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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice

Childcare and school for vulnerable children and children of critical workers

Registered childcare providers and schools are now opening to welcome more children if they can do so safely.

During lockdown many remained open to care for vulnerable children and children of critical workers. They have been asked where possible to prioritise care for these children.

Vulnerable children

Vulnerable children include those who:

  • are supported by social care
  • have safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans or on child protection plans
  • are looked after
  • are young carers
  • are disabled
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • have been assessed as vulnerable by the setting or local authority

Critical workers (also called key workers)

If your work is critical to the coronavirus response, or you work in one of the critical sectors and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised to attend childcare and school.

The government has produced guidance and a list of parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response.

This includes all council Children’s Services staff.

If you think you are a critical worker, you should confirm with your employer that your specific role qualifies as critical.

Search for childcare during the coronavirus emergency

Search our Family Information Directory to find providers who have told us their coronavirus status is 'open'.

Help if you can't find childcare

Contact our Family Information Service Outreach Team if you're having difficulty finding childcare. Our advisors will go the extra mile to help you find the childcare that meets your family's needs.

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