Last reviewed 9 April 2020

Early years providers do not need personal protective equipment (PPE) while providing care to key worker and vulnerable children, according to the latest guidance from Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Education (DfE).

The guidance states that childcare practitioners do not need PPE and they should care for children as normal. However, they should increase the frequency of handwashing and the cleaning of surfaces and toys.

It also states that children should not share soft toys and settings should clean and disinfect equipment, toys and surfaces more regularly. This includes keyboards, tables, chairs, door handles, light switches and bannisters.  

If a child displays symptoms of the coronavirus, they should not come to the setting, or should be sent home with their parents/carers if symptoms arise during the day. In addition, the guidance clarifies that there is no need for stringent cleaning of people or clothes following a day in an educational or childcare setting. This is only required by medical and care professionals providing intimate care to people with the coronavirus.

Additional advice for settings caring for children and young people with complex needs will be published shortly. The full guidance is available from GOV.UK.