Early Years Update - 21.7.21

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Early Years Attendance Survey – Please action on Wednesday 21st July 2021

This is the last time this term that we are collecting the attendance information from childcare providers.

We would like to thank you for continuing to support us with the attendance data collections. Please be assured that Senior Managers in the County have been monitoring the information you have submitted and have used it in their planning over the last 16 months.

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

Updates from Cumbria Public Health

Last week, Director of Public Health, Colin Cox shared his views on the easing of lockdown restrictions and his advice for the public as we enter this new phase of the pandemic response.


Cumbria’s IPC Team will continue to provide COVID-19 support and advice to settings over the summer. The team will be available between 9am and 5pm Monday – Friday. Please email EducationIPC@cumbria.gov.uk

Please note: The Cumbria IPC Team are developing the local support offer for PVI settings in response to the change in national guidance below and will be in contact with further information within the next few days.

National Updates - Step 4

The DfE has published further information on Step 4 which came into effect on Monday 19th July. COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

There is a new system of contact tracing, with NHS Test and Trace now taking the lead. Settings are no longer to be routinely contacted to provide details of close contacts, however this may occur in exceptional circumstances.

The DfE are no longer recommending that it is necessary to keep groups apart as much as possible.

The requirement for Under-18s to self-isolate if identified as a close contact is due to be lifted on 16th August 2021, but remains in place until that time.

Please see a list of Questions and Answers from the DfE here – DfE Q&A

The DfE has also produced guidance and a template letter for settings to send to parents on changes to contact tracing of close contacts. These can all be found on the document sharing platforms for primary and early years,

The DfE has confirmed that references to 'nurseries' in the information are points applicable to all early years settings.

over 18

Home learning - What shall I do this week?

For a range of fun activity ideas for children and families, please share What Can I Do This Week? This week's activities all involve obstacle courses. Remember that the activities contained in this communication are for the week starting next Monday.

Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday

Development Matters - update

The Department for Education have published a revised version of Development Matters, the government’s non-statutory curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), to reflect feedback received from the Early Adopter schools that have adopted the EYFS reforms over the 2020/21 academic year.

Please note that changes to content are minor and you will not need to alter any planning based on the September 2020 version that you may have already made.

The DfE hope that the new design will make it easier for practitioners to navigate and use for curriculum planning.

Development Matters - Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage (publishing.service.gov.uk)

NDNA Childcare closures report and survey

The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) said that trying to find affordable and accessible childcare over the holidays had got even worse since the pandemic.

Chief executive Purnima Tanuku explained, ‘Time and time again research has shown that childcare is vital to the national economy. The Government must listen to parents and childcare providers who are really struggling. Nurseries and other providers need financial support to remain on an even keel.

‘We know from our research that many nurseries are having to close rooms and as [Covid] cases continue to rise, cannot get enough staff members. Too many are either self-isolating or looking after their own children who are isolating.

The NDNA have recently published a nursery closures report earlier this week which showed that 35 per cent more nurseries were going out of business than the previous year. As a result they have released a survey for providers ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review in England.

The deadline for the England survey is Monday 2 August. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 TTS voucher or one of two £25 Consortium vouchers. Please find the survey here 

Updated guidance

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (updated 19th July) - Actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (updated 19th July)Guidance-for-parents-and-carers-of-children-attending-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/out-of-school-settings-covid-19-guidance-for-parents-and-carers

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges (updated 19th July) - What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)