Free COVID-19 risk assessment pack
Before you reopen you must ensure everyone remains safe in your setting. This FREE resource pack contains COVID-19 risk assessment and parental agreement forms.
We aim to keep this webpage updated as more information is made available by the Government
The Coronavirus or.COVID-19 is a new illness that can cause a cough, high temperature and damage to airways and lungs causing shortness of breath. For some people, particularly eldery or those with existing medical conditions the disease can progress to severe pneumonia and can cause death.
The Government has announced that step 3 of the easing of lockdown is going ahead as hoped on Monday May 17th. The Actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic guidance has been updated to reflect this.
Here are the main changes that will affect childminders:
Staff Wellbeing- you have a responsiblity to ensure the wellbeing of any other adults you employ. This link gives advice to help
Attending more than one setting- The number of settings a child attends should be minimised, as far as is possible. For example, children attending a childminder before their nursery opens so that their parent or carer may go to work or to attend two settings part time. Children should be able to continue attending both settings. Parents should work through the system of controls with the other setting to address any risks identified to deliver appropriate care for the child.
You are encouraged to avoid visitors entering your premises, wherever possible. Settings should ensure visitors follow your system of controls, maintain social distancing, and wear face coverings where needed. A record should be kept of all visitors which follows the guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace. External professionals such as those providing SEND Support can move between settings, following the systems in place to keep everyone safe.
You should continue to maximise the use of private outdoor space.You can take groups of children from your setting on trips to outdoor public places and do not need to be restricted to limits on gatherings as long as:
● it is for the purpose of education or childcare
● you remain within the EYFS staff child ratios for your setting
● you conduct a risk assessment in advance
● the risk assessment demonstrates that they can remain socially distant (2 metres) from other people and groups, wherever possible
● good hygiene is maintained throughout
● thorough handwashing happens before and after the trip
● the trip is carried out in line with relevant national COVID-19 guidance depemust handing on what restrictions are in force on the day of the trip and COVID-19 measures on transport and at the destination
● appropriate insurance arrangements are in place
- You may take children on trips to indoor spaces, for example, to an indoor play centre where they are permitted to be open. You should ensure you have fully assessed the risks and have completed a risk assessment which is agreed with parents. Once inside the building:
● you should remain with the children in your group
● the group should socially distance from other individuals and groups
● children and staff should wash hands thoroughly on arrival and before leaving
● adults (and children over 11) will be required to follow the face covering policy for the indoor space. This may include wearing a face covering before entering and keeping it on until they leave
Parent and child groups , must be organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, or a public body, and must only be held in places that are permitted to be open and not in private homes or gardens. They must have no more than 30 attendees- Children aged under 5 years and someone who is working as part of the group, such as a group leader, are not counted in the number. Group singing can take place- with no more than 6 adults in the room, including the group leader, should sing along with children aged under 5. Singing should be limited to the same 6 adults for the duration of the group session. Good ventilation with fresh air should be maintained throughout the session. If the session takes place outdoors, they can group adults and children into small groups to abide by this requirement.
Childminders meeting other childminders. You can meet with other childminders, when it is reasonably necessary, and do not need to be restricted to limits on gatherings as long as:
● it is for the purpose of education or childcare
● you remain within the EYFS staff-child ratios
● the guidance in the section on trips taken outside of the setting is followed
Ideally, adults should maintain a 2-metre distance from each other
The Government has updated its guidance for Rapid asymptomatic coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in early years settings
Childminders can access asymptomatic twice-weekly testing from 22 March by:
- going to a lateral flow test site
- collecting home test kits from a collection site
- ordering a home test kit online
The LFD test will give a result in around 30 minutes. You must report the result (whether positive, negative or void) to NHS Test and Trace as soon as the test is completed either online or by telephone as per the instructions in the home test kit.
Testing is not mandatory for staff and staff do not need to provide proof of a negative test result to work in your setting, although participation in testing is strongly encouraged.
If you have a positive LFT result, you must self-isolate and arrange a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the result. You may be eligible for a one-off Test and Trace support payment of £500. This is payable in one lump sum from your local authority.
If you have a negative test you can continue to work- unless you have symptoms- if you have any COVID Sypmtoms you must self-isolate immediately and arrange a PCR Test.
The government has updated its Covid 19 response Spring 2021 with new easing of restrictions from 12th April.
Who can attend your setting
Until 12 April, out-of-school settings and wrap around providers are able to offer outdoor provision to all children, without restrictions on the purpose for which they may attend and indoor provision to:
vulnerable children and young people, under any circumstances
children on free school meals, where they are attending as part of the holiday activities and food programme
all other children, where the provision is one of the following:
reasonably necessary to enable their parents and carers to work, search for work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment or address a medical need, or attend a support group
being used by electively home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education
being used as part of their efforts to obtain a regulated qualification, meet the entry requirements for an education institution, or undertake exams and assessments
From 12 April, in line with the commencement of step 2 of the COVID-19 response – spring 2021, out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare providers can offer provision to all children, without restriction on the reasons for which they may attend. Relevant regulations will be amended to allow for each of these easing of restrictions to take place.
The government has updated its Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak guidance
Some of the updates in this version are things we have told you about before. Some are newly added due to the easing of restrictions.
Parent and Child Groups These must be organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, or a public body, and must only be held in places that are permitted to be open and not in private homes or gardens. There is a limit of 15 adults. Children under 5 and the group leader are not counted in numbers.
- From 29 March 2021, all parent and child groups for the benefit of children aged under five years, can take place outdoors.
- Step two to easing national restrictions will take place no earlier than 12 April 2021 and is dependent on four tests being met in line with the government’s roadmap. Step two includes allowing all parent and child groups, for the benefit of children under 5 years of age, to restart indoors.
Shielding advice is being paused nationally from 31 March 2021. From 1 April2021, clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people are no longer advised to shield but must continue to follow the rules in place for everyone under the current national restrictions. If you employ others who work with you, they will be able to return to work.
Asymptomatic Testing All childminders can now access Lateral Flow Tests to test themselves and family members twice weekly. You can collect testing kits from your local COVID testing centre, or order online.
Test and Trace Financial Support for parents
The Government has announced that when a child has to self isolate because of a positive case within the setting, one parent can apply to receive the £500 payment providing they meet the criteria for example they are not able to work from home and are low income. They will need either a Test and Trace number or a letter from your setting. There is a template letter you can adapt and use for this purpose.
This guidance relates to organised group activity, not to spontaneous singing, dance and role-play that young children may naturally do, and should be encouraged to do, by early years practitioners.
You should continue providing organised music, dance and drama as part of the curriculum, especially as this builds children’s confidence and supports their wellbeing. There may, however, be an additional risk of infection in environments where organised singing, chanting, playing wind instruments, dance and drama takes place
Educational Day Visits
Educational day visits are not permitted at this time. If the Govt. Roadmap of easing restrictions goes according to plan, settings can resume educational day visits no earlier than 12 April 2021.
Use of private and public outdoor spaces
You should maximise the use of private outdoor space whenever possible. You can take groups of children on trips to outdoor public places for exercise and you don't need to abide by the rule of 6 if there are more than 6 of you in your childminding setting.
- it is for the purpose of childcare
- you remain within the EYFS staff child ratios
- you conduct a risk assessment in advance
- the risk assessment demonstrates that they can remain socially distant (2 metres) from other people and groups, wherever possible
- good hygiene is maintained throughout
- thorough handwashing happens before and after the trip
- the trip is carried out in line with relevant local or national coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance depending on what restrictions are in force on the day of the trip and coronavirus (COVID-19) secure measures on transport and at the destination
- appropriate insurance arrangements are in place
Childminding UK has had several enquiries regarding childminders caring for children in the Easter Holidays. Even though schools are now open to all children, wrap around care during school holidays is still restricted.
The current guidance states that from March 29th you can only care for children in the following circumstances:
• vulnerable children and young people, under any circumstance • children on free school meals, where they are attending as part of the Department for Education’s holiday activities and food programme • all other children, where the provision is one of the following: • reasonably necessary to enable their parents and carers to work, search for work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment or address a medical need, or attend a support group • being used by electively home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education • being used as part of their efforts to obtain a regulated qualification, meet the entry requirements for an education institution, or to undertake exams and assessments
Read the full guidance here
The Government has announced that when a child has to self isolate because of a positive case within the setting, one parent can apply to receive the £500 payment providing they meet the criteria for example they are not able to work from home and are low income. Parents need to apply to the Local Authority they live in even if the child attends an early years setting in a different Local Authority area. This new announcement covers children under 15 years of age, or 25 if the child has an Education Healthcare Plan (EHC).
