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Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance; DFE latest updates

May 18th 2021

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance; DFE latest updates

Following confirmation that restrictions will continue to further ease from May 17th, the government have updated their guidance for local authorities and all early year providers in England.

Key updates are as follows:

Trips taken outside of the setting: You may take children on trips outside of the setting e.g. to indoor areas such as play centres, provided they are permitted to open. A complete risk assessment must be carried out of the premises and signed by parents. While on a trip, you should remain with the children in your group and follow COVID19 guidelines such as social distancing from others, hand washing and wearing face coverings (for adults and children over 11)

Singing in parent & child groups: Group must be no more than 30 people; children aged under5 years and someone who is working as part of the group, such as a group leader, are not counted in the number. Singing can take place but with no more than 6 adults in the room, including the group leader, singing along with children aged under5. Singing should be limited to the same 6 adults for the duration of the group session.

Staff wellbeing: All employers have a duty of care to their employees. A list of resources to support staff wellbeing as they navigate through this time is available here.

Avoid visitors entering your setting, wherever possible: As far as is possible, the number of people visiting the setting should be kept to a minimum. If this is not possible, a record should be kept of all visitors and they must follow COVID19 guidelines such as social distancing and mask-wearing while visiting. External professionals such as SEND support can move freely between settings, providing they adhere to systems in place.

Childminders meeting other childminders: You may meet with other childminders, but only if it is reasonably necessary, and do not need to be restricted to limits on gatherings as long as:

  • It is for the purpose of education or childcare
  • You remain within the EYFS staff-child ratios
  • The guidance in the section on trips taken outside of the setting is followed.

Children who have travelled abroad: Families that have returned from abroad should adhere to the latest travel guidance set out by the government and follow the traffic light system. The latest travel advice can be found here.

Promote and engage in asymptomatic testing: Staff with a positive rapid lateral flow test result must self-isolate in line with the stay-at-home guidance. They will also need to arrange a PCR test within two days to confirm the result. If the PCR test is negative, it overrides a rapid lateral flow test and the staff member can return to the early years setting.

For more information on the latest COVID19 guidelines, visit


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