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Childminding: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 147068, tabled on 25 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support childminders who have lost work due to testing positive for covid-19 or due to a positive case in their household following the closure of Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Answered on

1 April 2022

Keeping children and staff safe is the department’s utmost priority. Throughout the pandemic we have listened carefully to the latest scientific and medical advice when developing guidance.

The department has recently reviewed and updated our guidance for childminders with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

From 17 March 2022, childminders can continue to childmind in their homes if someone who lives with them has tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms.

Childminders are advised to follow the steps below to reduce the risk of onward transmission:

  • The person who has tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms should avoid contact with the children being cared for in the childcare setting.
  • Where possible, use separate toilet and handwashing facilities. If this is not possible, maintain extra cleaning and hygiene routines, particularly after the person has used the facilities.
  • Notify parents, carers, and any assistants that someone has tested positive or has COVID-19 symptoms, as soon as reasonably possible and maintain open communication with them throughout.
  • Consider the need to reduce the spread of COVID-19 with mitigations, such as ventilation and extra cleaning and hygiene routines. They should be applied where it is practical and safe to do so. Additional information is available in the guidance published by the Cabinet Office, available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae?utm_source=17%20March%202022%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19.
  • Comply with health and safety law by reviewing your risk assessment. The risk assessment must demonstrate that the provision of childcare in your setting is safe, and how any additional but proportionate measures will be put in place.

Childminders can also consider using alternative places to operate such as other childminders’ houses, where possible.

Childminders who are unable to work due to COVID-19 can claim other government support such as Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, and the new style Employment and Support Allowance (subject to eligibility).