Childcare Providers and Coronavirus FAQ

12th August 2020

At Childcare.co.uk we are doing everything we can to help and support childcare providers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Free Free Coronavirus Toolkit for Childminders

In order to help childminders return to work after closure due to Coronavirus we have produced this FREE childminder toolkit containing free childminder contracts, free policies & procedures, free risk assessments, free paperwork, free webinars and lots more. PDF documents are free for all members and Word versions are for gold members only. All paperwork has been updated in relation to Covid-19.

Free Coronavirus Toolkit


Latest updates

North West of England local restrictons - You can continue to use registered childcare provision, including childminders and holiday childcare providers. You can also continue to employ nannies.

Can a childminder attend toddler groups?

Free Poster - What to do if a child in your care or a member of staff has Coronavirus symptoms

• First Aid certificates that have expired may qualify for an extension until 30th September

Early years settings & outings - What's allowed? 

Self-Employment income support scheme extended for June, July and August

• Childminders & nurseries in England can reopen for ALL children from Monday 1st June 2020

• Childminders in Scotland can reopen for ALL children from Wednesday 3rd June 2020

• Nannies and babysitters can provide paid childcare in a child's home


Latest guidance from the Department for Education and Ofsted

Department for Education

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak (Updated 27th July 2020)

What parents and carers need to know about schools, colleges and other education settings during the coronavirus outbreak (Updated 21st August 2020)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings (Updated 1st June 2020)

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do (Updated 13th August 2020)



Latest Ofsted Guidance

Ofsted Coronavirus rolling update (Updated 19th August 2020)

 

Below is a list of some of the frequently asked questions being asked by childcare providers.

Can childminders open?

Childminders in England can reopen for all children from 1st June 2020.  In Scotland childminders can reopen for all children from 3rd June 2020.

I work in Leicester – what do I need to do?

There will be a partial lifting of the Leicester local lockdown from 24th July which will allow childminders and other early years settings to reopen. However, shops and other businesses will remain closed at this time.

Read the Latest information from the DfE about the Leicester lockdown and childcare settings.

 

I am a nanny. Can I still go to work?

On 1st May 2020 the government provided specific guidance in relation to travelling to someone else's home to provide paid-for childcare. This says:

If you provide paid-for childcare in a child’s home, you can go to your place of work - this is in line with Government guidance that you can travel to work if working from home is not possible. However, it is important that you take as many precautions as possible in line with Public Health England guidance. Read the full guidance

Any nanny who does not feel safe or comfortable continuing to work should speak to their employer. The nanny employer can furlough the nanny under the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which provides up to 80% of the nanny's salary, up to £2500 per month. The employer can voluntarily choose to top this amount up to 100% of the nanny's salary if they wish. No nanny should be forced to continue to work if they do not feel safe to do so.

We recently introduced the idea of a Virtual Nanny which allows a nanny to work from the nanny's own home if the child's parents are working from home. Having a Virtual Nanny is something that nannies and their employers may like to consider.and the idea is already providing very popular.

What should I do if a child in my care or a member of staff has Coronavirus symptoms?

We have produced this free poster that provides guidance of what to do in the event a child in your care or a member of your staff have Coronavirus symptoms.

What is a key worker/critical worker?

The list is quite wide and includes NHS staff, social care workers, school & nursery staff, police officers, court staff, religious staff, journalists, some government staff, delivery workers, supermarket staff, army and MoD, firefighters, prison & probation staff, transport workers, infrastrucure workers such as gas & electricity and some financial services staff.

Can childminders and nurseries provide care if one parent is a key worker?

From Monday 1st June childminders and nurseries in England can reopen for all children, not just the children of keyworkers.

Am I insured to provide childcare?

You should be insured to provide childcare, assuming you have an active public liability insurance policy, as long as you adhere to all relevent government, local authority and public health guidelines unless you hear otherwise from your regulator, local authority or insurance company. 

If I open, do I have to follow the EYFS?

The Department for Education have published information for registered early years providers in relation to Coronavirus disapplications. This allows for a number of changes to the EYFS for early years providers who remain open for keyworker children and vulnerable children. Read more about the changes

Can childminders take children outside of their setting?

Childminders and early years providers may take small groups of children to outdoor public spaces, for example parks, provided that a risk assessment demonstrates that they can stay 2m away from other people at all times.

This should be restricted to small groups and done in line with wider government guidelines on the number of people who can meet in outdoor public places.

Providers should not take larger groups of children to public outdoor spaces at one time. The maximum number of people allowed in a group (including childminders & staff) is currently 6 people in England.

I'm going to struggle financially - will the government help me?

