Early Years Update 31/03/2021

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dan barton

Dear Colleague

I’m reflecting on the fact that, somewhat amazingly, we’re nearing the Easter Weekend. The last month has been so busy for us all, but for colleagues in settings and schools especially, that time has flown – despite things still being very challenging. I hope that when the holidays arrive, you all get a chance to wind down and enjoy what I hope will be some more clement weather.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Easter and once again thank you all for your commitment to the families and children of Cumbria.

Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills

Early Years Weekly Attendance Survey – Please action on Wednesdays

Thank you for your continued support in providing Early Years Weekly attendance information.

Please use the link below to submit your data: the information is then collated and submitted to the Department for Education for Cumbria.

Attendance Survey

It is very important that you complete this weekly attendance, including any vulnerable children that you may have in your provision – thank you for doing this.

Implementing the Revised EYFS - PVI and Childminders

The Early Years Team have produced the second briefing paper in preparation for implementing the Revised EYFS from September 2021. The focus this time is on Communication and Language – Early Years Briefing Issue 2

We would like to invite you to attend a virtual cluster meeting to share with you the DfE and Ofsted updates on the Revised EYFS framework (PVI and Childminder settings only). We will issue one link per setting. These cluster meetings will be via Microsoft Teams on:

Tuesday, 4 May at 6.00 – 7.30 pm

Wednesday, 5 May at 6.00 – 7.30 pm

Thursday, 6 May at 6.00 – 7.30 pm

If you would like to attend one of these meetings please email:

North - Christine.Blair@cumbria.gov.uk

South - Laura.kendall@cumbria.gov.uk

West - Dareneth.Cook@cumbria.gov.uk by 23rd April 2021, with

  • the name of your setting
  • the name of one link person from your setting
  • your preferred date
  • the email address you would like the Teams invite sent to

We look forward to seeing you then.

Learn - Explore - Debate

National Children’s Bureau recently delivered five free Learn - Explore - Debate events focused on supporting early years settings to implement the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

The events brought early years practitioners, local authorities, consultants and academics together with officials from the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted to take an in-depth look at the revised EYFS.  

All of the videos, case studies and slides from the events are now available on the Foundation Years website

New EYFS framework published

Today, the Department for Education (DfE) have confirmed that the reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) will be rolled out nationally from September 2021. The new EYFS statutory framework has been published and legislation laid in Parliament.  This is the revised and final EYFS framework that all registered nurseries, childminders, schools and pre-schools in England will follow from 1 September 2021.   Early years settings, other than registered EYFS reforms early adopters (who must continue to follow the early adopter framework) must continue to follow the current EYFS framework until 1 September 2021, however the revised framework is being made available for all settings now to help them prepare for the changes.

There are also a number of small amendments to section 3 safety and welfare to make existing requirements clearer and to provide updates. A summary of these amendments and why they have been made can be found here. Foundation Years will be publishing two new vodcasts to support with understanding of the revised EYFS later today.

Birth to 5 Matters guidance

Birth to 5 Matters is new non-statutory guidance being developed by the sector for the sector, in response to the government’s reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in England. This work is being led by a coalition of early years sector bodies.

It is the coalition’s intention that Birth to 5 Matters will take the best of previous guidance and update and extend it in line with what practitioners tell us they want and need.

The launch is tonight Wednesday 31 March, 7.00-8.00pm

The zoom event is now full but it is live streaming on Facebook.

Home learning

This week our focus is on the rhyme 'Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush’. Please share with parents to support home learning around the development of speech, language and communication.

Chat Play Share - Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

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 Our Senses

Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday   Saturday   Sunday

Easter Holiday activities for families

Barnardo’s Eden – ‘Families Together’ Time

Children and their families will be encouraged to look out for information which will be shared by schools and on our Facebook page.

In Eden, families can register their interest by using any of the following and then complete the booking instructions once confirmed to enable resources to be delivered and / or collected:

Telephone: 01768 899901

E-mail: enquiries.eden@barnardos.org.uk

Family Action – Families, Food and Fun (HAF-DfE)

Throughout the Easter holidays children, young people and their families will be invited to get involved with a wide range of fun activities - arts and crafts, nature detectives, fun food recipes, and much more. Find out more on our 0-19 district Facebook pages: 





Action for Children – South Lakes

Please check the Facebook page for activities for families - South Lakeland Child and Family Support Service | Facebook

Smile for Life activities are here

Family Learning

Community Learning and Skills have updated their programme of community learning. There are lots of Family Learning courses on offer which are fee and are a great way to help parents and carers find out more about how to support their child's learning and development, whilst brushing up on their own English and Maths skills.

Public Health Updates

As you will be fully aware, vaccinations are being rolled out across the UK, mainly on the basis of age and vulnerability to Covid-19. As some members of your team may now be receiving their vaccinations, you may find the guidance provided by our Public Health Team useful.

Public Health Update Vaccinations

Lateral Flow Device Testing

Guidance has been updated - a confirmatory PCR test is now required for ALL positive LFD tests.

In summary, the following approach now stands:

All positive results from rapid tests, whether conducted at home or at a school or college need to be confirmed with a PCR test within two days of the positive lateral flow test. Following a positive lateral flow test, a confirmatory PCR test should be booked immediately either online or by calling 119. Whilst awaiting the PCR result, pupils, students and staff and close contacts should continue to self-isolate. If the PCR test is negative, provided it was taken within two days of the positive LFT, it overrides the lateral flow test and pupils, students and staff can return to school or college, and close contacts and other household members can stop self-isolating.

New guidance:

Rapid asymptomatic coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in early years settings (published 24th March)

Public Health support over Easter

Please note that contact details for the Public Health Team during the school Easter holidays can found on the attached document.

Cumbria County Council and DfE COVID-19 Support to Education Settings over the Easter Holidays 2021

Updated guidance

Protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs, and other out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak  (updated 26th March)

The main changes include:

  • updated advice on group sizes for outdoor activities from 29 March
  • information on the expansion of asymptomatic testing, which provides wraparound childcare staff with more options for accessing asymptomatic test kits
  • updated guidance on educational visits

updated guidance on clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) children and staff

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (updated 29th March)

The Early Years guidance has been updated on shielding for staff and children; asymptomatic testing; test and trace payments for parents; parent and child groups, educational visits; and resuming Ofsted visits.