Coronavirus, early years and childcare

Early education and childcare during coronavirus

For child safety, early education and childcare providers follow the guidance issued by the Department for Education. Early education and childcare settings are now open to everyone. 

Children's centres remain open

All 12 Children’s Centres in Tower Hamlets will remain open with the easing of lockdown. Health and safety remains our top priority - for staff, families and the community. We have adapted our services to be ‘Covid-secure’ and we continue to offer:

- Health appointments

- Early learning for two-year-olds

- Face-to-face support for vulnerable, and newly vulnerable, parents 

- Collection of vitamins

Some small group sessions will be operating, please check our timetable for details.

We follow the latest government guidelines, which means our timetables and services are subject to change.

Please phone your local children's centre before you visit to make an appointment and find out the latest information.

Training sessions 

We continue to provide blended learning for our first aid and safeguarding courses and adult education courses.

Thank you

We would like to express our gratitude to all early education and childcare settings and childminders who have continued throughout COVID to offer Tower Hamlets children a wonderful, safe, caring and stimulating time. Thank you!

Early Years Training

Paediatric First Aid -3

The Workforce Development Team for Early Years provide information, guidance, 

support and a range of appropriate, high-quality training and networking opportunities relating to early years continuing professional development (CPD). 


On this page you will find information about:

  1. Who we support

  2. Training programme

  3. Course attendance fees

  4. Booking information - how do I apply?

  5. Non-attendance and cancellation fees policy

  6. Becoming a childminder

  7. Tailored training 

Who we support

Our services are available to early years practitioners in an Ofsted registered early years setting,  who are delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework in Tower Hamlets. This includes:

  • Childminders

  • Children and Family Centres

  • Day care nurseries

  • Independent schools

  • Maintained nursery schools

  • Pre-schools play groups

  • Primary schools

Tower Hamlets Inclusive Nursery school Consortium (THINC)

THINC is an alliance between the six unique and outstanding Tower Hamlets Nursery schools. Its main aims are to improve social mobility by supporting schools in improving provision, raising standards and narrowing attainment gaps.

THINC is led by an experienced group of five nursery school head teachers and a school improvement partner. Through the partnership, together we have built a network that can support schools and settings to become and remain sustainable good or better. Through sharing experiences, expertise and resources across schools, we maximise the availability of support.

Forum programme

More programmes to be added soon.


Safeguarding training programme

The Workforce Development for Early Years organise safeguarding training based on the levels of knowledge and skills needed and the degree of contact you have with children and families.

The courses aim to increase knowledge and understanding of child protection, so those that attend have the knowledge and ability to promote the safety and welfare needs of children.

The following courses are delivered throughout an academic year and some have an attendance fee per person. 

  • Introduction to Safeguarding Children 

  • Safeguarding Children for Childminders

  • Safeguarding Advance for Designated Safeguarding Lead 

Safeguarding Training -9

We have organised safeguarding training into different levels of knowledge and skills. The level required will depend on the degree of contact you have with children and families and the role you play.

It will allow those who work with, or take responsibility for, children and/or parents and carers at all levels to increase their knowledge and understanding of child protection, and their ability to promote the safety and welfare needs of children. Elements of the full safeguarding programme will offered each term.


Safeguarding training dates

Safeguarding Children for Childminders (Online)

Saturday 11 December 2021

Introduction to Safeguarding


Wednesday 17 November 2021

Designated Safeguarding Leads


Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 November 2021

Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 December 2021

For more information contact the Workforce Development Team 


Tel: 020 7364 7947

First Aid training programme

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We now have permission to re-start First Aid training sessions for the Autumn term. We will be offering these to colleagues in the following priority order; 

1. Certificates had expired before March 16 2020 

2. Certificates expired after March 16 2020 in chronological order 

3. First come first served 

FIrst aid training dates

Paediatric First Aid

Saturday 13 and Saturday 20 November 2021

Monday 22 and Friday 26 November 2021

Monday 29 November and Friday 3 December 2021

Paediatric First Aid (Saturday)

Saturday 15 and Saturday 22 May 2021

First Aid at Work

Monday 26 (online), Tuesday 27 and Friday 30 April 2021


You may request a place on one of these courses via the online form

These training sessions will be delivered from the children and family centre venues and colleagues who will be attending the training sessions will be required to adhere to strict social-distancing measures.

