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Update for early years settings - 1 June

dan barton

Dear All,

As settings start to open more widely today, I am pleased to be able to share with you a detailed message for all educational settings, from our Director of Public Health, Colin Cox.

Letter from Colin Cox 

In addition to Colin’s letter, and for the avoidance of doubt, I want to be clear that all settings must complete a risk assessment prior to opening in any capacity, and that these risk assessments should be developed in consultation with your staff teams. The co-producing and sharing of these documents is an important step for you all in maintaining a cohesive and united team, and you should feel confident in the Local Authorities support in doing so.

Dan Barton
Assistant Director - Education & Skills
Cumbria County Council 

Message to managers – in case of suspected cases of Covid-19

The Cumbria call centre will launch today (1 June) and has been set up as a single point of contact for leaders of educational settings (including early years) in Cumbria to notify Cumbria County Council of any suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 in your setting. The call centre number is 0800 783 1968. 

It can also be used by Public Health England and the NHS Test and Trace service. 

For further information about COVID-19 please click here.

Early Years data collection

In order to monitor daily attendance in your provision we are asking you to tell us about the number of children attending early years provision on a daily basis, the information is used by Cumbria County Council and is submitted to the Department for Education.

Can you please complete our survey asap. Thank you for your assistance with this.

Updated government guidance – informing Ofsted

Please ensure that you are up to date with this document as the section on completing online forms has recently been updated (27 May) Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update.

Transition to Reception 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic it is likely that the usual transition events and activities to support children starting Reception may not take place this year and will take place differently. To support transition for children with SEN or disabilities we have developed a specific document with questions you may like to consider in your discussions with parents prior to a child starting school.

This document Transition into Reception 2020 (additional information for children with SEN or disabilities) can be found here.

The updated Transition to Reception 2020 document can be found here.

Updates to employment information

Job retention scheme

The scheme will remain the same in June, but will begin to change as of July. The changes are as follows:

From July: 

  • Employers will be able to bring employees back to work for any number of times and for any shift pattern ('Flexible furlough'). For example, an employee could be brought back for two days a week, with the furlough scheme covering the other three.  
    • To introduce this scheme, the government is closing the old Job Retention Scheme to new entrants on 30 June. Employers wanting to place new employees onto the scheme will need to do so by 10 June.
  • The government will continue to pay 80% of employee wages, including national insurance and employer pensions contributions in July.

From August:

  • The government will continue to pay 80% of employee wages, but employers will be required to start paying national insurance and employer pensions contributions.

From September

  • The government will pay 70% of employee wages, with employers required to pay a further 10%.

From October

  • The government will pay 60% of employee wages, with employers required to pay a further 20%.

After October, the Job Retention scheme will close.

Self-employment income support scheme

Applications for a second, and final, grant for the self-employed will open in August. The grant will be paid out in a single instalment covering three months' worth of average monthly profits at 70%, up to a total of £6,750.

Use of PPE in educational settings

If you are required to wear PPE in the course of your work, it is important that you know how to wear it correctly. Here is a link to a video published by Public Health England on how to correctly put on and take off PPE. 

Information posters giving step by step instructions can be located on the Government website  Guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for non-aerosol generating procedures (APGs)

Supporting children’s behaviour

As children begin to return to their early years education over the coming weeks they will face many challenges in what is likely to be a very different environment to the one they have previously been used to. To support some of the children who may find this more difficult than others, we have collated some information, ideas and websites that you may find useful. The document can be found here.

Mental health and well being


Thank you to Ramsden Robin’s Pre-Nursery in Barrow who have shared some of the work they have been doing with children to support Mental Health Awareness week.

The nursery said: "We made a feelings tree, children made emotion hearts to put on the tree and we talked together about how they are feeling…what makes us happy, sad, worried. Later on in the week we focused on happiness…what it is to be happy, what makes us happy and we made emotion sticks. We also used books such as The Big Bag of worries and The Invisible String."

The creators of the much loved children’s book, The Hug, have now created a YouTube video for children called ‘While we can’t hug’ which looks at the many different ways that we can show people that we love them.

Please do all continue to share the ways in which you are supporting children and families throughout this challenging period with the Early Years Team and we may include them in future bulletins.

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: