Early Years Update - 16.12.20

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As we come near to Christmas, the whole Early Years Team would like to express our warmest thanks and appreciation for everything that you have done this year to support the children, families and communities of Cumbria. Your hard work, dedication, courage and determination through this most difficult of years has been absolutely outstanding.

We know that many families will find the festive period particularly difficult this year, so we have included reminders of some sources of support within Cumbria in this bulletin.

Sue Sanderson image

Please find attached a letter from Cllr Sue Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning –  Letter to Early Years Dec20.doc

Early Years Attendance Survey – Please action today

Early Years Attendance is due today: Wednesday 16th December.

The next attendance collection date is Wednesday 6th January 2021 and will be fortnightly thereafter.

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

We would like to thank you for your continued assistance with this piece of work and wish you a good Christmas break.

Attendance Survey

Contact between Public Health team and educational settings over the Christmas period

The Public Health team at Cumbria County Council is ensuring that a member of the team is available everyday over the Christmas Holidays to support educational settings in case of any queries or emergencies related to COVID-19 – you can view the Christmas rota here:  CCC_COVID19 Education Support_Christmas2020_Info for Educational Settings.docx

Even if your setting is due to close on Friday, there will be a short period of time when the Public Health team may need to contact settings for COVID-19 purposes. We will ONLY contact settings when a child or member of staff tests positive and we identify that the individual has been in the setting during their infectious period (because we will need to work with the setting to identify the individual’s close contacts and ask them to isolate).

Thank you to all settings for assisting us by supplying your out of hours contact details to a member of the Early Years Team. If you are contacted during the Christmas period, Public Health colleagues will guide you through the process.

OFSTED - Keeping info secure off site

Permission to take records off site can be granted by the regulatory team at Ofsted.

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) on page 29 states the following:

3.69 Records must be easily accessible and available (with prior agreement from Ofsted or the childminder agency they are registered with, these may be kept securely off the premises). Confidential information and records about staff and children must be held securely and only accessible and available to those who have a right or professional need to see them. Providers must be aware of their responsibilities under the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 and where relevant the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 

If you would like to keep records off site, the Nominated Individual would need to contact Ofsted (enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk) from their listed email address, and include the setting's Unique Reference Number (URN).

Ofsted will need to know the following:

  • Which records you wish to keep off premises
  • How they are kept confidential
  • How you have risk assessed their storage and transportation
  • How will you ensure records are only accessible to those who have a right or professional need to see them

If you wish for staff keep children records off site you will need to advise:

  • why you are not able to organise for staff to update records on the premises
  • How will you keep children’s identity private
  • Confirm the records will contain no images of children
  • What will you do if the staff member is sick or leaves without returning the records

COVID-19 Isolation period for close and household contacts has changed from 14 to 10 days

Following an announcement by the Chief Medical Officer on Friday, the COVID-19 isolation period for close/household contacts of positive cases has now changed from 14 to 10 days.

This change is due to evidence suggesting people are more likely to isolate for 10 days, rather than 14 days. It also takes into account findings that suggest only a small number of people (around 2%) will go on to develop symptoms after day 10.

The key points are as follows:

  • From Monday 14 December, close contacts only need to isolate for 10 days
  • The 10 day isolation period now starts from the day AFTER the exposure, onset of symptoms or test for both close contacts and positive cases (previously, day 1 was counted as the day of exposure, onset of symptoms or positive test). This is to ensure a full 10 days isolation is completed.
  • Anyone who has previously been told to isolate for 14 days can now reduce their isolation period to 10 days (as long as they count the 10 days as starting from the day following the exposure)

Any queries, please email EducationIPC@cumbria.gov.uk

0 – 19 Child and Family Support Service – Christmas support for families

Support and advice is available for families who may need a little extra help to get through the festive period. Please see below for details of the 0 – 19 Child and Family Support Service in your area, as well as flyers for families which you can share via your websites or social media:



Telephone number

Flyer – Christmas



01900 810869 or 07815687287

Christmas Flyer - Allerdale



01229 821855

Christmas Flyer - Barrow



01228 223417 or 07734003789

Christmas Flyer - Carlisle



07815 688393

Christmas Flyer - Copeland



07740 516 210

Christmas flyer - Eden

South Lakes


01539 734456

Christmas flyer - South Lakeland


Christmas Winter Grant Scheme – lunches for children over the Christmas holiday period

Thank you to all settings who have responded so quickly to enable us to extend the offer of food vouchers to early years children in receipt of:

  • Funded 2 year old childcare, or
  • Early Years Pupil Premium

We have now processed vouchers for over half of the eligible families and are very grateful for your help in ensuring families receive this support.

If you are contacted by a family that is in hardship but does not already qualify for the lunch voucher scheme, please signpost them to the local District Council Food offer:


Please note that families can access both the Winter Grant offer and the District Council Food offer, as they are complimentary schemes

Wider support for those in need can be found here - https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/welfare/default.asp

Birth to 5 Matters

The Birth to 5 Matters non-statutory guidance has now been released – Birth to 5 Matters-Draft-1-14-12-20.pdf

Reminder - Birth to 5 Matters will be holding a webinar tonight at 7pm (Wednesday 16 December) to provide more details  You can view the webinar via the Birth to 5 Matters Facebook page.  You don't need a Facebook account to view this - it's free to view for all.

The Early Years sector are invited to submit a review of the guidance using the link below:


National Business Support webinar for early years and childcare providers

The DfE has funded Hempsall’s to deliver a new national webinar for all types of early years and childcare provider.  You can book your FREE place(s) by clicking the links below:

19 January 2021

9.45 to 12.30 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/business-map-a-national-webinar-for-early-years-and-childcare-providers-tickets-131608780405  


6.30pm to 8.45pm  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/business-map-a-national-webinar-for-early-years-and-childminders-tickets-131614619871

Further information can be found here - Hempsalls DfE Business support offer.docx

Keeping children safe in out-of-school settings: code of practice

NSPCC learning

NSPCC Learning has created a webpage to highlight the new Department for Education (DfE) guidance on keeping children safe in out-of-school settings and best safeguarding practices in England. A cross-sector group supported the DfE in developing the non-statutory guidance for providers of community activities, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings in England. The NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) has created content outlining what the guidance means for sports settings

Read the news story: What you need to know about the Department for Education's new guidance for out-of-school settings (OOSS)

CPSU content: New guidance on keeping children safe in out-of-school settings

See also on NSPCC Learning  > Safeguarding and child protection for voluntary and community groups