A range of actions will need to be followed for effective infection protection and control and we ask those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, not to attend. 

If you are unable to attend Paediatric First Aid training and your certificate expired by March 16, it can be extended to 25 November 2020. Please see latest government advice on Paediatric First Aid

A step by step guide to the Provider Portal

This page is for providers of 2, 3 and 4 year old funded placements only.

Provider Portal Step by Step Video

Download Provider Portal user guide and visit the Provider Portal.

Return to the top of the page

Course attendance fees

Some of our courses have a contribution fee and some are free to attend.  For specific details please refer to the session you would like to attend.

Attendance fees and refund procedure


Booking information - how do I apply?

Have you or the staff member attended a session provided by the Early Years Service before?

  • Yes – Complete the online booking form:  after which a member of our team will confirm your booking via email.

  • No – Complete the online booking form: and answering ‘No’ to the first question which will allow you to enter your details in full.

Non-attendance and cancellation fees policy

When booking a place on a session or course, the employer of the participant is subject to our non-attendance and cancellation fee policy. This policy relates to sessions that are free to attend.

Non-attendance and cancellation fees policy


Want to become a childminder?

If you want to become a childminder in Tower Hamlets, you will find detailed information on the process
and requirements on our becoming a childminder page.

Tailored training

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We can tailor training to your setting's needs. Full team training has been shown to strengthen the positive impact of Every Tower Hamlets Child a Talker (ETHCaT) on children’s outcomes.

We recognise how difficult and expensive full team training can be. So in response to this, we have refined our training materials so that they can be delivered in bite-sized chunks to the entire staff team, over a series of staff meetings or across two half days.

We have developed two packages which you can request to be delivered in your setting. Both are focused on narrowing the gap between the most disadvantaged children and their peers. The content can be discussed in more detail with the trainer and can be adapted to meet the needs of the learners.

Every Tower Hamlets child a talker

This focuses on the importance of learning language and its fundamental relationship to learning. Identifies approaches and practical strategies for maximising children’s opportunities to learn language.

Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Wellbeing

This focuses  on the vital role adults play in helping children to be emotionally and intellectually ready to think and learn. Identifies the skills and approaches that settings can focus on to develop in their practice.

Inclusion and special educational needs

A number of head teachers have asked if it is possible to extend IEYS inclusion support to primary schools.  Unfortunately the national funding requirements limit this service to private, voluntary and independent settings.  However, our six maintained nursery schools have a wealth of experience in this area and are willing to share this with primary colleagues.

Please contact the Workforce Development Team for more information.  Note that specialist training continues to be provided by Phoenix and Stephen Hawking schools – contact these schools direct if you wish to access their support.

Supporting Young Children’s Mathematical Development

Focusing on an area of the curriculum that supports narrowing the gap, we have developed a modular package of training which aims to:

  • increase children's’ understanding and attainment in mathematics
  • develop practitioner understanding of children's mathematical development
  • increase practitioner confidence to support parents and families
  • develop a toolkit of SST strategies that support open-ended mathematical investigation, and
  • support practitioners to use the rich environment around them, and to enhance it with mathematical development in mind.


Each training package consists of a total of 5 hours’ training.

Please call us to discuss your needs further.

The costs will vary according to delivery requirements, and whether a venue will need to be booked (if you are not using your own setting). Costs will be in the region of:

  • £550  for schools and
  • £275 - £300  for MPVI settings

Settings or schools may wish to work in partnership with each other to share the cost. The total number of participants in a group should not exceed 15. Larger groups will necessitate an additional trainer, and will be charged accordingly.

Setting's responsibilities

Please note, it is the settings’ responsibility to ensure that our tutors have adequate IT equipment available if the training is to be held at your designated venue. This includes the following:

  • interactive whiteboard that will enable us to use Microsoft PowerPoint programme to present slideshows

  • access to the internet and access to a TV/DVD player

  • the venue should be large enough to accommodate the number of participants.

Please contact the Workforce Development Team on 020 7364 7947 if you would like to discuss possible dates and packages.