Early Years Update - 8.9.21

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Early Years
dan barton

Dear Colleagues,

Please find below a letter from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, thanking all education providers for your hard work over the last 18 months and looking forward to a new academic year that will hopefully provide a greater sense of normality for everyone. As ever, may I add my own thanks and appreciation for all that you do.

This update contains some timely information as we move into the Autumn. I encourage you to engage in the Annual Setting Return process outlined in this newsletter, to assist the Early Years Team in tailoring support and utilising our collective strengths from across the system.

Best wishes

Dan Barton

Assistant Director - Education and Skills

Letter to Education Leaders - 6th September.pdf


Early Years Attendance Data Collection

As from next week the DfE are reintroducing the Early Years Attendance Data collection which will be monthly, starting on Wednesday 15th September 2021

We will be using this Attendance Survey link for those who like to provide the information early in the day, we will also include a reminder next week.

At present the following monthly data collection dates are set for the Autumn:

w/c 11th October

1 x date in November and 1x date in December, to be advised.


Cumbria revised 2 year old review template

With the introduction of the revised EYFS from 1st September 2021, the 2 Year Old Review template has been updated and refreshed in order to meet the requirements of the Statutory framework. The template has been shared with colleagues in the Early Years Reference Group who represent the sector and feedback has informed the new template.

The 2 Year Old Review remains a statutory assessment for all 2 Year Olds attending an early years setting including childminders, PVI’s and schools. The 2 Year Old Health Assessment remains a mandated contact for health between 2 and 2.5 years of age. Due to the current situation, some children may not have had their 2-2.5 year old visit, however if you have any concerns about the health or development of a child please contact your local health visiting service.

In the pilot of the revised template the providers included the completed template in the child’s red book rather than the summary slip and parents provided very positive feedback about the accessibility of this for their family and their health visitor. The use of the red book slip will be considered further in the revised Cumbrian model.

Over September we will be sharing with you resources and documents including a 2 Year Old Toolkit to support your practice and provision and also to enable early identification and intervention for our youngest children to ensure timely support is implemented where needed.

Over the coming weeks the Cumbrian model for the joint reviews between health and education is being refreshed and will be piloted in selected areas of the county. From this the county model will be finalised and shared with all providers.

The updated template can be found here if you wish to use it for your 2 year old mandatory assessments.

Cumbria 2 year old review template


Annual setting return 2021-22

Please find below the attached link for the 2021-22 paperwork. Your link adviser will shortly be contacting you to discuss your Annual Setting Return. Completing this return will support you as a provider to identify your strengths as a team and look at areas you may want to consider developing and help us to gain a more holistic understanding of your setting. Information on the ASR will be further explained in the letter and phone call you receive from your link adviser.

Annual setting review form

A completed exemplar is available here: Example Annual Setting Review


Public Health Updates - reminder

PLEASE NOTE – from 1 September 2021, if you have any positive cases of COVID-19 amongst staff or children in your setting, please complete the attached ‘Positive case / outbreak assessment form’ and return securely to EducationIPC@cumbria.gov.uk You no longer need to call the Cumbria County Council COVID-19 call centre.

The new letter templates and documents from Public Health are available here:

If you have any questions about the guidance, please email EducationIPC@cumbria.gov.uk   


Leaflet for Parents and Carers: Taking your child to an early years setting

Public Health England have published a leaflet called "Taking your child to an early years setting: information for parents" to help keep parents informed as their children return to educational settings. It is available here

The leaflet contains questions related to COVID-19, as well as more general information about childcare. Please feel free to use it as appropriate in your setting.


Ventilation and CO2 monitor delivery

On Saturday 21 August it was announced that CO2 monitors will be provided this term to state-funded education settings, including early years settings, schools and further education providers. The first deliveries will start this week. Special schools, alternative provision and residential schools have been prioritised to receive their monitors first, given their higher-than-average numbers of vulnerable pupils. For future reference, a ‘how to’ guide on using CO2 monitors in education and childcare settings is now available on the ventilation document sharing platform.

Unfortunately, Childminders are not included in the roll out of this scheme, with some national organisations urging the government to re-think this decision.


NASEN SEND partnership

As part of the EY SEND Partnership, NASEN has received further funding to deliver 5 further core training webinars entitled, ‘Meeting the Needs of Every Child’ (delegates only need to attend one). This is basic SEND training for practitioners and childminders and covers the legislation for SEND, the role of the SENCO and Key Person, the identification of SEND, provision for SEND including the graduated approach and partnership with parents and sensitive conversations.

The dates and times are as follows:

Thursday 16th September 6-8pm

Monday 1st November 1-3pm

Wednesday 8th December 6-8pm

Thursday 18th January 10am-12pm

Wednesday 16th March 6-8pm

This is the booking link on the nasen website: https://www.nasen.org.uk/early-years

In light of the new EYFS reforms and the need for all practitioners to be knowledgeable about the early identification of SEND and be confident to build strong relationships with parents, this course is particularly relevant.


Inspira flyer for parents in need of support with employment

Employability skills experts, Inspira, has requested that settings circulate the  attached flyer to their parents, to ensure those who are in need of support with employment are aware of their services.

They have recognised that education settings are playing a major part in supporting their local communities in dealing with the impact of Covid-19 and that there may be a significant number of parents who have lost jobs or been furloughed during the pandemic who may not be aware of Inspira's services.

As the delivery partner for The National Careers Service Cumbria and deliverer of an ESF funded programme providing skills support for the unemployed, Inspira are in a position to provide free Careers Guidance to adults to help them find work or training. They are currently working with a large number of employers with live vacancies to ensure the adults they work with are aware of, and supported to apply for, appropriate employment opportunities.


Bereavement and trauma in young children

Thank you again to everyone who completed our Provider Survey last term. Through it you told us that two of the top emerging areas of need for children as a result of the pandemic are for support with their emotional wellbeing and through bereavement.

The Anna Freud network recently ran a series of three live webinars for early years practitioners. The first looked at managing challenging behaviour, the second looked at attending to the needs of children affected by a bereavement, and the third advised on how nursery staff can help any children in their setting who may have experienced trauma or abuse. These events are free for you to watch via YouTube:

Webinar 1)  Supporting children in early years settings who may have experienced trauma or abuse

Webinar 2)   Supporting bereaved children in early years settings

Webinar 3) Managing challenging behaviour in an early years setting


World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day takes place on Friday 10th September. Every life lost is a tragedy, which ripples through the lives of those who knew the person. We know that suicide is preventable, it is not inevitable.

The suicide rate for females under 25 has increased by 93.8% since 2012 according to research and analysis conducted by The Samaritans, and the statistics regarding suicide in young men remain concerning. The Samaritans can be contacted free, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day on 116 123.

If you feel overwhelmed or are worried about a colleague, further support resources can be found on the Every Life Matters website - https://www.every-life-matters.org.uk/

World suicide day

Home Learning

Chat, Play, Share

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

Chat Play Share: Dingle Dangle Scarecrow

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

Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday


Upcoming events

15th September - Early years attendance data collection date

16th September - NASEN webinar 6-8pm, Meeting the needs of every child (other dates available, see item above)

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