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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Support for early learning and childcare at school

Child playing with spade

  • There are many different names for this childcare entitlement for working parents. The government often refers to “early learning” but also refers to “30 hours”.

  • We are looking at a combination of the universal entitlement of 570 hours for three and four year olds PLUS the additional 570 hours for working parents.

  • A parent can use these two entitlements in two different settings, for example in your school and/or with a childminder.

  • They can only use their entitlement once. Although the LA will let you know if the parent has used their entitlement elsewhere, you should be prepared to ask.


Communicate extended (30) hours to families in every way possible and across channels, via admissions packs and online, in-person between families and staff, and promotional literature.

Reinforce the message

Reinforce regular communications; include extended (30) hours information in the regular literature sent to parents.

Make sure communication and messages remain well-promoted aligned and consistentacross all communication channels (online and offline and advertising material). Parents schools and staff would better be on the same page at all times

Remember: 30 hours codes are important for school funding throughout the terms 

Identify eligibility changes

In the extended (30) hours literature include information relevant to potential  changes in parents’ working circumstances. This way you’ll help  those that may previously have been ineligible for a code and/or those that may “fall out” of eligibility due to unemployment.


Use suggestive statements such as:

  • We will prioritise full time places based on extended (30) hours eligibility. Applying for an eligibility code will help us to help you.
  • Renewing your eligibility code ensures continuity of better services  provision. (These are just suggestions).


Hold sessions to introduce to and assist parents with the ‘how to’ of the extended (30) hours 

Q&A Sessions

Hold 30 hours Q & A session at events, like open days etc.


Work to deadlines when attaining codes.


If you have any comments or further requests, please contact IEYS on


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