Early Years Update - 11.11.2020

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In today's update:

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.

Attendance Survey

Use of the NHS Covid-19 app

Our Public Health team have provided the following advice with regards to use of the NHS Covid-19 app:

  • If a member of staff receives an alert telling them to isolate, they must follow the advice as it is a legal requirement to do so.
  • If the member of staff believes that the alert is due to contact between phones (when the phones have been somewhere other than in close proximity to the person) please consider reviewing practice. For example, if mobile phones have been left in cars or lockers, consider switching the Bluetooth off whilst left, or keep phones close-by.

If the above advice is followed, and an alert is received, there can be greater confidence that it is accurate.

Ofsted review January date for return to inspections

Ofsted confirmed last week that it will continue to conduct registration visits, early years interim visits, and childcare register inspections. When completing this work, Ofsted will carefully risk assess on a case-by-case basis whether to carry out this work virtually, or on-site or a combination of the two.

Ofsted will also continue to carry out other regulatory enforcement work both on and off-site, once they have decided in discussion with the provider risk assessed which is the most appropriate way to do this.

Ofsted has acknowledged that providers are apprehensive of the impact of COVID-19 and understand that visiting during this time may create additional anxiety or concern. They recognise guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) which advises minimal visitors to settings, and they understand that settings have put measures in place to do so.

Ofsted also recognises guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) which advises minimal visitors to settings, and it understands that settings have put measures in place to do so. The Ofsted will be sensitive to the additional pressures that a visit may place on a provider, and will consider this in it's risk assessment of whether to complete an on-site visit.

Inspectors are permitted to enter premises registered with Ofsted that provide childcare and inspectors will discuss with providers how to do this safely where necessary. It has confirmed that on-site visits will be important in some cases in order to properly safeguard children. 

Ofsted previously stated their intention to return to EIF inspections in January 2021, but Ofsted has confirmed that this date is being kept under review. Ofsted has indicated that it will continue to prepare for the return to more routine inspection work as soon as possible.

Find out more here

Financial Support Update

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 31 March 2021. Full Guidance was issued by the Government on 10 November 2020. 

Self Employment Income Support Scheme The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of 2 further grants, each available for 3 month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. The grants will be paid in 2 lump sum instalments each covering a 3 month period.

The third grant will cover a 3 month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant calculated at 80% of 3 months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. This is an increase from the previously announced amount of 55%.

The Government have announced that there will be a fourth grant covering February 2021 to April 2021. The Government will set out further details, including the level, of the fourth grant in due course.

The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions. The online service for the next grant will be available from 30 November 2020. HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course.

Further information can be found here

Updated Guidance – key documents

New national restrictions from 5th November (updated 6th November 2020)

Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (updated 10th November 2020)

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term (updated 6th November)

Early years foundation stage (EYFS) disapplications (updated 10th November)

The Early Years Alliance are frequently updating a list of FAQs here -

The Foundation Years COVID-19 resources hub will continue to be updated to include the latest information and guidance on the national lockdown, in addition to hosting a variety of resources to support early years settings during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Public Health England – new poster

Public Health England have produced a downloadable poster which gives a visual guide to the new lockdown restrictions. 

Download the poster here