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NEWS: DfE publishes guidance for early years settings in England

The Department for Education has this weekend published its toolkit to advise all registered childcare and early years providers in England on the steps they need to take if they reopen from 1 June.

PACEY has provided comments on the draft toolkit and, now it is published will be looking at how best to translate this guidance into the support the large variety of settings need.

Liz Bayram, PACEY's Chief Executive, commented, “Whilst it is good the guidance is finally published, it raises as many questions as it answers. Childcare settings are all so different. How this guidance changes the operational activity of a day nursery will be entirely different from how it impacts a childminding setting. There’s still much to do to support providers to prepare and to assess the increased cost of delivering childcare in this way to what we anticipate will be fewer children.

"We have made clear to government that we are facing a long period of reduced demand for childcare places and guidance is only the first step. Providers need clarity on how early education funding will work once they can reopen; what additional funds will support them to pay for the required changes to their setting and, for self-employed childminders (who don’t benefit from the furlough extension), how they continue to get help with ongoing losses. Without this support, an already underfunded childcare sector, is at real risk of seeing many settings close and we need clarity urgently."

At the weekend the Prime Minister also confrimed that the planned re-opening of childcare settings, schools and colleges was "on track" for 1 June, assuming that the government’s five tests are met by Thursday 28 May.

The toolkit guidance is available at the DfE's website.