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Update for early years settings - 18 May

Mental Health Awareness Week


We start this week with a reminder that it is Mental Health Awareness week from 18-24 May 2020, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. With many people feeling anxious, worried or isolated during these challenging times and in response to the coronavirus outbreak, ‘Kindness’ has been announced as the new theme for this campaign. The supporter pack for you to help spread the message is found here.

We are aware of how hard you are all working throughout a global crisis which impacts on all of us as individuals, and upon our families, as well as our colleagues and the families that we serve. Our anxieties and those of our colleagues may be increasing further as we think about the relaxing of lockdown and the requirement to start to re-open educational provision.

It is so important that we are all able to access the support that we need: making time to share what has impacted us over the last few months with colleagues is an important first step to help us to process our experiences.

Rest and recuperation are also vital in ensuring that we remain able to support those who rely on our professional skills and abilities.

Several of the resources that were sent within the Early Years bulletin on Friday 15 May contain ideas for supporting the emotional resilience of both adults and children, which we hope you find helpful.

And here is a reminder that the following support package of CPD focused on wellbeing for you and your team is available for FREE until the 30 June:

If you are doing anything for Mental Health Awareness week as a setting that you would like to share (it could be a digital or remote initiative), please let Ann Sheppard know so that we can highlight stories in a bulletin later in the week -

Updated key guidance

We would like to draw your attention to some key guidance that was updated on Friday 15 May ‘Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak’.

The main changes, as summarised by the Early Years Alliance, include:

  • updated links to new and revised guidance
  • a new section clarifying the position on welcoming all children back to early years settings from 1 June
  • clarification on the responsibilities for settings and local authorities in relation to safeguarding (section 3)
  • information regarding testing for essential workers (section 6.4)
  • link to guidance on free early education entitlements added (section 5.1)
  • information for parents on temporary changes to the 30 hours free early education entitlements (section 5.2)
  • revised recommendations on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (section 6.2)
  • further information on safeguarding requirements during this period (section 7.8)
  • information on when can childminders can reopen to more children (section 10.5)

Early Years Survey – Opening provision from 1 June 2020

Following the government announcement on 10 May 2020 encouraging all early years children to access provision from 1 June 2020, we are asking you to tell us about your plans by completing this Early Years Survey, by Friday 22 May 2020.

We recognise this is an ever changing situation and that your plans might change, so please try to keep us informed.

Our Early Years team will be contacting you in the next few days to discuss your plans and offer support if required.

Thank you for all that you are doing to support children and families.

Update on RAG Rating Early Help Assessments

Please find a link here to the Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP) briefing asking coordinators of Early Help Assessments to RAG rate their Early Help Assessments and /or refresh the information already returned. 

We have also provided guidance and a template for the schools.

The Early Help Assessment COVID 19 RAG Guidance and template can also be found on the CSCP website – Professionals – Early Help - Guidance.

Archive of early years bulletins on our website

PPE guidance and protective measure for early years settings

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