The government have launched a number of schemes to help childcare providers with financial support:

Self-employment Income Support Scheme - The government have announced the Self-employment Income Support Scheme for self-employed registered childminders.  A financial grant of up to £2500 per month is available to childminders and they may continue to work. The grant pays 80% of average profits over the last 3 years. On 29th May 2020, Chancellor, Rishi Sunak announced an extenstion to the scheme to cover June, July and August.  The second grant pays 70% of average net profits and applications can me made in August.  Read more about the second grant

Early Years Funding - If you receive funding for any 2, 3 or 4 year old children with free childcare entitlements then the government have said this will continue to be paid even if children do not attend. In some local authorities if you remain open you will also receive a bonus (around £100) in your June payment.  If you are not currently open then you may not receive all of your early years funding for June as some of the payments are being kept back to fund providers who are open. You will need to check with your local authority.

Universal Credit - Self-employed childminders are able to claim Universal Credit, providing you meet the usual eligibility criteria. New claimants will not need to attend the jobcentre to demonstrate gainful self-employment.

Mortgage Holidays - If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments then the government has announced a 3 month mortgage holiday. Most major banks and building societies are participating in the scheme. Contact your lender for more details.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - If you employ staff that you would need to make redundant due to Coronavirus, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. On 29th May, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extension to the furlough scheme until October 2020.

Income Tax -  Any income tax due from your self-assessment on 31st July 2020 will now be deferred until 31st January 2021.

VAT - If you are VAT registered then payment of any VAT between 20th March 2020 and 30th June 2020 can be deferred until 31st January 2021.

SSP - If you employ staff then you will be able reclaim up to 2 weeks Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19 per eligible employee.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - Self-employed individuals that are unable to work due to COVID-19 or those that have to self-isolate can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This benefit is payable from day one of sickness and is based upon previous national insurance contributions.

Business Rates - If you are a nursery that pays business rates then there will be a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme - There will be a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme with the government guaranteeing 80% of each loan.

Ofsted Renewal Fees - Ofsted have said that all invoices for annual registration fees for childminders and early years providers sent after 3rd April will be dated 30th September 2020 to give providers more time to pay.

Can I still charge my parents if I am closed?

It will depend upon your contract with your parents but generally you wouldn't be able to charge fees if you are unable to provide childcare. Some parents are willing to pay full or half fees for a period of time in order for you to hold their places but this would be something you would have to negotiate with your parents. On 30th April 2020, the Competitions and Markets Authority announced that it would be investigating a number of sectors in relation to contracts with their customers.  Nurseries and childcare providers were specifically mentioned as one of the sectors being investigated due to the high number of complaints being received. The CMA announced the results of their investigation on 28th July 2020 in an open letter to the early years sector. We have published an FAQ for childcare providers.

Can a nanny be furloughed?

The government have now expressly stated that nannies can be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The government have stated that Individuals can furlough employees such as nannies provided they pay them through PAYE and they were on their payroll on, or before, 28 February 2020.

I'm due to be inspected soon - what will happen?

Ofsted have stated that routine inspections will be temporarily suspended.

I'm a childminder who isn't working at the moment - do I still need insurance?

It is a requirement of your Ofsted registration to have public liability insurance irrespective of whether or not you are currently working.

What about private tutors?

Whilst there has been no specific guidelines in relation to private tutors, the vast majority of private tutors are continuing to work remotely as Virtual Tutors and there has been an increase in demand for virtual tutors with schools being closed.

Will my insurance help me?

Generally there is little or no cover available for such an unprecedented situation of this scale with standard childminder insurance policies.

Some policies may provide cover if Covid-19 has been discovered at your premises. We are currently speaking to our insurance advisers, Jelf, and our insurers, Markel, are working hard to put together information required for any of our members who may need advice following closure of a childcare setting that prevents them from being able to work and we will make further announcements in due course.

My first aid certificate has expired can I continue to work?

Ofsted have said that they recognise that first aid certificate will expire and courses might be cancelled. The Health & Safety Executive have stated that if you hold a first aid certificate that expires on or after 16 March 2020 and cannot access requalification training because of coronavirus you may qualify for an extension until 30th September 2020. To qualify for the extension, you must be able to explain why you haven’t been able to requalify and demonstrate what steps you have taken to access first aid training, if asked to do so. Tigerlily are now offering face-to-face Covid-19-safe first aid courses.  You can save 15% as a member of Childcare.co.uk.  Book a first aid course

Can childminders and early years workers get a Coronavirus test?

Yes. To qualify for a test you must have symptoms that you have reasonable cause to believe could be due to Coronavirus. You can read information about Coronavirus symptoms on the NHS website. Find out more about getting a Coronavirus test.

Can I work as a babysitter?

On 1st May 2020 the government provided specific guidance in relation to travelling to someone else's home to provide paid-for childcare. This says:

If you provide paid-for childcare in a child’s home, you can go to your place of work - this is in line with Government guidance that you can travel to work if working from home is not possible. However, it is important that you take as many precautions as possible in line with Public Health England guidance. Read the full guidance

Therefore it would appear that you can work as a babysitter to provide childcare within a child's home but you must follow guidelines set by government and public health departments.

Stay Updated

We will post new updates in for childcare providers about Coronavirus on this page of our website. Please check by regularly for the latest news.

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