COVID-19: Early Years update... 24 June

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Welcome from Dan Barton

dan barton

Dear All,

We have a number of updates for you today, including information on an amendment to the daily data collection. As ever, thank you for your incredible work for the families of Cumbria, and for all that you are doing to welcome increasing numbers of children back to your provision at this very challenging time.

Dan Barton,

Assistant Director - Education and Skills, Cumbria County Council

Early Years Daily Attendance Survey

Thank you for your ongoing support in completing the Daily Attendance Data Survey. From Thursday 25 June we will be making an amendment to the information that we collect. We will be asking you to identify vulnerable children attending your provision; this is in line with other educational providers across all age ranges. In order to capture this information, we will be contacting you with an Individual Reference number for you to add to your daily return for each vulnerable child who is attending.

If you have one or more vulnerable children and you have not been contacted by a member of the Early Years Team by 10am on Thursday morning, please contact your Early Years Link Adviser.

Thank you for your cooperation with this work: it helps us to monitor childcare attendance when we report to partners, and it also helps us to monitor vulnerable children.

Complete the survey

Updated guidance

The Government updated the guidance ‘Actions for Early Years Providers during the coronavirus outbreak’ yesterday (23rd June) -

We are aware that the ability of Providers to offer holiday childcare is currently limited and that this is an urgent concern for many parents and carers, as well as Providers. Section 6.3 of the guidance includes the following statement, which anticipates that there will be changes to regulations:

We are hoping to amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, as part of Step 3 of the government’s recovery strategy (anticipated no earlier than 4 July), to enable registered wraparound childcare providers, who do not operate on the same premises as the school or early years setting that children attend, to open for indoor provision. We also anticipate adjustments to the current measures for unregulated providers/out-of-school settings, who are currently required to keep their premises closed, to be part of Step 3 of the recovery strategy. This will be confirmed based on further detailed scientific advice.

School Readiness Questionnaire from the Public Health Team

As a result of the current climate there is potentially a significant issue regarding children’s readiness for school in September. To help to identify these issues the 5-19 Public Health Service are sending a School Readiness Questionnaire to every parent/carer of a child starting school this September. The questionnaire covers various health and wellbeing issues and will help highlight key areas for schools, which the 5-19 Public Health Team will be able to offer support and advice to address. 

As part of the questionnaire there is also the opportunity for parents/carers to request further direct support which will also be followed up by the 5-19 Public Health Nurses. We hope that by identifying issues early, we can help to ensure that children, families and schools get support they need in a timely manner to help ensure they have a successful start at school. 

More information can be found here

Top Tips Guides – latest documents

The Early Years team have developed a ‘Top tips’ guide containing a range of practical ideas to help children develop their fine and gross motor skills.  These guides can be found on the Early Years website as follows:

Free resources to support outdoor learning

At a time when spending time outdoors is even more important the ‘Learning Through Landscapes’ website is a useful resource. LtL is a UK charity specialising in outdoor learning and play in education.  They aim to enable children to connect with nature, be more active and be more engaged in their learning. They have a comprehensive website with lots of resources (many of which can currently be accessed for free) including weekly COVID 19 home learning idea sheets and have recently held numerous webinars, recordings of which can now be watched online.  Early years through to secondary education are covered -

Early Years checklist and risk assessment for PVI providers

In the light of further guidance released both nationally and locally, the risk assessment for early years providers is kept under constant review. Please find the latest version here