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 – 30 November
On Saturday 31 October, the Prime Minister announced a four-week national lockdown in England from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December.


  • Second set of FAQs from early years settings on the national lockdown – published 19 November.
  • Legislation underpinning the national restrictions – published 3 November.

This guidance confirms that:

  • Early years settings, including childminders, will be kept open to all children.
  • During the lockdown period, where early years settings are unable to deliver early years foundation stage (EYFS) requirements in full due to national lockdown restrictions, settings can disapply some of the requirements of the EYFS statutory framework as per DfE’s guidance.
  • Parents will be able to access other childcare activities (including wraparound care and some out of school settings) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, seek work, attend education or training, or for the purposes of respite care for carers.
  • Parent and child groups (including baby and toddler groups) can continue where they provide support to parent and/or child, and children under 5 will not be counted within the 15 person limit – meaning parents and carers can attend such groups in larger numbers.

If you have any questions, please submit these to [email protected] and we will pass them on to DfE.

Government policy and guidance

New National Restrictions from 5 November

On Saturday 31 October, the Prime Minister announced a four-week national lockdown in England from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December. In his statement the Prime Minister announced that childcare and early years settings will be kept open to all children.

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. 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. These answers have been checked with the Department for Education (DfE) and were published on 19 November.

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.

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.

Contingency framework for education and childcare settings

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

Temporary disapplications to the early years foundation stage

The government temporarily disapplied and modified certain elements of the EYFS statutory framework. This guidance sets out what will happen once the disapplications end on 25 September 2020.

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.

Funding for the autumn term

This guidance sets out the government’s commitment to continue paying local authorities over the autumn term for the early education places they usually fund.

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.

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.

Ofsted arrangements for the autumn term

On 17 March 2020, all routine Ofsted inspections were suspended. As part of a phased return to routine inspection from autumn 2020, Ofsted are carrying out interim visits.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.