COVID-19 - Planning Ahead and Preparing for the Lifting of Restrictions


Considerations for Early Years Providers

These are unprecedented times. We have now received guidance from the DfE for the proposed phased wider opening of education and childcare settings.  There are three links below to key information that sit alongside the Government’s document ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’ published on 12th May.

We have outlined below the changes we will be implementing in the Nursery setting from 1st June 2020.

Here is a summary of the key points:


1. All vulnerable/EHCP/Key workers’ children should be urged to attend nursery immediately – “it is no longer necessary for parents of eligible children to keep them at home if they can.”


4. PPE is not recommended other than the use of PPE for children whose care routinely already involves PPE for intimate care or if a child becomes ill with symptoms of Coronavirus and social distancing cannot be observed.


5. Shielding children should not attend nursery.


6. Shielding (clinically extremely vulnerable – those with a GOV. letter) adults should not attend school.


8. If a child lives with someone who is shielding (clinically extremely vulnerable– those with a GOV. letter) then they should only attend nursery  if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and, in the case of children, they are able to understand and follow those instructions. This may not be possible for very young children and older children without the capacity to adhere to the instructions on social distancing. If stringent social distancing cannot be adhered to, the Government do not expect those individuals to attend. They should be supported to learn at home.


9. Early Years staffing ratios still apply.


10. The guidance recognises that early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff and sets out a hierarchy of measures:

  • avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms

  • frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices

  • regular cleaning of settings

  • minimising contact and mixing 


13. Risk assessments will be updated. 


15. Curriculum -. EYs settings will use reasonable endeavours to deliver the learning and development requirements of the EYFS as far as possible in the current circumstances, as set out here.


16. Schools and colleges can decide how to support and educate their pupils during this period, based on the local context and staff capacity. Where year groups are returning to school, the DfE expects school leaders and teachers to:  consider their pupils’ mental health and wellbeing and identify any pupil who may need additional support so they are ready to learn.  assess where pupils are in their learning, and agree what adjustments may be needed to the school curriculum over the coming weeks.  identify and plan how best to support the education of high needs groups, including disadvantaged pupils, and SEND and vulnerable pupils.  support pupils in Year 6, who will need both their primary and secondary schools to work together to support their upcoming transition to Year 7.


19. Reduce movement around the nursery - children are to stick to 1 room during the day if possible, make use of learning outdoors.


20. Stagger break & lunchtimes to avoid groups mixing /moving around the nursery together


21. Stagger drop-off and collection times – children to arrive/be collected at different times (only where possible). 


22. Drop-off and collection times – protocols for adult to adult contact needs to be minimal. A plan needs to be in place for meeting/collection points and timings for each group.


23. Toys and equipment will be cleaned between groups.


24. Unnecessary items in rooms will be removed and stored elsewhere in the nursery.


25. All soft furnishings, toys and soft toys that cannot easily be cleaned every day will be moved.


27. No visitors/staff/children/families/contractors can enter the building if they have symptoms.


28. Only 1 parent/carer should escort a child to nursery.


29. Parents/carers cannot enter site (unless pre-arranged) and/or gather at gates and doors.


31. Discuss additional cleaning requirements with cleaning contractors and agree additional time.


34. Follow the guidance on cleaning: decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings