Coronavirus (COVID-19) Useful Information

Bolton Start Well Logo 750x500

Useful information for Bolton early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your setting, you are advised to follow the Bolton specific Action Card.

Bolton Action Card (09/12/2020)

GM Contact Tracing in 0-19 Education Settings (01/12/2020)

If you have a suspected case of COVID-19 in setting (child or staff member) you are advised to follow the Government guidance: Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - System of control: prevention.  The information will guide you through the process of what to do when an individual develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or has a positive test result confirmed whilst in setting.


Useful information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) for the early years sector

The latest updates and changes to documents and guidance are listed at the top of the page.


Weekly provider update email

Follow this link to view the weekly provider update email.


Weekly Public Health data for Bolton

Please use the links below to access the weekly Public Health data information for all education settings:

Public Health Update for Education: 15th January 2021 - 21st January 2021
Weekly Note on COVID-19 in Bolton: 20th January 2021


Payments to providers and EYFF - January 2021

Please note this information is for private providers, including Childminders, in receipt of early years funding entitlements.

Here is a copy of the funding proposal for private early years providers and the Parental Request for Remote Access to EYFS During COVID-19 Lockdown - (letter template) that link to the rationale explained in a new PVI funding webinar recorded on the 7th January 2021. You are strongly encouraged to watch the webinar as it will explain the process that will need to be followed. This process has been shared with the Department for Education.
The authority have explored all options that are available within the current financial parameters. Bolton will pay EYFF to all providers who are open to all children. Duplicates will not be paid and must be resolved.  
For providers who have been informed by parents that although they have booked a nursery place or their child was on the Headcount last term, will not, due to the COVID -19 Nation Lockdown, be attending but plan to take up the place once the National Lockdown comes to an end, will be paid the EYFF for that child. The following arrangements will be introduced to support this.
In the following circumstances and for the agreed implementation period as set out by Government.
For all Funded providers who are open to all children.

  • Set up a ‘Parental Request for Remote Access to EYFS During COVID-19 Lockdown’ with parents - see document and webinar
  • A copy of the contract must be held for auditing purposes.
  • Providers must commit to the delivery of that agreement at an individual child level, delivered virtually by the child’s key person (e.g. Tapestry, Class DoJo or alternative apps, Zoom or telephone contact).
  • For children with SEND accessing EYIF this agreement will be aligned with the Early Years Inclusion Fund (EYIF) objectives and should be delivered by the child’s key person.
  • Early Years Funding can then be paid to the setting that is linked to that child through the Headcount.
  • Funding will follow the child and any child not receiving their funded place due to Schools or providers not being open, must be removed from the Headcount. 


Early years webinar - 14th January 2021

Follow this link to the latest early years webinar - recorded 14th January 2021


Early years webinar - 7th January 2021

Follow this link to the latest early years webinar - recorded 7th January 2021


Recent changes to Government guidance - 22nd December 2020

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Page summary: What childcare services early years settings, childminders and local authorities need to provide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Change made: Updated information on tier 4 restrictions, charging parents and carers, what to do when an individual has had close contact with someone with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, how to contain any outbreak, the definition of close contact, when to count 10 days isolation period from and CJRS. Replaced ‘What to do if a child is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)’ with a new version.

Time updated: 2:56pm, 22 December 2020

Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Page summary: Protective measures for providers of community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings offering provision to children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Change made:Updated to reflect new local restriction tier 4 (stay at home) requirements and attendance at out-of-school settings during the first week of the new school term in January 2021.

Time updated: 5:33pm, 22 December 2020

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Page summary: Guidance for parents and carers of children attending community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings.

Change made: Updated to reflect new local restriction tier 4 (stay at home) requirements and attendance at out-of-school settings during the first week of term in January 2021.

Time updated: 5:33pm, 22 December 2020

Early years foundation stage profile return: how to submit data

Page summary: How local authorities should submit data from early years providers to complete the early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) return.

Change made: Updated Important dates and added link to EYFSP return 2021: technical specification.

Time updated: 5:52pm, 22 December 2020


Early years funding entitlement Spring term 2021

As stipulated in the guidance ‘Use of free early education entitlements funding during coronavirus (COVID-19) ,Updated 17 December 2020’

Funding from the Department for Education (DfE) to local authorities in the spring term 2021

The normal process for determining funding allocations for local authorities for the early years entitlements is to take an annual census count of the number of hours taken up by children in each local authority in January. This is the mid-point of the academic year and so balances the relatively lower numbers eligible for the free entitlements in the autumn term and the higher numbers in the summer term. This means that local authorities would in normal circumstances be paid for the spring term 2021 based on the January 2021 census data.

