Coronavirus Information for Parents and Carers

We understand that the current COVID-19 situation is still presenting many challenges to our daily life. During this time, it’s important that you support and take care of your own and your family’s physical and mental health.

The Government has produced some helpful guidance for parents on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. You can also keep up to date with the latest restrictions through the main Doncaster Council website which has lots of really good information covering all aspects of daily life.  

Remember that one of the best preventions we have is handwashing and maintaining social distancing. This is a child friendly video from the NHS about handwashing that you may wish to share with your younger children.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night schools across Doncaster will begin to offer remote learning for all pupils.

School places will be made available for vulnerable children and the children of critical key workers from Wednesday 6th January 2021. Schools / academies will make contact with parents and carers directly to confirm their plans and tell you how to book a place.

There are lots of things you can do to stay healthy and safe and we have put together some information below that we hope you find useful.

NHS Covid-19 App

The new app is now available to download for free at the Apple App Store or Google Play. It is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from Coronavirus, and the faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community.

The app has a number of features which includes alerts to let you know the level of Coronavirus risk in your area and help with booking a test and getting the result quickly find out more on the NHS website.

Childcare Bubbles

Please see the latest Government guidance on childcare bubbles.

Help and Advice

There may be times when you need someone to talk to outside of the family home. The services below can help you or give you the details of someone else who can. Please see the main Doncaster Council website where we provide up to date information about services and support available across Doncaster.

Information and Updates in Doncaster

For information and updates in Doncaster, please see the below websites:

Updated Early Years and Childcare Closures Guidance

The Department for Education have updated their guidance for Ofsted-registered childcare providers for children of all ages, including childminders, nurseries and wraparound childcare and clubs (before- and after- school and holiday care).

The updates include:

  • Information on the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
  • Clarification on whether settings are still covered by their public liability insurance.
  • A new section clarifying the expectation on early years settings remaining open over Easter for vulnerable children and children of critical workers.
  • A new section on hub provision.
  • Clarification on whether someone with a paediatric first aid certificate still needs to be on site.
  • Clarification of DBS requirements.

Family Hubs

Family Hubs are now open for appointment based services. 

We are starting to resume some groups by appointment only, please keep an eye on Facebook for these and how to book on them. 

We are still delivering lots of fantastic sessions through our Virtual Family Hub so be sure to check those out.

Families can make contact with the Hubs by telephone or Facebook if they need any help, advice or information.

General Information and Help

Family Lives offers a confidential and free helpline service for families in England and Wales (previously known as Parentline). For emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life. 

The NSPCC helpline provides help and support for parents, professionals and families. The service can be contacted by phone 0808 800 5000 or online to gain advice or share their concerns about a child, anonymously if they wish. 

The Gingerbread Single Parent helpline provides support and expert advice on anything from dealing with a break-up to going back to work or sorting out child maintenance, benefit or tax credit issues; their calls are free and confidential.

When things get heated, most people struggle to keep their cool. Research shows that drawn-out disagreements between parents can make children feel stressed and unhappy, particularly when it’s obvious to them that something is going on. Click have created a short course, which aims to support parents in practicing good communication skills.

Young carers and young adult carers: providing care during Coronavirus

It is the government’s plan that all children and young people, in all year groups, will return to school and college full time from the beginning of the autumn term. You can find out more about the government's plan to re-open schools in the following guidance: What parents and carers need to know about early years providers schools and colleges in the autumn term .

More information about Doncaster schools.

For all the latest guidance and advice on schools please go to: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for schools and other educational settings.

Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline

The Department for Education has set up a school helpline to answer questions from staff, parents and young people about coronavirus issues related to education.


South Yorkshire Passenger Transport and Operators have taken steps to keep customers and staff safe during Covid-19. They have also provided a direct link to their website which contains up to date information about current services and any disruptions.

The Traveline team is available to answer questions between 8am and 6pm seven days week to answer customer queries – Telephone 01709 515151.

More real-time information can be found on Twitter.

Financial Support

You may be worried about falling into financial difficulties during this uncertain period in time. For example, if your salary or income is reduced, you may find you don’t have enough money cover your usual outgoings.

The Government has developed guidance for employees which answers many questions and provides links to other websites that explain what you should do if you are sick, made redundant or a furloughed worker.  You may be able to get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you are too ill to work. To find out more information visit the Statutory Sick Pay website. Alternatively, you may be able to claim Universal Credit, or the new style Employment and Support Allowance providing you meet the usual eligibility criteria. The government has provided more information to help explain What is universal credit?

You may find some other useful information at Citizens AdviceYour Life Doncaster or St. Leger Homes. You can also contact Citizens Advice Doncaster for personalised support.

