Caring for children and young people during Covid-19

Information about essential Lambeth services for children and young people while coronavirus restrictions are in place

We appreciate that it continues to be a challenging time for Lambeth families. We are working hard to keep essential services running, however many services have been reduced or stopped due to staff illness, or closed, to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Services may change due to staff availability and changes to government advice. Please check service provider websites to confirm services are still running before you attend.


The measures put in place to keep children safe when at school include staggered starts, as well as changes to breaks and lunchtimes. Children will sit in rows rather than face to face, and stay in their own learning groups or ‘bubbles’. They will be encouraged not to mix with other ‘bubbles’ to reduce the number of unnecessary contacts. Schools have also been in direct contact with parents and carers to explain any changes to maintain the safety of children and staff during the pandemic.

See the latest information and advice on schools on the GOV.UK website: What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the spring 2021 term.

Better Start Children’s Centres

Better Start Children’s Centres in Lambeth are offering a limited range of face-to-face services by appointment. Staff are continuing to provide services and support online or by phone.

Self-isolation and school or nursery closures

If you are on a low income and will lose earnings from having to stay home to look after your child, you may be able to get a Lambeth Stay Home Support Payment of up to £738. This includes people looking after children home from school or nursery due to staff shortages caused by the pandemic. 

If your child needs to self-isolate and you urgently need shopping or other practical help, or emotional support, please call our Stay home safely support service on 0800 054 1215 and we can arrange help for you. We can also link you to other services as needed. The helpline is open 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week.  

Parenting support

Lambeth’s Parenting Team provide free parenting support across the borough for Lambeth families. While face-to-face help is not possible, we aim to offer families online or telephone support.

If you would like to find out more, please complete our online referral form and we will be in touch with you soon.

You can also access helpful tips for parenting during Covid-19 in over 50 languages from Parenting for Lifelong Health.

Youth and play

Many youth and play service providers are continuing to offer services online. Lambeth’s Family Information Directory contains listings of the services, activities, support and resources available for young people during Covid-19.

Our Young people’s guide to coronavirus is a one-stop-shop for up-to-date information, advice and great ideas for having fun and staying healthy and safe while Covid-19 restrictions are on. The guide contains everything they need to know, all from trusted sources, without the fake news, and is presented in seven sections for young people.

Go to the Young people’s guide to coronavirus

Childcare provision

In line with the government guidance, Ofsted-registered childcare providers, such as nurseries, preschools, childminders and after school clubs, remain open during Covid-19.

If you are looking for childcare, you can search the Family Information Directory to get information on childcare and places where you can use your funded early learning and childcare hours each week. See:

If you haven’t been able to find a childcare place for your child, contact the Families Information Service at as soon as you can. We can help you find approved childcare providers who have vacant places.

If you need childcare for a vulnerable child aged 0-5 or for those children of key workers, please apply for childcare using this online form. Once we have received your completed form, we will help you to find suitable childcare in your preferred area in Lambeth. If you are not able to access the online form, please email Kathryn Shaw at

See the following useful information for parents and carers from the Department for Education:

Short breaks

All group short breaks activities are currently suspended and Lambeth is operating a core short breaks service, which is mainly virtual. Please see the Local Offer for further information about current short breaks.

If you are a parent or carer of a child who receives short breaks services, for specific advice, we would recommend that you contact your social worker or the Children with Disabilities Duty Social Worker on 020 7926 6916.

Parents and carers may find the following links helpful:

SEND support or EHC plans

We are working with partners across Lambeth and London to ensure that children with special educational needs in Lambeth are supported during the coronavirus outbreak. Read more information for parents of children with a SEND support or EHC plan.

Sick children

If you have a non-emergency concern about a child’s health, it is best to contact NHS 111, or online, in order to speak with a health professional.

Please do not attend activities and events if you or your child are unwell. If you or your child develop new symptoms of a persistent cough and/or temperature, and/or a change to sense of smell or taste, please follow government guidance on self-isolation. Find out more about coronavirus and how to self-isolate.

Concern for a child’s mental wellbeing

The Young Minds Parent’s Helpline is available to offer advice to parents and carers worried about a child or young person under 25. Call 0808 802 5544, Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.00pm.

More support organisations to help with your child’s wellbeing can be found in our Young people’s guide to coronavirus.

Concern for a child’s safety

Making sure that children and young people remain safe during this time is of paramount importance. If you believe that a child or young person is in immediate danger then you should call 999 straight away.

Children, young people and parents who are survivors of domestic abuse may feel particularly alone and at risk during Covid-19. The Gaia Centre can help. Confidential advice and support is available by phone, text or email – whatever’s safest. Get help for yourself, and/or someone you know: make a referral or self-refer by calling 020 7733 8724, or email

The Gaia Centre website

Detailed information and support for people of all genders is available in our section Violence against women and girls.

The National Domestic Abuse Helpline can also be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0808 2000 247 for advice for you or someone else.


We update this page, and use social media to alert families to changes and disruptions to local services during Covid-19. Follow the Family Information Service on Twitter @LambethFIS and for updates on all council services, follow the main council Twitter account @Lambeth_Council.