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NEWS: Additional FAQs for early years and childcare settings in England

This week the Department for Education issued updates for early years and childcare settings in England around coronavirus. The DfE has outlined these changes in its ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document which can be accessed here

Contacting tracing and the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation hub

Early years and childcare settings do not need to routinely provide staff details who have tested positive to NHS Test and Trace Self-Isolation Hub. Instead those individuals will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace directly, to identify and notify any known close contacts and provide public health advice.

However, a setting may wish to contact the self-isolation hub if a staff member is eligible for self-isolation financial support and:

  1. The staff member is not exempt from isolation and has been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive, but that individual was unable to pass on their details to NHS Test and Trace
  2. An individual who tested positive is unable to identify or provide details of staff they have been in contact, for example being temporary workers. 

Further information on what to do if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, rules on isolation and financial support for those that have to isolate can be found here.

Contingency Framework update

All settings should have in place contingency plans, also referred to as an outbreak management plan which sets out the measures that settings should take to manage Covid-19 transmission in the event of a local coronavirus outbreak or in response to a variant of concern.

The DfE contingency framework has been updated to reflect the position for people who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable. These individuals no longer have to follow shielding advice, but should consider advice from their health professionals on taking additional measures.

The framework also states that increased coronavirus testing may be recommended by Directors of Public Health for individual settings or those in a particular local area. In this event, settings would work closely with the Directors of Public Health to identify any additional support that may be needed. 

PACEY members can access our outbreak management plan tool here to find support with developing an outbreak management plan and which measures you may need to include.