Process for Ofsted registered childcare setting closure

All Ofsted Registered Childcare Providers are expected to remain open to children.  Where there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with a setting, the DfE helpline and the local Public Health colleagues will continue to discuss and agree with Managing Directors/Chairs of Trustees/Business Owners the arrangements that need to be put in place with regards to self-isolation etc. This will be up to and including decisions to require “bubbles” - either groups or whole rooms/age groups to close.  

Unfortunately, there may be occasions where wider setting closures than this may become necessary.  It is our expectation that all Ofsted Registered Childcare Providers should inform/consult the Local Authority prior to any decision to close a setting, in order for us to plan arrangements for your staff and users of your services during the closure period.

During periods of closure Ofsted Registered Childcare Providers are therefore expected to;

  • Confirm in writing the reasons and rationale for the proposed partial/full closure of the setting.  This will obviously need to include reference to the DfE/Public Health advice and support you have received in arriving at this recommended position.  Ofsted Registered Childcare Providers are reminded that they are expected to stay open to children of key workers and vulnerable children throughout and you should therefore confirm that this expectation is being met as part of the rationale. 
  • This document must include details of your remote learning offer to the children expected to learn away from the setting.  It must also include details of how you will maintain contact and assurance regarding vulnerable children (known to Children’s Social Care or Early Help, Children with an EHCP or in receipt of SENIF) and their families whilst working remotely. 
  • This should be signed off by the Managing Directors/Chairs of Trustees/Business Owners and sent to me at eve.mcloughlin@walthamforest.gov.uk  and copied to Elisha.brett@walthamforest.gov.uk.

Staff classified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable(CEV)

For this group of individuals and not those that are “just” clinically vulnerable or individuals living with people that are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, the Government guidance issued on Saturday 31 October states that (my highlights);

“There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. Over this period, we are advising the CEV to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). You are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible but are encouraged to go outside for exercise. The Government will write to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place. Current advice is in place at each local COVID alert level”.

In the meantime, we would advise Ofsted Registered Childcare Providers to plan on the basis that staff formally classified as clinically extremely vulnerable should not be in school from Thursday 5 November 2020 or for the foreseeable future.

Reopening guidance/risk assessment template

We will be updating the template on the Hub, considering this announcement and reviewing it in light of the most recent Government guidance which was published on 21 October 2020.