In July we asked local authorities to continue funding providers as if coronavirus (COVID-19) had not happened and said that by exception we would base local authorities autumn term funding on the January 2020 census count. We also announced that our intention was to return to the normal funding process from 1 January, and use the January 2021 census count to drive funding allocations for the 2021 spring term. The number of children attending childcare has been increasing across the autumn term and attendance is much higher than during the first national lockdown.

Therefore, we will fund all local authorities on the basis of their January 2021 census for the spring term.

Full guidance can be access here;

Payments to Providers

Following Government guidance please note that Spring term 2021 will need to be paid on actuals, if a child should move settings during this term the funding will follow the child.

The Local Authority is being funded on actuals and the projected overspend on the Dedicated School Grant is currently £300k due to the protection provided in Autumn term therefore there is no funding available for duplicate payments in Spring Term.

To keep adjustments to a minimum we ask for your help by updating the portal as soon as possible, when a child moves or joins your setting.

Encouraging parents to settle their child in before census week will also help Bolton Council with the monies that will be allocated for the year ahead.

Spending review – Early years funding announcement: 2021-2022

Information for local authorities and early years funding for the 2021 to 2022 financial year has now been published. We will release further information and details on how we will consult with you in the New Year.  These funding increases will take place from April 2021. More information to follow. 



Ofsted to move to six-year window for routine inspections

Reporting to Ofsted guidance to refer to should your operating circumstances change (operating hours change, you open or close setting) or you have a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in setting.

Osted's regulatory work during national lockdown 5th November 2020

COVID-19 Series: briefing on early years, October 2020


Self-isolation guide for parents during COVID-19

Please find below a link to the poster, Self-isolation guide for parents during COVID-19.  Please display where this will be visible to practitioners, parents and carers. 

COVID-19 advice for parents in Bolton

Template letter to parents and carers - self-isolation


Track and tracing

What to do if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in an education or childcare setting in Bolton

GM Contact Tracing in 0-19 Education Settings 1st December 2020

Bolton Action Card 9th December 2020

Please do not hesitate in contacting Bolton Start Well if you have any questions.

UPDATE 25th September 2020

A national helpline has been launched by the Department for Education (DfE) to take pressure away from Public Health teams.  The helpline provides support and advice to educational settings where there is one or more confirmed case(s) of COVID-19.

Settings can call the helpline on: 0800 046 8687 (select the option 'advice following confirmation of a positive case'). 

The helpline is available: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 6:00pm and Saturday - Sunday, 10:00am - 4:00pm

For Bolton (and in line with GM) the preferred option is that educational settings continue to use the protocol set out in the GM Contact Tracing Guidance and the Bolton ActionCard above and to only use the DfE helpline where this is not possible. 


Risk assessments

This is the link to the Governments guidance for the wider opening of early years and childcare settings

It is the responsibility of the Owner/Manager to compete a risk assessment and ensure that it is shared with all staff.

Communication with parents and carers is key and elements of the risk assessment shared with parents may reassure them in such uncertain times.

Please contact your health and safety provider for additional support.

COVID-19 Early Education and Childcare Support Pack **UPDATED 09 09 2020**

This document includes:

  • General compliance checklist - this is a basic compliance checklist. This can be used to help you ensure that your building is safe to reoccupy. You may need to liaise with other competent persons when completing this form. 
  • Discussion template - could be used at a pre-meeting, when your setting is meeting to discuss opening the site or increasing the number of persons on-site. It poses questions relating to a setting environment and invites you to consider the plans you have in place; you can add or delete sections as needed.
  • COVID-19 early years and childcare generic guidance based risk assessment - This is a generic guidance-based risk assessment.  It provides lots of example control measures, but you will need to add or remove hazards and controls to make this document suitable for your own site.

COVID-19 Return to Work Flowchart for Individual Risk Assessment 09/06/2020

This document is supplementary to the COVID-19 Early Education & Childcare Support Pack. It is important that employees (particularly those who have been identified as at increased risk from COVID 19 are individually risk assessed. This document is based on advice issued to the maintained schools sector and has been adapted as tool for Early Education and Childcare Settings which they may wish to use.

You can contact the Start Well team by email: or by telephone: 01204 338149 for additional support and advice during normal operating hours.


