As of 4th January 2021 the Government introduced England into a National Lockdown. They’ve made the guidance around what lockdown means for childcare clear, and we’re pleased they’ve recognised the necessity of childcare especially for working families.
In summary, formal childcare within the home is allowed: the Government guidance says, "where it is necessary for you to work in other people's homes – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople – you can do so.”
What childcare is allowed in lockdown?
The Government guidance has outlined what lockdown means for childcare. Nannies are allowed to work at the moment, as long as neither household has someone with symptoms of COVID-19 or has been asked to self-isolate. They have even specified nannies twice outlining that, “nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home.”
However, if nannies are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, they are advised to shield during the national lockdown which was announced on 4th January 2021.
Early Year settings are open to provide EYFS childcare (childcare to children 5 years and younger). This means that nurseries are currently still open, and so are childminders for this age group.
Childminders, schools and other registered childcare providers outside of the family home are open to older children of critical workers or children who are vulnerable only.
What is a childcare bubble?
A childcare bubble is where one household needing childcare for anyone under the age of 14 years links with one other household, for example grandparents, to provide informal childcare (unpaid and not registered). This includes within the home, and overnight if needed.
Childcare bubbles can only be formed with one other household. So, a household cannot provide childcare to multiple other households.
Childcare bubbles are different to support bubbles, and having a childcare bubble does not need to stop you from forming a different support bubble if necessary.
How do childcare bubbles work?
If you use a childcare bubble, it must only be used for childcare purposes and not to mix with another household for any other reason. It’s recommended that the household you form a childcare bubble with lives locally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I furlough my nanny?
Yes, you are eligible to furlough your nanny if are on a PAYE scheme where a submission to HMRC has been made before 30th October 2020. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended to April 2021.
How long will the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme last for?
The Government has said the scheme will run until the end of April 2021, but it may be extended further.
What does the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme cover?
The Government will cover 80% of an employees usual wages if they are fully furloughed up to a maximum amount of £2,500.
You will still need to pay non-reclaimable costs, such as holiday pay or if you chose to top-up your nanny's wages to 100%.
There are also requirements to pay National Insurance and pension contribution grants, but this will not affect you as it is already covered by Koru Kids as part of our service, if you hired a nanny through us.
What is flexible furlough?
You can choose to ask your nanny to work for less than their ‘usual hours’ and furlough them for the rest of the time in a calendar month. This isn’t compulsory, and you can choose to fully furlough your nanny (your nanny does not work for you at all).
Can my nanny still work while they're furloughed?
If your nanny is fully furloughed, no. They cannot do any work, including virtual nannying.
If your nanny is flexibly furloughed, yes. They can work the part of their 'usual hours' in the calendar month that you've agreed with them in advance, and notified us of.
In all cases, you should discuss and agree a way forward with your nanny. If you hired your nanny through Koru Kids, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can update your arrangements.
Are there any situations where my nanny cannot work?
Examples where your nanny can't go to work:
- Your child has symptoms, has tested positive, has been told to self-isolate by school or NHS Track & Trace, or is in quarantine after returning from abroad
- Your nanny has symptoms, has tested positive, has been told to self-isolate by NHS Track & Trace, or is in quarantine after returning from abroad
- Anyone else in your household (or support bubble) has symptoms or has tested positive
- Anyone else in your nanny’s household (or support bubble) has symptoms or has tested positive
Looking for childcare over lockdown?