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Update for early years settings - 20 May

dan barton

Dear Colleague,

Let me start by recognising the immense effort which has been put in over the last two months by you, and all your staff, to make education available to our most vulnerable children and children of key workers. We recognise also that many of you and your staff have been directly and personally affected by the situation. Cumbria owes you and your staff its gratitude.

As has been made clear in previous communications on the subject over the last week, the broad approach being adopted and recommended by Cumbria County Council in relation to reopening early years settings and schools is local decision-making, driven by sound risk-assessment. We are here to support you in that task, with advice and guidance as you require it.

We have included below a copy of the letter to parents/carers, which will also be shared across our social media platforms, which advises them of our approach, and which we hope will support you in conversations with them over the coming days and weeks.

With thanks,

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

Letter for parents about early years settings reopening

Please find attached a copy of a letter to parents/carers, which you can share with parents at your school and which will also be shared across our social media platforms. 

Early Years funding

We are aware that current guidance on funding for Early Years settings during the Covid-19 crisis is only applicable up to 31 May and that the Government are expected to publish updated guidance imminently. We will be able to provide more information on funding to providers once this updated guidance has been received.

Mental Health Awareness Week resources

We would like to share some further resources that we hope will support the wellbeing of your children and families:

Getting Back to School: supporting emotional wellbeing and learning needs in the transition back to formal schooling

Some support materials for schools and settings are now available as a webpage on the CCC website:  please click here.

This resource, which we intend to develop as time goes on, focuses on the emotional and learning needs of the pupils, and has materials and strategies to use with pupils, families and staff.  Please use and adapt these as you wish, and share the link with others.  If you have other materials which you would like to be included, there is a form on the webpage to enable you to submit them. 

New Wellbeing resources for use within the Early YearsTop Tips for Parents to Nurture Children’s Wellbeing and Top tips for PVIs to nurture children’s well-being and self-esteem.

And please remember to keep sharing the daily updates on our Children and Families Information Service Facebook page for families to try together at home.

Public Health information and guidance

Everyone aged five or over in the UK who displays symptoms of coronavirus can now be tested if they display symptoms of the virus - Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings guidance.

To access testing, parents and carers will be able to use the 111 online coronavirus service if their child is 5 or over. Parents will also be able to call 111 if their child is aged under 5.

Our Public Health team has also created a guidance note on what to do if a child, staff member or parent from your school community develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus.

The following advice is informed by the government guidance ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings’. See here.

Education and childcare settings should encourage staff, parents and carers to notify them if they, their children, or any other household member develop symptoms of coronavirus, or test positive for coronavirus. If you have not already proactively contacted staff and parents/carers regarding this, it is recommended you do so and provide details of who to contact.

The Government have provided this poster for displaying within educational settings

Early Years Survey – Opening provision from 1 June 2020

This is a reminder that we are asking you to tell us about your plans for re-opening 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.

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

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