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NEWS: Support for early years settings announced by the Department for Education

PACEY’s is pleased to share the positive news that the Department for Education (DfE) has today confirmed a range of measures that will support childminders, nurseries and pre-schools during this unprecedented period of challenge.

DfE has confirmed that:

  • early years entitlements funding will continue to be paid during any periods of nursery, preschool or childminder closures, or where children cannot attend due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • there will be no rise in the fees paid by early years and childcare providers to register with Ofsted in 2020-21. This follows a recent consultation with the sector.
  • Ofsted is to temporarily suspend routine inspections of early years settings as well as schools, colleges, children’s social care providers and local authorities to reduce the burden on staff who are providing vital services to the nation in response to coronavirus.

Liz Bayram said: “PACEY has been in regular communication with Ofsted and the DfE to ensure that wherever possible steps are taken to support early years and childcare providers in these challenging times. We know these announcements will bring some relief to the 1000s of providers struggling to remain open and supporting families despite the Coronavirus outbreak. 

“We believe our members – childminders, nurseries and pre-schools – are an emergency service, helping to ensure key staff can get to work and help us  overcome this pandemic, safe in the knowledge their children are being well looked after. We hope this positive news is built upon by the Chancellor who we are calling on to ensure a strong package of sustainability measures are urgently made available for all childcare providers – whether they are companies or, like many registered childminders, self-employed. PACEY will be analysing the Chancellor’s commitments and updating members tomorrow. We are also continuing to advise the Department on the support measures the sector needs to ensure it can continue to offer support to children and families not just through this crisis but afterwards too.”

The current advice from Public Health England continues to be that all educational settings, including nurseries, preschools and childminders, should remain open unless advised otherwise. The Department for Education is providing daily updates to local authorities and early years sector organisations and PACEY is continuing to monitor and interprete these to our members and other registered providers as well as parents. Find support and the latest updates from PACEY here.