Community buildings – guidance for hosting pre-schools
Guidance for community halls and centres with a pre-school
Community centres and similar buildings are currently required by law to be closed, except for providing ‘essential voluntary activities or urgent public support services (including the provision of food banks or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation sessions or support in an emergency)’.
Pre-schools qualify as an exception as long as they are opening only for children who are vulnerable or whose parent(s) is / are key workers.
Plans to re-open
The Government’s Plan to Rebuild says a ‘phased return for early years settings and schools’ will begin on 1 June:
Schools should prepare to begin to open for more children from 1 June. The Government expects children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller sizes, from this point.
As of 4:30 pm on Wednesday 27 May, legislation is still needed to make this legal (the regulation above is still in force). However, assuming such legislation is passed in time, please see the guidance below about how to plan for re-opening a pre-school. This guidance is from the perspective of the community hall or centre; pre-schools and other education settings should have guidance to cover all the issues from their perspective. (NOTE: Guidance updated on 4 Jun with information about before- and after-school clubs.)
You may also wish to read the Government’s guidance for pre-schools and other early years providers. This can be found here.
EDIT ON MONDAY 1 JUN
The legislation to allow community buildings to open for use by a pre-school has been laid before Parliament and is now in force. The amendment is detailed here (see regulation 5, paragraph 7). The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 now say that community buildings can open for two reasons (the second one being new):
- To provide essential voluntary activities or urgent public support services (including the provision of food banks or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation sessions or support in an emergency), or
- For early years childcare provided by a person registered on the Early Years Register under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006.
Community centres and halls must still remain closed to the public for all other activities.