Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support to childcare sector

Published: 22 Dec 2020
Last updated: 2 Mar 2021 - see all updates

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support to childcare sector


This information applies to private and third sector childcare providers and childminders, and sets out the range of business and financial support that has been made available to childcare sector.

Financial support for childcare providers impacted by the decision to restrict the operation of childcare

Settings which can, may wish to consider if it is possible to furlough any members of staff, while continuing to operate their services for children who can access their care at this time. Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme all UK employers with a PAYE scheme can access support to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The UK Government announced on 17 December that the Scheme is being extended until 30 April 2021.

You can claim for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as you have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.

Employers can furlough employees for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked.

Childminding services should note that the UK Government has extended the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The extension will last for 6 months, from November 2020 to April 2021. 

Interim guidance was published in July 2020 regarding the requirements on early learning and childcare settings and local authorities from August 2020 for delivery of Funding Follows the Child. This includes updated interim guidance on the setting of sustainable rates for the delivery of funded early learning and childcare in the context of the impacts of COVID-19.

We recognise that not all private and third sector childcare providers may be able to access support through the existing routes to meet the additional costs and income losses incurred to comply with the latest public health guidance in response to COVID-19.

That is why the Scottish Government is making temporary financial support available to these providers to support them to remain open for key worker and vulnerable children during the period of the temporary restrictions. This includes childminding services registered to care for 12 or more children, day care of children’s services operating at any registered capacity and out of school care providers.

Applications for Round 2 of the Temporary Restrictions Fund (TRF) covering the four week period from 1 February – 26 February 2021 open on 5 March 2021.

Further funding is now also being made available for childminders who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Further information on how to apply will be published shortly.If you have any queries in relation to the information or content of these pages please email:

First published: 22 Dec 2020 Last updated: 2 Mar 2021 -