Getting back to school

Helping children return to childcare

Children at a nursery painting

Parents and carers are being urged not to miss out on a free early years education place for their child. The free early education places can be accessed in nurseries, pre-schools and with childminders across the borough. 

Nurseries, pre-schools and childminder settings are wonderful places for children to learn and have fun with friends, which supports their development and their overall wellbeing. Attending childcare can be an exciting and joyful experience for children and can also help provide a routine as they develop their social skills.

Whether your child attends nursery, a childminder or another early years provider is your decision, but we do encourage you to take up a place for your child. Attending childcare can help provide a routine as young children develop their social skills.  A child's early years are the foundation for their future development, providing a strong base for lifelong learning and learning abilities. Early language development impacts on children’s future success. 

Naturally all parents will have concerns, but continued lockdown could have had an adverse reaction on the child’s and the parent’s health and wellbeing.  It is vital they return to normality.  Not taking up your place could also mean that the setting will not have a place for when they do decide they want to go back. The setting will need to fill their spaces to be able to keep running.

Childcare providers must follow strict government guidelines to make their setting safe including:

  • Enhanced hand hygiene and cleaning practice
  • Caring for children in small groups or ‘bubbles’ and minimising contact between these groups
  • Maximising the use of outdoor spaces
  • Physical distancing between adults and older children in the setting including parents at drop-off and pick-up times

Mariana Levicka is a mum-of-two who lives locally and her daughters attend Lampton Park Preschool. She said:

“I sent the girls back to preschool so they could connect with their peers. Lampton Park Preschool have put a range of safety measures in place, including regular hand washing and allocating the children to small groups, to protect them. 

“The staff have been so professional and managed the situation brilliantly. My children come home very happy and stimulated. The preschool offers so many more activities than I could provide at home.”

If you have any questions about returning to childcare or need any help to find a place, please contact the Family Information Service on 020 8583 3470.  Alternatively you can email them at You can also find out more about help with childcare costs at

For the latest Government advice on what parents and carers need to know about early years providers and other educational settings during the coronavirus outbreak, please visit:

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