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Staying safe in early education

Early years providers in Leicester are open for all children but we understand that some parents may have concerns about their child returning to childcare and early education.

The following questions may answer any concerns you that have.

What measures can I expect that my child’s childcare setting has taken to keep children safe?

Government guidance was issued to direct early years providers on the safest way to offer childcare to the public.

The Local Authority have worked to support full day care, sessional care and childminders, in applying the extensive guidance to their individual circumstances. This will inevitably look different for each setting, but you can expect changes to and/or extra consideration to; the environment, the resources offered, the hours of operation, and policies and procedures. To learn more about what specific safety precautions have been applied, please contact the provider directly for more information.

How will my child be supported to start a new provision?

The local authority have been working with schools and early years settings to develop the processes in place to support children’s transitions. If you haven’t already had communication from your child's school or setting then we would encourage you to contact them and ask them to share plans of the practical arrangements in place, timings, arrival and collection arrangements, how your child will be supported and how they will share information with you as well as provide opportunity for you to share information about your child with them.

How can I learn about which is the best provision to send my child to?

Choosing a childcarer will support you in finding childcare in your chosen area.

As a protective measure, government guidance advises settings to restrict onsite visitors, including prospective parents. Providers are encouraged to be creative in how they overcome this obstacle and have developed alternative methods for sharing their provision with parents, for example virtual tours, online photographs and supporting information. To help you to establish whether the provision meets your needs, it is advisable that you communicate directly with the provider to request further information about the service they provide.

How will I know that the provider has made the provision as safe as it can be?

Government guidance has been issued to all providers, providing detailed steps to take to ensure that the service provided is as safe as possible for children and adults. Providers should continue to work on established risk assessments to ensure that protective measures are in place and monitored. For further information on how your provider has applied this guidance to their offer specifically, please contact them directly. They should make all of this information available to parents.

How will my child be welcomed back into the setting after such a long time?

Children’s mental health and wellbeing is a focus for all early year’s providers, highlighted in supporting government guidance. The sector recognises the impact prolonged periods at home/away from the setting can have on children. Providers will have prepared for welcoming children returning to the setting and will be conscious of the changes made and the impact on children and families. It is advisable to contact your childcare provider to talk through the changes that can be expected, to allow you to share this information with your child in readiness for their return.

Guidance on supporting children and young peoples mental health and wellbeing has developed to support parents and carers during this time.

What do I do about my 30 hours funding as I have been furloughed?

Changes to the 30 hours offer have been applied to ensure that eligible parents are not disadvantage as a result of the outbreak. GOV.UK has the latest information.

Why is it important for me to send my child to preschool?

Childcare providers play a huge part in preparing your children for life. Establishing the foundations for learning and developing the skills needed to allow them to reach their full potential. Through play, children are supported to; develop their social skills, improve their knowledge of the world, explore their creativity, and are provided with opportunities to learn through new experiences.

Our school readiness section has useful resources and tips to support you in preparing your child to early education and school.