Bolton Council - Early education entitlements funding during coronavirus (COVID-19) Autumn term 2020

As outlined in the government announcement and guidance documents, early education entitlements funding for the Autumn term 2020 will be based on the January 2020 census (for autumn term only).  The Government Guidance states, ‘Local authorities are best placed to monitor and manage their local childcare market and have responsibility for ensuring sufficient childcare places'.

The general funding principle remains that local authorities should aim to fund providers which are open and offering the entitlements as far as providers are able and providers that are closed due to public health reasons at broadly the same level they would have expected to if coronavirus (COVID-19) had not happened.

Local authorities should not fund providers which are closed, without public health reason, from the start of the autumn term.

Local authorities may need to use some early years DSG funding which has not been spent on providers which are closed for non-public health reasons to address local sufficiency gaps. 

DSG entitlements funding is provided with the intention that it is used to fund early years provision. Any entitlements funding should remain within early years expenditure.

We encourage all providers to open to deliver childcare places for all children who need it, and to deliver entitlements places, unless they have been advised to close, or left with no option but to close, due to public health reasons.’

The Autumn term will be a transitional term in preparation for Spring term 2021. The Government has stated that, ‘We expect to return to the normal early years funding process and use the January 2021 census count to drive funding allocations for the 2021 spring term.'  We also expect local authorities’ funding to providers to return to the normal approach (that is, ‘funding following the child’) for all providers from 1 January 2021.  However, we will keep this under review and confirm the approach in further guidance in the autumn.’

In Bolton payments for the Autumn 2020 term will, in the first instance, be based on the previous Autumn term 2019 total submitted hours.  This means that if providers are open, but caring for fewer children then they usually would be in the autumn term, as a result of low demand from parents or for public health reasons, they can continue to be funded as if the COVID-19 pandemic were not happening. This gives another term of secure income to nurseries and childminders who are open for the children who need them.  We recognise that numbers for the Autumn term 2020 may have, in some cases increased. Any additional funded children that are above the figure submitted in Autumn 2019 will be paid. This will be identified using the providers Autumn 2020 headcount using the funding Portal or paper copies as used by some Childminders.”

To enable the process to run smoothly Bolton Council needs confirmation that funded providers will be open for the autumn term and to confirm which funding entitlement they will be offering. Please complete the funding form that all providers will be asked to return so that the headcount can open, and payments can then be made. This will ensure we have accurate information about the entitlements you will be offering. You can access the form here;

Provider will need to ensure that they have completed a  Parental Declaration Form that states the agreed conditions, hours and patterns of access to the Funded Early Years and Childcare Entitlement (including a record of any other setting they are splitting their entitlement across). It also enables providers to capture parental consent for you to validate their eligibility code. A copy of a ‘model’ Parental Declaration Form can be accessed here;

Payments will be paid monthly; Adjustments will be actioned reflecting the movement of Children however numbers used for funding will not be reduced to a lower level than Autumn 2019.

The headcount portal will open on Friday 14th August 2020 and close on the Thursday 3rd September 2020 for the initial headcount returns. Monthly amendment tasks will be scheduled following this submission

The Government guidance setting this out in more detail can be found here:

Thank you in advance for completed the funding form ( link above). Please do not hesitate in contacting Bolton Council if you should need further support.


COVID-19 education, childcare and activities - signposting service

If families are not able to access their current early education or childcare provider, and there are no alternative care options, please ask them to contact the One Stop Shop on 01204 337220. Whilst places cannot be guaranteed, the Council will be able to provide families with details of early education, childcare and sessional activities that are currently open to help them find the services needed.

Early education and childcare will look different to previous years. The Government has issued Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which will be updated by the Government should the COVID-19 situation change.

Bolton Families Information Service have produced some local 'How to' guides - these guides will help families to understand childcare and sessional activities throughout COVID-19.  Please share this with the families you support.

for more information, follow this link:

OOSC good practice charter


Data Capture - COVID-19 early education DfE return for Bolton providers

As you are aware, the Department for Education (DfE) have asked Local Authorities to complete a weekly data return to help inform national early years and childcare policy relating to COVID-19. Thank you to those who are returning this.

We have received a copy of frequently asked questions linked to this data return which can be accessed here.

To make sure we accurately represent the early education and childcare market and challenges in Bolton, please can providers complete this data return on a weekly basis by 12 noon each Wednesday to allow your responses to be collated for the national return.  

