Early Years Sector Business Support – Operating During the November Lockdown and Beyond

Operating During the November Lockdown and Beyond

We have produced the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guide below to help providers during the pandemic. 

This FAQ page will be regularly updated as we get more information and clarification from the DfE.

The below information is accurate as of 2 November 2020 and is primarily based on:

The November lockdown

Who is allowed to operate as of Thursday 5 November?

Registered early years providers: The government has confirmed that all registered early years providers, including childminders, are allowed to continue operating as of Thursday 5 November.  

Wraparound care:  Providers of wraparound care for school-aged children can also continue to operate – however, the government guidance ​ on  national lockdown  states that this should be  ”where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care”  (NB: this additional condition only applies to school-aged childcare provided by wraparound care providers, not apply to registered early years provision). 

Baby and toddler groups and other family services:  The government has not yet provided confirmation on whether baby and toddler groups, children’s centres or creches are able to continue operating as of Thursday – we are chasing clarity on this. 

The venue I operate from is not allowed to open during lockdown.  Am  I still able to provide childcare? 

Government guidance on the new national lockdown states that “some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups”.  A full list of such venues has not yet been published – however, the current guidance does state that places of worship can remain open for the provision of formal childcare. 

Are providers now required to return to smaller ‘bubbles’? 

As it stands, the Department for Education has not suggested that there will be a return to ‘bubbles’ for registered early years providers.  

Can children still attend more than one setting? 

We are currently seeking clarity on if children will still be able to attend more than one setting. For before- and after-school clubs, we are also seeking clarity on what, if any, additional restrictions there may be on children who attend different schools / settings. 

Are there any changes to the rules on face coverings?

Current DfE guidance states that ”settings have the discretion to recommend the use of face coverings for adults on site” in communal areas and corridors. However, we understand that this is being reviewed, and may become a stricter requirement. This still refers only to the use of face coverings in communal areas, and not during the provision of education and care to children. 

Can we still take children on outdoor trips?

The DfE has not yet provided an update on the rules around outdoor trips – we will provide more information on this as soon as we have it. 

What are the rules on external visitors to settings during lockdown? 

We are seeking confirmation from the DfE on whether or not the new lockdown will impact which external visitors are allowed to enter childcare premises, including recent changes which allowed parents to attend settings for admissions visits and settling-in sessions. 

Can vulnerable staff still work in settings during lockdown?

The government is advising that those who are clinically vulnerable can attend work but “should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise contacts with others” and “should continue to wash hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in homes and/or workspaces”. 

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are now advised not to attend work if they cannot work from home.

We are also seeking clarity from the DfE on the guidance for staff who live with clinically extremely vulnerable individuals, and children who are, or live with, clinically extremely vulnerable people as well.

What are  the rules around charging parents who opt not to take up their space during the lockdown period?

We are chasing the DfE for confirmation on this and will provide an update as soon as possible. 

Will Ofsted inspections still return in January? 

Ofsted has yet to provide an update on whether or not the new lockdown will impact on plans to restart routine inspections in January 2021 – as soon as we have further information on this, we will provide an update. 

Are EYFS  disapplications  still ending? 

The DfE has confirmed that EYFS disapplications will now continue during the upcoming lockdown period. 

What financial  support is there for early  years providers  during the lockdown period? 

Job Retention Scheme: The government has confirmed that the Job Retention Scheme will be extended to cover the lockdown period, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Early years providers will be able to access the scheme in the way as before (i.e. “to cover up to the proportion of its paybill which could be considered to have been paid for from that provider’s private income”). 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: The government has not yet confirmed any changes to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and we will be seeking clarity on this as a matter of urgency. 

Continuation of early entitlement funding: The DfE had previously stated that it had expected to return to the normal process for early years funding in January 2021 (i.e. funding based on current child numbers), but that it would ”keep this under review and confirm the approach in further guidance in the autumn”. In light of the new lockdown, we are currently chasing the Department for an update on this review and calling for an extension of early entitlement funding support to the spring term. 

Bubbles and attendance

Do we need to keep children in “small groups” or “bubbles”?

As it stands, registered early years providers are no longer required to keep children in these small groups within settings. The Department for Education says this is because “the overall risk to children from coronavirus (COVID-19) is low” and “early years settings are typically much smaller than schools”.

