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!

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30 hours scheme communication

Need to tell your parents about the 30 hours scheme? We've created a sample letter that is clear and accurate for you to send out to parents, in print or by email. 

You can see the content below, or you can download a Word version

If you have any comments or further requests, please contact the Intergrated Early Years Service on

Sample letter

Dear parent,

Suggestions to start opening paragraph:

    • Help us to help you with eligibility codes
    • If you are eligible for 30 hours funding and do not provide us with an eligibility code, this may impact your child’s place…
    • We will be prioritising full time places based on 30 hours eligibility codes.

Existing parents, has your eligibility status changed?

If your eligibility status has changed, you can check below to see if you meet the requirements. Your code will aid us to provide a better early years setting.

Eligibility Criteria

You may be eligible for up to 30 hours funding if you meet the following criteria

Both parents are employed (or the sole parent is employed in a lone parent family), and each parent earns, on average:

    • A weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW)
    • Each parent’s income should not exceed £100,000/year

Families where one or both parents do not work will usually not be eligible for the extended entitlement.

However, the extended entitlement will be available in case the one parent is in employment and the other is in receipt of:

    • Incapacity benefit
    • Severe disablement allowance
    • Long term incapacity benefit
    • Carers’ allowance
    • Employment and support allowance
    • National insurance credits on the grounds of incapacity for work or limited capability for work 

How to Apply

To check your eligibility, click below:

    • > Apply now > Sign in with ‘Government Gateway credentials. If you do not have a Government Gateway account, select ‘Don’t have a Gateway Account’ and follow the instructions.

To  complete your  application, make sure you have the following information:

    • Both parent/carers National Insurance number
    • Dates of current employment
    • Recent payslip/P60/passport
    • Mobile number (a code will be texted to you)
    • You will also be asked to create a ‘gateway account’

At the end of your application you will be given an Eligibility Code. Make sure you keep this safe.

Please return the slip below with your eligibility code to the school office before XXXXXX

If parents do not return their eligibility code the school may lose funding for the nursery and the child’s hours will be reduced.

We sincerely appreciate your co-operation in completing this application.  If you have any problems at all please call (school contact number) and speak to (designated staff member) who will be happy to assist you or arrange a time for you to visit the school to complete the application.

Child’s name


Child’s DOB


Parent 1 NI number


Parent 1 DOB


Parent 1 name


Parent 2 NI number


Parent 2 DOB


Parent 2 name


Eligibility Code



Download the contents of this page.