If you have found budgeting difficult you may want to use Budgeting booklet 2020

These are some organisations which may be able to help if you are worried about work or benefits while your child can't attend school or childcare.
  • has written guidance on how to deal with the outbreak, including information about employment. 
  • Citizens Advice has produced a useful guide to dealing with the outbreak, including information about paying bills and going to work. 
  • Turn 2 Us has updated its benefits guidance in response to the outbreak. 
  • Working Families has produced a guide to employment rights and financial support in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. 
  • Maternity Action offers free legal advice on employment rights for pregnant and new mothers. 
  • Child Poverty Action Group provides advice and support for families living in poverty. 
  • Mental Health Foundation offers advice about dealing with changes to ways of working in the current outbreak.
  • St Peters Church in Bentley offer a debt advice service
  • Money Advice Service provides information on what sick pay and benefits you may be entitled to

Other Support

  • SLHD Moneywise and Tenancy Support - The Tenancy Sustainability team offers support to tenants in their own homes; people needing a little help to deal with problems they are facing to avoid the potential of losing their home.
  • Money Matters - FREE service that includes help with: reviewing income and expenditure, prioritising payments, negotiating with creditors, budgeting skills and tips, access to affordable credit and how to save money.
  • Citizens Advice - Offer advice on: benefits, work, debt and money, housing, law and courts.
  • Community First Credit Union - Services include: saving accounts, budgeting accounts, support to social and private landlords and affordable loans for everyone.


Citizens Advice Video Support

Citizens Advice Doncaster are providing online debt advice by video. This can be accessed anywhere. To join the waiting room, click on the link below. The waiting room is open 10am to 1:30pm weekdays. 

Join the Citizens Advice waiting room

If you would prefer to speak to an advisor via telephone, you can contact them on the numbers below:

  • Citizens Advice Doncaster Borough Adviceline Number: 0808 278 7955
  • Adviceline National Number: 0800 144 8848

Healthy Start 

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods. This important means-tested scheme provides vouchers to spend with local retailers. Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week. Please visit the Healthy Start website for the latest information around applying. 

Iceland are currently offering free frozen vegetables to families using Healthy Start Vouchers in its stores across England, Wales and Northern Ireland until the end of the year. The free veg, worth £1, will boost the value of the vouchers ensuring families have easy access to great value, nutritious food. More information.

You can now purchase additional foods using your Healthy Start vouchers including: fresh, frozen or canned fruit and vegetables including loose, pre-packed, whole, sliced, chopped or mixed fruit or vegetables, fruit in fruit juice, or fruit or vegetables in water, (but not those to which fat, salt, sugar or flavouring have been added). Fresh, dried or canned pulses, including but not limited to lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas (but not those to which fat, salt, sugar or flavouring have been added).

Fuel Pre-Payment Meters

New emergency measures have been agreed by the government to protect the domestic energy supply of those most in need during the disruption caused by COVID-19. Customers with pre-payment meters who may not be able to add credit can speak to their supplier about options to stay supplied. This could include debt repayments and bill payments being reassessed, reduced or paused where necessary, while disconnection of credit meters will be completely suspended.

Ofgen have produced advice and answers to questions you may have on managing your energy supply during the outbreak.

Expectant and New Parents 

We understand that this is a very challenging time and there are many questions that need answering maternity action have put together some useful information in relation to maternity benefits. Maternity Action

Community Midwives

Community antenatal appointments have now resumed and will be taking place at Family Hubs, these must still be attend alone. All Postnatal appointments will either take place at Family Hubs or at the Antenatal Clinic (in some situations, appointments will take place in the home). Parents will receive a telephone appointment on the first day they go home to see if they require a visit or not.

If you have any urgent pregnancy concerns, please call our 24 hour triage service on 01302 642711/2.

For non-urgent pregnancy related queries please contact the community midwives hub on 01302 642794 between 9am and 5pm.

Accessing Infant Formula  

There are reports that nationally parents are struggling to access infant formula. We have been made aware that retailers do have stock and supplies, however stockpiling has led to some retailers having empty shelves.

Our colleagues in public health have provided the following advice for families who may be struggling to access their usual brand/preferred product. (Information courtesy of First Steps Nutrition Trust)

  • Parents should be advised that stage 1 / first infant formula should be used for infants in the first year of life:
  • If you are unable to get your usual brand of first infant formula, don’t worry – you can use any first infant formula as all preparations have a similar nutritional composition to comply with legislation.
  • Don’t use stage 2 follow on formula for any baby under 6 months – only use first infant formula.
  • If you are using follow on formula for a baby older than 6 months and cannot access this, then use first infant formula.
  • If you are using other milks such as anti-reflux milk, comfort milk, etc. and can’t access these, then use first infant formula.
  • Always make up infant formula as per manufacturers guidance do not be tempted to add more water to make it last longer as diluting the milk could endanger your baby’s health
  • Full guidance available at Formula Milk At Food Banks 

Your local pharmacy should be able to help if you’re struggling to get hold of a particular product. To avoid unnecessary travel, if you can contact the pharmacy by phone to discuss your individual circumstances.

Breastfeeding with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The following information is the current guidance from Public Health England (PHE).

If you are breastfeeding while infected:

There is currently no clinical evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breastmilk. Infection can be spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breastmilk or by being in close contact with your child, however, this will be an individual decision and can be discussed with your midwife, health visitor or GP by telephone. If you wish to breastfeed, take precautions to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 to the baby by:

  • washing your hands before touching the baby, breast pump or bottles
  • avoiding coughing or sneezing on the baby while feeding at the breast
  • cleaning any breast pump as recommended by the manufacturer after each use
  • considering asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breastmilk to the baby

If you are feeding with formula or expressed milk, sterilise the equipment carefully before each use. You should not share bottles or a breast pump with someone else.

Further information can be found below:

Infant feeding during the COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus infection and pregnancy

Call: 01302 737260



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Last updated: 20 January 2021 10:57:59