In order to apply, parents will either need a Test and Trace number (sometimes called a CTAS) or a letter from the child's setting. The Government has produced a sample letter you can use for this purpose which has all the details in for parents about eligibility criteria and how to apply. You just need to add the name of your setting, date of the letter, child's name and the dates the child must isolate for. You can access the sample letter here
The full 'Claiming financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme' is available here
Childminders, wraparound providers and their household, support and childcare bubbles can now access lateral flow testing twice per week by getting tested at a local test site, collecting home test kits, or ordering them online.
The specific guidance that shows you are now eligible for home testing kits is:
- are in close contact with childcare providers, schools, nurseries or colleges as part of a household, support or childcare bubble
As with home testing kits for nurseries and pre-schools, all positive results from rapid tests undertaken at home need to be confirmed with a standard PCR test (the tests normally taken by those with Covid symptoms).
If a childminder (or member of your household) receives a positive lateral flow test at home, they should book a confirmatory PCR test online or by calling 119, and ensure that they and their household or close contacts self-isolate in the meantime.If the PCR test is negative, the self-isolation can end and the childminder can continue operating. If it is positive, they must continue to self-isolate. Childcare workers get priority bookings for PCR tests.
Use this link to order your home delivery of Lateral Flow Tests https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
Please note this service will ask if you are able to collect from your local testing centre- if so, you there is a map that tells you where the test sites are and opening hours (if your local centre says 'closed' click on this to see opening time. Home delivery takes 2 days, but you can usually collect tests the same day.
The following people in England will have access to regular rapid lateral flow testing made available to them:
- secondary school pupils and college students
- staff of primary and secondary schools, nurseries and colleges
- households, childcare and support bubbles of nursery children, primary and secondary-age pupils and college students
- households, childcare and support bubbles of staff of nurseries, primary and secondary schools, and colleges
- Children of primary school age or younger will not be asked to test at this time.
At this time, childminders are excluded from being able to access lateral flow tests to carry out at home, but if you have your own children in an early years pre-school or nursery, primary school or secondary school children, you can access them
In this guidance is information about where you can collect the lateral flow tests from- and a map that tells you where the test sites are and opening hours (if your local centre says 'closed' click on this to see opening times). There is an option to order them to be dleivered, but it is requested that you only do this if it is not possible for you to collect. Access the information here
3rd March- Budget
Rishi Sunak has just announced changes and extensions to the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). There have been 3 SEISS grants already- there will be 2 more, ending in September. Good news for those of you who are newly self employed and couldn't claim the first 3 grants- providing you have submitted your tax return by last night, you will be able to claim the last 2 grants.
Grant 4 will be for February to April. You will receive 80% of your average profits for this time. Grant 5 will be for May onwards. If your profits have been affected by more than 30% you will receive 80% of average profits. If your profits have been affected by less than 30% you will receive 30% of average profits.
We will bring you more information as it is released, but it will available on this Gov webpage https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Last night the Goverment announced its road map out of lockdown. The Actions for Early Years and Childcare Providers has been updated. The roadmap is conditional upon certain conditions being met at each stage, so the dates listed below are provisional.
The main points from the road map are:
From March 8th All children will be returning to school. Childminders can provide wrap around care before and after school for all vulnerable children, Key Worker children, and any children whose parents who are working, seeking work, attending education, seeking medical care or attending a support group only.
**from 29 March: ** Parent and toddler groups can take place outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees (children under five years of age do not count towards the attendee limit).
from 12 April: Parent and toddler groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors.
The main points from the updated guidance are:
Face coverings Children in early years settings should not be expected to wear face coverings. But it is recommended that staff do wear face coverings if they can't socially distance- so if you work with others, you may need to consider if this is necessary. Other PPE should only be worn if you have a child with symptoms while you wait for parents to collec them.
Asymptomatic testing Group settings will all be provided with lateral flow testing kits to test adults twice weekly. At the moment, childminders still need to visit local testing centres to be tested. The Govt. says 'the Department continues to work with colleagues across Government to review the testing approach available for childminders.' so we hope that childminders too will be able to access these rapid tests to be done at your home.
Fire Safety You can carry out emergency drills as normal (following social distancing as appropriate). You should make adjustments to fire drills to allow for social distancing as appropriate.
The DfE has produced Coronavirus-related support for submitting an Early Years Census 2021 This guidance states that children who would normally be attending an open early years setting should be included in next week's census. The census is designed to reflect the situation as in census week, the week commencing 18th January 2021.
If a child is:
- self-isolating due to exposure to coronavirus (usually a period of 10 days) in census week
- ill in census week
- absent due to parent/guardian caution (fear of child catching coronavirus), if the provider remains open to the child and they have not altered their parental declaration relating to expected hours with the provider
- absent due to parent/guardian choosing to care for child at home, only if the provider remains open to the child and the parent/guardian has not altered their parental declaration relating to expected hours with the provider
- clinically extremely vulnerable and is therefore shielding in line with government advice
You should record their expected 'normal' weekly hours.
If you are currently closed, the guidance given depends on the reasons for closure.
A census return for 2021, recording the contracted/expected hours provided, should be made in situations where:
- the provider has attempted to remain open, but has closed for a period of time for reasons such as:
- staff shortages due to illness
- staff shortages due to self-isolation
- the provider has closed due to government guidance, for reasons such as:
- temporary inability to access the site premises (for example, a PVI setting whose landlord or trustees have temporarily refused permission to operate on the site for COVID-related reasons).
- numbers of staff shielding make it impossible to provide the funded entitlements.
A census return for 2021 should not be made in situations where a setting has chosen to close and not provide the entitlements due to:
- limited anticipated attendance
- staff caution
The guidance adds that "Where a provider is counting a child on the census, the place must be genuinely ‘available’" If you have chosen to restrict the attendance of some children (e.g. offering places only to critical workers’ children or vulnerable children), please do not make a return for children for whom the funded entitlements are not being offered.
The Govt. has produced 'Education and childcare settings: national lockdown from 5 January 2021 Guidance for all early years settings and local authorities in England' which gives detailed information about what you need to know and do. It also includes the answers to the questions we put to the DfE last week.
The guidance states that 'PHE advice remains that the risk of transmission and infection is low if early years settings follow the system of controls, which reduce risks and create inherently safer environments.
Early years settings have been open to all children since 1 June 2020 and there is no evidence that the early years sector has contributed to a significant rise in virus cases within the community. Early modelling evidence from SAGE showed that early years provision had a smaller relative impact on transmission rate when modelled with both primary schools and secondary schools.'
- The COVID advice service can be reached by calling the DfE helpline on 0800 046 8687 and selecting option 1 for advice on the action to take in response to a positive case. For any general queries relating to coronavirus and early years and childcare settings should select option 3 or 4.
- childminders can continue to look after all early years children; and those schoolage children (from reception onwards) who are vulnerable or children of critical workers together.
- Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can attend the setting if required. This includes parents who may be working from home.
- For school-age children, parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can
- It is a legal requirement that settings should revisit and update their risk assessments. It is good practice to treat risk assessments during coronavirus (COVID-19) as a “living document” and keep them under very regular review in the light of any changing circumstances. Childminding UK's FREE COVID Risk Assessement and parental agreement form is available in our shop
- In early years settings, there is no change to the existing position. It is not mandatory for staff and visitors to wear face coverings.
Visitors to the setting - Settings should restrict all visits to the setting to those that are necessary. - Parents may continue to settle new children and settings may take new admissions in line with current guidance. In-person visits from parents can take place if they are necessary. Settings should work with parents to ensure parents still have visibility of the childcare environment during this time, including through the use of remote visits, pictures and phone calls. - Visits that allow a vulnerable child to meet a social worker, key worker or other necessary support should continue on site. Visits for SEND therapies should also continue on site - Parents and carers should be encouraged to limit the number of settings their child attends, ideally ensuring their child only attends the same setting consistently. - Following the reintroduction of shielding, clinically extremely vulnerable staff are advised not to attend the workplace. Clinically extremely vulnerable children are also advised not to attend education or childcare. - Providers should continue to be fair and balanced in dealings with parents or carers and must continue to avoid unfair charging practices. The general principle is that providers should not charge parents or carers for services that cannot be provided. If there is a barrier to accessing childcare, based on government guidance or the law, the provider should not charge the parents or carers for this period. For example, from 28 September 2020, people in England are required by law to selfisolate if they test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Accordingly, if a child is self-isolating having been contacted by NHS Test and Trace, the provider should not charge the parent or carer for this period.
