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.”

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 closure of childcare providers and the continuing provision of childcare for the children of key workers and vulnerable childre
  • The possible opening of early years providers to more children from 1 June 2020.
  • Whether parents should be charged while their child’s childcare provider is closed
  • Whose children can still attend childcare settings
  • 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
  • Whether childcare providers can furlough workers and access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • How the Coronavirus Act 2020 affects childcare providers

Section one covers questions of particular relevance for parents and carers. Section two focuses more on issues of concern to childcare providers themselves.

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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