DfE guidance states that: “Providers should still consider how they can minimise mixing within settings, for example where they use different rooms for different age groups, keeping those groups apart as much as possible.”

All other protective measures must remain in place.

The guidance also states that: “While in general groups should be kept apart, brief, transitory contact, such as passing in a corridor or when moving to a different part of the setting, is low risk.”

I run a holiday club for both younger and older children. Do I have to use bubbles?

Current DfE guidance states that holiday club providers only caring for children under the age of five are not required to keep children in ‘bubbles’ or small groups, in line with general guidance for early years settings.

Holiday club providers only caring for children over the age of five “should seek to maintain small, consistent groups of no more than 15 children and at least one staff member”.

For providers who are caring for a mix of children aged over and under five, the guidance advises that if you could consider keeping the older children in bubbles, but not the young children, if it is possible to do so.

If it isn’t possible because if you have mixed age groups together, then the guidance states that “you will need to, as far as possible, keep all children irrespective of age in small consistent groups of no more than 15 with at least one staff member, or with more staff members to meet relevant ratio requirements”.

It adds that: “If you are operating provision for multiple small groups of children throughout the day, you should allow sufficient changeover time between different classes to allow for cleaning to take place and to prevent children and parents or carers waiting in large groups” and that “you should not offer overnight or residential provision to children for the time-being.”

***We are awaiting an update on whether this guidance will be amended during the November national lockdown.***

Are children allowed to attend more than one setting?

As it stands  – yes, although this should be avoided where possible. The DfE guidance says: “Parents and carers should be encouraged to limit the number of settings their child attends, ideally ensuring their child only attends the same setting consistently.”

The guidance adds that children may need to attend more than one setting, for example, children attending a childminder before their nursery opens so that their parent or carer may go to work.

It says: “Settings, parents and carers should work through the ‘systems of controls’ collaboratively, to address any risks identified and allowing them to jointly deliver appropriate care for the child.”

***We are awaiting an update on whether this guidance will be amended during the November national lockdown.***

Can children who have underlying health conditions or who live with someone who is vulnerable attend the setting?

The Department for Education states that “few if any children” will fall into the category of clinically vulnerable, but that “parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category”.

On 13 October 2020, new guidance on protecting the clinically extremely vulnerable was published, which states that clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people should continue to attend settings at all local COVID alert levels “unless they are one of the very small number under paediatric care (such as recent transplant or very immunosuppressed children) and have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend the setting”.

***We are awaiting an update on whether this guidance will be amended during the November national lockdown.***

A child attending the provision has a cough but their GP / 111 / 119 has told their parents that they are fine to attend the setting. Should I / we allow them to attend?

It depends who has given the medical advice. The Department for Education has stated that: “A GP’s confirmation regarding whether a child has COVID-19 would be valid evidence for deciding on whether a child should attend a setting, however, a telephone helpline would not be able to provide evidence that someone does not have COVID-19.”

The guidance also states that: “In the event that a parent or carer insists on a child attending the setting, the setting can take the decision to refuse the child if in their reasonable judgement it is necessary to protect their children and staff from possible infection with coronavirus (COVID-19). Any such decision would need to be carefully considered in light of all the circumstances and the current public health advice.”

Staffing

Are we still allowed to use agency staff?

The DfE guidance says: “Where possible, the presence of any additional members of staff should be agreed on a weekly basis, rather than a daily basis to limit contacts”.

Are staff allowed to work two jobs, and if so, do they need to change clothing in between?

The DfE guidance says: “Parents and carers should be encouraged to limit the number of settings their child attends, ideally ensuring their child only attends the same setting consistently. This should also be the same for staff.”

Where staff do attend more than one setting, the DfE has confirmed that changes of clothes is “something for individual settings to consider and to include in their risk assessment”. The Department added that “there is no need for anything other than normal personal hygiene and washing of clothes following a day in a childcare setting.”

Are members of staff who have underlying health conditions expected to return to work?

Guidance published on 31 October states that those who are clinically vulnerable can attend work but “should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise contacts with others” and “should continue to wash hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in homes and/or workspaces”.

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are now advised not to attend work if they cannot work from home.

NB: More detailed guidance on who is considered ‘clinically vulnerable’ versus ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ is available here.

