PLANS are in the pipeline to welcome more of Dorset’s youngest children back into childcare.

Dorset Council is working with early years providers, such as preschools, nurseries and registered childminders, as they plan to welcome back more children as a result of the Prime Minister's announcement.

All providers are following guidance from the Department for Education and Dorset Council and plans are being made to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible.

Risk assessments are also being carried out and providers are working to make sure they are ready to receive more children in the coming weeks.

Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, Cllr Andrew Parry said: "I would like to thank childcare providers and their staff for their work during the pandemic. Many have been open throughout for the children of key workers and vulnerable children and their work has been vital at this difficult time. I know they are now working hard on plans to welcome more children back as safely as possible."

Children and young people, or their families who are shielding because they are considered clinically vulnerable, should continue to shield and should not return to their early years provider.

Early years providers will be in touch with parents and carers to discuss individual circumstances and find out what their childcare needs are.

Latest government guidance for parents and carers can be found here: