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Coronavirus | Updates, advice and resources for families and practitioners

Coronavirus | Guidance for parents and carers (including education and childcare)

This section provides advice for parents and carers, including guidance on education, childcare and activities. Please look at the guidance below by clicking on each section. 

Redbridge 11+ selection test

Last update: Friday 13 November 2020

The Redbridge 11+ selection test will take place on Saturday, 21 November 2020.

We will be contacting all applicants with updates relating to their particular circumstances, in coming days.

Please refer to the latest updates on the Redbridge 11+ selection test at before contacting the Admissions team.  

IMPORTANT - children who are isolating on Saturday 21 November 2020 

If your child is due to take the Redbridge 11+ selection test and is isolated on Saturday 21 November 2020, they must not attend your test centre on the test date. Your child will be invited to the late test date.

National restrictions (5 November to 2 December 2020)

New national restrictions start on 5 November 2020 for 4 weeks. More info on GOV.UK

Local restrictions (up to 4 November 2020)

The current local COVID alert level in London is high. 


Schools, Further Education providers and Universities will remain open


Families can continue to use the following childcare support:

  • Registered childcare providers, which remain open to all children (nurseries, pre-schools, out of school clubs)
  • Registered childminders and nannies working within a private home
  • People in your support bubble (where a household with only one adult in the home joins another household of any size – this must always be the same household)
  • People in your childcare bubble (where someone in one household provides informal and unpaid childcare to a child under 13 from another household – this must always be the same household)

Children accessing registered early years and childcare, schools and colleges in autumn term

The Department for Education (DfE) have a guide for parents and carers on everything you need to know about returning to childcare and education in the Autumn term for children and young people in registered nurseries and childminders; primary and secondary schools and further education colleges. More info on GOV.UK

Informal childcare (childcare bubbles)

Families can continue to use informal childcare by setting up a 'childcare bubble'. This is where someone in one household provides informal and unpaid childcare to a child under 13 from another household.

Please note the following guidance for 'childcare bubbles': 

  • You can use either your home or the relatives home as the setting for the childcare
  • If you create a childcare bubble between two households you can only use it for the purpose of providing childcare
  • Any childcare bubble must always be between the same two households
  • Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of your support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare

You can continue to use your childcare bubble through both the current Tier 2 local and  national restrictions.  

Extracurricular and leisure activities

The following guidance is for when national restrictions are in place between 5 November and 2 December 2020

Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care.

Early years settings can remain open. Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. As above, some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble, which allows single adult households to join another household. More info on GOV.UK.

Some youth services may be able to continue, such as 1-1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.

The following guidance is for when local restrictions are in place:

Is your child attending an out of school setting?

This includes:

  • tuition
  • community activities
  • other out-of-school settings for children and young people aged 5 and over during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Government has issued guidelines to help you make the right decisions for their safety, wellbeing and enjoyment of their activities. More info on GOV.UK

For general information on Out of School Activities in the borough and keeping your children safe in these settings, please visit the Out of School Setting pages on the Redbridge website. More info...

Children's Centres

Children's Centres are continuing to provide services to families with babies and young children. There are online activities and parenting support groups, one to one support opportunities and lots of fun and educational ideas for you to use throughout the holidays. More info. 

Do More... 

For information about virtual events and activities see Vision's Do More at home page.


People can spend time in the park while maintaining social distancing. Our tennis courts, games areas and skate parks are now open.

Children’s play areas, outdoor gyms and the bouldering facility at Fairlop Waters are now open.


Redbridge Central Library is open with reduced opening hours of 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

South Woodford Library is open with the reduced hours of Monday to Friday 6am to 7pm and Saturday-Sunday 8am to 6pm.

Goodmayes Library is open with the reduced hours of Monday to Tuesday 10am to 5pm, Thursday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Wanstead Library is open with the reduced hours of hours of Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Fullwell Cross Library is open with the reduced hours of Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.

All other libraries are currently closed, but we are working to make it safe and ready. We do not have a timescale for this at the moment.

A fines amnesty is in place which means that there will be no charges for overdue materials for the time being and books will be automatically renewed. 

Access E-books, online newspapers and magazines and other services online.

Leisure centres

Redbridge Cycling Centre is open with the reduced opening hours of 10am to 6pm, Monday to Sunday.

Ashton Playing Fields is open with limited opening hours.

All leisure centres are open but using the facilities will be different.

Owls Play Centre, Fairlop Outdoor Activity Centre and Cricklefields remain closed until further notice.

Places to Go & Things to Do

You can continue to use our Places to Go and Things to Do sections on the website for ideas of activities over the summer. Please note however that these records have not been updated during COVID and therefore there will be some venues or activities that are closed or are restricted at this time. Please ensure you check their website or contact the provider by phone/email before you set off. 

What to do if your child has symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If your child develops any of these symptoms at home they should not return to their childcare or education setting until they have received a negativve COVID test result. If you do not wish to access a test for your child then they must isolate and not to return to education or chlidcare for 10 days. 

Where a child presents symptoms of coronavirus when in their childcare or education setting, they will contact you immediately to make arrangements for your child to be collected and to go home. Families will then be expected to follow the guidance on self-isolation and coronavirus testing. More info on the NHS website.

Confirmed cases in a childcare or education setting

If it is confirmed that a child or staff member has tested positive for COVID, the childcare or education setting will make contact with those who have been in close contact in the days prior to the individual becoming symptomatic, or where they don't have symptoms in the days prior to receiving a positive test result. 

Everyone in contact with the confirmed case, both children and staff, will be asked to isolate for 14 days. Those asked to isolate should only access a test if they get symptoms. A negative test within the 14 days would not enable return to the setting and the individual would still need to isolate for the full 14 days. More info on self-isolation and treatment on the NHS website.

Supporting children's mental health and wellbeing

The Council’s Education Psychology service has set up a helpdesk which can provide specific advice and guidance. You can access the helpline on 07741 331009 Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 12pm, Wednesday evening from 5.00pm to 7.00pm.

In addition:

  • Young Minds have produced a guide for children’s well-being which you can access at. More info on the Young Minds website.
  • Place 2 Be children’s charity to support child and family mental well being have some useful information to help alleviate children's anxieties. More info...
  • Public Health England have also published a guide for parents and carers on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing during the outbreak. More info here.

Talking to children about coronavirus

A range of advice and guidance pages have been set up by the NHS, the BBC and other organisations to help families address the impact on children and young people.

The Department for Education have also set up a phone and email helpline

Supporting children’s learning at home

Primary school children 


Children under 5 years


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