Early Years Update 14/04/2021

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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

Updated Risk Assessment

The Risk Assessment and checklist has been updated in the light of revised guidance as we move forwards within the Road Map. Please find the latest version here 

Expansion of rapid testing

On 5 April, the Prime Minister announced that from 9 April all people in England will be able to access twice weekly rapid tests for coronavirus.

Early Years settings should continue to use existing arrangements to access tests unless advised otherwise by DHSC or DfE. 

Rapid asymptomatic coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in early years settings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). This page provides important information about how to access asymptomatic testing for all early years staff

Twice weekly testing should continue throughout term time and the holidays.

Childminders should continue to access home test kits here.

Settings may wish to encourage the families of the children attending their provision to order tests through the various available routes. More information can be found here.

Home learning

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

Chat Play Share - Humpty Dumpty

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 toys.

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

EYFS Briefing Paper 3 - Early Years Child Development Webinars

Please look out for the third briefing paper coming out on Monday 19th April 2021 either through CFIS or on the school portal. This briefing paper will give access to a series of recorded webinar presentations to support the implementation of the revised EYFS 2021. These are part of a range of resources to support all early years providers and schools to prepare for implementing the necessary changes. The webinars focus on the three prime areas of learning and are a refresher of basic child development and pedagogy. It is important that you watch the short introduction first. These could support your in-house training on the changes that need to be made for September 2021.  Please follow the link on the briefing paper which will take you to the Early Years Foundations Stage webinar page. You will need to enter the password on the briefing paper to access the webinars.

New training now available

Working with Babies to Meet their Unique Needs to Support Practice and Provision

Target Audience:

Practitioners new to the baby room or who would like to work with babies to meet the EYFS requirement 3.31 (For children aged under 2: where there is an under 2 year olds’ room, the member of staff in charge of that room must, in the judgement of the provider, have suitable experience of working with under 2s).

This course is pre-recorded and split into 4 modules.

Module 1 - Babies brain development, the importance of strong attachments, key person and well-being

Module 2 - Physical development, supportive environments and sensory play

Module 3 - Treasure baskets and heuristic play, understanding and supporting schemas, weaning, safer sleep and advice from ROSPA

Module 4 - Developing, understanding and supporting language development, sharing books and babies learning English as an Additional Language

The purchase of this training includes the offer of a follow up 1:1 session with an Early Years Adviser, for your setting. This will allow any questions to be answered following the training. Support can also be given for any development work you may be completing as a result of the training.


  • To develop knowledge and practical skills to meet the unique needs of babies
  • To reflect on what outstanding practice with babies looks like
  • To look at what constitutes an outstanding environment for babies
  • To consider the value of sensory play
  • To consider why effective development of language and communication is important
  • Developing and managing effective care routines

This is available to purchase through school development and these pre-recorded modules could also be used to support CPD for the whole setting.

Designated safeguarding lead networks - reminder

Our first Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) network meetings will take place next week. The meetings will last for approximately an hour and a half and will be held on Teams. Once you have booked a time we will send a link to you to enable you to join the meeting.

There is still time to confirm your attendance and which meeting time you would prefer by e-mailing as detailed below:  

Allerdale and Copeland

Wednesday 21st April 2021  at 15:00 or 18:00   e-mail karen.norman@cumbria.gov.uk

Carlisle and Eden

Thursday 22nd April, 10am – 11.30am and 6.30pm – 8pm   e-mail  Christine.Blair@cumbria.gov.uk

Barrow and South Lakes

Wednesday 21st April 9.30 11.00  and 6.00pm – 7.30 e-mail Karen.Cove@cumbria.gov.uk or  Laura.kendall@cumbria.gov.uk

Team around the early years setting - Allerdale

We are currently working hard to set up a new model of support for children in the early years called ‘Team around the Early Years Setting’. The aim is to help early years settings and your multi-agency partners (eg Health Visiting, 0 – 19 Child and Family Support Service) to work together more effectively to provide early help support to the family. The model will be piloted in Allerdale initially so if you are an early years provider in the district, please look out for a questionnaire called ‘Team around the Early Years Setting’ which we will be inviting you to complete soon.

Free SEND CPD and workshops

Parenta are offering a free workshop called ‘Supporting Children with SEND’ on Thursday 22nd April at 10:30am covering important topics including the importance of positive narratives and role models – giving children the opportunity to meet differently abled people through stories, and creative moving play.

Registration information is here

Contact are offering workshops to help you to facilitate effective communication with parents and help you to foster your working relationship with parents of children with SEND.

Workshop details can be found here 

Updated guidance

COVID 19 Restrictions in England from 12th April - Road Map Poster

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19 (updated 7th April)

Protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs during the coronavirus outbreak, (updated 7th April) - For outdoor provision only, bubbles can be of any size, but providers must continue to keep the children in consistent bubbles as far as possible in order to minimize mixing.

For indoor settings only, where it is not possible to group children in the same bubble as they are in during the school day, providers should ‘keep them in small groups of no more than 15 children and at least one staff member; and where possible, with the same children each time they attend’, the guidance states. 

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (updated 13th April)

This includes updated  guidance on adults singing in parent and child groups and  has been updated for both indoors and outdoors, clinically vulnerable and educational visits.

Guidance on adult use of face coverings has also been updated on visual communication, visors and exemptions.