The Department for Education (DfE) has published guidance on early years and childcare closures due to the Coronavirus.

The latest guidance covers Ofsted-registered childcare providers for children of all ages, including childminders, nurseries and wraparound childcare and clubs (before and after- school) and holiday care. However, it does not cover nannies or au pairs, as they work in the family home.

Childcare providers are closed for most children until further notice but they are being asked to continue to provide care for children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

The document should be read alongside the guidance on critical workers and vulnerable children. Children’s minister Vicky Ford has also written an open letter to the early years sector which is available here.

While as many providers as possible should try to stay open for eligible children, this will not be possible for all settings and the local authority should coordinate pooling of resources so children are able to access provision elsewhere.

In addition, the DfE has also published guidance on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings that are remaining open to support vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. It should be read in conjunction with guidance for social distancing.

The latest DfE guidance and documents can be found below and these will be updated as the situation changes.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): early years and childcare closures

Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings

Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on vulnerable children and young people

Last reviewed 26 March 2020