** EYFS Disapplications**
Specific EYFS disapplications are in place for any provider who cannot comply with the early years foundation stage (EYFS) requirements in full due to restrictions or requirements imposed through the national lockdown. For example, if your First Aid training has been cancelled due to the lockdown, you can use the EYFS disapplication until your course is able to be provided.
We have contacted the DfE for clarification on 2 questions you are asking about that are not covered in the recent Govt. guidance about the current Lockdown.
Can children of parents who are not key workers send their children to the childminder instead of going to school? Answer: No
In the March lockdown, it was suggested that early years children only attended 1 early years setting. Are there any limits for this lockdown? Answer: It is recommended that children only attend 1 early years setting but this isn't mandatory. Parents should miminise this if they can but the DfE realise that this isn't always possible.
As of today we have entered a full National Lockdown. There is some guidance available but we are expecting there may be some extra clarification over the coming days.
What is clear so far is:
- All early years settings can remain open as usual for early years children
- Childminders can still offer wrap around care for key worker children and vulnerable children who are attending school
- Children or any other adults you work with who are extremely clinically vulnerable should not attend your setting (different rules for pregnant women which you will find in yesterdays information below)
- You can go out to exercise in your setting bubble but should remain 2 metres away from others who are not in your setting bubble. (playgrounds remain open).
You can read the full lockdown guidance here
On 22nd December, the Govt, updated its Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. and the What to do if a child or adult is displaying symptoms, or is a confirmed case, of coronavirus (COVID19) in an early years setting
The guidance has been updated with the following information:
Tier 4 restrictions:
- Childcare Settings can remain open
- Staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not go to the workplace if they live or work in a tier 4 area. The rules for tiers 1-3 remain unchanged.
- All children deemed clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend settings in tier 4.
- Clinically vulnerable staff can continue to attend settings.
- Children with household members or carers that are clinically extremely vulnerable can also continue to attend settings.
System of controls:
- The 10 day isolation period has been clarified as starting the first day symptoms start or the day of a positive tests if there are no symptoms- PLUS 10 full days after this day
- Guidance on what to do if anyone at the setting becomes unwell with coronavirus symptoms has been updated to add that: “if any of the individual’s household members are also present at the setting they will need to be sent home at the same time. Other members of their household (including any siblings) should also self-isolate".
- To remind staff that if they develop symptoms after coming into contact with someone that has symptoms should get a test whether or not the person they were in contact with tests positive.
- To clarify that household members, as well as staff and children should not enter a setting if displaying any coronavirus symptoms.
The definition of close contact has been clarified as:
- anyone who lives in the same household as someone with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
- face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation
- skin-to-skin physical contact for any length of time
- been within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer without face-to-face contact
- been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact or added up together over 1 day)
- travelled in the same vehicle or a plane
Advice for when to contact the local health protection team has been updated from more than 2 positive cases in 14 days to any of the following reasons:
- the number of cases exceeds 2 within 14 days
- you have taken the action outlined but are still seeing more cases
- you are getting significant interest from local media
- a child or staff member in your setting has been admitted to hospital
- you are thinking you might need to close because of the number of people affected - for childminders, you will need to close even if one person is affected
Charging parents and carers if they are unable to take up their child’s place:
The general principle is that providers should not charge parents or carers for services that cannot be provided. If there is a barrier to accessing childcare, based on government guidance or the law, the provider should not charge the parents or carers for this period. Accordingly, if a child is self-isolating having been contacted by NHS Test and Trace, the provider should not charge the parent or carer for this period.
Education Actions Cards including an Early Years Version that you can print off with useful information were updated on December 18th and you can access here
If you employ or work with others who are pregnant, please follow the advice given here
From 00:01am today, the Govt. has reduced the self isolation period from 14 days to 10 days. This change applies in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and is already in place in Wales.
This change means that if currently have anyone in your setting self isolating, they can now return after 10 days instead of 14. If your setting has had to close because you or a member of your family is self-isolating, then you can open again after 10 days.
People who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days.
People who test positive should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms or 10 days from point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic.
You can read the UK Chief Medical Officers' statement here
And the Actions for Early Years and Childcare Providers during the Coronavirus Outbreak here
The Actions for Early Years and Childcare Providers during the Coronavirus outbreak has been updated to include a statement about side effects of teething.
Side effects of children taking a vaccination or teething
Vaccines may cause a mild fever in children. This is a common and expected reaction, and isolation is not required unless coronavirus (COVID-19) is suspected.
Whilst teething can cause some known side effects such as flushed cheeks and sore gums, NHS guidelines state that fever is not a symptom of teething.
Parents and carers should monitor side effects from a vaccination or teething, and if they are concerned about their child’s health, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.
If coronavirus (COVID-19) is suspected, settings should follow the advice in the system of controls.
You can access the latest guidance here
The Third Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is now open at a rate of 80% of trading profits- paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total. But some of the criteria has changed. If your trading dates made you eligible for the first 2 grants, you will be eligible for this one. However, some of the other criteria has changed and is now more strict.
You must either:
- be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
- have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
You must also declare that:
- you intend to continue to trade
- you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits
For example, you:
- have fewer customers or clients than you’d normally expect, resulting in reduced activity due to social distancing or government restrictions
- have one or more contracts that have been cancelled and not replaced
- carried out less work due to supply chain disruptions
You must not claim if the only impact on your business is increased costs. For example, if you have had to purchase face masks and cleaning supplies. This would not be considered as reduced activity, capacity or demand.
Temporarily unable to operate due to coronavirus examples:
- your business has had to close due to government restrictions
- you’ve been instructed to shield or self-isolate in-line with NHS guidelines and are unable to work from home (if - you’ve been abroad and have to self-isolate, this does not count)
- you’ve tested positive for coronavirus and are unable to work
- you cannot work due to caring responsibilities, for example as a result of school or childcare facility closures
Significant reduction and Reasonable belief
Before you make a claim, you must decide if the impact on your business will cause a significant reduction in your trading profits for the tax year you report them in. You must keep evidence that shows how your business has been impacted by coronavirus resulting in less business activity than otherwise expected.
You can claim the grant here. You can apply up to January 29th- so it may be that your business hasn't been affected yet, but that between now and January you have to close due to COVID, then you can apply later on.
You can read more about this SEISS Grant here
The Government has updated its guidance for Early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak- and the Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications guidance ahead of the end of lockdown on December 2nd.
Actions for Early years and Childcare providers guidance.
There are several changes in this guidance this time. We have listed the full information list below, and have added extra details to summarise the main changes to those most relevant for childminders. You will see the sections listed to read more or to check details if we haven't expanded on them. :
The guidance has been updated with the following information:
- employer health and safety and equalities duties (section 3.2) All staff can continue to attend early years settings at all local restriction tiers
- staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable (section 3.2) In tier 3 you may wish to consider flexibility for extremely vulnerable staff.
- staff who are pregnant (section 3.2) Pregnant women are in the clinically vulnerable category and are generally advised to follow the above advice
- close contact with someone with symptoms (section 3.3) If you have had contact with someone with symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate. But if the symptomatic person then tests positive, or you develop symtoms yourself or are told to self isolate by Test and Trace then you must self isolate.
- use of face coverings (section 3.3) This is not recommended for children under 11. It is not mandatory for visitors to the setting to wear a face mask, but where social distancing is not possible, discretion to wear masks is recommended.
- enhanced cleaning (section 3.3) Clear procedures for maintaining cleaning processes for food preparation areas, dining areas and table coverings
- guidance on result of negative or positive test (section 3.3) You must notify Ofsted of any confirmed cases in the setting and if you have had to close because of it. You can contact the dedicated advice service introduced by PHE and delivered by the NHS Business Services Authority. This can be reached by calling the DfE Helpline on 0800 046 8687 and selecting option 1 for advice on the action to take in response to a positive case If you have been in close contact with someone with symptoms and you have a negative test yourself, you still must isolate for the full 14 days. Settings should not request evidence of negative test results or other medical evidence before admitting children or welcoming them back after a period of self-isolation
- travel (section 3.4) Childminders should work with parents to eliminate unnecessary journeys. Journeys may also include those to indoor or outdoor environments, for example, to a park or to an indoor soft play area.
- visitors to the setting: external professionals and parents (section 3.5) For new admissions, settings should consider providing virtual tours for prospective parents and carers. If parents and carers are keen to visit in person, settings should consider: 1. ensuring face coverings are worn if required in line with arrangements for staff and other visitors to the setting (see section 3 on face coverings) 2. there is regular handwashing, especially before and after the visit 3.holding visits after hours. If this is not possible, consider limiting visits to the outside play areas during regular hours, and ensure strict social distancing is observed. Parents settling children should stay for a limited amount of time (ideally no more than an hour) and avoid close contact with other children.
