This information is current at 23/3/20, although it is changing rapidly.
Free Entitlement funding (FEE)
Yesterday the Government confirmed that settings receiving FEE would continue to receive this during any periods of nursery, preschool or childminder closures, or where children cannot attend due to coronavirus (COVID-19). It was also confirmed that Ofsted would be temporarily suspending routine inspections.
The government also has announced some additional support
- a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
Although they have not announced the mechanisms for claiming this yet the small business grant fund will probably be administered via the local authority.
The Sick pay relief covers up to 2 weeks. Additional advice is available at https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
Unfortunately Childminders do not receive much support currently in the announced measures. The only thing that has been brought forward is that in the event of them having to isolate due to Covid 19 they should be able to apply for ESA (Employment Support Allowance)
For group settings if there is an enforced closure you may wish to tell staff to take annual leave for all or part of the closure. If you choose to do this you need to ensure that you give at least twice the amount of notice as the period of leave. So for example if you want people to take 5 days of annual leave you must give them 10 days notice. More details are available at https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
With the announced closure of schools and Nurseries on 18/3/20
The govermenht announced that Nurseries would not pay Business rates in 20-21
Of course to qualify a setting needs to be directly paying business rates, so if it is included in your rent you will probably be ineligable.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (22/3/20)
Under this scheme organisations who have furlowed their staff ( sent them home) will be able to claim 80% of their salary bill up to £2500 a month per employee. HMRC should be in touch with all organisations who operate PAYE about this as soon as the scheme goes live. Expectation is that no money will be paid out until late April.
On current reading this will not cover staff who are still working.
Business Rates (22/3/20)
Nursery Busineses that pay business rates will be given a rates holiday for 2020/21 during this period they will pay no business rates.
This does not apply to childminders unless they have a seperate dedicated building that pays business rates
For Health related and general information
- Key source of information for the public: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
- NHS public information: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Blog / FAQ for the public: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/