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Childminders to partially open from 13 May onwards

By Rachel Lawler

The Department for Education has confirmed that, in a last-minute change of guidance, childminders will be allowed to open to children from a single household as of Wednesday 13 May.

Childminders will be able to care for multiple children from a single household, if they aren't already providing care for key worker children or vulnerable families.

Childminders will then be able to reopen to all children from 1 June onwards, subject to scientific advice at the time, alongside other early year providers.

This update also applies to nannies working with children from a single household.

The government guidance is expected to be updated shortly to reflect this change.

The DfE said: "The government has amended its guidance to clarify that paid childcare can be provided to the children of one household in any circumstance. This would include nannies, for example, and childminders may also choose to provide childcare on this basis if not already providing care for vulnerable children and children of critical workers. This should enable more working parents to return to work. It is already the case that registered childminders and nurseries can look after key worker and vulnerable children.”

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, commented: "This is already an incredibly difficult and stressful time for early years providers, and they have frankly had enough of last-minute, contradictory guidance from the government.

"Childminders have been told three different things about plans to re-open in a matter of days. To inform them that they are able to open for children from a single household with less than a day's notice is simply not acceptable.
"Given that childminders operate from their own homes, providing care during this period poses unique challenges for them and many will need support and guidance to feel able to do so safely. As such, it's time that government stopped acting as though childminders are an afterthought, recognised that they are a fundamental part of the early years sector and started treating them as such."

Useful links

Business Advice page: FAQs for providers

Blog: Quick Q and A: Job Retention Scheme and early years entitlement funding