- music, dance and drama: organised performances (section 3.10)
- children self-isolating / clinically extremely vulnerable (section 4.1) The advice for children who remain in the clinically extremely vulnerable group is that they should return to settings from 2 December at all local restriction tiers unless they have been advised differently from their Health Care teams
- special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) (section 6.5) Particular care will be needed in supporting children with SEND to return to their settings. Consider those who have fallen behind in their development and those with additional or worsened social, emotional and mental health needs as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- early years foundation stage (EYFS) disapplications and requirements for paediatric first aid (section 7.1 to 7.8) Mentions to read the EYFS Disapplications guidance (covered below)
- planning for and supporting children’s learning (section 7.2) Help children adapt to new routines or re-settle. Consider how to encourage children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition. There are also links to helpful downloadable resources.
- resuming Ofsted inspections (section 8.3) For registered early years provision, Ofsted are carefully considering how to return to routine inspection. The timing and the form of any inspection remain under review.
- temporary changes to 30 hours entitlement (section 10.3 – 10.4) From November 1st, parents who are not earning the minimum threshold or exceeding the maximum threshold for Tax Free Childcare or 30 hours of Free childcare will still be eligible, if the change is due to Coronavirus. For parents who lose thier job and fall out of eligibility, if they manage to get a new job, their entitlement will resume as if tere was no disruption to eligibility.
- business support including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (section 10.5) There is an extension of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme for those who are self-employed. The scheme allows a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months, HMRC will contact individuals who are eligible and invite them to apply online. Some early years settings may be eligible for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, details and eligibility criteria for this can be found in the guidance on applying for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund
- arrangements for providing meals (section 10.10) There doesn't seem to be a section 10.10 in the guidance!
The guidance also has added information on:
- protected characteristics (section 3.1) You should ensure consideration is given to staff and children with protected characteristics
- ventilation and thermal comfort (section 3.3) Lots of information on the need to keep areas ventilated. As weather gets colder, it suggests windows should be opened just enough to provide constant background ventilation and periodically opened more fully when it is safe to do so, , increasing the ventilation while spaces are unoccupied, opening high level windows in preference to low level to reduce draughts and re-arranging furniture where possible to avoid direct draughts.
- printable early years action card (section 3.3) Downloadable
- printable card on What to do if a child is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (section 3.3) Downloadable card
- the NHS app (section 3.3) Link with information about the APP
- visitors to the setting: recruitment, supply staff and students (section 3.5)
- malleable materials (messy play) (section 3.7) Settings should risk assess activities that involve malleable materials for messy play such as sand, mud and water. Consider: materials can be handled by a small, consistent group of children of no more than 15 at a time, and that no one else outside this group can come into contact with it. If the malleable material for messy play (for example sand/water/mud) can be used and cleaned - including being replaced - in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, where applicable
- vaccines and teething (section 3.8) Vaccines and teething may cause a mild fever in children. This is a common and expected reaction, and isolation is not required unless coronavirus (COVID-19) is suspected.
- local restriction tiers (section 3.9) In all local restriction tiers, the expectation is that education and childcare provision should continue as normal. This means early years settings, including childminders, can continue to operate with normal group sizes.
- staff needing to self-isolate after returning from abroad (section 5.2)
- trips to indoor spaces (including soft play) (section 5.6) Settings may take children on trips to indoor spaces, for example, to a soft play centre when they are permitted to be open. Settings must ensure they have fully assessed the risks and have completed a risk assessment prior to a trip and Settings leaders should follow the guidelines relevant to the indoor centre.
- parent and child groups (section 5.7) Parent and child groups that meet in Ofsted registered settings can operate in all local restriction tiers. Groups meeting in community spaces, such as in a place of worship, community centre or library, can operate in all local restriction tiers and should follow COVID secure guidance for the venue. Informal groups, such as those organised by a parent, need to comply with the gathering and household mixing rules for the relevant local restrictions tier.
- childminder with household member self-isolating (section 9.5) If a member of your household is self-isolating due to contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) but not showing symptoms- they do not need to get a test. You can continue to provide childcare, but the member of your household who is self isolating must not come into contact with minded children. They should use a separate bathroom if available, but if not, the bathroom must be cleaned before anyone else uses it. When a household member is self isolating after testing positive, you cannot care for children in their home because all household members must self-isolate for at least 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.
Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications
The Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications has been updated to remove reference to the original transition period and the First Aid certification extensions, both which ended on 25 November 2020.
The Government has just announced the full list of local restriction tiers by area that will come into place after the current lockdown ends.
Decisions on which area goes into which tier are primarily based on 5 key epidemiological indicators:
- case detection rates in all age groups
- case detection rates in the over-60s
- the rate at which cases are rising or falling
- positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
- pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy
There are as expected, very few areas in Tier 1, but the Government has confirmed that all early years settings including childminders will be allowed to stay open for all children regardless of which Tier you live in.
You can find out which Tier you will be in here
Foundation Years have produced a Frequently Asked Questions document- all answers have been checked with the Department For Education (DfE). You can access this here
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in your setting or your setting has to close becuase of COVID-19, you must inform Ofsted. They have created a new webpage for you to use along with details of how to complete it.
Information you need to include:
- 'If you are reporting a positive COVID-19 test by a member of staff or a child, or a closure of your setting due to COVID-19, you must tell us about important dates and who was present.
- Where there is a positive test, you must tell us whether it was by a member of staff or a child. However, you do not need to give us their personal details.
You need to tell us the following dates:
when COVID-19 cases were first suspected
when COVID-19 cases were confirmed as positive
when the setting is closing from, and when you intend to re-open
Who was there
We also need to know the total number of:
- children attending the setting at the time of the suspected case
- any staff working at the setting at the time of the suspected case
Other information you should include
You should also tell us if you have:
- notified the case to Public Health England via the Department for Education helpline and any advice they gave you advised the local authority
- taken any other action
You can access this information and the link to the new reporting page here
The Govt has updated its EYFS Disapplications information to extend the date from September 26th to August 31st 2021. This means that wherever possible you must apply full EYFS requirements. But you can reapply the disapplications where government imposed restrictions impact on your ability to deliver the EYFS. Please note: there has been NO extension to the First Aid renewal disapplication of November 25th as First Aid Training is now permitted to be provided, including during this lockdown. You can read the updated guidance here
Foundation years have produced a document of FAQs to help answer questions from the early years sector on the national lockdown. These answers have been checked with the Department for Education (DfE).
It includes updated information on Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) that is being increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.
Under the exemption to restrictions on leaving home a childminder can meet another childminder from a different household outdoors with any children aged under 5. Childminders will not be able to meet other childminders if accompanied by children over the age of 5 as they are counted in the limit of 2 people meeting outside.
Today the Government have issued initial guidance about the Lockdown that starts tomorrow. They have also said that more guidance will be produced by the DfE over the coming days so we will keep this page updated as more is known. You can read the 'New National Restrictions from 5th November' here
Ofsted have confirmed that they will be carrying out Pre-registration visits during the coming lockdown.
The Prime Minister has announced a National Lockdown from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December for England. (other Nations of the UK have their own restrictions). This lockdown is not identical to the first lockdown in March because early years settings are able to stay open to all children where as during the first lockdown you could only care for key workers children and vulnerable children. What this means for you in practice is that if the parents of your minded children are working from home, they can still bring their children to you as usual. If parents are furloughed, they can choose whether to send their children to you or not, but you can accept them during this time. The Govt. has announced extensions to the Furlough Scheme but no announcement yet about the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). We will of course bring you any further news as it is announced.
Details about the extension to the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) have now been released. You will only be eligible if you were eligible for the first 2 grants- but you will still be eligible if you didn't claim the first 2 grants.
There will be a further 2 grant payments, each for 3 months:
- November 1st to January 31st- will pay 40% of average monthly profit up to a maximum of £3750
- February 1st to April 30th.- amount of grant to be decided
Please note that the criteria for claiming this grant is different to previous grants. Before, you just had to declare that your business had been adversely affected by COVID. This time the criteria is stricter. Because your settings are now permitted to be open, you must be able to declare that your have lower demand or occupancy because of COVID- or you were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus. HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course. You can read the full guidance here
Details about the new Govt. package of support to help those who are required by law to self isolate and who can't work from home have been released. This package will allow you to claim £500. More details can be found here
The Govt. has updated its Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance to include information about the new Tiers of local restrictions. The guide makes it clear that under these restrictions their aim is to keep all early years settings open. (of course if there are postive cases in childminding settings, they will need to close temporarily). Only if further measures are introduced will they insist on closing all early years settings. You can read the updated guidance here
The Govt. has updated its Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance. As a result of this, we have also updated our COVID -19 Risk Assessment. If you have previously access this document, you can find the updated version in your Dashboard.
