COVID-19 information for childcare providers
The latest information and guidance relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for childcare providers.
Public Health Dorset
Public Health Dorset (PHD) continue to be a point of access for all providers seeking support and guidance and welcome your email queries as we all move through this stage of transition.
You can contact PHD by email.
It is currently unclear how PHD will be informed about local case rates and to a certain degree may rely on you as a provider to let them know if significant numbers of children are away with COVID-19. This is an interim stage until the end of March when a clearer process map for the summer term might be possible.
The PHD website remains a point of information for you to access the tools you might need. Please see the latest updates below plus a template ‘Warn and inform’ letter for you to send to parents if needed.
What you must tell Ofsted
Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases
The Department for Education has announced that from 21 February 2022, early years settings are no longer required to notify Ofsted of any COVID-19 cases in the setting, whether that is of a child or staff member. They also do not have to submit notifications for any cases that have happened in the last 14 days.
It remains a legal requirement under the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework to report cases of serious illness. You should notify Ofsted as soon as practical, and in any case within 14 days of a notifiable event happening.
For information about what is classed as a notifiable event or serious incident and what to tell Ofsted, please refer to guidance on reporting a serious childcare incident.
Take the time to look at this guidance and please use it to update your policies and procedures in your setting as appropriate.
COVID-19: Temporary disapplications to the EYFS
Updated arrangements were put in place from 26 September 2020 until 31 August 2021 to allow providers to use the specific disapplications and modifications if any local or national government agreed coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions impact their ability to deliver the EYFS. This is described in more detail in paragraph 2.2.
New regulations came into force on 26 September 2021.
Emergency Planning and Response for Education, Childcare and Children’s Social Care Settings.
Please see the Early Years Safeguarding webpages for more comprehensive safeguarding information.
Please direct and rent queries on BCP properties to Julie Taylor at BCP Council.
Other useful advice
Preventing the spread of infection
Complete online COVID-19 basic training in under a hour with the Virtual College.
Educare have created five steps for preventing the spread of infection in early years. You can then complete the infection prevention at a cost of £14. They have also created some helpful PDF support resources which you can download.
We have also put together a range of further support resources for preventing the spread of infection.
Support for staff, families and their children who have had COVID-19
Over 100 settings have had either staff, families or children who developed COVID-19 over January and February this year and this has been a source of sadness and worry. For those who live in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole, additional practical support is available as well as the emotional support that is set out on our web pages and on the Family Information Directory (FID).
- the council community support is good for staff and families and there is a simple online form to get the support that is most needed
- for those colleagues whose symptoms linger there is a lot of support for long COVID-19 in adults and really useful information on the British Heart Foundation (BHF) website and via the National Health Service (NHS); there are 60 NHS clinics supporting people with long term outcomes of COVID-19
- for children, there is lots of information on the long COVID kids website
- visit the Family Information Directory COVID-19 section for a range of information and resources to support families, including mental health and wellbeing support information.