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-year-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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School readiness in Tower Hamlets

What is school readiness?

School Readiness in TH cover image

In Tower Hamlets we believe that school readiness involves: Children’s readiness for school

Schools’ readiness for children

  • Families and communities’ readiness for school.

There are four key areas that make an important difference to how children get on in school:

  • language and communication
  • personal, social and emotional development
  • physical development
  • characteristics of effective learning.

These areas form the foundation for learning including literacy and numeracy.

The rapid rate of development from birth to five means that we must take into account the different needs of children at different ages when we are thinking about being ready for wider learning experiences including school.

Who supports school readiness?

  • Parents at home when they read stories with their child, sing songs and talk about things that interest them and their child, and play with their child.
  •  Health professionals working with parents and children to ensure that everyone gets the best start in life.
  • Children’s Centres, where many health professionals are now based, and where there are stay and play sessions and family support).
  • Early years settings –including child minders, nurseries, play groups or schools.

The most important thing we do in early years is to ensure that children are learning through play. Research tells us that this is the most effective way of supporting children’s development. The process of development is sometimes portrayed as one in which children gradually manage things more independently, with lots of support and modelling from the adults who care for them.

Two Year Old Integrated Review

A very important part of ensuring that children will thrive and flourish is discussing a child’s achievements around the age of two with parents and families. This is called the Two Year Old Integrated Review and is an opportunity if further support and help is needed if there are concerns about a child’s progress. Early intervention has a significant impact on the outcomes for children and is the start of the process that leads towards school readiness.

Assess school readiness

At the end of the reception year, teachers assess whether children have reached the early learning goals. If they reach the goals for:

  • personal, social and emotional development,
  • communication and language,
  • physical development,
  • literacy and
  • mathematics, then they are at a good level of development and are ready for year one.

School readiness guide for parents and professionals

The Integrated Early Years Service has produced a guide for parents and professionals. This document aims to give greater detail on School readiness in Tower Hamlets.