There are quite a few changes to this version - some of which we have reported on before, but here are the main changes to the document that apply to childminders as of September 22nd.
- By law you MUST have a risk assessment that allows you to put appropriate measures in place (You will find your COVID Risk Assessment and Parental Agreement form readyfor amending in your Dashboard)
- Face coverings- there is no recommendation for universal use of face coverings in childcare settings, with no child under 3 being expected to wear a face covering at any time. You can use discretion if working with others as to if/when adults would wear face coverings if you cannot socially distance. please note: face coverings are not recommended when interacting with children because they may have a negative impact on those interactions There is a link provided with information about safe wearing and disposal of face coverings. (If you use public transport, everyone apart from children under 11 years must wear a face covering)
- Parents settling new children in- when parents are settling new children in, it is recommended they wear a face covering, stay for no longer than an hour and keep distanced from other children (for prospective parents a virtual tour of the premises is recommended, but if parents want to visit, the recommendation is they visit outside childminding hours)
- Toothbrushing can now be resumed in childcare settings, but dry brushing without water is recommended. Link provided in section 3.6 for more detailed information
- Confirmation that if there is a local lockdown after September 26th, the EYFS Disaplications may be reinstated
- Music dance and drama- Keep music at a volume that doesn't encourage children to sing loudly- playing instruments and singing in groups should take place outdoors wherever possible- when indoors socially distance
- Provide as much ventilation as possible when indoors
- Children with COVID-19 symptoms should NOT attend
- Using outdoor and public spaces- childcare settings can use outdoor and public spaces and you can take a group of more than 6 as the Rule of 6 does not apply to childminding settings. However, you must remain socially distanced from other groups wherever possible
- Wellbeing- contains links to the free resource MindEd learning platform for professionals and the coronavirus (COVID-19) staff resilience hub
- SEND- Section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014 was modified by a notice issued under the Coronavirus Act 2020- Local Authorities must make 'reasonable endeavors' to access or secure provision needed for their Education and Health Care Plans
EYFS Disapplications end on September 25th, but new legislation comes into force on September 26th which states that if there are local lockdowns, then the Disapplications may be reinstated
The Health and Safety Executive published guidance on first aid during coronavirus (COVID-19) and stating that when in close proximity to the person needing first aid, that you pay particular attention to sanitisation measures immediately afterwards, including handwashing
Contains information about the Furlough scheme for those of you who employ staff you have had to furlough You can access the revised guidance here
The Govt. promised early years settings that they would be advised on the most efficient way to act when there is a positive test within our setting. This updated guidance gives information about a new service. You should contact the DfE Helpline on 0800 046 8687 and select option 1 for advice on the action to take in response to a positive case. You will be put through to a team of advisors who will inform you what action is needed based on the latest public health advice. If, following triage, further expert advice is required the adviser will escalate your call to the local health protection team. The health protection team will also contact settings directly if they become aware that someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) attended the setting - as identified by NHS Test and Trace. Please read Section 8 of the guidance for the full information.
From Monday, the Govt have restricted social groups to a maximum of 6. We know that some of you have been worried that this will affect your childminding settings, but we can confirm that this new 'Rule of 6' doesn't apply to businesses that are COVID secure, so you can still continue to operate as you have been doing. The full guidance on this is in sections 2.10 and 2.15. You can read the full guidance [here](From Monday, the Govt have restricted social groups to a maximum of 6. We know that some of you have been worried that this will affect your childminding settings, but we can confirm that this new 'Rule of 6' doesn't apply to businesses that are COVID secure, so you can still continue to operate as you have been doing. The full guidance on this is in sections 2.10 and 2.15)
The Government have produced a simple step by step guide to the actions you need to take if a child in your setting develops Coronavirus symtoms. You can access this new guide here
Also updated is the main larger guidance Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
EYFS Disapplications end on September 25th as planned. However, new regulations come into force on September 26th stating where the disapplications can still apply to certain settings only when you are prevented from complying- so for example, if your area is put into local lockdown. The disapplications apply to the Learning and Development Requirements, First Aid and the 2 year Progress check. Examples of local restrictions that will apply are:
- Restrictions on transport systems
- Restrictions on movement of people
- Stay at home guidance
- Restrictions on entering a defined area
Please note The new regulations will not apply if there as a case of Coronavirus in your setting- it is where there are geographical restrictions put in place. You can read the updated guidance here
There is a useful poster detailing what you will need to do if there is more than 1 confirmed case of COVID in your setting within a 14 day period. - Identify - Report - Respond - Inform Ofsted You can access this information here. It also includes a link where you can find your local teams telephone number to write on the poster.
The Govt have produced information about future local lockdowns and what will happen regarding early years settings. There will be 4 Tiers of Lockdown depending on the number of cases in the area and the transmission of cases. In tiers 1 - 3, Early years settings will remain open. Only in Tier 4 will they be closed to all children apart from Key Workers Children and Vulnerable Children.
Ofsted have revised their rolling update regarding letting them know if you are open or closed. Ofsted have emailed all providers where they didn't know if they were open or closed on August 24th. Please make sure you respond to their email. This is to help find out if there is sufficient and accessible childcare available and to help support vulnerable children as best they can.
Updated guidance regarding the wearing of face coverings in secondary schools. In areas that are in local lockdown or areas on the watch list because of high numbers of COVID-19, it is recommended that face coverings are worn in corridors and communal areas, but not in classrooms.
Updated guidance including new information on school admissions, information on travelling to and from nursery, childminders, school and college,information on education, health and care (EHC) plans, wellbeing and online safety and updated information about assessment and exams
Updated guidance regarding protective measures which will be effective from the point at which all pupils return to school in the autumn, making clear the position on group sizes and how providers can minimise the risk of children mixing outside their school bubbles.
For parents applying for or already getting Tax Free Childcare, the guidance has been updated to say that eligibility for Tax Free Childcare for those who don’t meet the minimum requirements has been extended to October 31 2020.
The government has issued new guidance updating the infection prevention control aspects of supervised toothbrushing programmes. It seeks to manage any public health risk arising from the COVID-19 pandemic against the significant oral health improvement benefits of daily supervised toothbrushing.
Several areas of the North West of England have been put into a social lockdown. This Government link lists the areas concerned and also information about what is allowed and what is illegal during this time.
The isolation period for those with symptoms of COVID-19 has been increased from 7 to 10 days- effective immediately. You can access the NHS information here
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued an open letter to all early years advisors after an investigation into complaints from some parents that they have been treated unfairly by their childs early years provider. They say the purpose of the letter is so that providers understand how consumer protection law applies to the arrangements you may have with consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no new laws regarding this, but the letter aims to explain how the current law applies during this unprecented time. CMA say they are not planning on any enforcement action, but they are keeping the situation under review. You can read the full letter here
The Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance has been updated again to state in 7.10 that First Aid Certificates issued after March 16th can be extended until November 25th if you are unable to access a course. Also in 10.4 that the higher threshold amount for parents to access the 30 hours of free childcare is increased from £100,000 to 150,000 for the tax year April 2020 to April 2021 as it is recognised that some people have had increased income directly undertaken as a result of the pandemic.
The 'Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak' Govt guidance has been updated to include relevent information that has been issued in other guidance, such as what funding will be paid for 2,3 and 4 year olds from September.
The Government has updated its 'Use of free early education entitlements funding during coronavirus (COVID-19)' guidance to to explain how they will allocate funding for 2,3 and 4 year olds from September.
Settings are asked to provide childcare places for all children who need them, but recognise that numbers may be lower than usual. The guidance clearly states that 'Local authorities should not fund providers which are closed, without public health reason, from the start of the autumn term.'
This means that if you decide not to open in September without a public health reason, then you won't be able to claim funding for children who would normally attend. However, if you are advised to close or have no option but to close due to COVID-19 then you will still receive funding during this period of closure. The Government is hoping to return to the normal funding process from January 2021. You can read the updated guidance here
The Government has updated its Actions for Early Years Providers guidance. From July 20th, there is no need to create bubbles of children in your childminding setting. There is extended information on risk assessing your setting, cleaning procedures needed, collecting children from school and that Ofsted will be resuming Inspections from January 2021. You can read the updated guidance here
You can access the Education Plans from September 2020 about Ofsted visits here
The Government has published an English Safeguarding Children and says that 'all of us have a role to play in safeguarding, never more so than during COVID-19'.
