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NEWS: Merry Christmas to all our members and partners

As the year begins to draw to a close don't forget to read our festive roundup and reflect on just some of PACEY's key achievements over 2020, in what has been an extraordinary year for us all. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our members, partners and suppliers. 

Please be aware that the PACEY office and phone lines will be closed from 3pm on Thursday 24 December 2020 and will reopen at 9am on Monday 4 January 2020. 

Coronavirus information

For England:
Please be aware that as stated by the Department for Education "Private, voluntary and independent providers, and maintained nursery schools can continue to open during the period and should continue to follow the guidance for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. School-based nurseries that only open during term-time should follow the arrangements for their school."

During the holiday period, the DfE Covid-19 helpline (0800 046 8687) and the Public Health England Advice service (option 1) will be available to answer any questions you have about Coronavirus. These helplines will, however, close on the bank holidays, and have shortened opening hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. 

Until 24 December, the helpline opening hours are:
Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
​Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm

From the 24 December, the helping opening hours are:
24 December – 8am to 4pm
25 to 28 December – Closed
29 to 30 December – 8am to 6pm
31 December – 9am to 4pm
1 January – Closed
2 to 3 January – 10am to 6pm

Please select option 1 or 2 if you require specific advice on the action to take to respond to a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your setting. This option will take you through to a dedicated team of NHS Business Services Authority advisors who will work through a risk assessment with you to identify close contacts and will inform you what action is needed based on the latest public health advice.

Please select option 3 or 4 for any other questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education settings and children’s social care.

Please also make sure of the "Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak" guidance and follow the systems of control.

For Wales:
The Welsh Government has published an Alert Plan that outlines the four levels of response to Covid-19. Childcare remains able to operate at all levels within the plan. Under the Level 4 restrictions which will come into force in Wales from 20 December Childcare settings can remain open and operate as normal. This includes Flying Start Childcare, childcare and play settings operating from community centres and places of worship, holiday childcare, staffed playwork provision and playgrounds. Welsh Government are not restricting provision to the children of critical workers/vulnerable children as far as childcare is concerned.

For queries regarding how to respond if a member of your household is asked to self-isolate during the Christmas break, continue to contact the Health Protection Team or All Wales Acute Response team (AWARe) on 0300 003 0032 and you will be directed to an out of hours number to risk assess and discuss any mitigating actions that can be put in to place to remain open.

Coronavirus support from PACEY

Don't forget to also take advantage of PACEY's Coronavirus spotlight resources:

  • If you have a specific query please do check our Covid-19 FAQs for England or Wales otherwise, please call the DfE helpline (England) or the CIW online services (Wales).
  • If you have any symptoms in your setting please download and follow the relevant flow charts available here (England and Wales).
  • When doing any risk assessments you can access our Covid-19 specific risk assessment in our paperwork section.
  • We would recommend reminding parents of their responsibilities and establish a mutual understanding about how you - and they - will behave to continue to help limit the spread of the virus now and in the new year then please do use our Childminding community agreement as a template.

Other useful links

  • Join as a PACEY member 
  • Login to MyPACEY
  • Explore the shop
  • EY smart training platform
  • If you have a safeguarding query please contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or contact your local authority safeguarding team.

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!