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Information for Early Years and childcare service providers

Last Updated 3:49pm, 27 November 2020


Information about coronavirus is available in different formats and languages, including easy read, BSL and for people who are not online.

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National restrictions

The Department for Education’s latest FAQs about current national restrictions are available on the National Children’s Bureau website.

Reporting a test result

It is imperative that the local authority is notified of any confirmed positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases (staff or children) in your setting. Please let us know where there has been a confirmed test result.  Please see our quick guide on reporting COVID-19 test outcomes for more information.

Public Health England (PHE) have produced a flowchart with further guidance about the management and reporting of coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as a National Action Card for educational settings.

Educational settings should contact the DfE helpline (0800 046 8687) to notify them about a single confirmed case of COVID-19 so they can support risk assessment and follow up.

Educational settings only need to contact PHE SW Health Protection Team if they have two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the same group or class. However, they should also call the PHE SW Health Protection Team (0300 303 8162) regarding possible COVID-19 cases if:

  • There is or is likely to be a hospital admission with COVID-19 like symptoms
  • There is a possible case who won’t get tested
  • There is a possible case with a definite link to confirmed case

Please refer to the main Children, education and families coronavirus (COVID-19) advice page for Early Years information for parents and carers.

Support for early years and childcare providers

The Early Years and Childcare Service want to make sure that you are kept up to date with the latest advice and information. You can do this in the following ways:

Your early years and childcare advisers (EYCA) should be your first point of contact; they are available for providers to call, Skype or email. Full details can be found in the EYCA contact list.

The funding helpdesk continues to be available for providers questions about the entitlement funding. Email queries to

We are managing additional funding to support providers through and beyond the pandemic.

Please note that the team are currently working from home, so please do not send any post to County Hall.

Information for early years and childcare providers

Public Health England (PHE) have produced helpful posters about hand hygiene and “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” approach to stop the spread of germs.

There is also a poster with details of how to contact PHE as well as a flowchart with guidance for childcare and educational settings about the management of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Department for Education have produced an action list detailing what to do if a child is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can also access guidance on reporting both suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in early years settings here.

Local re-opening guidance and sample risk assessment

In order to help you plan and prepare to re-open your setting to more children we have put together a sample Childcare Risk Assessment that can be adapted when re-opening your childcare.

Attendance register for the Department for Education returns

All early years and childcare providers, with children who have not yet started in the reception class, should complete a short online register each day.

If there are children unable to attend their usual setting because of isolation due to COVID-19, please do not count these children as affected by lack of places. This is because they are unable to attend another setting if isolating and we therefore do not consider them to present sufficiency concerns.

The data derived from the register may be used for various purposes such as sufficiency and budget planning and it will also help to plan resources.

Complete the attendance register here.

If you need further help in filling out the attendance register, please take a look at our user guide.

FAQs for Early Years and Childcare Providers on the Attendance Register


Further guidance and the latest updates from Ofsted relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers are available on the government website. This information has been updated to reflect how Ofsted will carry out their work during the national restrictions starting on 5 November.

Ofsted will be carrying out a phased return to inspection and have announced their plans from September 2020, starting with interim visits for registered early years providers. The intention is to resume full inspections in January 2021, but this is still under review.

Don’t forget, if your operating circumstance change (you open or close), you need to notify Ofsted by sending an email to with ‘Change in operating hours’ in the subject field. In the body of the email, please confirm the unique reference number for each setting and the details of the change.

Keep your details up to date on Pinpoint

Please ensure your Pinpoint record is up to date and shows whether you are open or closed.

Financial support

Information about financial support for early years and childcare providers is available on our webpages.


All face-to-face training has been cancelled until further notice. However, we have a range of eLearning modules available to access via the DEL training website.

Government guidance for early years and childcare providers

Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers and COVID-19

The Department for Education commissioned an online survey with childcare providers to help understand how childcare providers have responded to the pandemic, the status of childcare provision and any potential longer-term consequences for the childcare market. This research with childcare providers is available on the government website.

Further guidance

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended for the full duration of the national lockdown with furloughed staff to be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2,500 a month.

During the lockdown period, where early years settings are unable to deliver early years foundation stage (EYFS) requirements in full due to national lockdown restrictions, settings can disapply some of the requirements of the EYFS statutory framework as per the Department for Education’s (DfE) guidance.

Additionally, the following guidance is available on the government website:

Looking after ourselves and others

You can find more information on health and wellbeing on the ‘keeping safe and well’ advice page.

Here, we’ve highlighted some guidance that you should find useful:

Privacy notices

Changes to how we may process your personal data during the COVID-19 crisis