Covid-19 Guidance for Early Years Providers
• The DfE have published Additional actions for childminders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
• The DfE have updated their Actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic
• The DfE has updated their Covid-19 FAQ for Childminders in December 2021
• The DfE have updated the contingency framework to reflect the position for people previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), the shielding programme and details on when increased COVID-19 testing can be recommended by Directors of Public Health.
• The DfE have also further clarified that education and childcare settings do not routinely need to provide staff details to the NHS Test and Trace Self-Isolation Hub. Further information on the NHS Test and Trace Self-Isolation Hub is available in the guidance on NHS Test and Trace in the workplace.
DfE Guidance January 2022
The DfE have published Additional actions for childminders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
This guidance from DfE answers the following childminder questions:
• What should you do when someone who lives with you has Covid-19 or has tested positive?
• What should you do when someone who lives with you is self-isolating as a close contact?
• Why can children attend when there is a positive case in their home?
• Alternative childminding options when you cannot childmind from home.
• Additional actions to take when someone you live with is self-isolating.
DfE Guidance December 2021
The DfE have issued a new Covid-19 FAQ for childminders in England which includes answers to questions such as:
Can I childmind in my home when someone who lives with me is self-isolating as a close contact?
Can I childmind in my home when someone who lives with me has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive?
Why can children come to my house when there is a COVID case in their house but not when there is a case in mine?
What are my options when I cannot childmind in my home?
Additional actions to take when someone you live with is self-isolating
Guidance pre-December 2021
DfE have released a 11 page Q&A for early years providers which answers frequently asked questions about, for example, contact tracing, outbreak management plans and charging parents during periods of isolation.
From 16th August, self-isolation will not be required for:
• Children under the age of 18 – a PCR test will be advised.
Young adults from age 18 years to age 18 years, 4 months will be treated as children until they have had both vaccinations – then they will be treated as adults.
• Fully vaccinated adults (from 2 weeks after the 2nd dose) – a PCR test will be advised.
Children who are aged under 5 and identified as close contacts will only be advised to take a PCR test if the positive case is in their own household.
Important update: The DfE Q&A states that, "the child can continue to attend the setting while waiting for the PCR test result."
Isolation will still be a legal duty from 16th August for:
• Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19.
• Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19.
The guidance talks about how to manage local outbreaks rather than individual cases and defines a local outbreak as "several cases within 14 days". You might need to update your outbreak management plan to show how you will deal with a local outbreak from 16th August and you will have access to the DfE Covid-19 helpline for advice - 0800 046 8687 / option 1.
However, note that the advice states:
"Given the detrimental impact that restrictions on education can have on children, any measures in settings should only ever be considered as a last resort, kept to the minimum number of settings or groups possible, and for the shortest amount of time possible."
You should still continue to ensure good hygiene (hand washing, nose blowing etc), maintain appropriate cleaning routines, keep spaces well ventilated, do lateral flow tests regularly and follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases.
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