Covid-19: Information for families
Early years providers remain open during third national lockdown
Registered early years providers will be allowed to remain open during England's third national lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed during an address to the nation on 4 January 2021.
There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare:
- Early years settings (including nurseries and childminders) remain open
- Vulnerable children and children of critical workers can continue to use registered childcare, childminders and other childcare activities (including wraparound care)
- Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with one other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is under 14. This is mainly to enable parents to work, and must not be used to enable social contact between adults
- Some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble
- Nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home.
The Alliance will continue to chase for clarity on whether baby and toddler groups can still operate.
Childcare bubbles - what are the rules?
Childcare and support bubbles can remain in place during the latest January/February lockdown.
But exactly what is a childcare and support bubble and who is eligible to form one?
Parent survey reveals toll of lockdown on work life and mental health
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.
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.
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.
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: