The following advice should be considered from 16 August 2021 onwards. Further information for early years and childcare service providers is also available.
From 16 August 2021, can a childminder continue to work in their home (or other registered domestic premises) when a household member is self-isolating, due to close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19?
This guidance applies where a childminder looks after children on domestic premises (usually in the childminder’s own home), and a person living at the premises has been advised to self-isolate because they are a close contact of a positive case and the following applies:
- the positive case does not normally or currently reside at the domestic premises where the childminding is taking place
- the close contact is not showing any of the main symptoms of COVID-19: a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
You can continue to provide childcare at your registered setting as long as the household member who is self-isolating does not have any contact with the children being cared for in the setting. For example, the person self-isolating must use a separate bathroom where possible. If the person self-isolating has to use a shared bathroom or other communal areas, these must be thoroughly cleaned after every use.
The childminder should make every effort to notify parents and carers of the children attending the setting, and any assistants working on the premises, about the self-isolation as soon as reasonably possible and maintain open communication with them throughout the period of self-isolation.
You must comply with health and safety law by reviewing your risk assessment. The risk assessment must demonstrate:
- that the provision of childcare in your setting is safe,
- how it aligns with the control measures
- how you will put into place any additional but proportionate measures
You should have active arrangements in place to monitor whether the measures you have put in place are effective, working as planned, and updated appropriately (for example when any issues are identified, or when there are changes in public health advice).
Further guidance available:
- in the section on risk assessments in actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic
- COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home
- Health and safety: responsibilities and duties for schools
From 16 August 2021, what should a childminder do when a household member is self-isolating due to having COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19?
This guidance applies where a childminder looks after children on domestic premises (usually in the childminder’s own home), and a member of the household has:
- one or more of the main symptoms of COVID-19: a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, or
- tested positive for COVID-19
Where someone in the childminder’s household has one of the main symptoms of COVID-19, or a positive test, the childminder cannot care for children on those premises.
You should take the necessary action for responding to and reporting cases of COVID-19 in the setting as set out in actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The isolation period includes the day the first person’s symptoms in your household started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms) whether this was a rapid lateral flow test or PCR test and the next 10 full days.
A positive rapid lateral flow test should be followed up by a lab-based PCR test to confirm the result. If the PCR test is taken within 2 days of the rapid lateral flow test and is negative, it overrides the rapid lateral flow test and you can return to working on the domestic premises. Those with a negative rapid lateral flow test result can also continue to work.
You should follow the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
You cannot care for children on the relevant domestic premises until all household members have finished isolation and/or sickness periods, whichever is the longest.
If I cannot childmind at my registered domestic setting (usually the childminder’s home) because of a confirmed case, can I childmind somewhere else?
This guidance only applies if you have not been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you do not have one of the main symptoms of COVID-19 and you have not tested positive for COVID-19.
Registered childminders can work from any domestic premises, not just their own home (where domestic premises refers to any premises which are used wholly or mainly as a private dwelling; this includes another registered childminder’s home). If you want to work from another domestic premises, you should tell Ofsted or let your Childminder Agency (CMA) know before you start. To notify Ofsted, please contact email@example.com from an email address that is known to them.
You do not need to wait for an updated certificate to start working, but you must be able to demonstrate to parents or carers that you are registered with Ofsted and awaiting a new certificate. More information about childminder registration is available in Ofsted’s registration manual.
Any new people aged 16 or over who live and work on the premises where care will take place will have to be suitability checked. You can tell Ofsted about new people using their online service. If you are registered with a CMA, contact them for more information.
Childminders can also operate from non-domestic premises for up to 50% of their time. If you are registered with Ofsted, you must complete an application form and be approved before starting. If you are registered with a CMA, contact them for more information.
You can also continue to care for children if, for example, you were to collect them from school and take them to their parent or carer without taking them to your home. This could include an activity along the way, such as a visit to the park. You should notify Ofsted at firstname.lastname@example.org or your CMA if you intend to care for them at the child’s own home.
In addition to checking the terms of your registration, you should also:
- discuss and agree any plans with parents or carers in advance of any such event.
- review your risk assessment in light of any change of premises
- check you have adequate public liability insurance for the temporary change