March 23, 2020

This edition includes: Coronavirus - Current Situation, Business Support, Childcare for Critical Workers, Overnight Care, Children's Centres and Safeguarding

We will be sending this out weekly, from now onwards, to keep you informed during this unsettling time.

Early Education Funding queries

Bournemouth and Christchurch providers:  

Poole providers:

Current situation

Coronavirus (COVID-19): early years and childcare closures

Please find the latest Government guidance for local authorities, early years settings and childminders about childcare provision following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Business support

BCP Council has put together a business update which includes lots of useful information around the various Government Business Support Packages available due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Symptoms of coronavirus in your setting?

This Government guidance gives advice on what to do if someone develops symptoms on site in an educational setting. 

Childcare for critical workers

If your setting does close at any point, please ensure you notify us and give them our contact details: 01202 093131 and to any critical workers or parents of vulnerable children, who may require help finding alternative childcare.

For childminders – overnight care

We would like to thank you for your ongoing support during this unprecedented time, we have been communicating with many of you individually and would like to provide a reminder for those in the position to support critical worker families with overnight care.

If you are able to accept children for over-night care please email or call our team on: 01202 093131

We look forward to hearing for you and please consider the following regulations whilst making your decisions:

  • Inform Ofsted that you are going to be offering overnight care
  • Continue to follow EYFS statutory requirements
  • Ratios continue to apply in the same way and childminder must always be able to hear the children (this may be via monitor)
  • Complete appropriate risk assessment
  • Complete an emergency fire evacuation
  • Ensure you have Fire alarm/smoke detectors where children will be sleeping
  • Children in travel cots/cots, folding beds age appropriate
  • Babies should sleep in own cot next to childminder
  • Older children to sleep in own separate bed
  • Clean bedding and towels for each individual child
  • Check room temperatures
  • Check that insurance covers you for overnight care
  • Appropriate stair gates where necessary
  • Lockable windows
  • Follow Government guidance for the environment in regards to the Coronavirus
  • Overnight is only being offered to identified Keyworker children

COVID-19 closure survey  

PACEY have launched a survey to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on early years and childcare providers in England and Wales. The short questions will inform them what impact the closures are having on your childcare business.

Children’s Centres

Children’s centres across BCP will remain open for information, advice and guidance. All groups and programmes have been cancelled until further notice.

For your information, here is a list of the latest offer from our centres for you to share with your families:

  • Home visits are still being carried out by Family Support Teams but are minimal
  • Family Support Workers are making welfare calls to families, offering advice, information and continuity with any ongoing support
  • Food bank food is being distributed to our most vulnerable families who are in isolation – dependant on need and availability of food bank resources.
  • Children’s centres are contacting their vulnerable families for  a welfare check and taking action if required, e.g. dropping food parcels on the doorstep for families in isolation
  • Some centres (staff permitting) are inviting one vulnerable family into the centre at a time to use the playroom, for one-to-one group and programme activity, in line with Government instructions (social distancing)
  • Families who were attending groups or who have attended groups and programmes are being contact to offer support if required
  • We are working on a virtual children’s centre offer to families. This is being co-ordinated for all BCP children’s centres to move this forward ASAP
  • Currently Midwifery Services and appointments continue to be delivered from BCP children’s centres but new born screening tests have ceased. 


Reminder for Christchurch providers

Further to the previous emails sent, which included the sign up forms and the procedure document regarding Public Protection Notices (PPN) and Multi Agency Risk Assessment conferences (MARAC) sign up. We would like to remind any Christchurch providers who have yet to do so, to return their completed sign up forms by no later than the 31 March 2020 to ensure your safeguarding responsibilities are being met.

Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership

The Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership has announced that all multi-agency safeguarding training will be cancelled until 30 June 2020. You can access online training via their website. 

Please see updated information on the Early Years Safeguarding web page.


Social Story

Tilly, one of our lovely portage workers, has put together this social story to help explain to children what is going on at the moment. She has also provided a daily schedule and activities sheet. Please feel free to make use of these resources if they would be helpful for your families.

Widget online

Widget online are offering free access to their ready-made materials for 30 days. To access visit their website and use the code: WIDGIT30.

Childcare Jobs Dorset can be found here to search for / or add job vacancies, information sessions and progressing your childcare career in Dorset.


We hope you have found this useful and informative, please email us with any feedback.