The government announced on Saturday December 19, that London and some areas of the south east and the East of England have moved into Local Restriction Tier 4 (Stay at Home).
The central local restriction tiers guidance has been updated to reflect what this means for childcare / supervised activities for children (i.e. out-of-school settings) in Tier 4.
Registered wraparound childcare and supervised activities for children, such as out-of-school settings, should only be accessed where the provision is necessary:
- to allow parents / carers to work, seek work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment;
- for the purposes of respite care; or
- where the provision is being used by home educating parents as part of their existing arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education.
There was also an announcement about mass testing of secondary school students during the first week of term in January. Guidance on what this means for education and childcare settings, including out-of-school settings, was published on Friday December 18: Schools and childcare settings: return in January 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
To support with the mass testing effort, the government is asking that secondary school students receiving remote education from their school during the first week of term in January do not attend out-of-school settings during this time. This means that out-of-school settings and wraparound childcare can continue to operate for face-to-face provision between 4 and 11 January 2021 for children who are:
- home educated
- in early years settings
- in primary school
- in the secondary school-age cohorts eligible for full-time on-site provision – vulnerable children, children of critical workers and those in year 11 and 13
Those of you who are continuing to operate for face-to-face provision during this period should ensure that they make parents aware that their setting should only be accessed if their child is in one of the eligible groups outlined.