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A message to you from the Children and Families Minister 

The early years and childcare sector is vital to the country’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. On behalf of the Prime Minister and the entire Government, I want to thank you for all you are doing to care for the youngest children in our country, as part of the fight against COVID-19. 

I recognise that you will have the same concerns as the rest of the country about your health and that of your families. I am deeply grateful for the civic spirit and dedication of everyone working in early years and childcare, and I will continue to provide my full support throughout this challenging time.

As the Prime Minister made clear on Wednesday 18 March, the coming weeks will require a community effort to deal with a challenge greater than most of us have ever faced in peacetime. The childcare sector is full of resourceful, ingenious and resilient people and I am confident that together we will overcome this challenge.

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New Early Years and Childcare Closure Guidance

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that everyone must now stay at home except in exceptional circumstances, education providers, including early years settings and childminders, will remain open to vulnerable children and children of critical workers.

The Department for Education have published guidance for Ofsted-registered childcare providers for children of all ages, including childminders, nurseries and wraparound childcare and clubs (before- and after- school and holiday care).

The guidance answers your questions on:

  • The responsibilities of childcare providers and local authorities
  • Prioritising children
  • Funding
  • Attendance
  • Staying open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children
  • Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Food
  • Ofsted
  • Childminders

The webpage will be updated as further guidance becomes available.

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