Coronavirus (COVID-19) information about services for children and young people

Information about the delivery of essential Lambeth services for children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic. 

We appreciate that this is a difficult and 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 coronavirus.

We will give you as much information as possible to help support you through this pandemic. This page has been created to keep you informed about changes to services for children and young people.

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.

Better Start Children’s Centres

Better Start Children’s Centres in Lambeth are offering a limited range of face-to-face services by appointment.

Better Start staff will continue to provide services and support online or by phone.

Please visit the Better Start Children's Centre page to see the services available this summer.

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 Stay home support payment of up to £500. 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. Whilst face-to-face interventions are not possible, we aim to offer families virtual, 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

Stay safe, healthy, positive, active, connected and informed. #StayInPower

Even though we can't deliver face-to-face and group activities from our youth and play services, most providers are now offering their services online. Lambeth’s Family Information Directory now contains helpful listings of the services, activities, support and resources available for young people during the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve launched a young people's guide to coronavirus. It's a one-stop-shop for up-to-date information, advice and great ideas for making the most of lockdown. 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 current government guidance, Ofsted registered childcare providers, such as nurseries, preschools, childminders and after school clubs, remain open during the coronavirus pandemic.

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

If you want a childcare place for your child but haven’t found one yet, contact the Families Information Service at as soon as you can. We can help you to 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 (DfE):

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 0207 926 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, please follow government guidance on self-isolation. Find out more about coronavirus and how to self-isolate.

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 straightaway.

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.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 9.30am-4.00pm

Telephone: 0808 802 5544

More support organisations to help with your child's wellbeing can be found in our Young People's Essential Guide to the Coronavirus.

Domestic & sexual violence

Survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence may feel particularly alone and at-risk during self-isolation.

If you’re in Lambeth, the Gaia Centre can help. They offer confidential advice and support by phone, text or email – whatever’s safest. Gaia can support with options around safe housing and legal advice for survivors.

Telophone: 020 7733 8724


The Gaia Centre Website

For 24/7 advice for yourself or someone else, contact the freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

If you are in immediate danger, always call the police on 999.

For more information, resources and support options, please see the Lambeth Council VAWG web pages.

These pages are regularly updated as the local and national situation develops. We will use social media to alert families to changes and disruptions to local services. Follow the Family Information Service on Twitter @LambethFIS and for updates on all council services, follow the main council Twitter account @Lambeth_Council.

Need a translation? You can translate the Lambeth Council website by selecting your language at the bottom of any page.