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Update for early years settings - 6 May

Update on your next bulletin

As this Friday (May 8) is a bank holiday you can expect to receive your next bulletin from us on Monday (May 11). 

DfE Survey – Attendance of Vulnerable Children

Since the opening of School Hubs and Early Years Hubs following the nationwide closure of schools as a consequence of Covid-19, colleagues have been asked for and have largely been providing attendance information regularly.

DfE are moving to a more prescriptive position in relation to how well we are monitoring the attendance of vulnerable children, starting with a weekly survey, the first iteration of which will be completed today, and repeated each week on a Monday.

The key information that we are being instructed to gather and report is in relation to those specific young people who have been identified as ‘vulnerable’. [I removed brackets part] We must provide assurances now to DfE about the attendance of these young people at present, and describe what actions we are taking, as urgently as possible, in relation to non-attendance.

In order to do this, we must gather child-level attendance data on a daily basis in order to perform the necessary (and admittedly very simple) calculations to feed back to DfE with certainty. What this means for Providers is that the Local Authority is developing a definitive list of those identified vulnerable children, which settings will be asked to provide a register for on a daily basis to inform the DfE survey.

We continue to work with the department to ensure that this is manageable and will aim to make clear definitively which surveys need to be completed. It is clear that, whilst summary information is required by DfE, we will need to provide child-level data locally, in order to inform the high-level information required, which means the LA survey will be required, at least in the short to medium term.

Thank you for your patience and commitment getting this done daily.

Financial support for Early Years providers – check list

There has been many updates signposting you to the financial support scheme, please see below a list of the support available which we hope will help. Hopefully you will be aware of them all.

Government support

The full information on Government support for Early Years providers is available here. This includes:

  • Free early education entitlements, also known as ‘DSG funding’ to continue to be paid, in Cumbria this is based on submitted funding applications via the Early Years Provider Portal, the second free early education grant in Cumbria will be paid week commencing 25 May 2020
  • Business Rates holiday for 2020-2021 Tax year for premises wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • Small Business Grant Scheme to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible properties
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from 4 May 2020, small businesses and sole traders can apply to their banks. Interest rates capped at 2.5%. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme.
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) relief for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises - This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because they have been ill with the virus or have had to self-isolate because of it
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for furloughed workers – Early Years providers can claim CJRS for those employees who would normally deliver childcare for the fee paying part of their Early Years services
  • Self Employed Income Support Scheme if you are self-employed or a member of a partnership this scheme may be more relevant than CJRS

Operational suggestions

  • Consider all your overheads and try to identify where they can be reduced – including approaching other organisation to negotiate a reduction
  • Check your insurance for loss of income/business interruption cover
  • Look at your cash flow forecasting

Cumbria Early Years team are able to offer support with business planning, please contact our Early Years Business Adviser if you would like assistance:

Testing for the Early Years workforce

This is a reminder that colleagues working within the early years sector are eligible for testing if they believe they have symptoms of the virus. Testing is most effective if done within three days of symptoms appearing and a test can be booked online here.

Archive of early years bulletins on our website

Past editions of this Early Years bulletin are archived and available on the Education Tactical Co-ordination Group website:

Reminder to complete our data collection form