This hub includes all the latest policy announcements, Government guidance, and free resources from across the sector to support all early years providers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Updated 25 March 2021

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a national lockdown in England from 5 January 2021, the Prime Minister has confirmed that early years settings will remain open. The rationale for this decision can be found here.

Key guidance and resources

If you have any further questions, please submit these to

Government policy and guidance

Actions for early years and childcare providers during COVID-19

This guidance sets out the responsibilities of early years settings and local authorities, infection prevention and control measures, and considerations for settings. Updated 22 February.

Contingency framework for education and childcare settings

This guidance sets out how restrictions on education would work in the rare circumstances they are needed. Updated 8 March.

Temporary disapplications to the early years foundation stage

Where early years settings are unable to deliver the requirements set out in the early years foundation stage (EYFS) in full due to COVID-19 related restrictions, settings can disapply some of the requirements of the EYFS. Updated 15 January. 

National lockdown guidance

The Prime Minister announced a national lockdown in England from 5 January 2021. Updated 22 February.

Use of free early education entitlements funding during COVID-19

This guidance has been updated to set out the government’s plans for funding local authorities and providers in the 2021 spring term. Updated 17 December.

Financial support for early years settings

This guidance sets out the funding and financial support available for early years settings. Updated 3 February.

Evidence summary: COVID-19 – children, young people and education settings

DfE paper summarising evidence in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly around children, young people and education settings. Published 22 February. 

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

This guidance is for everyone who has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. Updated 25 February,

Temporary changes to the 30 hours childcare entitlement

This guidance sets out the temporary changes to the 30 hours entitlement to ensure critical worker parents and those with vulnerable children are not disadvantaged during the COVID-19 outbreak and can continue to access the childcare provision to which they are entitled. Updated 7 January. 

Advice service for positive confirmed cases in early years settings

A dedicated advice service available for early years settings who have been informed of a confirmed case(s) of COVID-19 in their setting can be reached by calling DfE’s helpline on 0800 046 8687 and selecting the option for reporting a positive case. The line will be open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Paediatric First Aid training during the COVID-19 pandemic

Information on accessing face-to-face Paediatric First Aid training during COVID-19. Published 9 December.

Ofsted rolling update

Ofsted guidance and information relating to COVID-19 for early years settings. Updated 24 February.

Safe working in education settings, including the use of PPE

This guidance explains the strategy for infection prevention and control, including the specific circumstances in which PPE should be used, to enable safe working during the COVID-19 outbreak. Updated 14 December.

Education Action Cards

Education action cards have been published outlining what early years settings should do to manage a possible outbreak.

Leaflet for parents

This leaflet provides information for parents about sending their children to early years settings.

Hungry Little Minds

Hungry Little Minds supports parents to engage in activities that support their child’s early learning and help set them up for school and beyond. This update includes assets such as images, draft tweets, and a series of videos for providers to use in their communications and social media activity.

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers

This guidance is for parents and carers of children at registered early years providers. Translations can be found here. Updated 24 February.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the national lockdown from 5 November

This document answers the FAQs from the early years sector on the national lockdown in November 2020. These answers have been checked with the Department for Education (DfE) and were published on 5 November.

Second set of FAQs on the national lockdown from 5 November

This document answers the FAQs from the early years sector on the national lockdown in November 2020. These answers have been checked with the Department for Education (DfE) and were published on 19 November.

Resources for early years settings


EY smart

This free, high quality, online training from PACEY can be done on any device at any time – in as little as 10 minutes. Suitable for all practitioners and created with experts including the Open University, content themes include courses to help navigate the Education Inspection Framework as well as support during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. You can also join the EY smart Facebook group here.

Coronavirus spotlight

This page on the PACEY website brings together the latest information about the COVID-19 outbreak. The information will be updated accordingly as and when the UK government makes updates.

Re-opening settings toolkit

Since the government announced the planned re-opening of childcare and early years settings in England and Wales from June, PACEY have pulled together a range of support, advice and blogs to tackle key topics you will need to consider and think about before re-opening.

Spotlight on… 2-year-olds

PACEY are working Together for Twos! This collection of ideas, inspiration and tools can help you reflect on and extend your practice working with toddlers. You’ll find top tips, videos, case studies, downloadable tools and other essential ideas to help you develop your 2-year-old provision.

Starting school toolkit

This year, with many children at home during the COVID-19 outbreak, the transition process won’t be the same as in previous years. These resources from PACEY will help you to support children so that they are ready to start school with a smile in September. Discover ideas, information and activities within the toolkit sections.

Business smart

Business Smart from PACEY is here to support everyone working in childcare. Dig in for a collection of ideas, inspiration and tools to help new and existing childcare practitioners develop and maintain a sustainable business. You’ll find top tips, blogs, downloadable tools and other essential ideas to help you make the most of your business.


