Schools and early years settings – information for parents and carers

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Information for parents and carers

Following the Government announcement on 4 January 2021 advising of a National Lockdown, the following arrangements for childcare and education are set out below.

Childcare and Early Years Settings

Early years settings, including nurseries and childminders, will remain open to all, throughout the six-week lockdown (up to the February half-term holiday). See Government guidance about childcare.

Schools and Colleges

Schools (primary and secondary) and colleges will open only for vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers. All other pupils, in every year group, should stay at home, in line with national lockdown restrictions. Schools and colleges will provide education remotely for all those learning from home.

Parents and carers may also wish to see the most recent Government guidance relating to childcare and education.

See Government guidance on protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs, and other out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Special schools

The policy on special school opening and attendance is decided nationally by the Department for Education (DfE).

The DfE’s most recent direction for special schools and alternative provision, published 14 January 2021 Restricting attendance during the national lockdown: Guidance for all schools in England states:

During the period of national lockdown, schools, alternative provision (AP), special schools, colleges and wraparound childcare and other out-of-school activities for children should allow only vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers to attend (recognising that the characteristics of the cohorts in special schools and alternative provision will mean these settings continue to offer face to face provision for all pupils, where appropriate).

Early Years (0-4 year olds) and out of school (school age) - availability

Information about Hampshire’s childcare services (early years providers, nurseries childminders and out of school providers in your area can be found on the County Council’s Family Information and Services Hub (FISH).

Parents or carers with a specific childcare requirement should complete the County Council’s childcare request form.

Children and young people’s mental health

The County Council’s Educational Psychology Team provides expertise, training and support to schools to enable them to help pupils to maintain good mental health and well-being. The Educational Psychology Team also has a telephone contact line which parents and carers can access for advice.

A Freephone Crisis Line is also available for children and young people, across Hampshire, aged from 11 to 17 years old. Operated by Havant and East Hampshire MIND, the line provides access to help, support, and advice for young people experiencing difficulties with their mental health. For more details visit the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Crisis Line for Children and Young People website.

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

0800 046 8687

8am to 6pm Monday to Friday

10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday

dfe.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk