Coronavirus, early years and childcare

To prevent the spread of coronavirus and in order to follow government guidelines, families should only attend a Children’s centre if they have been invited to do so.

Childcare during coronavirus

If you are a key worker or you have a vulnerable child, you can apply for childcare 

The department for education has clear information for childcare settings that remain open for key workers and vulnerable children.

Children's centres to remain open during lockdown

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

- Health appointments

- Early learning for two-years-olds

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

We will be following the latest government guidance, 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 have resumed some 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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Safeguarding in the Early Years

NURSERIES_TH_101Safeguarding and welfare requirements (section 3 of the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework) states children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them. It also mentions providers must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well. The requirements in section 3 explain what early years providers must do to: safeguard children; ensure the suitability of adults who have contact with children; promote good health; manage behaviour; and maintain records, policies and procedures.


On this page you will find the following information:

  1. Important contact telephone numbers.

  2. The Prevent Duty

  3. Safeguarding children training for early years practitioners.

  4. Safeguarding resources for practitioner.

  5. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

  6. Local Safeguarding Children Board.

  7. Local Offer.

Important contact telephone numbers

Children's Social Care (Monday to Friday daytime)

Available from 9am to 5pm.


Child Protection Advice Line

Designated number of schools and Children's Centres.

020 7364 5000

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

 To make a referral you need to complete the interagency form.

020 7364 5000

Police Child Abuse Investigation Team


020 8217 6484

(or use 999 if not available)

Tower Hamlets Local Authority Designated Officer


Contact Melanie Benzie for allegations against professionals, staff or volunteers.

020 7364 0677  

07903 238827

Children's Social Care emergency (out of hours)

Available from 5pm to 9am Monday to Friday, and all weekend on 020 7364 5000. 

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Prevent Duty advice for schools and childcare providers

The Department for Education published The Prevent Duty in June 2015. It provides advice for schools and childcare providers. It came into effect on 1 July 2015.

Schools and childcare providers are responsible for keeping children safe, including from the risks of extremism and radicalisation, and for promoting the welfare of children in their care. The Prevent duty reinforces these duties by spreading understanding of the risks and current good practice across the country.

This advice is intended to help schools and childcare providers think about what they can do to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and suggests how they can access support to do this.

School staff and childcare providers should understand when it is appropriate to make a referral to the channel programme. Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation. An individual’s engagement with the programme is entirely voluntary at all stages. Detailed guidance on channel is available.

Free online general awareness training module on channel is available. The module is suitable for school staff and other front-line workers. It provides an introduction to the topics covered by this advice, including how to identify factors that can make people vulnerable to radicalisation, and case studies illustrating the types of intervention that may be appropriate, in addition to channel.

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Safeguarding children training for early years practitioners

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 

For more information contact the Workforce Development Team at or call 020 7364 7947.

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Safeguarding resources for practitioner

You will be able to find a variety of safeguarding children and many other resources by visiting our practitioner resource page.

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Disclosure and Barring Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

3.13 of the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework, details that providers must also meet their responsibilities under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which includes a duty to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service where a member of staff is dismissed, (or would have been, had the person not left the setting first) because they have harmed a child or put a child at risk of harm. To make a referral visit:

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Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)

The Tower Hamlets LSCB is a statutory body responsible for agreeing locally how all organisations working with children and young people co-operate to promote their welfare and keep them safe from harm.

There website brings together information for professionals working with children, young people and their families, whether in employed or voluntary capacity. It also gives an overview of the responsibility, structure and work of the Board as well as access to Guidance, Research, Training, Procedures, Board Reports and Minutes.

For more information visit

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Local offer

Social care services offer advice and support to people to live their lives as safely, actively and independently as possible.

For more information please visit our local offer social care page.

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