Early Years Update - 23.6.21

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dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

Further to advice circulated last week in relation to transition visits, end of year events and trips, we are today advising settings and schools to review their approach to all visitors.

This is in response to increasing numbers of settings now experiencing incidents and outbreaks and the associated disruption this causes.

In addition, in response to rapidly rising covid-19 case numbers, working with NHS Test and Trace, Public Health England and the Department for Health and Social Care, it has been agreed that 'surge testing' will be implemented, targeting those between the ages of 12 and 30.

This means that everyone in this age group will be strongly encouraged to get a PCR test, so please read the updates below carefully and ensure that your younger team members are fully aware.

Thank you for your support.


Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills

Early Years Weekly Attendance Survey – Please action on Wednesday 23rd June 2021

Please use the link below to submit your data: the Cumbrian information is then collated and submitted to the Department for Education.

Attendance Survey

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

Public Health Updates

Vaccinations: From last Friday, anyone aged 18 and over or those turning 18 before 1 July 2021 can now book an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. It not only provides the best protection against becoming seriously ill if you catch coronavirus, but also cuts household transmission of the virus by up to 50%. So, it's essential everyone accepts their jab when it's offered to them.

You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS, you can book your vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service online or by calling 119 free of charge. 


Testing for every person living and working in Cumbria between the ages of 12 and 30:

Due to the rise in infections during recent weeks, Cumbria County Council and NHS Test and Trace are asking everyone in this age group to get a PCR test even if they do not have symptoms.  

Tests will be conducted using PCR test kits, not the rapid result Lateral Flow Device tests that are used for regular weekly testing.

  • You can attend any of Cumbria’s testing sites between 8am and 8pm from 19 June 2021. You do not need to book your test, simply walk-in and you will be tested.
  • If you cannot attend a test site you can get a test kit delivered to your home via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. Choose the “I have been advised to get a test by local Public Health officials” option.

Test site locations:

  • Carlisle RTS, Carlisle Lake District Airport, Irvington, Carlisle, CA6 4NW
  • Carlisle Cecil Street LTS, Cecil Street Car Park, Carlisle, CA1 1NX
  • Penrith Sandgate Car Park LTS, Penrith Sandgate Car Park, 32 Albert Street, Penrith, CA11 7XA
  • West Cumbria Allerdale House LTS, Allerdale House Overflow Car Park, Workington, CA14 9SA
  • Barrow-in-Furness Town Hall LTS, Barrow Town Hall Courtyard, Cornwallis Street, Barrow, LA14 2LG
  • Copeland Castle Meadows LTS, Castle Meadows Car Park, Whitehaven, CA28 7RG
  • Kendal County Hall LTS, Kendal County Hall Car Park, Busher Walk, Kendal, LA9 4RQ

If you test positive, develop any symptoms, or are contact traced following contact with someone who tests positive, you should self-isolate immediately.

Visitors to settings - NEW advice on 23 June

  • Wherever possible, visits should now move to being virtual until the end of the summer term
  • If a face-to-face visit is deemed essential (e.g. for safeguarding or physical/mental/social health reasons) the visitor should be strongly encouraged to LFT test either the night before or on the morning of the visit (staff doing multiple visits should LFT test at least twice a week)
  • When the visit is taking place – all the relevant system of controls should be strictly adhered to where possible (ventilation, face coverings, social distancing, hand cleaning, use of tissues, cleaning etc)

New resources on the early years website - Revised EYFS subject leader guidance for schools

The EYFS statutory framework has been updated and the revised document will need to be used in all early years’ settings and schools from September 2021. It is important that subject leaders in schools understand what their specialist subject looks like in early years; how key knowledge and skills are taught and what progression through these may look like.

In support of this we are writing a range of documents linking each national curriculum area to the early years curriculum with reference to the statutory framework and non-statutory support documents (Birth to 5 Matters and Development Matters). These will be added to and updated over time and may also be a useful reference for early years teachers, senior leaders and governors.

The first set of these documents have been added to our website.

These documents are not intended to be used as a tick list for assessment or planning purposes. Their aim is to support with understanding the revised Statutory Framework and accompanying non-statutory guidance documents.

These documents are available on the Early Years website protected page. Please use the link below.


Please scroll down to ‘Revised EYFS subject leader guidance for schools’ and enter Cumbria’s unique password.

Support for children with SEND

Please see attached for some case studies of good practice for children with SEND in early years PVI settings - Effective Practice for SEND in PVI settings June 21

Royal Foundation for the early years

On Friday The Duchess of Cambridge announced that she has set up an early childhood research centre with the ambition of changing the way society thinks about the first five years of a child’s life and transforming the lives of future generations.

The inaugural report ‘Big Change Starts Small’ is available here - https://assets.ctfassets.net/qwnplnakca8g/2iLCWZESD2RLu24m443HUf/1c802df74c44ac6bc94d4338ff7ac53d/RFCEC_BCCS_Report_and_Appendices.pdf

Alongside the launch of the centre and the publication of the report, the Duchess has launched a new website, which will publish the centre’s latest research and initiatives, and to help to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood, laying out the scientific, economic and social opportunity for change. 

Funding for outdoor areas

Early years providers in England, Wales and Scotland who employ at least five members of staff and have a physical building – either stand alone or part of a school – are eligible to apply for £500 worth of equipment for outdoor learning and a two-hour outdoor training session.

Further information available here - https://naturegrants.ltl.org.uk/

Home learning - Chat, Play, Share

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

Chat Play Share - London Bridge