COVID-19 Information for childcare providers

The latest information and guidance relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for childcare providers

Government guidance

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - Updated with additional guidance for early years education and childcare settings during the national lockdown from 5 January 2021.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do 

Education plans from September 2020

Guidance for schools and other educational settings

Ofsted: Coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update 

Protective measures for holiday and after school clubs, and other out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Reporting coronavirus cases

Use of the NHS (COVID-19) app in educational and childcare settings 

Department for Education provides update - rationale behind decision to keep early years providers open

What you must tell Ofsted

Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases

Please report:

  • any confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the setting, either in children or staff
  • if the setting is advised to close as a result

You should report this as an “Event likely to impact on the smooth running of the setting”.

Please also confirm:

  • the date when cases were first suspected
  • the date when cases were confirmed as positive
  • the total number of children attending the setting at the time of the suspected case
  • the total number of staff working at the setting at the time of the suspected case
  • the date the setting is closing from, and when you intend to re-open (if applicable)
  • if you have notified the case to Public Health England via the Department for Education helpline
  • the advice provided by the DfE helpline, if applicable:
  • if you have advised the local authority (yes or no)
  • any other action taken

Reopening tools

We have put together a list of practical considerations for reopening and operating.

There is also updated regulations for settings reopening within community buildings and places of worship.

Practical advice

Take the time to look at this new guidance and please use it to update your policies and procedures in your setting as appropriate.

Action Card from Public Health Dorset - Version 5

Press Contact and informing Parents Guidance from Public Health Dorset

COVID-19 symptom tracker

Best Endeavours 

COVID-19: Temporary disapplications to the EYFS

Updated arrangements were put in place from 26 September 2020 until 31 August 2021 to allow providers to use the specific disapplications and modifications if any local or national government agreed coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions impact their ability to deliver the EYFS. This is described in more detail in paragraph 2.2.

Please read the new regulations that came into force on 26 September in the link below.

Government guidance 

Foundation Years hosted a helpful video podcast with the DfE. 

Safeguarding information

Safeguarding vulnerable children and young people

In the light of face masks being mandatory in indoor spaces, this does not apply to babies and younger children (under the age of three). Wearing a face mask in this age group can put them at serious risk of harm or death. You can find more info on the Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership website.

Please see the Early Years Safeguarding webpages for more comprehensive safeguarding information. 

Financial support

Business loans, grants and rate relief

Early Education Funding

Early Years funding questions and answers January 2021

Funding and financial support available for education, childcare and children’s social care organisations

Support for businesses that have been affected by Coronavirus

Use of free early education entitlements funding during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak 

Please direct and rent queries on BCP properties to Julie Taylor at BCP Council.

Other useful advice

Childcare Works website business advice

Money saving 

Good case studies

We are very fortunate to have had childcare providers kindly share their recent experiences with reopening and creatively adapting where necessary with us, so we can share with you.

Health, hygiene and infection control

Advice and support to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Key Government guidance

Safe working in education, childcare and children's social care

Cleaning in non-healthcare settings

Safe working in education, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) 

The South West Regional Public Health England Health Protection Team

This team are responsible for managing complex cases and outbreaks of infectious diseases in settings such as schools and other child care settings.

On 5 March 2020 COVID-19 was added to the list of notifiable diseases, and SARS-COV-2 to the list of notifiable causative agents.

This change in law requires all cases of COVID-19 to be reported to Public Health authorities and Ofsted.

Checklist for COVID-19 Case Management

Contact your local Health Protection Team poster

Guidance for Childcare and Educational Settings 

Schools and nurseries guidance

Resources from PHE

COVID-19 educational settings webinar

Hand hygiene eBug pdf

Catch it bin it poster pdf

Letter to parents and guardians: when you should book a coronavirus test for your child 

Preventing the spread of infection

Complete online COVID-19 basic training fully funded in under a hour with the Virtual College.

Educare have created five steps for preventing the spread of infection in early years. You can then complete the infection prevention at a cost of £14. They have also created some helpful PDF support resources which you can download.

Free poster: Coronavirus information for parents with children in childcare settings

We have also put together a range of further support resources for preventing the spread of infection.


Last updated: 12 January 2021