Thank you for contacting me about the impact of coronavirus on childminders. I read your email carefully and have noted the key points you raised.
I am thoroughly sympathetic to your situation. This is indeed an exceptional and testing time for all of us.
Like all early years providers, childminders must close and should only provide places for vulnerable children or the children of critical workers.
Under existing registration arrangements, childminders can work for up to 50 per cent of the time on non-domestic premises. If childminders have the capacity and there is a local need, they could help support with staff shortages in centre-based childcare provision. Childminders who do not already have approval to work up to 50 per cent of their time on non-domestic premises will need to seek approval from Ofsted, after seeking initial support from their local authority.
I understand local authorities are expected to follow the Government's position and to continue early entitlements funding for all childminders currently delivering funded hours to children in their setting, regardless of whether children are able to attend due to coronavirus.
The Government has announced a range of measures designed to protect the self-employed, including the introduction of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years.
The Chancellor has also announced a wide-reaching set of measures strengthening the safety-net for the self-employed, which include:
- Making access to both Universal Credit and ESA easier and more generous, removing the seven-day waiting requirement in ESA and relaxing Universal Credit’s Minimum Income Floor for all self-employed people
- Deferring income tax self-assessment payments from July to January next year
- Suspending the minimum income floor for twelve months meaning that self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate that is equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees
- Increasing Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by £1,000 a year
- Delaying the reforms to off-payroll working rules (IR35) from 06/04/2020 to 06/04/2021
- Introducing a three-month mortgage holiday so that people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage while they get back on their feet
- Introducing emergency legislation to protect renters, so that no one gets evicted if they cannot pay their rent
For more information please see below some useful links:
HMRC have established a dedicated helpline which can be reached on 0800 0159 559.
Thank you once again for bringing your personal concerns to my attention.
With best wishes.
Member of Parliament for Woking