Early Years Update 28/07/2021

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In today's update:

Managing COVID-19 cases up to 15th August 2021

The Education Infection Prevention and Control team (part of the Public Health team at Cumbria County Council) will continue to support Early Years settings who are operating over the summer.

Attached are 2 flow charts to help early years settings manage suspected and positive cases over the next few weeks before further national changes to the guidance come in on 16th August 2021. The flowcharts talk you through:

  • what to do if you have suspected or positive (PCR confirmed) cases
  • What to do if you are notified of a staff member or child testing positive via a lateral flow device (LFD).

PVI Settings: Managing suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 between 19th July – 15th August 2021

PVI Settings: Lateral Flow Device testing pathway: 19th July – 15th August 2021

If you have any questions about COVID-19, or you are notified of a positive case, please contact the Education IPC team via email: EducationIPC@cumbria.gov.uk and a member of the team will call you back to talk you through next steps.

Department for Education webinar on Step 4 changes

The Department for Education has produced a webinar on what Step 4 changes mean for early years providers. Many people had difficulty accessing the webinar last week but the issue has hopefully been resolved so that you can view it more easily. Please note that some slides refer to ‘nurseries’ but the video is meant to be applied more widely.

The webinar has now been made available in the ‘training’ folder of the early years and primary school document sharing platform. If accessibility problems continue, any updates to the link will be made there.

New LFD home testing kits

From this week, NHS Test and Trace is introducing a new type of lateral flow device (LFD) called Orient Gene for at-home testing of staff in PVI nurseries. These tests involve double nasal swabbing only – a throat sample is not needed. The Orient Gene devices return a positive or negative result in under 30 minutes.

 Settings should continue to use any remaining Innova self-test kit stock and only order additional test kits through the online reordering system when stocks start to run low. Orient Gene test kits for at-home testing are supplied in boxes of 7 and enable testing for 3.5 weeks. Updated guidance on the introduction of the new Orient Gene test kit has been uploaded to the early years and primary school document sharing platform in the ‘Guidance Manuals/Documents folder.

Further clarity is being sought about what is available for Childminders.

Ofsted updates

Ofsted have issued some guidance and answered the most frequently asked questions on both the EYFS and inspection practice. This is to help all registered early years providers, and for those delivering the EYFS in schools, with what they need to know now and what they need to know for the start of the revised EYFS framework on 1 September.

The page can be accessed here or directly from the handbook landing page. Ofsted hope that this will be a one stop shop for EY EIF inspection related queries, so we recommend you bookmark the link to keep it to hand.

Please remember that the period in which EYFS disapplications can be used ends on 31 August 2021, or sooner if all restrictions are lifted before 31 August 2021.

Development Matters update

On 23rd July, the DfE published another revised version of Development Matters, government’s non-statutory curriculum guidance for the EYFS, to reflect feedback received from the Early Adopter schools that have adopted the 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. No major changes have been made to the curriculum guidance under the seven areas of learning.

30 hours - reminder for parents and carers to apply

Please remember that the next deadline for parents to apply for a 30 hours free childcare place is 31 August 2021, if families wish to take up a 30 hours place from 1 September this year.

Parents are encouraged to apply in plenty of time, in case they need to submit additional information to support their application.

Parents can visit the Childcare Choices website if they have questions about 30 hours free childcare, or any of the government childcare offers.

1001 Critical Days Podcast launches

A new podcast series featuring stories of parents who have given birth during lockdown along with interviews with leading practitioners and politicians, has been launched by Andrea Leadsom MP, chair of the Early Years Healthy Development Review - The 1001 Critical Days Podcast with Andrea Leadsom MP • A podcast on Anchor

Ms Leadsom is also inviting the early years sector to get involved by sharing their thoughts with her at andrea.leadsom.mp@parliament.uk.

Home Learning ideas

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 pegs. Remember that the activities contained in this communication are for the week starting next Monday.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Hungry Little Minds

The Hungry Little Minds website has been updated with new ideas to support families with ideas for playing with their child and encouraging the development of early language - Hungry Little Minds – Simple fun, activities for kids aged 0 – 5 (campaign.gov.uk)

Please continue to promote both of these home learning resources through your settings and via social media.