the guidance on ‘Key workers’. Only one parent is required to be a key worker to be able to access childcare although the government have made it clear that, if a child can be cared for safely at home, then they should not go into their educational setting.

Please check the government web page


Early Years Funding

Payment of early years entitlement funding

The government announed on 17 March 2020 it will continue funding local authorities for all early years entitlements during any periods of nursery, preschool or childminder closures, or where children cannot attend due to coronavirus.

Charges to Parents

Where funded children require a place but their normal setting is closed government expect that settings/childmidners do not charge for these places, if you have vacant funded places. Where you do need to charge a parent government expect that you are reasonable and balanced with your charging policy.

Eligibility for government childcare offers protected

The government has announced that any working parent usually eligible for 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare will remain eligible if they fall below the minimum income requirement due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Subject to Parliamentary approval, parents who are critical workers will also remain eligible for these entitlements if their income has increased over the maximum threshold during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This temporary flexibility will ensure critical workers can continue to access the childcare they need to enable them to work. These arrangements will be reviewed over the summer.

This announcement can be found here:

Where to find information

Department for Education helpline – 0800 046 8687 – Opening hours: 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday


Latest Department for Education information:



Business and Financial Support

To find out what Government financial support providers could benefit from, complete the questionnaire.  It is quick and simple and provides all the latest information:

Useful Guidance on sources of financial support – Pacey

Visit the web links for financial support which includes updates to the job retention scheme

Please refer to the government guidance for information on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and statutory sick pay relief for SMEs

Latest information and advice for businesses

Guidance, advice, support packages and information are being released and updated on a daily basis for businesses and the self-employed. For current details please visit the COVID 19 web pages on the Stockton Council website 

Business Rates Holiday

The Chancelllor has announed “To support nurseries at this time, we have decided that they will be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year from April 2020”

Please visit the Council website for more information on business rates

Support to pay staff

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • Please see the full government guidance

Parents returning to work after extended leave eligible for furlough


Early Years Foundation Stage

Below is a link to the video podcast on the early years foundation stage disapplication & modification guidance.

COVID-19: Temporary disapplications to the Early Years Foundation Stage


Staff Ratios

Paragraph 3.30 of the EYFS states:

‘Exceptionally, and where the quality of care and safety and security of children is maintained, changes to the ratios may be made.’

We consider the extent of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to be an exceptional temporary circumstance in which the staff to child ratios set out in the EYFS can be changed if necessary.  However, childcare providers or schools remain responsible for ensuring the safety and security of children in their care and for their staff.

Ratios for childminders remain maximum of 6 children under the age of 8 years.


Ofsted inspections and fees

As of 17 March 2020, The Secretary of State has allowed Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector to temporarily suspend all routine inspections of schools, further education, early years and social care providers.

To provide maximum clarity and stability to the early years sector during this time of rapidly changing circumstances, the government has also confirmed there will be no rise in the fees paid by early years and childcare providers to register with Ofsted in 2020-21. This follows a recent consultation with the sector, which took on responses on fees for the Early Years Register.


Advice for Staff, Parents and children

Please adhere to government guidance and follow the NHS advice

Wellbeing - Every Mind Matters


If you haven’t found what you need, or need more support, please phone the Families Information Service on Tel: 01642 527225

Related Advice & Guidance Page:

Coronavirus - Resources for Early Years & Childcare

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