Dear Childminder,

As you know the government announced last week that all schools, colleges and early years settings will be closed to everyone except children of critical workers and vulnerable children from Monday, 23 March 2020.

The government has published updated guidance on the key principles for maintaining educational provision and a list of key worker sectors. The roles we defined in our previous update are included within this plus there are some additional areas now included:

See guidance

Please use this updated list with parents to identify children who are eligible for childcare.

Eligibility only depends on one parent being in the eligible category. The guidance is clear that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be and that many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. The message to parents should be that if it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

The other category of children are vulnerable children. This includes children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

​Please ask your parents to complete the critical worker form and keep it as part of your records. If you have vacancies as a result, please email with details of the number of vacancies you have and the ages you can look after. The FIS will then update the Family Directory with the information and will also signpost parents to your service.

We are planning on the assumption that nurseries and childminders will continue to care for children in your setting who are eligible. This is a government recommendation. It is important for children to ensure continuity and routine wherever possible in these times. However, we appreciate that some of you may have to close if there are insufficient staff who are well and able to work. We have also asked you to indicate on the form, whether you are able to remain open or, if this isn’t possible, if you have staff able to accompany children to another setting. This will help us to plan sufficient childcare.

Please inform us as soon as possible, if you are unable to open for eligible children. Children who do not fall into these categories, should not attend their childcare provision after today.  

For further information, please refer to our advice page at