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Coronavirus - COVID-19

Coronavirus information for childminders


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.

26th October

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

26th October

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

19th October

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

23rd September

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.

Section 3

  • 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

Section 5

  • 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

Section 6

  • 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

Section 7

  • 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

Section 10

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

17th September

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.

10th September

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)

8th September

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

7th September

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

2nd September

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.

1st September

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.

26th August

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.

26th August

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.

21st August

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

20th August

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.

16th August

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.

14th August

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.

31st July

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.

30th July

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

29th July

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

27th July

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.

22nd July

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.

21st July

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

6th July

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'.

29th June

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.

24th June

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.

15th June

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)

6th June

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.

5th June

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.

2nd June

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

29th May

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

28th May.

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

28th May

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

25th May

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

19th May

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

18th May

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

15th May

Early Years Alliance publish FAQs based on Department for Education guidance on reopening and guidance on implementing protective measures.

12th May

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

15th April.

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

This document explains how HMRC will work out any financial support you will receive

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.

3rd April - New Advice to support mental health during the Coronavirus

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
  • Pharmacies
  • Petrol stations
  • Newsagents
  • Bicycle shops
  • Home and hardware stores
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Garages
  • Pet shops
  • Post Offices
  • Banks

Businesses will still be able to take online orders and deliver items to people's homes

**24th March

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.

Elaine Pitteway

What does Coronavirus mean for Childminding UK?

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

More Government information about self-isolating

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

Be reasonable with parents over charges, childcare providers urged

Cleaning advice for non health care settings

Poster to display if you wish

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.‬

Ofsted have a rolling update for schools, early years, children's social care and further education and skills providers.

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.

Animation & Story Book Explaining the Coronavirus to Children

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

Wellbeing during the coronavirus

FREE resources

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.

Strings and Things. Drama based sensory stories and story messages about social distancing from our good friends at Collar and Cuffs.

Fun exercises for children

Fun exercises for children


The Muddy Puddle Teacher

Scholastic Learn at Home

Free access to the Spring edition Creative Steps magazine

Toddler Approved boredom busters

Sparkle stories

Growing book by book

Phonics Play is free to access during the Coronavirus pandemic

Ideas of Free resources for people of all ages

Home learning platform, EasyPeasy is on hand to support parents and early years educators Free until 30th May

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.