The Government has said that outdoor playgrounds and gyms can re-open if they take measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19. This guidance tells managers/owners what they can do - you may find it helpful to see what measures could be in place for playgrounds you visit.
In the Government's information about the next changes to lockdown, there are some changes to the 'Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak':
- Section 4. New link to the Public Health England Review of Disparities in the risk and outcomes of those contracting COVID-19
- Section 5.5. There is still a recommendation that children attend one setting only where possible, but where childminders need to collect children from school, the recommendation is to walk where possible. Where this isn't possible use a private vehicle rather than public transport if available.
- Section 6. Wrap around Settings and Out of School settings can now open if they are COVID secure, but it is recommended that they only care for children from one school. There is also clarification that childminders can take small groups of children to outdoor spaces such as parks, but need to keep the 2 metres distance from others.
You can read the updated guidance here
23rd June - Members Survey results
Many thanks to those members who completed our survey to help identify the impact on childminders. The findings confirmed that many of our members are feeling isolated and ignored. Over 20% of respondents weren't able to claim any financial support at all. Our press release has been sent to government gencies and other support organisations.
Extension to First Aid Certificates! The Health and Safety Executive has announced an extension to First Aid Certificates dated after March 16th until a new date of September 30th. So if you are unable to renew your First Aid Certificate during this time, you are not breaking regulations. You can read more about this in 6.2 of this guidance.
Addition to Childminding UK's COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Parental Agreement form. If you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace Service because of a confirmed case of Coronavirus in your family or your setting, you have a legal duty to pass on details of parents so that they can be traced and advised to self-isolage. This addition has been added to the 'Testing' row on the risk assessment and we have added an extra bullet point to the parental agreement form that says they are aware. If you have already accessed this document, just visit your Dashboard where the updated version is waiting for you. You do not need to purchase again from the shop
Updated guidance 'What parents and carers need to know about schools, colleges and other education settings during the Coronavirus outbreak This guidance has been updated to include:
- updated links to new and revised guidance
- replaced section on ‘closures of schools, childcare and other education settings, now named ‘wider opening of education settings’ with added lines on attendance (section 1)
- information on curriculum and setting expectations for those attending educational settings (1.12)
- information added about breakfast/after school clubs (1.14)
- information on repeating a year for pupils (1.15)
- information on transport for eligible pupils (section 5)
- amended lines on if its compulsory to send pupils to schools (7.2)
- amended lines on special schools and specialist post 16 providers (7.3)
- information on for parents of children with special education needs (7.5)
- amended lines on education for children at home (8.1 and 8.5)
- information on keeping children safe online (8.7 and 8.8)
GOOD NEWS for those of you who are waiting for your pre-registration visit from Ofsted - Ofsted are resuming visits from June 8th. Best of luck everyone! If you haven't come across this yet, why not check out our Preparing for your Ofsted Pre-registration Visit guide, which is free to members but only £1.99 to others. Childminding UK had requested that Ofsted prioritise Pre-reg visits when they resume again so are delighted to see that your wait is coming to an end.
Foundation Years has produced a frequently asked questions document which you can read here
Questions are around sandpits, water troughs, taking children to public outdoor areas, bubble sizes and testing.
The Govt have updated their 'Actions for early years and childcare providers during the Coronavirus outbreak' guidance to clarify that providers must hold the appropriate insurances including Public Liability Insurance. This change corrects an error in the previous document that stated that nurseries do not need PL Insurance.
Ofsted have updated its information regarding Health Declaration forms for those in the process of registering. There is now a temporary form that you can complete which Ofsted will accept until the GP Completed form arrives. You can read the updated guidance here
Yet again we have more updated Govt. information. This information has changed due to the re-opening or wider opening of settings allowed since June 1st.
The main changes are:
section 3.10 includes that 'The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has established a COVID-19 Taskforce to identify, monitor and respond to competition and consumer problems arising from coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures taken to contain it.
section 3.13 is about business interuption insurance. It states, 'For childcare providers which have a policy that covers government-ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the government’s social distancing measures may be sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules require insurers to treat customers fairly, including handling claims fairly and promptly; providing reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim; not rejecting a claim unreasonably; and settling claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed.
Throughout the guidance is reference to the small bubbles of children you need to have in place, the recommendation that children only attend one setting and that you may need to temporarily cap numbers if you have to in order to maintain children's safety. It also clarifies that First Aid Certificates can be automatically extended until 30th September initially.
29th May pm
The Chancellor has announced that the Self Employment Income Support Scheme is being extended until August with 1 final payment in August. The scheme will pay 70% of the profit this time instead of the 80% last time as this reflects changes to the furlough scheme for employed people. You can read the full information here
The Govt. has updated its 'Help children aged 2 to 4 to learn at home during coronavirus (COVID-19)' Guidance to include Mental Health and Well-being. You can read the updated guidance here
The Govt. has confirmed that schools and early years settings are able to re-open or open to more children from June 1st. You must have completed a risk assessment to identify what measures you need to have in place before you re-open or increase the numbers of children you care for. And remember, you do not have to open just yet if you feel it isn't safe to do so. This video explains how the new Test and Trace system will work
Children under 5 are now eligible to request testing for Coronavirus if they develop symptoms. This means that everyone in England can now request a test. The NHS Test and Trace system launches today. This means that anyone who develops symptoms is asked to get a test. Following a positive test result, you (or children's parents) will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts. The Test and Trace service will contact those who are requested to self-isolate for 14 days to help prevent the spread of the virus. The Govt. Stay at Home Guidance has been updated to reflect these changes. You can read the Stay at Home Guidance here
The Government has now issued the long awaited early years guidance to help settings including childminders adapt to new safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Remember, you don't have to open on June 1st (the Govt is expected to confirm this on Thursday). If you feel you need more time to prepare or you don't feel you want to open yet, you can make that choice. You can read the Guidance here
2 new announcements were made at the Govt. Coronavirus meeting yesterday afternoon:
- TESTING. The Government has extended testing to any person over the age of 5 can now request to be tested if they have Coronavirus symptoms.
- NEW CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS: The Govt. has added a loss or changed sense of smell or taste (also called anosmia) to the list of symptoms to be aware of. If you have this symptom you need to self isolate for 7 days and all members of your household need to self isolate for 14 days. You can read the statement here
The Department for Education has published an Overview of scientific advice and information on coronavirus (COVID-19) regarding the potential re-opening of schools and early years settings on June 1st. Download here
Government clarifies that childminders may reopen from 13th May to children from the same family only (providing they are not already caring for vulnerable children or those of of key workers)
12th May - Government asks child care providers to reopen from 1st June
The DFE has published the guidance and actions that you will need to take in order to take children from 1st June at the earliest. You should only open if it is safe to do so and you have implemented protective measures to help keep everyone safe.
6th May - Funding update for parents
The Department for Education has confirmed that parents who lose income or increase their earnings as a result of COVID-19 will not lose their eligibility for 30 hours places for three and four-year-old children. The DfE also confirmed that the 30 hours deadline for the summer term has been extended to 31 August to give working parents additional time to protect their place. Link to document
1st May Coronavirus outbreak FAQs
The government has set out as frequently asked questions what you can and can't do during the Coronavirus outbreak.
29th April - Increase in testing
The Government has announced increased testing to all essential workers including:
NHS and social care workers with symptoms
Anyone over 65 with symptoms
Anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers).
In addition, they are also testing:
Social care workers and residents in care homes (with or without symptoms) both to investigate outbreaks and, following successful pilots, as part of a rolling programme to test all care homes.
NHS workers and patients without symptoms where there is a clinical need, in line with NHS England guidance.
Full guidance can be found here
29th April - Information on payment of designated schools grant for early education places.
The government has issued guidance to local authorities about the payment of designated schools grant for early years education places. Full guidance can be found here
24th April - Additional information regarding EYFS changes during crisis
Learning and Development Requirements
The change: During the COVID-19 outbreak early years providers should use reasonable endeavours to meet the existing learning and development requirements, instead of this being something they ‘must do’.
What this means in practice: The most important thing is that children of critical workers and vulnerable children are cared for within settings. As far as possible, children should also benefit from a broad range of educational opportunities.
There are also changes to ratios, qualifications, 2 year progress check, first aid etc. Read the full guidance here
24th April - New Coronavirus testing for essential workers
From today, any essential worker with symptoms or a member of their family with symptoms can apply directly to the Govt. to receive testing for Coronavirus.
