Early years and childcare

Returning to childcare is vital for children’s education and wellbeing. Time out from their nursery or childminder setting can affect a child’s development, especially for disadvantaged children. It can also affect their self-confidence and the positive relationships they have built with the special people and other children.

Early years and childcare settings have been open since 1 June. Staff are ready to welcome families and settle children back. They should try to be as flexible as possible for parents and carers who work shifts or non-standard hours and especially for parents and carers who are key workers.

What will my childcare setting be like?

Risk assessments will keep you and your child as safe as possible. Enhanced, regular cleaning will be carried out.

Like schools, drop off and pick up times will look a little different as they will be staggered and you will be asked to drop your child off at the door unless it’s essential for you to go in. All parents entering a setting will need to wear a mask.

Staff are not required to wear PPE unless a child becomes unwell with coronavirus symptoms whilst at the setting, and only then if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained.

The learning environment will look slightly different due to the removal of soft furnishings, cuddly toys, cushions and some other toys, as these are hard to clean.

Does my child have to go back to their early years setting?

Early years education is not compulsory, but if your child has a place reserved, the setting will be waiting with exciting activities planned for your child! Funding is available for some 2 year olds, and all 3 and 4 year olds, see Help with childcare costs.

Ask your early years setting for information on funded places and don’t forget to communicate any concerns, so that staff can support you and find a solution that suits everyone.

For further advice contact your setting or see: Back to School – We are Ready! Procedures for schools also apply to early years and childcare settings.