Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support to childcare sector

Published: 22 Dec 2020
Last updated: 13 Jan 2021 - see all updates

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

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): support to childcare sector
COVID-19 restrictions: temporary financial support

COVID-19 restrictions: temporary financial support

Day care of children providers, and childminders who are currently providing childcare to 12 or more children, should be open at present only to key worker and vulnerable children. Further information on the temporary restrictions is provided the supplementary guidance.

As a result most of these services are open only for small numbers of children, and we are aware that this can create financial pressures for providers.

That is why temporary financial support will be available to those services who are currently only permitted to operate for vulnerable children or those of key workers, to help mitigate the reduction in income resulting from operating below capacity and ensure these settings can remain open.

Support will be provided through grants to services that are open to deliver childcare to key worker and vulnerable children during the temporary restrictions.

This will include day care of children’s services, childminding services who are caring for 12 or more children and out of school care providers.

To be eligible for the Fund settings need to be registered with the Care Inspectorate as being either:

  • a ‘day care of children’ and a ‘Private’ or ‘Voluntary or Not For Profit’ service; or
  • a ‘childminding service’ and currently caring for 12 or more children.

Providers will need to confirm that their service is open and operating for key worker and vulnerable children.  

The funding will be available for each four week period that the temporary restrictions are in place.

Services that are closed

In order to receive a grant eligible services will need to be open during the period of the temporary restrictions and operating for key worker and vulnerable children.

Services that are closed over this period will be able to draw on support from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, whilst some services may also continue to receive payments for funded ELC hours. More information is available.

Childminding services

The vast majority of childminders (other than those caring for 12 or more children) are not subject to the same temporary restrictions as day care of children providers and are currently able to remain open, if they choose to do so, to all children.

However, we are aware that many childminders continue to encounter challenges and that some may experience a drop in demand for their services despite being able to remain open.

We are working with the sector on the provision of additional support for childminders who are most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Further details will be shared as soon as possible.

Setting not delivering the funded early learning and childcare entitlement

Yes, grants will be available to all childcare settings who meet the eligibility criteria above, regardless of whether they deliver the funded early learning and childcare entitlement.

Further information

We will set out more information on this page including details on the level of grants that will be available, and how providers can access this support, as soon as possible.

 


First published: 22 Dec 2020 Last updated: 13 Jan 2021 -