Early Years Update - Correction regarding Barrow information

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dan barton

Dear Colleagues

Whilst the news locally and nationally in terms of rising infection levels is not positive, Cumbria (with the exception of Barrow) remains in a better position than most areas in the region, it remains to be seen if more drastic action will be taken by Government and what that might mean for our education providers. It's very uncertain at the moment but we will of course keep you updated.

As ever, thank you for your incredible hard work and skills, this is not easy. For those of you that are working throughout half term, and for those of you that are taking a break, we are grateful as ever for your dedication for the families of Cumbria.


Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills

Early Years Attendance Survey

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.

Attendance Survey

Job Support Scheme Expanded

  • Job Support Scheme will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions
  • government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries to protect jobs over the coming months
  • cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns also increased to up to £3,000 per month

Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work - protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted.

The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

For more information go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/job-support-scheme-expanded-to-firms-required-to-close-due-to-covid-restrictions

Childminder Public Health Guidance

Public Health England have advised that if a child has been identified as a contact and has been sent home, they would not recommend that a child enters the dwelling (eg childminder’s home) from a separate household. If this were to happen Public Health England would need assurance that the possibility of contact with the affected child and the children entering the dwelling would not happen and that they are in entirely separate areas of the house including toilet facilities.  

There is also a need to ensure decontamination of relevant areas after use.  Public Health England do not envisage this being possible with younger children and only see it being feasible for teenagers.

Updated guidance

The guidance document ‘Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’ was updated on 16th October


 Please make sure that you review this document to keep abreast of changes. Our risk assessment document is kept continually under review in light of amendments – The updated version can be found here

Barrow now 'high risk' for COVID-19

barrow high alert banner

**Correction from yesterday's update.

Last week the Barrow Borough Council area was classified as high risk for COVID-19 under the Government's new system. The new rules came into force last Saturday (17.10.20).

The key change is that mixing indoors with people from outside your household or bubble is now illegal. Outside the 'Rule of Six' will apply.

The full guidance can be found at: gov.uk/coronavirus

The current local advice for education settings in the Barrow Borough Council area to restrict non-essential visitors remains in place.

The latest COVID-19 data for Cumbria can be found at cumbria.gov.uk/stopthespread

Supporting public awareness.

Local schools and settings have a key role in supporting awareness of the new rules among parents and pupils.

A wide range of posters and social media graphics are available to download from the Public Health England website.

We would strongly encourage all education providers to be proactive in promoting these messages.

Helping to reduce transmission within schools and settings: Learning from the Cumbria Education Outbreak Control Team

The Cumbria Education Outbreak Control Team is managed by Cumbria County Council’s Public Health team and supports educational settings in Cumbria who are experiencing positive cases of COVID-19. Overall, the rate of transmission within educational settings is low, which reflects how hard everyone is working to create COVID safe environments, however, the team wanted to share some tips informed by learning to date:

  • If you are notified of a positive case linked to your setting and you need to identify close contacts, remember to consider interactions outside the classroom, including:
    • Travelling to and from school or setting (car sharing, school transport, walking with others)
    • Breakfast club/After school clubs
    • Break and lunchtimes
    • Sports clubs
  • Minimise the amount of non-essential contact that staff have with each other, for example:
    • avoid face-to-face staff meetings unless 2 metres distance can be strictly adhered to (and the room is well ventilated)
    • When sharing communal areas (such as staff rooms) avoid close contact with staff outside your bubble
  • Isolate as soon as you have symptoms and get tested (do not wait until you get your test result)

In addition, please continue to encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly and use tissues when coughing/sneezing (catch it, bin it, kill it).

Development Matters vodcast

Foundation Years hosted a video podcast on the new Development Matters, non-statutory curriculum guidance which supports the delivery of the revised early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework.

The vodcast is available to watch at your convenience here. You can also access an audio-only version on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.