Education planning group - Early Years Update 09/09/2020

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Early Years Attendance Survey – Please action today

We are collecting Early Years Attendance 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. It is expected that the DfE will be reviewing collection of data, but for now it is continuing, so if you have children in your setting, we are asking everyone to complete it.

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

Attendance Survey

Testing of children under the age of 4 years

Yesterday’s additional bulletin about accessing COVID-19 testing highlighted the difficulties that parents are having in obtaining tests. This is due to the large increase in demand nationally. As a result of this, some extra capacity has been obtained in Cumbria to help to cope with demand for tests for children aged 4 years and above. We are aware that this has caused some concern within the early years sector due to the fact that you are caring for many children who are under the age of 4 years.

The decision to focus local capacity on older children was made due to the fact that they are more likely to spread the virus than younger children. However our Public Health team are working very hard to raise this issue and to try to secure testing capacity for younger children. We will keep you informed of any developments.

Steps 1 – 3 of the procedure must be followed for all children including under 4s:



Step 1

Check that the child has symptoms of COVID-19 and definitely needs to isolate and access testing:

Only children with one or more of the following symptoms needs to get tested:

·         high temperature

·         new continuous cough

·         change to/loss of sense of taste or smell).

Step 2

Firstly, advise the parent to try and arrange testing via one of the following routes:

·         The testing website:

·         Telephone – by dialling 119 if the family do not have access to the internet

Step 3

If parents have not been able to access testing as advised under step 2, encourage them to try again first thing in the morning, or after 6pm at night (as this is generally when batches of testing availability is released)



Temperatures in young children

Unfortunately if a young child develops a temperature, we have to assume that it could potentially be COVID-19. It is very important however that it is only those young children with one or more of the three identified COVID-19 symptoms who are managed as suspected cases. In summary:

A young child WOULD need to be treated as a suspected COVID-19 case (sent home, isolate along with household contacts and be tested) if they had one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A high temperature (fever) of 37.8 degrees C or above
  • A new continuous cough
  • A loss of, or change to, their sense of taste or smell


A young child would NOT need to be treated as a suspected COVID-19 case if they had the following symptoms (as long as the three symptoms listed above were ABSENT)

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Tummy ache, vomiting and diarrhoea (but you would send home immediately if D&V and request they stay home until they were 48 hours clear of any gastro symptoms)
  • Generally looking unwell
  • Regular cough caused by a known trigger (e.g. damp weather causing a cough in a child with asthma)
  • Headache


Revised EYFS framework and new Development Matters document

On 1st July the Department for Education issued a revised EYFS framework for schools participating in the EYFS reforms early adopter year from September 2020 to August 2021. All other schools and childcare providers should continue to follow the current early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS).

The DfE have also just issued a new version of Development Matters. This is non statutory curriculum guidance which supports the delivery of the revised early years foundation stage statutory framework. It offers a top-level view of how children develop and learn, and guides, but does not replace, professional judgement. The guidance can be used by schools participating in the EYFS reforms early adopter year to support changing their curriculum and practice.

You may find some aspects of the new guidance useful, but unless you are an early adopter school you should continue to follow the existing EYFS framework until the statutory roll out of the reforms in September 2021.

 Early adopter schools: framework for the early years foundation stage and new Development Matters


EYFS Coronavirus disapplications – updated guidance

In April 2020, the government temporarily disapplied and modified certain elements of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework to support early years providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The current disapplications will be lifted on 25 September 2020 and we will enter a 2 month transitional period for disapplications around staffing levels and Paediatric First Aid. This is in recognition that some providers may need time to get back to full staffing levels once the disapplications are lifted. Further restrictions or requirements related to COVID-19 due to a local or national lockdown may affect a provider’s ability to comply with the EYFS. Therefore, government have laid new regulations which will come into force on 26 September 2020 and, with the exception of the EYFS Profile disapplication, will allow the disapplications to reapply where a provider is prevented from complying with the EYFS due to coronavirus related restrictions or requirements which have been imposed by government. Full details can be found in the updated EYFS disapplications guidance.

Updated guidance

The guidance document Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was updated on the 7th September. Please ensure that you familiarise yourself with the new guidance which includes updates on the following areas:

  • included content from the planning guide for early years and childcare settings so that all coronavirus (COVID-19) information for early years settings is in one place - the planning guide has now been removed
  • included an autumn funding update and hyperlink to updated local authority guidance
  • updated information on the validity of paediatric first-aid certificates
  • updated information on wraparound care
  • updated information on managing requests for site visits from parents and carers for admissions in September
  • updated information about data collection changes
  • updated information about reporting to Ofsted when there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in a setting
  • updated information to reflect the removal of the requirement to keep children in small, consistent groups within settings but still minimising mixing where possible
  • updated information to reflect changes in legislation to the 30 hours free entitlement

The document can be found here -

Risk assessments

Settings that are reopening for the first time should ensure they have completed a risk assessment. You may find it useful to use the format below, which contains current information and guidance. This should also be revisited regularly, particularly when there are any changes to provision, such as increasing numbers of children or staff.

Please find the latest version here: Risk assessment

Bounce back loans – Deadline 4 November 2020

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

To check if you are eligible and how to apply please click on the link below:

Early Years Workforce Commission – call for evidence

The Early Years Workforce Commission has launched a survey for anyone working in the early years in England and a call for evidence. 

These focus on two long-established challenges: Training and CPD, and Recruitment and Retention, but also addresses the impact of COVID-19.  

Through the survey, the Commission hope to gain the perspective of those working ‘on the ground’ and understand what needs to be achieved to ensure the sector can continue to provide high-quality childcare and early years support for children and families across the country. 

The Commission is encouraging responses from workers within different types of early years provisions, including childminders, those in PVI nurseries, LA Nurseries and much more. Those in different roles within the sector, including staff with a wide range of experience, including newly qualified staff, setting managers and specialist staff, are encouraged to respond. 

The Commission are also asking organisations, individuals and businesses to respond to a Call for Evidence which is seeking to establish what must be done now to ensure the sustainability of the sector, particularly in such a challenging time.