Early Years Update - 14.10.20

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dan barton

Dear all,

Can I start by thanking you all, as ever, for all you are doing to keep our settings open, and children learning. We’ve been having a few conversations corporately at the moment about the six-month lull; adrenaline wearing off, and the prospect of little positive change feeling daunting. All the more so for you and all of our frontline colleagues who have much less flexibility in terms of working arrangements. We are so grateful to you all.

Thanks again for everything you do.


Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills

Early Years Attendance Survey – Please action today

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

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

It is important that all providers complete this data return weekly as we are required to submit the information to the Department for Education.

From today the information we are asking you to complete has been reduced, so please follow the link below to access the survey:

Attendance survey link:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9SHVQ5F

Flu vaccinations for children

We would like you to help us share some information about this year’s flu vaccination campaign through your networks.

Please find links below for a selection of social media pictures which can be shared to help encourage parents to ensure their children get the vaccination. The vaccine will be delivered as a nasal spray.

Flu Kids - social media little girl 1.jpg

Flu Kids - social media little boy.jpg

Flu Kids - social media little girl 2.jpg

Who is eligible?

  • All children aged 2 to 12 years old.
  • And children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions

Pre-school children and those with long term health conditions may be invited into their GP surgery so please ask parents and carers to look out for information from their practice.

Thank you

You can find out more here:

Flu kids social media little girl 1

Barrow Covid-19 restrictions

Local leaders in Barrow have asked Government to impose new COVID -19 restrictions and bring the area in line with measures taken in the North East and Merseyside. This reflects mounting concern about the speed at which infection is spreading.

Among a range of measures, the new restrictions would make it illegal to mix with people you do not live with in your home, garden or other indoor setting and recommend limitations on non-essential travel. Fines could be imposed for those who fail to comply. Exceptions would apply, including for education settings.

The request covers the Barrow Borough Council area. Government has not yet confirmed that restrictions will be imposed.

Educational settings in the Barrow Borough Council area are currently strongly advised to restrict non-essential visitors to school and this advice remains in place.

If further restrictions are imposed in Barrow there may be implications for schools and settings.

Guidance on shielding - update

The national guidance on shielding has been updated.

See new guidance here

What has changed

While previous shielding guidance helped protect those most at risk from COVID-19, many people reported that they found the advice very restrictive.

Since the introduction of shielding, many new measures have been introduced in our communities, including the rule of 6, COVID-secure workplaces, and the widespread use of face coverings, all of which have reduced the need for such restrictive shielding advice.

The government also has better data on new infections and has introduced local COVID alert levels, with rules and advice based on the level of risk in a local area. This updated guidance offers additional advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable over and above local COVID alert level guidance. This new guidance aims to strike a better balance between providing practical steps to help keep you safe while reducing some of the potentially harmful impacts on mental and social wellbeing that were associated with previous strict shielding. It sets out the steps clinically extremely vulnerable people can take to protect themselves at each local COVID alert level.

In the future, the government will only reintroduce formal shielding advice in the very worst affected local areas and for a limited period of time. This will only apply to some, but not all, very high alert level areas and will be based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer. The government will write to you separately to inform you if you are advised to shield. You are not advised to follow formal shielding advice again unless you receive a new shielding notification advising you to do so. From now, refer to the new local COVID alert levels for your area.

Updated Risk Assessment document

The risk assessment document has been updated to reflect the above guidance regarding shielding. The updated version can be found here

Top tips - Making the most of the outdoors

The Early Years team have developed a guide to making the most of the outdoors. You can access this here or on the Cumbria Early Years website. The website also hosts a large selection of other useful guidance and resources for providers.

Cumbria County Council support for children with SEND in the Early Years

CCC_Support for children with SEND in Early years - Issued 1 April 2020.pdf

The above guidance outlines the provision to support children with Special Education Needs or Disability (SEND) accessing free early years education and childcare entitlement in Cumbria aged 2 to 4 years old and gives details of:

  • SEND in the Early Help process
  • SEN inclusion fund for 2, 3 and 4 year olds accessing free education and childcare
  • Disability Access Fund for 3 an 4 year olds accessing free education and childcare
  • Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • Free childcare for 2 year olds
  • 3 and 4 year old free early years education and childcare
  • 30 hours free entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds

Foundation Years Covid-19 resources hub

Foundation Years have launched a new hub to support all early years providers during the Covid-19 outbreak. It includes the latest policy updates, government guidance and free resources from across the early years sector, all in one place.

A link to the hub can be found here -  Foundation Years Covid-19 resources hub

Early Years SEN Inclusion Briefings

Setting SENCOs and childminders will have received an invitation to attend an Early Years SEN Inclusion briefing. The session will take place virtually via Microsoft TEAMS. It will include some relevant SEND updates and then the opportunity to discuss with the Area SENCOs leading the meeting any queries and/or questions you may have. This will also be a good time to network with other setting SENCOs in your area. Please note due to confidentiality we will not at this session discuss specific children by name, but we can answer questions around general issues, strategies, support and inclusive practice.

Please book in advance by email, to the address at the bottom of your invitation.