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Guidance for Early Years and Childcare Providers on the Attendance Register

COVID-19 Attendance Return and the Attendance Register User Guide.

We recognise that we have not defined what a ‘place’ is. If you have any spaces/hours available where you could admit a child that should be considered a place.

Which providers should complete the Attendance Register? 
All providers; if you are a nursery, preschool, childminder or out of school provider then you should complete the Attendance Register.

Which children must be included in the Attendance Register?
All children who are either vulnerable or Critical Worker children must be included.

I am a childminder and am not taking as many children as I am looking after my own child/ren. Should I include my children on the Attendance Register?
As childminders are critical workers we want you to include your child/ren on the Register please. Please email to add your child/ren to your list.

I am open, but I do not have any children attending; do I need to complete the Attendance Register?

If you are open but have no children attending, we would need you to submit a daily report – that way we will know that you are open and can take children if the need is there.

Please email to have a ‘dummy record’ added to your setting. Leave the attendance record as ‘not booked’ in order to submit an open but no children in attendance report.

Why should we complete the Attendance Register? 
There are many benefits to completing it:

  1. Devon County Council can identify and support vulnerable children and their families
  2. Devon County Council can plan to make sure there are enough places for critical workers and vulnerable children.
  3. Your provision can apply for coronavirus (COVID-19) relating grants and funding that Devon County Council has for early years and childcare providers.
  4. The DfE asks Local Authorities to make weekly returns so they can monitor and understand what is happening with openings and closures and attendance of children nationally.

Why did I get an error message when I tried to get into the Attendance Register? 
You need to make sure that you follow the steps in the guidance to Activate Your Account and set a password.  After activating your account, you will be able to select your provision name and enter the password.  If you try to enter or change a password before activating your account, you will receive an error message.

We have closed, do we still have to complete the Attendance Register every day?
No. Please check your details and information for accuracy and if it is correct then submit your return stating that you are not open. You will not need to make another submission until such time as your information changes.

Complete closures

If you are completely closed, please reply ‘No’ to question 1:

  1. Is your education/childcare provision open today? No

This will mean that all other questions are not shown. Then press submit.

If you are open for all or part of the week, please reply to these questions as follows:

  1. Is your education/childcare provision open today? Yes
  2. Have you been able to meet all requests for childcare/education required today? Answer No if you have any children who you have been unable to accommodate today.

We have children attending for taster and starter sessions before they start for longer hours. Should these children be included on the Attendance Register?
Yes, if they are vulnerable children or critical workers children. All children should be included in the total number of children section.

We are only open 2 days a week, do we still have to complete the Attendance Register on the days we are not open?
No. You only need to complete the Attendance Register for the days you are open.

We are a term time only provider, how should we complete the Attendance Register?
On the day after you close, please enter that you are closed and start completing it again on the day that you reopen.

We have identified children that we consider to be vulnerable, but they are not on the Devon County Council drop down list. Must we add those children to the survey return?
Yes. It is important that the council knows about these children. All vulnerable children should be included.

Please email the schools daily returns mailbox – – and they will add the child for you. You will need to provide the child’s full name and date of birth.

I need to add a child, but they are not on the drop-down list. Why aren’t they there?
We know there will be children that are not on our system so they will not appear on the drop-down list on the survey. These children may be:

  • Too young to receive either two-year-old funding or
  • Too young to receive the early years entitlement funding.

You will not be able to add the child yourself. Please email the schools daily returns mailbox – – and they will add the child for you. You will need to provide the child’s full name and date of birth.

I need to add a child that usually attends another setting, what do I do?
If the child is not on your drop-down list please email the schools daily returns mailbox – – and they will add the child for you. You will need to provide the child’s full name and date of birth.

I emailed the schools daily returns mailbox but haven’t heard back from them.
Please bear with us. The team is working through the emails and your enquiry will be dealt with soon. Thank you.

Please only use this mailbox for matters related to the Attendance Register. For queries relating to funding please email Early Years Entitlement Funding Mailbox:

I have tried to complete the survey on my mobile phone, but it wasn’t ideal.
We recommend completing the survey on a laptop or personal computer. Making the system compatible with mobile phones would have meant that it would not have been rolled out as soon as it was. It is possible that this will be enabled in the future if the returns still need to be made.

I missed completing the survey on a day that we were open. Should I go back and enter the information for the day I missed?
Yes, data can be entered retrospectively.

I haven’t completed the Attendance Register before and cant find my name on the drop down list what should I do?
We use the name that you used to register your provision with Ofsted. Please check your own name, your provisions name and also if you use a shortened version of your name (e.g. ‘Sue’ instead of Susan) – check both names as you should be on the list.

If you have done this and still cannot find your provision, email for assistance.

Can a child’s name and date of birth be added to the list of attendees but not identified as either a critical workers child or vulnerable child?
For the wider re-opening of childcare provisions to accommodate children who are not vulnerable or critical worker children a new section will be added to the Attendance Register asking for the total number of children attending today.

There is a child on the drop-down list that does not attend, and I need to delete them, why won’t it let me?
This is likely to be a vulnerable child that Devon County Council needs to know about. The option to remove children from you list will not be available for vulnerable children. If a child is not attending, you can mark them as “not booked”.

Is there a cut off time when the daily submission must be made?
No. You can submit your data at any time. When we make the return to the Department for Education, we take the data at 4:30. So if you can make your submission by then, that would give the government a more accurate picture of what is happening in Devon.

How long do we need to keep completing the Attendance Register for?
The DfE told us on 9 July 2020 that the returns will need to be made until at least the end of September 2020. The DfE will be reviewing this during September.


Please also read the new coronavirus (COVID-19) privacy notice.