Early Years Update - 20.4.21

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early years header
dan barton

Dear Colleague

I am aware that many of you have remained open throughout the Easter holiday period but hope that have all been able to have some time off during the past few weeks. Thank you, as always, for all your hard work.

As we move forward in the summer term, many of you will be thinking about how to support those children who will be moving onto school in the Autumn and this bulletin includes an update on transition from the Early Years team, to support you, the children and their families with this.

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

Home learning

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

 Chat Play Share - Poppy put the pizza in

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 Kitchen roll.

Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday

Support for transition to school

As school places are confirmed many of us will be thinking about the process of Transition. Transition is not a one-off event but how we adapt to change. There are many things that we can do to help children become ready for starting school and indeed there are many things that we can do to support schools to be ready for our children.

This year things may be a little different again and we need to consider how we can adapt our transition plans.

We have gathered some ideas to support transitions that can be used by Parents, Settings and Schools (see below). Please consider them and your current plans and practices to ensure our children can continue their learning journey with confidence and resilience. Please also find below our transition document, which can support school staff to get to know each individual child, know how to support them best and support discussions about the child.

Transition ideas for parents

Transition ideas for Early Years settings

Transition ideas for schools

Transition into Reception template

For some children transition is a particularly challenging time. For those who may need additional support please consider our ‘Getting it right for every child’ document. This is not intended to be used for every child, but may guide thinking or discussions to plan for additionally supported transitions:

Getting it right for every child

Cumbria Together 0-5 feedback

Engagement flyer

The Early Years Team and our 0 – 19 Child and Family Support Service providers have been following up the engagement survey with some online focus groups. The survey report is now available for you to share with families - Cumbria Together - Family report

Further updates on how we will be acting on the feedback that families gave us are being posted on the County Council Facebook feed, for example – https://www.facebook.com/364624900250363/posts/3879712242074927/

A national survey has now been launched by the Children’s Commissioner, called The Big Ask. The survey will be live from today until Monday 19 May and asks children across England to share their priorities for improving childhood post-Covid. 

Children and young people can take part in the survey at thebigask.uk

Parents and carers of younger children are invited to help their child to complete it.

Free Solihull training still available for parents, parents-to-be, young people and practitioners across Cumbria

It has been great to hear the fantastic feedback for the Solihull online courses that have been available for the past year for both young people, families and professionals.

Over 1700 parents/carers have accessed the courses including 76 families with a child with additional needs.

We have also had 1640 practitioners who have completed their courses.

Happily we have been able to secure these courses for another 2 years and it will still be FREE.

You can access all courses at www.inourplace.co.uk. These courses are for ALL parents-to-be, parents, grandparents or carers  of any child from the antenatal period to age 18 years. Families don’t need to be struggling to do these courses. They are also available in other languages and are relevant to parents/carers of all children, including those with a variety of special needs, autism, ADHD etc. 


  • Understanding your pregnancy birth labour and your baby
  • Understanding your baby
  • Understanding your child
  • Understanding your teenager’s brain

New course - Understanding your child with additional needs

This online course is for parents with a child with additional needs. It is for parents, relatives and friends of children who may have a physical or learning disability or who may have autistic traits. This course is in 2 sections. Level 1 lays the foundation for understanding your child. Level 2 looks at some particular aspects of parenting: sleeping and anger management, together with more about how we interact with each other. Understanding this can make it easier to work with your child's behaviour as well as supporting their development.

We would also recommend that practitioners complete some of the above courses in order to understand how they work, what is covered etc, in order to be able to support parents.

PROFESSIONALS TRAINING - This training is FREE and there are three courses - use the access code: WORDSWORTHPRF

Understanding Trauma - This course covers Type 1 and Type 2 trauma, the window of tolerance, going through a traumatic experience, neurology and trauma, recognising trauma, recovery from trauma, and more...

Understanding Attachment - This course is for practitioners who want to understand more about attachment, and shows how containment and reciprocity underpin the quality of an attachment.

Understanding Brain Development – This course is for practitioners who want an introduction to brain development from the antenatal period to adolescence.

ALL AVAILABLE AT: www.inourplace.co.uk

Preventing musculoskeletal disorders in the early years workforce

In response to increasing awareness about the high incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affecting workers in the early years sector, HSE initiated the formation of a working group to explore the evidence and provide sector guidance. 

It is clear that many workers in the sector experience non-reportable back, knee, neck and shoulder pain as a result of frequent, cumulative exposure to musculoskeletal hazards e.g. repetitive lifting. 

The high prevalence of MSDs in the sector appear to be linked to workers having to adopt awkward postures and using furniture and equipment (e.g. chairs and desks) designed to meet the ergonomic needs of young children, to facilitate engagement with young children at their own level.  

The working group has developed and published guidance on the Awareness and Prevention of Back Pain and other Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Early Years Workforce, hosted on the Early Years Alliance website and available free of charge.  

It is hoped that the information from this project will be used to inform the future curriculum, support the development of suitable training for workers in the early years sector and to help embed an understanding of the issues and measures that are effective in preventing injury and ill health.