Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school age childcare services guidance

Non-statutory guidance to support a safe and supportive environment.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school age childcare services guidance
Meals provision

Provision of meals and snacks

It is important to ensure that mealtimes are a relaxed and enjoyable time where children can socialise while practical measures are in place to control the spread of infection.

Staff should follow good hygiene practices when preparing or serving food including enhanced hand hygiene. There is no need for additional PPE at meal and snack times.

School age childcare providers may wish to consider the following  approaches to minimise interaction between groups at dining times and in dealing with associated logistical issues. Arrangements in each setting will depend on whether food is being prepared on the premises.

The appropriate approach may also depend on the number of groups of children in the setting during each session. Arrangements should ensure children can eat at appropriate times and that physical distancing is maintained between groups. Considerations may include:

  • increasing the space for dining or implementing staggered dining arrangements, with children eating in their designated groups
  • having set snack times for groups
  • consider whether it would be beneficial for children to stay in play spaces to eat
  • maximising the use of the outdoor environment for meals and snacks
  • support children to wash hands before and after eating

First published: 5 Mar 2021 Last updated: 11 Oct 2021 -