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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Early years guidance


  1. Changes from 1 April 2022
  2. Information for providers
  3. Department for Education coronavirus helpline

Changes from 1 April 2022

From 1 April 2022:

  • free COVID-19 tests will only be available from the NHS for specific high-risk groups, see NHS: COVID-19 testing
  • adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough and no longer have a high temperature.
  • children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.
  • adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days. For 18 year olds and under, the advice is 3 days. 

For education and childcare settings from Friday 1 April:

  • regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any education or childcare setting, including in SEND, alternative provision and children's social care settings. Therefore, settings will no longer be able to order test kits
  • residential SEND settings may be advised by their local health protection team to re-introduce some time-limited asymptomatic testing. This would be an exceptional measure, for targeted groups of staff and pupils or students (secondary age or above) in the event of a possible COVID-19 outbreak. These settings are scheduled to receive an automatic delivery of contingency supply test kits during the week commencing Monday 28 March

New guidance will be published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Most of the specific COVID-19 guidance for education and childcare settings will be withdrawn from the government website on Friday 1 April. The operational guidance on the testing in education settings document sharing platform will also be removed on the same day.

Information for providers 

 Guidance for providers: 

Informing Ofsted of any Covid related closures

Early years settings are no longer required to notify Ofsted, or the childminder agency with which they are registered, of any COVID-19 cases in the setting.

You also do not have to submit notifications for any cases that have happened in the last 14 days.

For more information, see GOV.UK: Childcare providers no longer required to tell Ofsted about confirmed COVID-19 cases.

It is still a legal requirement to report cases of serious illness. You should notify Ofsted as soon as possible, and in any case within 14 days of a notifiable event happening.

For information about what is classed as a notifiable event or serious incident and what to tell Ofsted, see GOV.UK: Report a serious childcare incident.

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education has a coronavirus helpline which is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children's social care.

Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline.

Call 0800 046 8687 (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday)

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