Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support to childcare sector

Published: 12 Nov 2020
Last updated: 12 Nov 2020 - 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
Private and third sector providers: financial support

Private and third sector providers: business and financial support

This guidance applies to private and third sector childcare providers and sets out the range of business support that is available.  

Updated guidance for registered day care of children’s services was issued on 30 October.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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 5 November that the Scheme is being extended until 31 March 2021.

For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked.

Guidance on claiming for your employees was published on 10 November.

The UK Government published specific guidance for early years providers in England, which included information on accessing support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. While this guidance is for England only, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a UK-wide scheme administered by HM Revenue & Customs.

The key information for providers in Scotland is:

  • you can receive support through both: (1) continued payments for statutory (funded) ELC hours; and (2) the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • support cannot be claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for staff costs that already covered by other forms of public funding (the payments for statutory ELC hours)
  • you can access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to cover up to the proportion of your pay bill which could be considered to have been paid from private income
  • the guidance advises that providers should initially use the month of February 2020 to represent their usual income in calculating the proportion of its pay bill eligible to be covered by the scheme
  • for example, if 40% of your average monthly income was from payments for the funded entitlements and 60% from other income, the you could claim Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme support for up to 60% of your total pay bill. This would be done by furloughing staff whose usual salary / combined salaries come to no greater than 60% of your total pay bill.
  • you can change these proportions in subsequent furloughing applications if your income from the statutory ELC hours changes compared to February (and would therefore result in an increase or decrease in the share of your income from funded hours in February)

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

If you are a small or medium-sized business then 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. On 24 September it was announced that under the new Pay as you Grow options businesses can now repay their loan over a period of up to ten years.

The Bounce Back Loan scheme is now open to applications until 31 January 2021.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Alternatively the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme allows small and medium sized businesses to access a loan which is interest free for the first 12 months and has no upfront fees. The scheme is being delivered through commercial lenders. To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers offering the scheme as soon as possible to discuss your business plan with them. On 24 September the UK government announced that it intended to allow CBILS lenders to extend the term of a loan up to ten years. The scheme will close to applications on 31 January 2021.

Statutory Sick Pay rebate

Small and medium-sized businesses, those with fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020, can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ Statutory Sick Pay per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus. You can claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) using the online system.

You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time.

VAT payments

In addition, Value Added Tax (VAT) payments will be deferred 2022. Under the New Payment Scheme, businesses can spread their payments over the financial year 2021-2022. Rather than paying in full at the end of March 2021, businesses will be able to choose to make 11 equal instalments over 2021-22.

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.

Non-domestic rates

If you're struggling to pay your non-domestic rates bill then you may be able to defer payment.

You should contact your local authority and ask them about your payment options, and can find more at help with non-domestic rates during coronavirus (COVID-19)

First published: 12 Nov 2020 Last updated: 12 Nov 2020 -