Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, schools, colleges and childcare providers will be closed to the majority of pupils until further notice.
1.5 Will registered childcare providers, schools and colleges be open over Easter holidays for holiday clubs and childcare?
Where possible, we would encourage childcare providers, schools and colleges to continue to look after critical workers’ children and vulnerable children throughout the Easter holidays.
1.6 I am a critical worker or have a vulnerable child - can you guarantee that my child will attend their usual school or childcare provider?
We are expecting the majority of settings to stay open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children so they can continue to attend their usual provider, but we acknowledge this will be impossible for some - such as small rural schools.
Where a setting is unable to stay open, we will work with the local authority, regional school commissioners and neighbouring providers to find an alternative setting for their pupils.
1.7 I am a critical worker or have a vulnerable child - how will my child get to school if the only school open is not nearby?
We will work closely with local authorities to put the necessary arrangements in place to support children.
1.9 What if I have to leave my children unattended?
Read the government advice on the law on leaving children unattended.
There is no law about when you can leave your child on their own but it is an offence to leave them alone if it places them at risk. As parents, you should use your judgement on how mature your child is before you decide to leave them at home.
It is important to be aware that you can be prosecuted if you leave a child alone ‘in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health’. If you are at all unsure, the NSPCC recommends that children under 12 are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time, children under 16 shouldn’t be left alone overnight and babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone.
5.1 Will I be counted as a critical worker?
Critical workers include NHS staff, police, farmers and food retail workers, who need to be able to go out to work.
Children with a parent or carer who is listed on the government’s critical worker list should be considered for a school place.
If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
6.1 What support will be available to parents to help them educate their children at home?
More information will follow about what DfE is doing to support parents. We are working with the BBC and others to provide resources for children to access while at home. For parents with children under 5 years old see hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk.
6.3 Where can I go to get support to help keep my child safe online?
There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:
- Thinkyouknow (advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online)
- Internet matters (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- Parent info (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- LGfL (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- Net-aware (support for parents and careers from the NSPCC)