FIS like many others have had to adapt their approach to be able to deliver the service as normally as possible.

Currently FIS is not available by telephone; the answer phone message has been updated to ask customers to either self-serve through the Luton Directory website and Luton Council FIS webpages where possible. If they cannot find the information they require they are asked to send an email to fis@luton.gov.uk

To help us ensure all enquiries are dealt with promptly please send any enquiries to the FIS email address fis@luton.gov.uk as these will be prioritised over emails sent to specific staff.

Childcare

FIS continue to provide a childcare information service and will be able to send information on childcare to email addresses. Currently we are unable to send information out by post, however we can (with customer agreement) hold onto details and send this after the lockdown has finished if necessary.

Currently only children of keyworkers or vulnerable children should be attending childcare settings, the list of the nursery settings is available on the Council’s School Closure webpage. Many of the Ofsted Registered childminders are still open as well. For details on these please visit the Luton Directory and contact them directly.

The government guidance lists vulnerable children as “…children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.”

The guidance goes on to say that parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the guidance. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home must be.

All funded places

Early Years providers will still be allocated the funding for children on their registers even if the child does not attend during the Covid-19 lockdown as outlined by the Government.

Two year funding

Parents and carers are still able to apply online through www.luton.gov.uk/timefor2s any forms returned by post are being delivered to the office and where possible these are being processed on a weekly basis. Please note that unless the child is classed as vulnerable or has a keyworker as a parent the funded place will not start until all children are able to return to Early Years providers at the end of the lockdown.

Disability register cards

FIS are currently unable to issue new disability register cards. Those with cards due to expire have been emailed a confirmation that their card is still valid and the expiry date has been extended to 31 July 2020; however they still need to complete the form to apply for a new card so one can be created when lockdown is over and FIS return to the office. More information on the cards can be found on the Luton children with disabilities register webpage.