The list of essential workers is anyone who is able to send their children to school at the moment- including early years workforce. All the details you need are in this guidance
23rd April. Last chance to sumit tax return
If you have not submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019, you must do this by the end of today (23 April 2020) or you will not be able to claim the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
The online service you’ll use to claim is not available yet. HMRC will aim to contact you by mid May 2020, and will make payments by early June 2020.
22nd April Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak
The Govt. has updated this document to include changes to the EYFS requirements during this lockdown. Download here
21st April. New Govt. Information - list of online education resources for home education
They say 'We have brought together an initial list of online educational resources to help children to learn at home. These websites have been identified by some of the country’s leading educational experts and offer a wide range of support and resources for pupils of all ages.'Download here
19th April. New Govt. Information - Help children aged 2 to 4 to learn at home during coronavirus (COVID-19)
19th April. NHS Fitness Studio has a range of online exercise videos
Take your pick from 24 instructor-led videos across our aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga categories.
These workouts have been created by fitness experts InstructorLive and range from 10 to 45 minutes. Access the range here
The government has updated the guidance for early years and childcare closures. Change made on April 15th: Updated introductory sections and sections on Who this guidance is for, Prioritising children, Funding, Staying open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children, Early Years Foundation Stage and Holidays.Download the guidance here
Parents and Carers. This confirms that 'Children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers by the government can send their children to school if required'. The Guidance for Schools gives clarification about who is classed as a key (or critical) worker.
14th April- How HMRC works out total income and trading profits for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme
2nd April - Updated Government Document regarding Closures and the Early Years.
This document has been updated to include information about the financial support that is provided. Other questions you may have around key workers children, charging parents etc. are all covered.
First Aid CPR Updated Guidance due to COVID-19
Whenever CPR is carried out, particularly on an unknown victim, there is some risk of cross infection, associated particularly with giving rescue breaths. Normally, this risk is very small and is beset against the inevitability that a person in cardiac arrest will die if no assistance is given. This guidance from the Resuscitation Council UK, changes the standard procedures for CPR in light of the virus. CPD Updated information
What fees should I charge?
In response to the many questions to Childminding UK about fees, here's our advice
As of March 23rd Britain is entering a 3 week lockdown
This means that people must stay at home apart from - to go to work- but the requirement is to work at home wherever possible - to go shopping for essentials such as food or medicines - but only go infrequently - to excersise outside- but only once a day and to maintain the 2 metre distance from others - to provide care or help a vulnerable person - for any medical need
All shops apart from non essential shops have been told to close.
Retailers that will be allowed to stay open include:
- Supermarkets and other food shops
- Petrol stations
- Bicycle shops
- Home and hardware stores
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners
- Pet shops
- Post Offices
Businesses will still be able to take online orders and deliver items to people's homes
Childminding UK have produced a Q&A Sheet to help you understand what you need to do
On March 5th 2020, the Government added COVID-19 to the list of notifiable illnesses and SARS-COV-2 to the list of agents that cause COVID-19. Essentially Coronavirus is a mutation of the common cold and the SARS virus. Because Coronavirus is a notifiable illness, this means that any known cases must be reported
The Government is closely monitoring the situation with advice from scientists. There is currently work going on to develop treatment and a vaccine for Coronavirus but there is no information about when they think these will be ready. Because it is a new virus, they are still learning about how it behaves and it is difficult to predict what will happen long term.
Schools in the UK are to shut until further notice as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools will close except for looking after the children of keyworkers and vulnerable children, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said. He said that he hopes early years settings will follow suit and do the same.
The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP (Secretary of State for Education) has released a statment about school closures and that early years settings including childminders should also follow this guidance. They have said they will provide financial support for these settings as required.
Where possible, they would encourage settings to also look after key workers’ children and vulnerable children throughout the Easter holidays. You can read more about this in the letter from Vicky Ford MP- Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Childminding UK will seek to gain more clarification about who key workers are and about the financial support offered to childminders.
Following this statement and the results form our survey of members I have emailed Gavin Williamson:
Childminding UK is a registered charity supporting childminders and the families they work with. Childminders are a vital and unique childcare service for all parents. You have confirmed that the recent advice to schools does to apply to childminders but there is much confusion about the impact of this; there is a real risk that they will have to give up childminding. With Ofsted registration inspections on hold, we risk there being a real shortage of providers when things go back to normal.
A national survey carried out by us today (260 responses so far) has revealed that over 40% will close on Monday but another 40% are still unsure. Only 7% felt that they care for vulnerable children but 26% needed more clarification. Over 40% felt they had a parent in the key worker category but almost 50% said they needed more clarification. Lots of confusion here (what if only one parent is a key worker? Parent is saying she is a key worker but I’m not sure? Do I stay open for just one child or can I decide to close altogether? are just a few of the questions they have). 28% said they would ask parents for payment during closure, 24% said they wouldn’t but over 50% said it would depend on parents’ circumstances. Over 90% said their business would be at risk with 60% saying they would consider giving up childminding altogether. Overwhelmingly (78%) wanted clearer guidance and nearly 90% said that their insurance company or the government should compensate their loss of earnings. Over 70% would rather stay open as they are such small setting and closure would have such an impact on them financially and their parents who want to continue to go to work. Nearly 80% said they would rather be the ones to make the decision to close. Urgent action is needed!
We are therefore calling on the government to:
• Clarify the specific criteria for vulnerable children
• Clarify the specific criteria for Key workers
• Offer clear information about exactly what financial support will be available to childminders to compensate for loss of earnings – this should start from next week
• You say in your statement that ‘The scientific advice shows that these settings are safe for this small number of children to continue attending’ Would you consider if childminders should be treated differently as they are a smaller setting and pose less risk?
We continue to take call after call from worried childminders and parents who remain unsure of their position, all of whom just want to do the best for everyone but can’t help being concerned about their financial sitution.
Number of cases in the UK
To see the daily changing figures, check the Govt. webpage here
This link shows were in the UK the cases are.
How can you catch Coronavirus?
There are 2 main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:
- infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or possibly could be inhaled into the lungs.
- it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching door knob or shaking hands then touching own face)
Symptoms of Coronavirus
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
- new continuous cough and/or
- high temperature
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection
Action to take if you have symptoms
If you have Coronavirus symtoms, even if mild ones, you must self isolate for 7 days and everyone else in the household need to stay at home for a period of 14 days in order to protect other people in your community.
- try to stay at least 3 steps away from other family members
- wash your hands regularly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Use your own cutlery, dishes, towels and bed linen
- ask family to do any shopping you need and leave it outside for you to bring in
- Do not go to your GP Surgery, pharmasy or local hospital and you don't need to call NHS 111 to go into this self-isolation
- you will not be tested for COVID-19 if you are self isolating at home
- If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
- you will not be tested for Coronavirus if you only have mild symtoms
- while you are at home in self isolation, do NOT go out at all- even for a short walk- you can go into your own garden if you have one
- if other people live in your home, try to stay in a well ventilated room
This chart shows the stay at home guidance for those with symptoms and household members. For some members of the household they may need to self-isolate for more than 14 days, but this isn't the recommendation for others in the household.
Impact on your Childminding Setting
On March 17th the Government confirmed that they will continue to pay funding to local authorities for the free entitlements for two, three and four-year-olds for anyone whose setting has to close or for any child who can't attend due to Coronavirus
The Government released this information on March 24th about school and early years and caring for key workers children, vulnerable children, EYFS requirements and ratios and lots more.
We are receiving an increasing number of calls from childminders who are worried about the health and financial impact of the Coronavirus in their setting. As a self employed person, you will already have policies and procedures (even if not in writing) about illness and exclusion and if parents will be required to pay fees. Your policy should include what will happen if children do not attend because they or their parents are ill and also what will happen if you are ill and can't work. The majority of childminders charge parents if their children are ill but the setting is open but don't charge if the setting is closed. This information about charging should be clearly explained in the contract you have with parents. Childminding UK's Illness and Infection Policy and Parent Contracts have clear information and guidance about this.
In the event of the Government forcing all schools and childcare settings to close, this is causing concerns about childminders being able to afford to remain closed for an extended period of time. Normal guidance from the Government is that for funded places for 2,3 and 4 year olds, a period of 2 weeks will still be paid for if the child does not attend. Some Local Authorities have already agreed to pay their providers for longer, and some are waiting for clarification from the Department for Education (DfE) to confirm if they will be able to do this. Contact your Local Authority to find out what you can expect in your area.
