**Early Years Update - additional information regarding Covid-19**

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early years header
dan barton

Dear  Colleagues

As you will be aware we are now seeing a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections in the county. As of today 47 settings are in incident (one confirmed case) or outbreak (two or more confirmed cases) status.

In light of this I know settings are looking for clear advice on some specific issues, further to the national guidance from the DfE:

  • Transition visits (Early Years to Prrimary, as well as Infant to Junior and Primary to Secondary)
  • End of year events (leavers parties, performances etc)
  • Day trips

Ultimately decisions rest with settings but our overall advice is to be cautious, risk assess carefully and make alternative arrangements if activity cannot be conducted safely.  More detail below.

I have also included a general advice letter and 'COVID-19 Quick Guide' for parents and carers from Director of Public Health Colin Cox, I would appreciate if you could circulate these as soon as possible.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts.

Yours

Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills


Transition, trips and events - advice

Transition visits

As we know, transition to the next stage in education represents a significant challenge to us and to our children each year, and proper face to face transition arrangements are always preferred. This year, in some cases, schools’ and settings' own risk assessments may preclude a face to face visit.

We advise:

  • Risk assess and ensure a system of controls is followed.
  • Face to face visits could continue but only if 2 metres distance is maintained between children from different settings (and if this is not possible, carry out virtually or in a different way).
  • We advise against any activity that mixes bubbles/classes who are not currently mixing. 
  • No parent visits to the school – virtual only.

The early years team have developed some ideas sheets for settings, schools and parents which suggest ways you can support children with transition to school this year.

Transitions: Ideas for Early Years Settings

Transitions: Ideas for Schools

Transitions: Ideas for Parents

End of year events

Again we advise careful risk assessment and ensuring a system of controls is in place.  We advise against any event that mixes bubbles who are not currently mixing. No parent visits to the setting.

Day trips

Educational trips can still go ahead. However, these should be undertaken only when your setting’s risk assessment has been reviewed and appropriate mitigations and controls considered.

We advise:

  • If your setting is in outbreak status, trips should be rearranged.
  • Avoid mixing of bubbles (especially on transport, etc) unless robust mitigations can be implemented.
  • Visits to Enhanced Response Areas , including Lancashire, should be risk assessed very carefully. Current Government guidance is to minimise travel in and out of these areas. In most cases trips to ERAs should be avoided.
  • Parents/carers should collect children if they develop symptoms and cannot be isolated while on trips. If that is not practical, consideration should be given to whether the trip can proceed.