Early Years Update 12/05/2021

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In today's update:

dan barton

Dear Colleague,

Many of us will be very pleased to have received confirmation from the Prime Minister this week that the country will move to the next stage of the road map next Monday. However for many, each step towards unlocking can also bring further feelings of worry and uncertainty. We have included in this briefing a new resource to help you as you support young children who are feeling anxious at this time.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual event encouraging people of all ages to think about their own mental health and wellbeing, and how aspects of daily life can affect it. 

The theme for this year is ‘Connecting with nature and how nature can improve our mental health’. Whilst I know that all of you within the early years sector know how important daily time outdoors is for children, I do hope you will also be able to prioritise your own needs and find some time to connect with the nature around you as much as you can. 

Thank you for all your ongoing hard work and commitment to bringing the best experiences you can each day for the children within your care.


Dan Barton Assistant Director - Education and Skills

Early Years Weekly Attendance Survey – Please action on Wednesday 12th May 2021

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

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

Early Years Provider Survey - IMPORTANT

If you have not already done so please tell us about your experiences since the majority of children returned to your provisions. We would value your opinions on a number of topics, including: child development - emerging needs, CPD, childcare sufficiency and the Early Years workforce.

It is our aim that we will collate the results and share them with you at a later date.

We would be grateful if you could complete this survey by the end of the day Thursday 20th May 2021 using the link below:

Early Years Provider Survey

Thank you in advance for completing this survey.

Public Health update

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health is encouraged by the falling infection rates across the county but has this message for all of us:

“I of course remain cautious. We’ve seen infection rates at this level during last Summer and we all know what happened next. With the continued success of the vaccination programme however the context has certainly changed. We all just need to keep doing the simple things - washing hands, using masks, maintaining distance, meeting outdoors, getting vaccinated and keep up with the regular testing - and I’m hopeful we can get back to something very close to normal soon.”

Supporting young children through anxiety

Due to COVID 19 Children may have been spending a lot of time at home and not seeing family, friends, and familiar adults. You may have noticed a change in their behaviour or sleep pattern. Returning to nursery, childminders or school may cause feelings of anxiety and stress for some children. Here are a few strategies that might help to support children with anxiety.

Supporting an Anxious Child

L3 Early Years SENCO award (CACHE)

A celebration event was held on Thursday 29th April to congratulate 24 SENCo’s from the PVI / Childminder sector throughout Cumbria who have become the first cohort to successfully complete the L3 Early Years SENCo Award. This award was developed by the Department for Education (DfE) in association with National Association for Special Educational Needs (nasen). The training took place between September 2020 and February 2021- delivered remotely due to COVID 19.

The Early Years SENCo Award aims to support Early Years SENCo’s to gain recognition for the knowledge, understanding and skills they use to perform the Early Years SENCo role effectively. On completion of the course all learners received a CACHE L3 accredited qualification for SEND.

More information about the award and feedback from Cohort 1

Helen Skelton sent her congratulations


Opportunity to sign up for the next cohort of SENCo Award

We are delighted to be able to offer the opportunity for PVI setting / Childminder SENCO’s to apply for the second cohort of the Level 3 SENCO Award. This course will run from September 21 – February 22.

To register an expression of interest to take part in this training you will need to meet the following criteria, where possible:

  • Work in the PVI sector
  • Be a SENCo or be working towards being a SENCo
  • Commit to attend all 12 training sessions in order to achieve the award
  • Commit to attend a celebration event intended to take place April 2022
  • Attended or commit to attending All Our Children training
  • Attended or commit to attending Early Years Inclusion clusters
  • Be able to explain how the award will benefit your setting

Please contact Ann Breeze – Early Years Team Manager (North / South) or Sue Hunter – Early Years Adviser / Area SENCo for more information or to receive an Expression of interest form –

Ann.breeze@cumbria.gov.uk  sue.hunter@cumbria.gov.uk

Deadline for completed Expressions of interest is Thursday 27th May 2021.

Home Learning

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

Chat Play Share – Down at the station

For a range of fun activity ideas, please share What Can I Do This Week? Remember that the activities contained in this communication are for the week starting next Monday.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Ramadan and Eid


Ramadan started on 12 April and is expected to last until today (12 May), subject to the sighting of the moon. As this period of fasting and self-reflection come to an end, Muslims will move into the celebration of Eid.

Don’t forget that the Eid celebrations that end Ramadan are as important as Christmas, and a priority for annual leave.

Early Help Signs of Wellbeing & Success training 27 May 2021