Early Years Update 29/09/2021

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Early Years

In today's update:

Share a book Every Day – Week commencing 11th October 2021

Invitation to get involved

During week commencing 11th October 2021 we are hoping to work with you to promote sharing a book with Early Years children every day, with their family and friends or whilst attending your provision.

Share a book every day- promotional poster

If you can be involved, we would be very keen to hear about what you are doing so that we can share it with other Early Years providers. Please send anything you would like to share to childrens.information@cumbria.gov.uk

Ideas could include:

Hold parents events, have a ‘guest’ storyteller, plan activities with your children, pick a book to have as a theme for the week, for example ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. If you can share any activities that you have done to celebrate ‘Sharing a book every day’ please let us know and we will add them to our web and Facebook pages.

For more information, please go to our Share a book every day web page which includes:

  • Information for parents and practitioners on the impact of sharing a book every day with children
  • Guidance on how to share a book with a child
  • An example ‘share a book every day’ record leaflet
  • Guidance on ‘reading areas’
  • Video link examples of sharing a book with a child
  • Links to other web sites for more information

Public Health Updates

The DfE Early Years guidance has been updated this week - Actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 The latest updates and support documents for Cumbrian schools and settings can be found here:

Coronavirus (Covid-19) - information for schools and early years settings

Launch of Cumbria’s Speech, Language and Communication Pathway

We know that supporting young children’s early communication skills has always been a priority for early years practitioners as we are all aware of how this underpins all other aspects of their learning. The revised EYFS places a strong emphasis on the importance of developing key communication skills from birth and how practitioners understand child development and the importance of fostering children’s developing speech, language and communication skills at every opportunity.

We are very pleased to launch today Cumbria’s Speech, Language and Communication pathway.

This pathway has been developed for all professionals in Cumbria to use to:

  • Build knowledge of the resources that are available across Cumbria to support SLC
  • Work towards a more consistent and open approach for families

The pathway is divided into the following three sections:

  • Universal – describes what is available for all children and families from pregnancy onwards
  • Targeted - describes the support that can be offered where there are any early concerns about the way in which speech, language and communication are progressing and developing
  • Specialist - when a child receives support directly from a Speech Therapist, they will access this part of the pathway

Please cascade the pathway among your staff teams.

(Note the pathway references the ‘Cumbria Together Learning Readiness Messages and Website’. These are still under development and we will let you know when these are ready to launch)

Foundation years update 23.9.21

To reflect the EYFS reforms becoming statutory on 1st September, the Department for Education (DfE) has commissioned updates to two documents that are used widely across the early years sector to align with the changes.

What to expect in the EYFS (formerly ‘What to expect when’) guides parents through what to expect with their child’s development. This new document is produced by Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre and aligns with the new Development Matters.

For the most up to date version of What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a guide for parents please access here

A Celebratory Approach to Working with Children with SEND

DfE has also published a new guide produced by Pen Green Children’s Centre, 'A Celebratory Approach to Working with Children with SEND – Giving additional support in the Early Years' (formerly 'A Celebratory Approach to SEND assessment in the Early Years') to help practitioners who may be supporting children who require additional help or children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.   

SEND Improvement Programme

To keep in touch with all the latest news in the SEND Improvement Programme, read the SEND Improvement newsletters available on the Local Offer webpage or sign up for bulletins that are sent straight to your inbox.

September SEND Improvement newsletter available here

Home Learning

Early Years

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

Chat Play Share: Nellie the Elephant

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

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday


Effective Communication training – the first of this 3-part training is Wednesday  3rd November 4:00 – 5:30pm

All Our Children – the first of this 3-part training is Wednesday 6th October 4:00 – 5:30pm

PVI Nursery Manager Networks – Available to all PVI Nursery Managers. The networks will run from 1:30 - 3:00pm / 6:30 – 8:00pm

Autumn term – Carlisle/Eden     Wednesday 6th October 2021

Barrow/South Lakes and Allerdale/Copeland   Thursday 14th October 2021

Childminder Networks – Available to all Childminders. The networks will run from 6:30 - 8:00pm

Autumn term – Carlisle/Eden and Allerdale/Copeland – Tuesday 5th October 2021

Barrow/South Lakes – Wednesday 6th October 2021

Recorded Training for Early Years Practitioners and Teachers

School Development have 2 pre-recorded training courses listed below, which you can book and view via SLA Online:

Course Title

Course Code

Working with Babies to meet their Unique Needs to Support Practice and Provision

EY 100

Nurturing Wellbeing and Attachment in the Early Years

EY 101

This training is to be booked and viewed online on the bespoke booking system

SLA Online


Upcoming Events

Save the date

Coming soon a new addition to our Pre-recorded training courses –

Making Everyday Count – Mathematics for Nursery Age Children

This pre-recorded webinar focuses on the teaching of maths to 3–4-year-olds and is suitable for any practitioner working with this age group. The webinar details the changes for mathematics in the revised EYFS Framework 2021, including information to support the key aspects of teaching maths to nursery/pre-school children. Consideration is given to how an enabling environment supports mathematical opportunities and explores the role of the adult within this. The webinar also looks at ways to support girls’ achievement in maths.