COVID-19: Early Years Update

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Latest update for Early Years Providers March 26

dan barton

Dear All,

As ever, I must extend my thanks and appreciation to everyone for everything they are doing to support our children and families in the most difficult of circumstances. The way in which we have pulled together is a source of great comfort to me personally, and I know that this will ultimately result in lives saved.

I continue to be amazed by the strength of our education community in Cumbria, and grateful for the effort and creative approaches displayed across the county and at every level. Please pass on all of our thanks to everyone who is working so hard.

We’re nearing a point now where we will have a resilient system which will cope with the demands for priority childcare over the coming weeks, as well as keeping as many valued staff as possible at home.

We’ll have the final details ready before the end of the week.

Take care, and thank you all. 


Dan Barton, Assistant Director - Education and Skills
Cumbria County Council

Childcare hub plans

As you know, colleagues are working together from across the whole education sector to identify settings which will become hubs able to provide childcare for children of critical workers and those defined as vulnerable. The proposed working model is for hubs to be developed within primary schools with linked early years provision.

For children within the early years age group, there will need to be some local flexibility around whether they are placed within nursery provision within a school, or within an early years specific setting. Currently we are struggling to identify enough early years settings within Allerdale and Copeland that are able to provide places for younger children. If you are able to help, please contact your Early Years Team Manager as soon as possible

We are aware of the urgent need for more specific guidance from government around a wide range of factors, specific to the early years sector and are working to develop this. 

Vulnerable pupils

Are you worried about a child? We are all living in unprecedented times, it is really important that we look out for each other and support each other in our communities.

This will be a difficult time for lots of families, and families may be making different care arrangements for their children. Families may experience added stress and pressure at this time, this may be do with added financial pressure or isolation from support networks. These issues can add a great burden onto families and children and young people could be at increased risk of harm during these times.

If you are concerned or worried about a child or young person who you believe might be at risk of harm, please contact:

  • Cumbria safeguarding Children’s Partnership multi agency hub on 0333 240 1727 or NSPCC 0808 800 5000. 
  • If you see a child at imminent harm please ring the police on 101 or 999. 

Prime Minister thanks Early Years providers

Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, has sent a letter to all Early Years providers in the 

Ford says: "The early years and childcare sector is vital to the country’s response to the COVID19 outbreak. On behalf of the Prime Minister and the entire Government, I want to thank you for all you are doing to care for for the youngest children in our country, as part of the fight against COVID-19."

Read the full letter here.

A reminder to complete our data collection form

It is essential that we monitor demand for childcare on a daily basis. Please ensure you continue complete our attendance data form each day and return to Cumbria County Council:

Early Years Data Collection Form


Please click here to see answers to your most common questions. FAQs will be updated daily.