Early Years Update- 17/03/2021

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In today's update:


Early Years Weekly Attendance Survey – Please action on Wednesdays

The Department for Education have decided that we need to continue weekly collections while the current national COVID restrictions are in place.

We would like to thank you for your continued assistance with this piece of work.

Attendance Survey


Public Health updates

Lateral Flow Testing for Early Years Staff

We are aware that LFT kits for testing your staff members are starting to arrive at early years settings. The Department for Education have said that they will be providing PVIs with the latest information and announcements using your Ofsted registered email account. You can also view the guidance on the document sharing platform here - Primary Schools Document Sharing Platform - Google Drive

If you have any questions, concerns or issues that are not addressed through the document sharing platform, please call the DfE coronavirus helpline on 0800 046 8687. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

The Council community testing sites continue to be available to Childminders and settings that wish to use them. Remember that you can access LFT testing through a variety of routes-refer to ‘ways to access LFT’

Please remember that staff must wait for 30 minutes after having their test for confirmation of the result before going into the setting. Otherwise the setting or bubble may potentially have to close if the result is positive.

Engaging with Track and Trace Services

We have become aware of a staff member within a setting who was very reluctant to identify close contacts when the Environmental Health Officer called to carry out the social contact tracing.

Please remind all of your team members that it is vital that they engage with track and trace services when contacted by them, in order to keep your community safe.


Parents and carers carrying out LFD testing at home

As shared in last week’s briefing, members of households, childcare or support bubbles of school staff and pupils can now access lateral flow devices to carry out rapid testing at home. This includes households of nursery age children. A leaflet for parents is available here

*IMPORTANT UPDATE* Whilst it is a positive development that households now have access to LFD tests, some issues are arising, so please can you share the advice on the attached guidance with parents and carers in relation to LFD testing at home – read Public Health update 12/3/21

Any queries about this update, please contact the Cumbria County Council Public Health Team by emailing EducationIPC@cumbria.gov.uk


Face coverings

In primary schools and early years settings, the Department for Education now recommends that face coverings should be worn by staff and adult visitors where social distancing between adults is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas). Children in these settings should not be asked to wear face coverings.

It is recommended that all settings have a small contingency stock of face coverings available, should an individual have forgotten, lost or damaged their own. A stock of face coverings will be sent to early years group based settings by the government and you should expect to receive your delivery this week.


CPD for supporting children with SEND

The Early Years SEND Partnership welcome you to register for the following upcoming EYSEND national seminars:

  • 18th March: Understanding Parental Co-Production and Inclusive Practice - delivered by Contact (register here)
  • 23rd March: ‘Ordinarily available provision’ in the Early Years (via the Local offer) - delivered by CDC (register here)
  • 25th March: Whole Setting SEND and the importance of joining the dots - delivered by nasen (register here)
  • 30th March: EYSEND - Home Learning Environment - delivered by NCB (register here)

As always, please have a look at the website for more information about the work of the EYSEND Partnership.  The EYSEND Team - EYSend@ncb.org.uk

Nasen have released a set of new resources for the Resilience Development Pack. These stand-alone materials have been developed to support parents and practitioners to get the most from using the original pack. They are quick, handy one-page resources that provide top tips for parents, a weekly diary with a completed example, a daily planner and more about the 7 C’s for developing the resilience jigsaw.

There is also a series of new webinars for practitioners to support their use of the Resilience Development Pack within their Early Years settings


Help with childcare costs for parents

Please help us to remind working parents about support with childcare costs through Tax-Free Childcare and 30 Hours Free Childcare. Tax-Free childcare is available for children up to age 11, and 17 if disabled, school children can claim if they access before and after school clubs.

Please share this poster with your families.

How childcare providers can sign up to claim Tax-Free Childcare.


Cyber security

Early years providers are increasingly relying on technology to operate and this unfortunately makes you an appealing target for cyber criminals due to the nature of the information you hold. The national cyber security centre has issued guidance specifically for the Early Years sector on protecting your setting from a cyber attack. Guidance can be found here.


Supporting staff wellbeing

Mindfulness In Challenging Times

Have you ever felt stressed? Have you ever felt overwhelmed? If the answer to either of these questions is yes then you will benefit from watching these short films.

Mindfulness In Challenging Times

Move for your Mood

Explore your Mindfulness with some very simple techniques you can easily weave into everyday life that will support your sense of well-being and increase your emotional resilience.


Home learning

This week our focus is on the rhyme Jack and Jill.   Please share with parents to support home learning around the development of speech, language and communication

Chat Play Share – Jack and Jill

For a range of fun activity ideas, please share What Can I Do This Week? Remember that the activities included in the Wednesday Communication will be for the activities beginning the Monday of the following week.

This week the theme is Food Colouring.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.


Updated guidance

Here are some of the key guidance documents that have been recently updated:

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (publishing.service.gov.uk) (updated 15th March)

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (updated 11th March)

Households and bubbles of pupils, students and staff of schools, nurseries and colleges: get rapid lateral flow tests (updated 16th March)