COVID-19: Early Years update... 30 June

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In today's update:

Changes to coordination arrangements

dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

As recent government announcements have made clear we are now moving into a new phase of the country’s pandemic response. Reflecting this we are also making changes to how we co-ordinate arrangements in the education sector going forward, with our focus shifting onto planning for the summer, and September reopening. From this week the Education Tactical Co-ordination Group will be stood down. The group has been absolutely critical to the county’s response to COVID-19 and I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been involved. It has been demanding of people’s time and energy but it has added huge value and helped us all negotiate the uncharted territory we have been in since March.

Looking to September it is clear that a huge amount of work is required across a range of fronts to ensure we are all prepared for what will certainly be a challenging term. We are keen to build on the cooperation and collaboration that has been successful thus far and to that end we are now establishing a new set of structures to support planning for September, and for the summer break. Under the overall strategic leadership of the September Education Planning Group and Summer Planning Group we will be establishing working groups, including LA and schools representatives, across a number of topic areas: curriculum, transport, mental health etc. The groups will be action focused, with the aim of ensuring that all eduational settings are supported in their preparations for the new term. I will provided further details on the work of the groups shortly.

As we move forward, it is easy to lose sight of what has gone before. So I’d just like to repeat my thanks for all the work and effort that has gone on in the county’s schools. It has been unprecedented but you have risen to the challenge. There’s more to come no doubt, but by continuing to work together I am confident that we will manage the significant challenges to come.

Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills

Keeping children safe

It has been a concern for all of us that many children have been away from their regular educational settings and activities for an extended period of time, during the pandemic. Many children are now accessing their usual provision and it is important that all partners are aware of our ongoing, collective responsibilities to safeguard children and young people. Here is a reminder of some of the posters and information that is available through the Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership. Please share and promote these:

0 – 19 Child and Family Support Service

For children with emerging and early help needs, the 0 – 19 Child and Family Support Service is available to offer advice and support with a range family and parenting issues. Services are currently being offered by telephone or digital means and include:

  • Parenting support across the age range, based on the Solihull model to help build positive attachments
  • Support for families experiencing difficulties using a strength based approach
  • One to one and group support for children and young people to promote their development, resilience and well-being, and to empower them through key transitions
  • Providing advice and information to families around their health and wellbeing, both face to face and on-line, including supporting those facing economic hardship
  • Joint work with the My Time Service to triage referrals for support
  • Working closely with Health colleagues to support families in the early years including those who wish to breastfeed

Enquiries or referrals to the service for families with emerging and ‘early help’ needs are welcome by using the contact details below:




Telephone number


Family Action

07815 687287


Family Action

01229 821855


Family Action

07734 003789


Family Action

07815 688397



07740 516210

South Lakes

Action for Children

01539 734456


Characteristics of Effective Learning

We know that it is vital that the characteristics of effective learning are fundamental to children’s development, and that nurturing these skills is a particular focus for many of you as you settle children back into your settings. We have had permission from colleagues in Bristol to share a document that they have developed which is based on Development Matters with an additional strand that particularly supports young children’s social and emotional well being.

Reminder to complete our Daily Attendance data collection form

We are continuing to ask you to complete a daily attendance survey as this information is important for our planning and reporting. If you are a PVI early years provider, please complete our attendance survey using the following link before 11am each day:


Public health timeline

As lockdown restrictions continue to be eased, you may find this summary of upcoming changes that has been produced by Public Health useful for reference.

Quick guide - important numbers and links