Can staff who live with someone who is vulnerable attend the setting?

As it stands, yes. DfE guidance states that “People who live with those who are clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable can attend the workplace.”

***We are seeking confirmation that this still applies during the November lockdown.***

Are early years students still allowed to attend settings for the purposes of student placements? 

The Department for Education has told us that the decision on allowing students to attend work placements rests with employers, who are responsible for meeting the safe working and other requirements. 

They stated that: “We recognise that there are likely to be challenges for the training and assessment of EYE and EYP qualifications in 2020/21 academic year due to COVID-19. We have worked with awarding organisations to agree that for level 3 EYE and  level 2 EYP training and qualifications:

Placement hours will be managed pragmatically with the overarching consideration being that the EYE criteria or EYP criteria, as appropriate, have been met during the learners time on the programme

In order to ensure the EYE or EYP criteria have been met, internal assessments may be adapted; appropriate alternative assessment methods will be evidenced i.e. direct observation where possible or professional discussion, witness testimony, etc.”

***We are seeking clarification as to whether any changes to the above are set to be made during the November lockdown.***

Minimising risk of infection transmission

What steps should we take to minimise the risk of infection transmission?

The DfE guidance on protective measures outlines steps providers can take to deal with direct transmission (e.g. via coughing and sneezing) and indirect transmission (e.g. through touching contaminated surfaces).

The key steps the government says providers should take to reduce the risk of transmitting an infection are:

  • minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend settings
  • cleaning hands thoroughly more often than usual
  • ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  • introducing enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach
  • minimising contact between groups (for example, children of different age groups who are in different rooms) where possible
  • where necessary, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) – this is when either where an individual child has become ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms while at a setting and a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained; or where a child already has routine intimate care needs that involves the use of PPE, in which case the same PPE should continue to be used.

The DfE guidance says: “Some children with complex needs will struggle to maintain as good respiratory hygiene as their peers, for example those who spit uncontrollably or use saliva as a sensory stimulant. This should be considered in risk assessments in order to support these children and the staff working with them It is not a reason to deny these children a place at the setting.”

Do I / we need to wear masks / face coverings at the setting? 

On 22 September, the DfE updated its guidance to add that while the government is not recommending the use of face coverings in early years settings, providers “have the discretion to recommend the use of face coverings for adults on site, both staff and visitors” in communal spaces where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

The guidance states that: “Based on current evidence and the measures that early years settings are already putting in place, face coverings are not necessary when adults are interacting with children, even where social distancing is not possible. Face coverings may have a negative impact on interactions between staff and children, and their use when interacting with children in this settings should be avoided.”

Do we need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE)?

The government guidance states that: “Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended” and that: “Schools and other education or childcare settings should … not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings.”

It adds that: “Children, young people and students whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs should continue to receive their care in the same way”.

The guidance also states that if a child develops coronavirus symptoms while at a setting, a “fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult” and that “disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn” during any contact with the symptomatic child.

It adds that: “If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn.”

With regard to obtaining PPE, the guidance states that: “Education, childcare and children’s social care settings and providers should use their local supply chains to obtain PPE”, and that: “Where this is not possible, and there is unmet urgent need for PPE in order to operate safely, they may approach their nearest local resilience forum.”

Resilience forums are partnerships made up of representatives from local public services such as local authorities, the emergency services and the NHS.

More information, including regional contact details, are available here.

Do I / we need to take children’s temperatures regularly throughout the day?

No, this is not a requirement. The DfE guidance states: “PHE is clear that routinely taking the temperature of children is not recommended as this is an unreliable method for identifying coronavirus (COVID-19).”

Are parents and carers allowed inside the setting?

It depends on the reason. 

DfE guidance says: “Parents and carers should not be allowed into the setting unless this is a specific need” and that  “children should be dropped off and collected at the door if possible”.

For children starting at a new setting, the DfE guidance explains that parents can enter settings to help children adapt to the new environment. Providers can also conduct setting visits, although the guidance states that “For new admissions, settings should consider providing virtual tours for prospective parents and carers”.

“Settings should ensure that parents and carers visiting their setting:

  • wear face coverings, if required, in line with arrangements for staff and other visitors to the setting (see section 3 on face coverings)
  • stay for a limited amount of time (ideally not more than an hour)
  • avoid close contact with other children
  • are aware of the ‘system of controls’, how this impacts them, and their responsibilities in supporting it when visiting a setting with their child.”

Providers should let parents/carers know about these rules before they arrive at the setting.

The DfE guidance adds: “A record should be kept of all visitors which follows the guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.”

***We are seeking clarity on whether any changes will be made to the above during November lockdown.***

Do we need to keep a record of which children and staff are in close contact with each other?

The Department for Education recommends that settings keep a record of:

  • children and staff in specific groups/rooms (where applicable)
  • close contact that takes places between children and staff in different groups/rooms
  • However, it states that “this should be a proportionate recording process” and that “settings do not need to ask staff to keep definitive records in a way that is overly burdensome”.

Coronavirus – symptoms and testing

Can early years staff get tested for coronavirus?

Yes, as key workers any early years staff who are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 can access priority-testing for free. More information is available here.

However, we know that many providers have experienced significant difficulties accessing tests and are currently raising this as a matter of urgency with the government.

What should be done if a child or member of staff starts displaying coronavirus symptoms while at a setting?

The DfE states that if anyone becomes unwell with coronavirus symptoms – a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change to, sense of smell or taste – in an education or childcare setting, “they must be sent home”, and advised to follow government guidance (i.e. to self-isolate for ten days, while all members of their household self-isolate for 14 days).

If it is a child who has fallen ill, the guidance states that they should be moved to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door with appropriate adult supervision while awaiting collection. The guidance adds that: “Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation”. If moving to a separate room is not possible, the child should be moved to an area at least two metres away from other people.

The guidance also states that: “PPE should be worn by staff caring for the child while they await collection if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained (such as for a very young child or a child with complex needs).”

If a member of staff has helped an unwell child, the guidance states that they should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds afterwards, but that they are not required to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves or the child subsequently tests positive for coronavirus. If the member of staff does develop symptoms, they are able to access a free coronavirus test – more information on this is available here.

The guidance adds that: “Cleaning the affected area with normal household disinfectant after someone with symptoms has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.”

If a child or staff member is seriously ill, 999 should be called.

Step-by-step government guidance on what to do to manage a possible outbreak is available here.

What happens if a child or member of staff starts displaying symptoms while not at the setting?

DfE guidance states that settings must ensure that staff members and parents/carers understand that they will need to be ready and willing to:

  • book a test if they (or their child in the case of parents and carers) are displaying symptoms. The guidance states that “All children can be tested, including children under 5, but children under 11 will need to be helped by their parents if using a home testing kit”.
  • provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for coronavirus or if asked by NHS Test and Trace
  • self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus symptoms or someone who tests positive for coronavirus.

What should I do if a parent/carer does not agree that their child needs to self-isolate after showing symptoms of COVID-19?

The DfE guidance says that in “the vast majority of cases” providers and parents/carers will be in agreement that a child with symptoms should not attend the setting, given the potential risk to others. 

In the event that a parent or carer insists on a child attending the setting, the DfE says that “the setting can take the decision to refuse the child if in their reasonable judgement it is necessary to protect their children and staff from possible infection with coronavirus (COVID-19).” 

The DfE adds: “Any such decision would need to be carefully considered in light of all the circumstances and the current public health advice.”

What do I / we do if a child or member of staff tests positive for coronavirus? 

DfE guidance states that anyone who tests positive for coronavirus must self-isolate for at least ten days from the onset of their symptoms and can return to the setting

If they still have a high temperature after ten days, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. If they have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste after ten days, they can still return to the setting (this is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone). Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.

If providers become aware that someone who has attended the setting has tested positive for coronavirus, they should contact the DfE Helpline on 0800 046 8687 and select option 1 for advice on the action to take in response to a positive case.

You will be put through to a team of advisors who will inform you what action is needed based on the latest public health advice. If, following triage, further expert advice is required the adviser will escalate your call to the local health protection team.

Do we need to notify Ofsted if a child or member of staff at the setting tests positive for coronavirus?

Yes. DfE guidance states that “Any confirmed cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the setting (either child or staff member), and/or if the setting is advised to close as a result, should be swiftly reported to Ofsted through the usual notification channels.”