Link to data capture

If you need any support to complete this, please email:

To help reduce demand on providers we will use this same return to update the records being used by our Brokerage Team, who are supporting parents to find early education and childcare providers.


Personal protective equipment (PPE)

National guidance states that additional PPE is only required in childcare settings and schools in a small number of exceptional cases.

Settings are advised to procure PPE via existing procurement routes. If you are struggling to source PPE, a request can be made for an emergency PPE pack by contacting

If incorrectly used, PPE can give a level of false reassurance. It is essential that all staff using PPE have received appropriate training in the 'donning and doffing' of the kit using the link below, or they could increase rather than reduce their risk.

If staff need any support, they can email the Community Infection Prevention and Control Team on CommunityInfectionPrevention&


Government publications

Actions for early years and childcare providers during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak ***Updated 26th November 2020***

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.UK

Protective measures for out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and Translated publications

Guidance for full opening of schools

Update to coronavirus symptoms (published 18th May 2020)

Voucher scheme for schools providing free school meals

Eligibility for government childcare offers protected


Other publications

Out of School Alliance - Coronavirus update

Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) Autumn 2020 postponed

Foundation Years PowerPoint slide: preparing for wider opening of early years from 1st June 2020

Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update

RCPCH when children are unwell - poster


Supporting mental and psychosocial well-being

Early Years in Mind - a free online network for early years practitioners.

GM Health and Social Care Partnership resource pack - primary schools

GM Health and Social Care Partnership resource pack - early years settings

Beelieve: supporting mental health during and after COVID-19

Early years bereavement guidance and checklist

World Health Organization: mental health considerations

COVID-19: guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing

Every Mind Matters

Mental Health UK

Safety advice for those at risk of domestic abuse who are self-isolating

Mentally Healthy Schools

Multi-agency Poster - services working together to keep children safe and healthy


Advice and support for businesses

Guidance from Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

Government guidance for self-employed

Find Coronavirus support for your business

COVID-19: support for businesses

Bolton Council Update: business rate reductions

Business Bolton supporting businesses and individuals in Bolton

For specific enquiries relating to business support, Business Bolton can be contacted via email at:

The Business Growth Hub supports businesses across Greater Manchester that have the potential, ambition and commitment to grow, from established and large organisations to small and medium size enterprises.  They have put together a package of support responding to the Covid-19 outbreak, including a series of free downloadable webinars.  To get further information on business support, including access to one of their business advisors and free newsletter, please visit: 


HMRC tax helpline for businesses and self-employed

Phone: 0800 024 1222

Opening hours: 8:00am - 4:00pm (Monday to Friday) excluding bank holidays



Early year finance

Funding (PVI only)

Additional claims from the 1st June 2020 for children attending a setting not included on the summer 20 term original headcount submission

Funding from 1st June - 7 weeks maximum to end of term for all children

  • This will be an email/attachment return process (the headcount portal will not be re-opening) – further information will follow for this process going forward.
  • Title your email as ‘Name of Provider’ June – Aug additional claim summer 2020
  • Email to and
  • An encrypted email will be sent to you to respond with an attachment to complete. Please can you then respond securely when completed by the deadline dates stated with the following information for the additional children you are claiming funding for:
    • name of child
    • date of birth
    • full postal address
    • which funding accessed - Two-year olds (confirm number of weeks/hours)
    • which funding accessed - three/four-year olds (confirm number of weeks/hours and if it is universal or extended, include code if known)

Please note that funding entitlements paid are for the summer term 2020. Parents may need support to understand that the funding cannot be recalculated from the 1st June to stretch payments until the end of August. All normal conditions apply.

For any further specific queries, please contact Julie Edwards, Schools Finance Manager at or 01204 332035.


EYFS support

If you would like support and advice, the Start Well team will be on hand.

Please contact the office on: 01204 33 8149 or email: and you will be directed to the right person/team.


SEND support

Support for parents of children with SEND

SEND FAQ - in response to COVID-19

Transition - adapted for COVID-19

Bolton Information and Advisory Service SEND bulletin

The Start Well SEND team are available to support you if you need help or guidance during this challenging time.

Call the team on: 01204 338355 or send an email to: 



Greater Manchester Combined Authority and NHS in Greater Manchester letter and quick reference guide to Greater Manchester Perinatal and Parent Infant Mental Health services for professionals.



For more information, don't forget to keep checking our news page!  You can also subscribe to our early years update by emailing:









Published: 11th December 2020