Education Planning Group - Early Years ... 26th August 2020

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In the briefing today....

Early Years Providers open in September 2020 – Deadline Friday 5th September 2020

To help us to support you and families in Cumbria could you please confirm when your provision is going to open in the Autumn Term by completing this short survey.

We recognise that some providers have not closed during the pandemic and that others have already opened, however to ensure a consistent approach, can you still please complete the survey by Friday 5th September 2020.

Thank you very much for your support in this matter

COVID-19 Resource Pack for Educational Settings – latest update from Public Health

Please find here an updated resource pack for educational settings. You will find lots of very useful information here including management of suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus, and testing. There are also templates for letters to parents/carers for you to use within your setting. 

A one page summary can be read here.

The resource pack will be updated regularly as guidance changes.

From tomorrow the latest version of the pack will always be available from


Returning to my childminder, nursery or school.

In order to help parents support their child to get ready to return to their school or setting we are sending out weekly posts through this briefing and through the CFIS facebook page. This week's theme is ‘Reading and Mark-making’. Please continue to share these positive messages with your families as widely as possible. Read 'Reading and Mark-making’ here.

You may also have noticed that the Department of Education have launched a #backtoschool campaign ahead of term starting. The campaign's aim is to provide reassurance to parents and pupils about returning to the classroom. Expect to see coverage in the local media and social media.

Family Fund

Families on lower incomes with disabled children are being urged to apply for grants for essential items to make life easier during the ongoing crisis. The grants can be used to buy computers and play equipment as well as household items such as cookers and fridges.

Who can Family Fund help?

Families can usually apply once a year for a Family Fund grant, but with this emergency funding, those who have not received a grant on or since 1st April 2020 can apply again. This is to ensure those that need it get financial help during the current crisis.  Find out more information here.

Out of school club guidance

“Protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs, and other out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak” guidance was updated on 20th August 2020 for settings who will be operating in the autumn term. The full revised guidance can be read here

Here is a summary of some of the main updates;

Group sizes from Autumn Term 2020

  • “Keep children in small groups of no more than 15 children with the same children each time wherever possible (do not mix groups unless absolutely necessary) and at least one staff member, depending on the type of provision or size of the group.”
  • “Multiple groups of 15 plus staff can use the same shared space, if that is necessary, with distancing between the groups. Where this is the case the other protective measures within this guidance will be even more important to minimise the risk of infection and transmission of the virus.”
  • “Providers should also try to work with parents, the schools or early years settings which children attend to ensure, as far as possible, children can be kept in a group with other children from the same bubble they are in during the school day.”

If the above is not possible the advice is;

  • “to keep children in consistent groups, as far as possible, and frequently review these groups to minimise the amount of ‘mixing’”
  • The recommendation for new children is that you find out the schools or early years settings they attend and try to group them together if appropriate
  • You should also keep records for at least 21 days of children’s attendance, the early year’s settings or schools they attend and details of staffing of groups in your setting.

Use of shared resources

  • If possible, it is recommended that staff and children attending your settings have their own items that are not shared.
  • If needed, you can share resources within the group, but these must be cleaned regularly. 
  • Children can take books and other shared resources home if it contributes to their learning and development. These items should be cleaned in line with the settings hygiene procedures.

Other guidance updates

“What parents and carers need to know about early year’s providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term has been updated on 21st August 2020 to include:

  • new information on school admissions
  • updated information on travelling to and from nursery, childminders, school and college
  • updated information on education, health and care (EHC) plans, wellbeing and online safety
  • updated information about assessment and exams

Click here to read the guidance in full. Please let parents know about these updates.

Early Years Daily Attendance Survey

We are now collecting Early Years Attendance only once per week on a Wednesday.

It is vital that all settings that are open complete this data return weekly as we need to submit this information to the Department for Education.

Thank you for your continued assistance with this piece of work.

Attendance Survey