Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care

Preventing and controlling infection, including the use of PPE, in education, childcare and children’s social care settings during the coronavirus outbreak.



This is for all staff in:

  • children’s homes, including secure children’s homes
  • residential special schools or colleges
  • fostering services
  • visits to family homes
  • alternative provision
  • early years and childcare settings
  • schools, including special schools
  • 16 to 19 academies
  • further education (FE) settings including general FE education colleges, sixth-form colleges and other providers

It includes advice on:

  • minimising contact
  • changes of work practices
  • hand and respiratory hygiene
  • increased cleaning of the environment
  • limiting movement
  • when you might need to use PPE
Published 14 May 2020
Last updated 1 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated to include changes to the system of controls in line with other guidance. Some formatting changes to headings have also been applied.

  2. Updated guidance on PPE supply. Added guidance about residential settings, including information about visits from social care workers and visitors.

  3. Updated 'What specific steps should be taken to care for children with complex medical needs, such as tracheostomies?' to include guidance on aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) in education and children’s social care settings.

  4. Updated information about how to report confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the section on engaging with the NHS test and trace process.

  5. Updated to include new guidance on the test and trace process, social care visits, shielding, staff who have been in close contact with a positive case and the use of face coverings.

  6. Updated guidance to clarify advice on the system of controls measures including PPE and the NHS test and trace process.

  7. Updated guidance to clarify PPE advice and changes in access to testing.

  8. First published.