Early Years Update 26/05/2021

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In today's update:

dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

One of the issues that is being raised through the Education Planning Group is transition to Reception. It’s clear from discussions that Headteachers and Early Years Setting Managers have a range of views and different approaches are being taken around the county.

From a Local Authority perspective our view is that wherever possible children should have access to transition this term to help alleviate anxiety and have a positive experience that motivates and enthuses them for the change. The Government’s roadmap supports this and is clear that transitional, taster and open days or visits can now resume, subject to careful risk assessment procedures.

Ultimately the decision rests with the school and setting leadership and we understand that what is possible will differ.

Our Health and Safety team have produced a comprehensive guidance note and risk assessment template for schools and settings to help you in your decision making and your planning.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the county’s children and families.


Dan Barton

Assistant Director, Education and Skills

Early Years Weekly Attendance Survey – Please action on Wednesday 26th 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.

Public Health alert: change to PCR testing advice to close contacts


All close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases should now be advised to get a PCR test.

We have been advised today by Public Health England North West that with immediate effect, all close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases should get a PCR test. This guidance applies to all settings – early years, schools, FE colleges and universities. It applies to all children, young people and adults.

This change in guidance is being made to provide an additional measure to help stop the spread of the B.1.617.2 variant of COVID-19 (which was originally detected in India).

There is currently no known community transmission of this variant within Cumbria, however the variant is now circulating in a number of Local Authority areas across the North West. As a result, any PCR-confirmed COVID-19 case identified in the North West of England will now be assumed to be the B.1.617.2 variant until/unless proven otherwise.


Letter to parents/carers from Colin Cox, Director of Public Health

Education leaders have expressed concerns that some parents are no longer following the COVID-19 guidance and are unwilling to respond to requests from the school or setting in relation to covid.

To assist schools, Director of Public Health Colin Cox has written a letter to parents asking for their continued support in tackling the virus. Please circulate to your parents as appropriate.

Letter for parents/carers

SEND updates

Cumbria SEND Information, advice and support service (SEND IAS) have recently updated their information flyer. Please find the leaflet here and make sure that it is accessible to your parents and carers.

SEND IAS can now be found on Facebook @CumbriaSEND (fb.me/CumbriaSEND), where you will also find a link to the Website cumbria.gov.uk/childrensservices/schoolsandlearning/ils/parentpartnership

Please find the latest version of ‘Support for children with special educational needs or disabilities’ in Cumbria here 

30 hours policy- opportunity to share your views

The Early Years Alliance is working with social mobility charity the Sutton Trust to gain an up-to-date understanding of early years provider views on the 30-hour funded entitlement policy and on any changes that you think should be made to the policy.

The survey is completely anonymous, and will close on Thursday 3 June. You can give your views here - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/30hoursfuture

Home Learning

This week our focus is on the rhyme 'Ten in a bed'.  Please share with parents to support home learning around the development of speech, language and communication.

Chat Play Share – Ten in a bed

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

Revised EYFS Professional Development Opportunities

Please look out for the Revised EYFS briefing paper issue 5 that went out to settings last week.  The focus this time is comparing Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters.  The briefings are also available on our website.

Early Years Foundation Stage 2021

Early Help Training

Early Help training for frontline practitioners is now mandated across Cumbria so please make use of this online course.


NEW… Early Help for Children and Families (eLearning) - An eLearning course that looks at the function of an Early Help Assessment. Please click here to access this eLearning course.

All Early Help forms, guidance, information and training can be found on the CSCP website https://cumbriasafeguardingchildren.co.uk/earlyhelp.asp

Solihull Parenting approach – for Professionals

Early Years Practitioners know how important early attachment is for laying the foundations for positive relationships through life. The Solihull Approach is being adopted across a range of organisations in Cumbria and this is a reminder that Early Years colleagues are able to access this training for free:

Cumbria-Professionals Solihull flyer

Early Years Alliance conference

The Early Years Alliance Annual conference will explore how the sector can take an active role in ensuring that early years is placed at the centre of education policy, and that quality early education and care is valued as it should be.


There will be no Early Years Briefing next week (Wednesday 2nd June) but we will resume the weekly bulletin on Wednesday 9th.

Please enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend and a very well deserved break.