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COVID-19 information for childcare providers

The latest information and guidance relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for childcare providers.

Government guidance

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - Department for Education (DfE) have withdrawn the guidance 'education and childcare settings: national lockdown 5 January 2021' and transferred the relevant sections into this guidance.

Up to date action card from Public Health Dorset - version 9.2

Please also find the revised early years template letters for your adaptation and use when needed. 

Testing updates

What you must tell Ofsted

Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases

Please report:

  • any confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the setting, either in children or staff
  • if the setting is advised to close as a result.

You should report this as an “Event likely to impact on the smooth running of the setting”.

Please also confirm:

  • the date when cases were first suspected
  • the date when cases were confirmed as positive
  • the total number of children attending the setting at the time of the suspected case
  • the total number of staff working at the setting at the time of the suspected case
  • the date the setting is closing from, and when you intend to re-open (if applicable)
  • if you have notified the case to Public Health England via the Department for Education helpline
  • the advice provided by the DfE helpline, if applicable:
  • if you have advised the local authority (yes or no)
  • any other action taken.

Practical advice

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.

Please read the new regulations that came into force on 26 September in the link below.

Foundation Years hosted a helpful video podcast with the DfE. 

Safeguarding information

Safeguarding vulnerable children and young people

In the light of face masks being mandatory in indoor spaces, this does not apply to babies and younger children (under the age of three). Wearing a face mask in this age group can put them at serious risk of harm or death. You can find more info on the Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership website.

Please see the Early Years Safeguarding webpages for more comprehensive safeguarding information. 

Financial support

Please direct and rent queries on BCP properties to Julie Taylor at BCP Council.

Other useful advice

Good case studies

We are very fortunate to have had childcare providers kindly share their recent experiences with reopening and creatively adapting where necessary with us, so we can share with you.

Health, hygiene and infection control

Advice and support to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Key government guidance

The South West Regional Public Health England Health Protection Team

This team are responsible for managing complex cases and outbreaks of infectious diseases in settings such as schools and other child care settings.

On 5 March 2020 COVID-19 was added to the list of notifiable diseases, and SARS-COV-2 to the list of notifiable causative agents.

This change in law requires all cases of COVID-19 to be reported to Public Health authorities and Ofsted.

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.

Free poster: Coronavirus information for parents with children in childcare settings.

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.
  • Also, 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.