Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): childcare closures and emergency provision

Published: 10 Jul 2020
Last updated: 10 Jul 2020 - see all updates

Guidance on the daycare services for children in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): childcare closures and emergency provision
Childminders: financial support

Childminders: business and financial support

This information applies to childminders and sets out the range of business and financial support that has been made available.

You may be able to access many of these support measures regardless of whether your setting is open or closed.   

From Wednesday 3 June 2020, during Phase 1 of the Scottish Government’s route map for recovery from COVID-19, all childminders can reopen if they wish to do so.

They must limit the number of households for whom they provide childcare to a maximum of four, in addition to children of their own household, at any one time. In allocating their spaces, continued critical childcare for keyworkers and vulnerable children should be the first priority. Beyond that, childminders can use their discretion to allocate places to families.

Further guidance to support reopening of childminding services is available. This guidance will be kept under review as we move through the different phases of the route map for recovery.

Overview of available support

All childminders who provide funded early learning and childcare (ELC) will continue to receive payments from their local authority for these funded ELC hours. Your local authority will be in contact with you to confirm local arrangements for these payments.

Dependent on your individual circumstances, you will be able to access support through one or more of the following (details of each of the schemes are set out below):

You can also find more information on the Find Business Support website or contact the Scottish Government’s business helpline on 0300 303 0660.  

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Childminders whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, and who meet the eligibility criteria (set out below), will be able to access support through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The scheme currently allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether; and requires you to have:

  • filed a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • traded in the 2019-20 tax year; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for Covid-19) and intend to continue to trade in the 2020-21 tax year and
  • trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions: (1) your trading profits and total income in 2018-19; or (2) your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19
  • if you’re eligible and want to claim the first grant you must make your claim on or before 13 July 2020. Make your claim from the date HMRC gave you
  • The UK Government announced on 29 May that the scheme is being extended. You’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant in August 2020. HMRC will work out your eligibility the same way as the first grant
  • if you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, the second and final grant will be a taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total. You do not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant
  • if you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work
  • the online service for the second and final grant will be available from 17 August 2020. Further guidance on the SEISS is available, and will continue to be updated as further information becomes available
  • if you are unable to claim online you should contact HMRC for help

Other sources of support

If you are not eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, and/or can’t wait until June for a grant payment the following are other sources of support you may be able to access:

  • the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, is for newly self-employed individuals who have lost business to COVID-19, are facing financial hardship, and are ineligible for other avenues of COVID-19 government support. £2,000 grants are awarded by Local Authorities. To be eligible applicants must have become self-employed on or after 6 April 2019, demonstrate that they were actively trading up to March 2020, are not be in receipt of other forms of COVID-19 business support or in receipt of working age benefits, and do not have access to sufficient savings or other sources of income to meet basic needs.

    Information and links to Local Authority online applications forms is available through the Find Business Support website and applicants can anticipate receiving funds within 10 working days from the receipt of completed applications. The fund will close to new applications on 10 July.

  • you may be able to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of your turnover through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
  • if you are not eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme and are not providing critical childcare provision for key worker families and vulnerable children then you can access support through Universal Credit. The standard rate in Universal Credit has been increased to support claimants. You can find out more information about Universal Credit and how to apply on the site.
  • if you have had to self-isolate, and can no longer offer your service, then you may be able to make a claim for the New Style Employment and Support Allowance
  • if you are already receiving Universal Credit and you have COVID-19 or need to self-isolate, the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor have been temporarily relaxed. This change took effect on 13 March and will last for the duration of the outbreak.
  • if you’re a director of your childminding service and paid through PAYE you may be able to get support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Support with the deferral of tax, mortgage and other payments

  • if you are due to make a self-assessment payment on account on 31 July 2020 then you are eligible for this payment to be deferred until January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment of your July 2020 payment on account until January 2021. More information: Deferral of self assessment payment.  
  • If you’ve missed, or are worried about missing, your next tax payment due to coronavirus, please contact HMRC. You can also call the HMRC helpline for advice on 0800 024 1222.
  • in addition, Value Added Tax (VAT) payments due before 30 June 2020 will be deferred until 31 June 2021.
  • mortgage lenders have agreed to offer repayment holidays to households in financial difficulty due to COVID-19. You need to be up to date with payments and not already in arrears, and should contact your lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for you.
  • you may be eligible for a council tax reduction which will reduce your council tax, potentially to zero depending on your circumstances. The Scottish Government will provide local authorities with more money to support that. Your local authority will be able to provide more information. If your income or earnings are impacted by COVID-19 and you are struggling to meet your next council tax payment you should discuss this as soon as possible with your local authority by phone or using their website.
  • if as a result of COVID-19 you are experiencing difficulties with paying your energy bills, or paying back personal loans of credit card bills, then please contact your energy provider or lender to explore payment plans.

First published: 10 Jul 2020 Last updated: 10 Jul 2020 -