Separation anxiety & transitions

This factsheet has been developed to support nurseries during – and following – the COVID-19 pandemic, with transitions and separation anxiety.

Health and hygiene controls

This factsheet has been developed to support with guidance on how to limit the risk of the virus spreading.

Support for managers

This factsheet has been developed to support managers to prepare their team and their setting with the transition back to fully re-opening.

Support for practitioners

This factsheet has been developed to support practitioners to prepare themselves as the nursery moves towards fully re-opening.

Please note you will need to register for a free NDNA account to access the factsheets.

Early Years Alliance


Specific advice, FAQs and support for all all staff working directly with children and families in early years provision during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Communicating with families and the community

A range of blogs, supporting settings to communicate and engage with families and the community.

Operating during the COVID-19 lockdown and beyond

The Early Years Alliance have produced this Frequently Asked Questions guide to help providers as they re-open.

Safeguarding guidance

Advice and support for providers to support safeguarding best practice.

Business planning and management guidance

Advice and support for providers to support business planning and management guidance,  such as leadership and team management.

Supporting inclusive practice

Advice and support for providers to support inclusive practice.

Ofsted inspections

Providers can access support to all areas related to preparing for and managing inspections.

Under 5

The latest issue of Under 5 magazine is available for everyone to read for free.


A series of COVID-19 related webinars, including: re-opening, supporting children back into settings, furlough, business needs and Ofsted inspections.

Council for Disabled Children

Early Years SEND Partnership

The EYSEND website is up-to-date with all the training, support and resources available from the partnership, including a summary report of the EYSEND COVID-19 survey which captures the sector’s thoughts and concerns about life during lockdown and the return to education, and a local authority strategic review tool with a dedicated section on transition.


Early Years Transition Package

Three webcasts supported by a set of downloadable documents and links to relevant free resources to support staff with transition arrangements for settling all young children after COVID-19 and beyond.

Building Resilience for Vulnerable Toddlers

This webcast has a focus on building resilience for vulnerable toddlers in response to recent changes and challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Importance of Play and Relationships

This webcast focuses on these two important elements of young children’s development.

Foundation Years

Putting wellbeing at the heart of early years practice

The National Children’s Bureau recently hosted five free Learn – Explore – Debate events focused on putting wellbeing at the heart of early years practice. The events brought early years practitioners, local authorities, consultants and academics together with officials from the Department for Education and Ofsted to discuss practical ways to support the wellbeing of children and staff.

The recordings, slides and case studies from the event, including a video from the Department for Education, thanking the early years sector for their hard work, are now available on the Foundation Years website here.

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Hub

Mental health resources for early years settings

The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care hub have developed this pack of resources to support mental health and wellbeing in early years settings.

Resources for parents and carers


Learning at home

With so many parents now at home with their children during the COVID-19 pandemic, PACEY have put together some resources written by childcare and early years experts to help parents support children’s learning at home. You can also join the Play to Learn Facebook group here.


Maths Confidence

This factsheet will support parents with getting their children ready for school with regards to maths confidence.

Developing Literacy at Home

This factsheet will help parents to get their children ready for school in regards to developing literacy skills at home.

Building Children’s Confidence

This factsheet will support parents to get children ready for school in regards to building confidence.

Support with EAL

This factsheet has been developed to help nurseries support parents and children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) during the lockdown period.


Parents can join the free myNDNA community for blogs, activities and tips.

Early Years Alliance

Family Time Tips

This digital service for families offers fun, practical tips and advice to promote children’s learning and development family direct to mobiles. Daily topics include language and learning through play activities, health and wellbeing tips plus nutritional advice.

Family Sessions on YouTube

Free virtual support direct to families with very young children, with a focus on interpersonal and enriching face-to-face support using fun, learning through play videos and webinars.

Let’s Learn Together @Home

A free activity-packed programme offering loads of ideas on how to keep children happy, motivated and learning.

Family Corner

A free, blog-led portal and parent club aimed at families with young children, covering a range of topics from nutrition, help with weaning to potty training and encouraging literacy and language from an early age.

How to choose the right childcare

Advice for parents on choosing childcare most appropriate for their needs.

Education Development Trust and Elklan

Family Resources

Fun and friendly guides for parents to support their 2-4 year-old’s communication skills.


Tiny Happy People

Support for parents, including activity ideas for children aged 0-4 that will help parents develop their child’s communication skills.

Partnership for Children

Social and emotional learning activities

These play-based activities are designed to promote young children’s social and emotional development during these challenging times.

Lambeth Early Action Partnership

Making home learning fun

These activities are designed for parents to play, create and explore with their child. Each activity tells parents what their child will be learning and encourages use of everyday things lying around the house.


Family Case Studies

These case studies illustrate some of the creative ways families supported the learning of their children at home during lockdown and include their advice to other families of children with SEND.

Join the Foundation Years community to stay up to date with the latest early years policy, practice and resources.