System of controls

This is the set of actions early years settings must take. They are grouped into ‘prevention’ and ‘response to any infection’.


  1. Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or who have someone in their household who does, or have been advised by NHS test and trace to self-isolate, do not attend settings

  2. Where recommended, the use of face coverings

  3. Clean hands thoroughly and more often than usual

  4. Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach

  5. Maintain enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents

  6. Minimise contact between groups of children where possible

  7. Where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

  8. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated

Numbers 1, 3, 4, 5 and 8 must be in place in all settings all the time.

Numbers 2 and 6 must be properly considered, and settings must put in place measures that suit their particular circumstances.

Number 7 applies in all specific circumstances.

Response to any infection

9.  Engage with the NHS Test and Trace process

10. Manage and report to Ofsted and the PHE advice line confirmed cases, of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the setting community

11. Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice

Numbers 8 to 10 must be followed in every case where they are relevant.