This House of Commons Library Briefing provides information in response to some key questions relating to childcare during the coronavirus outbreak

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The Government has stated that the coronavirus outbreak presents “particular challenges and risks to those operating in an educational or childcare context.” This is both because of the need or tendency for people to learn in groups and because of the harmful impact that a break in education may have on a child’s development and progression to further study or employment.

What is in the best interests of those in education and childcare settings during the outbreak will, the Government believes, “vary according to the level of risk which presents itself in a particular place at a particular time.”[1]

This briefing paper provides brief information in response to some key questions regarding the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on childcare providers and parents whose children attend such settings, including:

  • The current position on the re-opening of childcare providers
  • Whether parents should be charged while their child’s childcare provider is closed
  • Whether childcare providers that have remained open are required to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework
  • What financial support is available to childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak
  • What safety measures re-opened providers are required to put in place.
  • How the Coronavirus Act 2020 affects childcare providers

The final section provides information on the rules relating to informal childcare provided by friends and family during the coronavirus outbreak.

This is a fast-moving issue and the briefing should be read as correct at the time of publication. The briefing covers England only.

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