If staff or children at the setting have been in contact with someone else at the setting who has tested positive for coronavirus and told to self-isolate, do their household members have to self-isolate as well?

No. DfE guidance states that: “Household members of those who are sent home do not need to self-isolate themselves unless the child or staff member who is self-isolating subsequently develops symptoms.”

What happens if someone who has been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for coronavirus starts to display symptoms themselves?

DfE guidance states that if someone in a group that has been asked to self-isolate develops symptoms themselves within their 14-day isolation period, they should get a test.

If the test is negative, they “must remain in isolation for the remainder of the 14-day isolation period. This is because they could still develop the coronavirus (COVID-19) within the remaining days”.

If the test result is positive, “they should inform their setting immediately, and must isolate for at least ten days from the onset of their symptoms (which could mean the self-isolation ends before or after the original 14-day isolation period). Their household should self-isolate for at least 14 days from when they first displayed symptoms”.

Do parents need to provide evidence that their children have tested negative for coronavirus before their children are allowed to return to a setting if they have been self-isolating?

No. DfE guidance states that: “Settings should not request evidence of negative test results or other medical evidence before admitting children or welcoming them back after a period of self-isolation.”

What happens if someone who lives with a child or staff member at the setting has symptoms of coronavirus?

If someone who lives with a child or staff member at your setting becomes ill with suspected Covid-19, the child or staff member in question will need to isolate for 14 days from when the first person in their home started experiencing symptoms and follow government Stay at Home guidance, available here.

If the house member has not had contact with the setting themselves, and you are not contacted by NHS Test and Trace, then you do not need to take further action, unless the child or staff member who attends your setting has a positive test result themselves (see ‘What do I / we do if a child or member of staff tests positive for coronavirus?’)

What do I / we do if there is a potential outbreak of coronavirus at the setting?

DfE guidance states that “If settings have two or more confirmed cases within 14 days, or an overall rise in sickness absence where coronavirus (COVID-19) is suspected, settings may have an outbreak, and continue to work with their local health protection team who will be able to advise if additional action is required”.

It adds that “in some cases, health protection teams may recommend that a larger number of other children self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole site or a group”, but that if settings are implementing protective measures, “whole setting closure based on cases within the setting will not generally be necessary, and should not be considered except on the advice of health protection teams”.

Further guidance is available here.

Childminders

I am a childminder. Am I still allowed to look after school-age children as well as early years children?

Yes. The Department for Education guidance on reopening states that: “From 1 June 2020, childminders can look after children of all ages, in line with usual limits on the number of children they can care for.” However, we are still awaiting clarity from the DfE on the guidance around the mixing of children who are actually attending school with early-years aged children.

I am a childminder. Am I still allowed to drop-off and pick-up children from other settings?

Yes. The DfE guidance states that: “Childminding settings should consider how they can work with parents and carers to agree how best to manage any necessary journeys, for example pick-ups and drop-offs at schools, to reduce the need for a provider to travel with groups of children.

“If it is necessary for a childminder to pick up or drop off a child at school, walking is preferable. If this is not practicable, then a private vehicle for single household use is preferable. Use of public transport should be minimised.”

If a child attending a childminding setting is sent home because someone in their class at school or room at nursery has tested positive for coronavirus, other than that child self-isolating, does the childminder have to take any action?

No. The government has confirmed that no action would be necessary “unless the child themselves became symptomatic or they were contacted by Test and Trace”.

Are childminders and other early years providers permitted to take children on outings using their cars?  

As it stands, yes, if it can be done safely. The Department for Education has confirmed that: “When deciding whether to take children on outings and using their cars, settings (including childminders) must comply with health and safety law, which requires them to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures.  

“Setting leaders (such as childminders) will be best placed to understand the needs of their settings and communities, and to make informed judgments about how to balance delivering high quality care and education with the measures needed to manage risk.  

“The guidance on private cars and other vehicles provides some useful information about how to travel in cars safely. Elements of this guidance can be applied when childminders need to travel with children by car.” 

***We are currently seeking clarity on if any changes to this exemption are due to be made during the November lockdown.***

Operational 

Are we allowed to take children out on trips to the park and other public spaces?

As it stands, yes. The Department for Education guidance states that: “Settings should maximise use of private outdoor space, while keeping small groups of children and staff away from other groups.

“Childminders and early years providers may take small groups of children to outdoor public spaces, for example parks, provided that a risk assessment demonstrates that they can stay 2m away from other people at all times.

“This should be restricted to small groups and should be done in line with wider government guidelines on the number of people who can meet in outdoor public places. Providers should not take larger groups of children to public outdoor spaces at one time.”

The Department for Education has additionally confirmed that early years providers can take children to outdoor spaces in groups larger than six “as this reflects the exception to the Health Protection Coronavirus, Restrictions legislation [which] states that gatherings of more than 6 can take place for the purposes of early year childcare”. 

The DfE additionally stated that: “Settings can take children outdoors provided they remain within the EYFS staff-child ratios, conduct a risk assessment (if applicable) in advance and remain socially distant (2m) from other people. They should ensure good hygiene throughout and thorough handwashing before and after the trip” and that: “Setting leaders (such as childminders) will be best placed to understand the needs of their settings and communities, and to make informed judgments about how to balance delivering high quality care and education with the measures needed to manage risk.” 

***We are currently seeking clarity on if any changes to this exemption are due to be made during the November lockdown.***

Can I / we have other visitors to the setting, such as contractors?

DfE guidance states that “Settings should consider how to manage other visitors to the site, such as contractors, and ensure site guidance on social distancing and hygiene is explained to visitors on or before arrival. Where visits can happen outside of setting hours, they should. A record should be kept of all visitors where this is practicable.”

Can settings have external providers (e.g. yoga activity sessions) into the setting?

It depends on the provider. The Department for Education has said that for non-staff members like speech and language therapists or counsellors, “settings should assess whether the professionals need to attend in person or can do so virtually” and that “if they need to attend in person, they should closely follow the protective measures guidance, and the number of attendances should be kept to a minimum.”

The guidance adds that where possible, the presence of additional members of staff should be agreed on a weekly basis, rather than a daily basis to limit contacts.

However, the Department has said that sessions delivered by external providers which are not directly required for children’s health and wellbeing “should be suspended”.

*** We are currently seeking clarity on if any changes to the above are due to be made during the November lockdown.***

Do temporary changes to the EYFS still apply?

On 24 April, the government brought into force changes to how the EYFS applies during the coronavirus outbreak, including asking early years providers to use “reasonable endeavours” to learning and development requirements, instead of this being something they ‘must do’. The Early Years Alliance has provided an overview of these changes online.

The Department for Education has confirmed that these disapplications will continue during the November lockdown.

When will Ofsted inspections be restarting?

Ofsted inspectors will start undertaking some regulatory activity to providers who have been judged ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ and have associated actions to fulfil in the autumn term. These visits will not result in a judgement, but Ofsted will publish a short summary to confirm what it found during the visit.

Routine early years inspections are expected to restart from January 2021, although the exact timings are being kept under review.

***We are seeking confirmation as to whether this date still stands in light of the November lockdown.***

My Paediatric First Aid Certificates will expire within the next three months. What should I do?

The government has confirmed that: “If PFA certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus (COVID-19), or by complying with related government advice, the validity of current certificates can be extended to 25 November 2020 at the latest. This applies to certificates which expired on or after 16 March 2020.”

***We are seeking confirmation as to whether this date still stands in light of the November lockdown.***

Are we allowed to continue our toothbrushing programme?

Yes, but you must use a dry brushing method. 

The DfE guidance states: “The wet brushing model is not recommended because it is considered more likely to risk droplet and contact transmission and offers no additional benefit to oral health over dry toothbrushing.”

My setting is reopening after being closed. How can I reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease?

The Health and Safety Executive has guidance available on this here.

Related Resources

Early Years Sector Business Support – Business Support FAQs
Resource
LBH Content

Early Years Sector Business Support – Business Support FAQs

Advice and FAQs regarding business and employment issues for providers during COVID-19.

Early Years Sector Business Support – Latest News
Resource
LBH Content

Early Years Sector Business Support – Latest News

Find recent updates to government policies with regards to COVID-19 and the Early Years

Early Years Sector Business Support – Operating During Lockdown and Beyond
Resource
LBH Content

Early Years Sector Business Support – Operating During Lockdown and Beyond

Read our FAQ guide to reopening early years provision.