As a self-employed person, you decide on your own costs and charges. If the Government makes all early years settings close as a precaution, your normal arrangements about payments for sickness will not necessarily cover this event as you may not be sick yourself. We know that some of you are considering charging parents for this period of time if it happens. Childminding UK cannot advise you on what you should do in this situation, but please carefully consider the following.
- if parents are able to work from home, they will still be paid and may be happy to pay you
- if parents are off work too and will get paid, they may be happy to pay you
- if parents are not able to work from home and won't receive any pay (they may be self-employed or on zero hours contracts), they may not be able to afford to pay you
- if parents are only receiving statutory sick pay, they may not be able to afford to pay you
- remember you won't have any business costs such as outings, food consumables etc. so you may be able to negotiate a % of your normal fee during this time
- if you are self employed, there is a chance that you could claim Universal Credit for the time you are closed. The Money Advice Service has more information
Government Support for your business
Updated information 27th March
Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme
On March 26th the Chancellor announced the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
- have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
- traded in the tax year 2019-20
- are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
- intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
- have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
- earn more than half your income from self-employment
You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable) to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Payments won't be made until the beginning of June and will be a one off 3 month payment to be backdated until March. If waiting for this will cause financial hardship, the Govt. suggest you apply for Universal Credit in the meantime and emergency payments can be paid 'within days'.
- Any tax you are due to pay from last years accounts can be deferred.
- If you will find it difficult to pay bills such as Council Tax, contact your Local Authority as they may be able to take a payment holiday
- You should also be able to request a mortgage payment holiday
How to apply
You cannot apply for this scheme yet
HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.
Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.
On March 20th, the Government announced a package of support for businesses, including regarding sick pay (for those of you who employ others)and more
HMRC have established a helpline for the self-employed and businesses affected by COVID19.
Please call 0300 456 3565 or 0800 0159 559 if you need help/advice.
If a child you care for becomes ill
Often children with simple common colds are able to attend a childminding setting as long as they are well enough in themselves to cope with the day and gain something from their time in the setting. For Coronavirus this guidance should be amended as children should not attend with the following symptoms.
If a child develops a new cough and or a temperature of over 37.8 degrees, they need to stay at home for 7 days and all other members of the household must self isolate for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. If the child develops these symptoms while in your setting, you must contact the parents immediately to arrange for them to collect their child and then to stay away for the isolation period. It is sensible in this instance to carry out a deep clean of your childminding premises before other minded children attend. (this of course also protects you and your family). More information about Deep Cleaning your setting
If one of your own family members becomes ill
If one of your children, yourself or another member of your family becomes ill, then you will need to follow the Government advice and that person must self-isolate for a period of 7 days and all other members of your household must self isolate for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. This means you must close your setting for this period of time.
If a child or parent in your setting is a suspected case of COVID-19
If anyone has been in contact with a suspected case in a childcare or educational setting, no restrictions or special control measures are required while laboratory test results for COVID-19 are awaited. There is no need to close the setting or send other learners or staff home.
If a child or parent in your setting is a confirmed case of COVID-19
You will be contacted by Public Health England to discuss the situation and they will guide you as to what action you need to take. You may or may not need to close your setting. A risk assessment will be undertaken by the educational establishment with advice from the local Health Protection Team. In most cases, closure of the childcare or educational setting will be unnecessary but this will be a local decision based on various factors such as establishment size and pupil mixing.
What if a family have returned from abroad?
In response to coronavirus measures the Government are now are advising against all and all but essential travel to some countries, cities and regions. If travellers are returning from particular countries, the advice is to call NHS 111 and follow thier advice about self-isolating for up to 14 days. It is realistic to ask a family to call NHS 111 to find out if the child should return to your setting. Latest Government travel advice
The Government has produced guidance specifically for Education Settings
Loss of earnings insurance cover
Not all Public Liability Insurance policies cover loss of revenue cover and of those that do, some will not cover Coronavirus even though it is now a notifiable illness. Please contact your own Public Liability Insurer for more information about your policy. For some policies there is no loss of revenue cover and for others the cover may be limited to notifiable illnesses that are listed in the policy document. Because COVID-19 is a new virus, it it possible that it won't be listed unless the insurance company has made changes to their policy to reflect this.
The Government has announced the following:
'Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim.
Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. '
Please note: Do not go and pay for insurance that covers you for loss of earnings now in order to protect yourself from any potential closure due to Coronavirus without carefully checking that you would be covered in the event that you have to close. Most new policies won't cover you for any event that you could forsee happening in the near future.
Keeping as safe as possible
Good hygiene procedures and personal hygiene procedures are the most effective way of stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
- put used tissues in the bin straight away
- wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. (hands should be washed on arriving at your setting, after using the toilet, after playing outside and outings, before food preparation, before eating any food, including snacks, before leaving the setting.
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
**Hand sanitiser gel must contain at least 60% alcohol in order to be effective
It is recommended that we wash our hands using soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds or the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star once.
This video shows the correct way of washing hands
Public Health England have produced a range of posters and other information. You need to sign up to use, but it is a quick easy process and this means you will be kept informed if other resources are made avaialble too.
Tom Fletcher who is a member of the McFly band and well loved children's author has produced this video to visually show children the importance of washing hands
Protecting Childrens skin
Some children are developing red and sore hands from washing their hands more frequently, as water removes natural oils from the skin. The best way to alleviate this is to provide simple moisturising cream such as E45 to use after handwashing. It is advisable to gain parents written permission for this or to ask parents to provide a moisturising cream of their choice and give written permission for its use.
Explaining Coronavirus to children
This video explains Coronavirus in a fun way aimed at not causing alarm
This graphic is a child friendly way of explaining the virus to children
Public Health England has some 'fun e-Bug teaching resources' including Horrid Hands and Super Sneezes
Childline has produced information for children who may be concerned about the virus and what they hear on the news. It includes suggestions of what children can do if they are worried.
Social Distancing guidance
The Government has suggested more stringent social distancing for everyone to help control and slow down the spread of the virus, such as not going to restaurants, pubs, theatres etc. For those most vulnerable, such as those over 70 years of age, those with severe underlying health problems and pregant women, it was announced on March 16th that these groups should take extra measures for 12 weeks f and stay at home as much as possible. More information can be found in the Government Guidance on Social Distancing.
Ofsted information regarding Inspections
Ofsted have revised their guidance on when they will defer inspections and are following Government advice carefully regarding this.
Department for Edcucation Helpline
The Department for Education in England has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 for education establishments. You can contact the helpline between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday by calling 0800 046 8687 or emailing [email protected]
Support for Childminding UK Members
We will continue to email Childminding UK Members with important updates as they become available. Members can also contact our staff team for advice. While we will do our very best to support you and answer questions, please do remember that Childminding UK are not experts in COVID-19.
FREE online training
Some companies are offering FREE online courses to support providers. We will aim to add to this list as we hear of others
Some companies are offering FREE temporary subscriptions to their learning resources for parents, teachers, carers to help keep children engaged in learning during any self-isolation or setting or school closure. Other companies are making us aware of FREE resources they offer that may be useful at this time too. We will aim to add to this list as we hear of any more.
Teachers, parents and carers, some free resources to help you with home learning are available from Mathematics Mastery, a non profit organisation has resources for Key Stage 1, 2 and 3.
EYFS Home - NEW! EYFS Home- A free, daily set of activities for 3-5 year-olds, linked to the English EYFS Early Years Learning Goals.
Safer Internet Centre has a list of online safety activities you can do from home for all ages
FREE for 30 days Widget Symbols to support people help parents, teachers and carers who use symbols and help them realise their full potential, no matter what their age, ability or background.
TeachKloud is giving away, 40 Yoga poses and activities and a 46-page Resource with 20 fun and easy open-ended learning opportunities using natural materials
Learning through Landscapes This is our second week of sustainable learning and play activities, while children are at home due to Covid-19. There will be many more resources and ideas over the coming weeks.
BBC Bitesize There are free videos, guides, activities, games and quizzes by level and subject, all available.
Books at Press are offering Free Powerpoint Jigsaw, Easter Board Game and Dominoes to play at home or school Email [email protected] and ask for FREE EASTER ACTIVITIES.
Foundations Software have gathered 'bunch of free resources ' from some well-known celebrities and children’s entertainers. Links to all can be found here
At Speech Link Multimedia Ltd we believe that every child should have access to support for their speech, language and communication needs to help them reach their full potential. Welcome to the Parent Portal, our new parent support site for children with speech and language difficulties.
Orchard Toys Ltd have got you covered with over 120 free downloadable activity sheets
Bloomsbury Education have an online library of activity ideas to do with children aged between 0-5. Bloomsbury Early Years will be available for free for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic.