These pages are for all staff working directly with children and families in an early years provision.
It is not intended to replace any guidance issued by the Government.
- Registered early years providers will be allowed to remain open during the upcoming national lockdown in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed during an address to the nation on 4 Jan. Read the guidance here.
- The DfE has provided the Alliance with a response to queries on why early years providers have been asked to remain open during the national lockdown in England, while schools have been instructed to close. You can read their response here.
- The Department for Education has confirmed private and voluntary early years providers and childminders will not be given access to home testing kits for asymptomatic cases. Only maintained nurseries and primary schools will be given access to the home testing kits. It means childminders and staff in private, voluntary and independently run nurseries and pre-schools are likely to need to travel to testing sites during working hours to be part of asymptomatic community testing, instead of being able to test at home. Read the full story.
- From 28 January, reporting a serious childcare incident, including confirmed Covid-19 cases, to Ofsted can only be done via online form (not phone or email).
- Ofsted's phased return of early years inspections were due to start in January 2021 ahead of full routine graded inspections in the summer term 2021. However in the wake of a third national lockdown, Ofsted have delayed assurance inspections until February half term. Until then they will carry out any inspections remotely. Read more.
- The furlough system will be extended now until April 2021.
The COVID-19 outbreak is an ever-evolving situation. This information will be updated regularly as things change.
The Department for Education has a helpline for early years providers, schools and colleges – as well as parents, carers and young people – who have questions about coronavirus.
If you have specific questions about the virus, you can contact the helpline on:
Call: 0800 046 8687
Coronarvirus: latest information (Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England)
Coronavirus (2019-cCoV) (NHS)