Covid-19: Information for families

family together on bed

£500 Test and Trace Support Payment extended to parents and carers of children who need to self-isolate

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, which provides a £500 payment to those on certain benefits or low incomes who are required to self-isolate, has been extended to the parents and carers of children who cannot work because their child or children are required to self-isolate.

This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child's self-isolation period, and parents must meet all the relevant means-tested eligibility criteria. The payment ensures that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.

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Households and bubbles of children at nursery and primary school will get rapid lateral flow tests.

Households and bubbles of children in nurseries and preschools have been given access to regular asymptomatic home test kits called rapid lateral flow tests.

Anyone who is a member of a household or childcare bubble of an early years child, a pupil, student or staff of a childcare provider (including childminders and wraparound childcare), school or nursery can get a twice-weekly test:

  • through their employer if they offer testing to employees
  • at a local test site
  • by collecting a home test kit from a test site
  • by ordering a home test kit online

Note - these tests are for those who do not have symptoms of Covid-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms must book a PCR test through the NHS Test and Trace system.

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Childcare bubbles - what are the rules?

Childcare and support bubbles can remain in place in this latest lockdown.

But exactly what is a childcare and support bubble and who is eligible to form one?

Read our article and find out


Parent survey reveals toll of lockdown on work life and mental health

More than 2,000 parents completed our survey about working at home and access to childcare. The survey shows many parents felt unsupported by the government during lockdown while others have had difficulties accessing childcare since the easing of lockdown which in some cases has negatively affected their mental health.

Read the full story...


Support for families continues until October 

The government has extended flexibility in the 30 hours & Tax-Free Childcare offers to ensure that parents retain access to the schemes even if their income temporarily drops below the threshold until 31 October 2020.

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A special message for parents from the NHS

With the current Covid-19 crisis, many parents - understandably - may be unsure or even reluctant to seek medical advice if their child has had an accident or is feeling unwell, with non-Coronavirus related sypmtoms.

And news reports suggest children are being put at risk from other illnesses or injury because parents don't want to bother their GP, are confused about whether to call 111 or 999 or are simply unable to access any medical assistance at all.

The NHS has therefore issued a special message for parents with more details of when it is appropriate to seek various medical services for your child to try and make the situation clearer for parents and carers and to help allay any fears.

Read more here


The Early Years Alliance on YouTube

Check out our Family Sessions playlist on YouTube where we have more than 100 story and rhyme time and activity videos for the whole family to enjoy.

View the playlist


How to talk to children about Covid-19

It is inevitable even very young children will pick up on the levels of anxiety around them about the coronavirus, even if they do not fully understand the context of the situation.

Therefore, it is important you respond to any concerns that children express in a sensitive and age-appropriate manner. Thankfully there are plenty of resources now available to help parents navigate this area. Here are just a few of them:

Coronavirus: A book for children - illustrated by Axel Sheffler

Family Corner article - Talking to children about coronavirus

Early Years Story Box - A free story book and activities to help your child through coronavirus

The Children's Commissioner - Children's guide to coronavirus

The Guardian - Three experts share advice on what to tell children


Useful links

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic