Early Years Update - 3.11.21

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Early Years

Goodbye to Dareneth

After 18 years of loyal service within the Early Years Team, Dareneth Cook is retiring this Thursday. Dareneth has been an incredibly supportive, committed and knowledgeable member of the team, who always puts the needs of children first, whilst skilfully guiding the adults involved. We know that many of you have benefitted from Dareneth’s support, encouragement and reassurance over the years and will join with us in wishing her a very enjoyable and well deserved retirement.

Healthy Families Cumbria Pledge awards

Healthy pledge logo


We are really pleased to announce that following the panel meeting on 12th October, the following settings have been awarded the Healthy Families Cumbria Pledge:


Fairfield Primary School

Home From Home Nursery

Lisa Swift @ Koala Kids

Natalie Greenwood

Howgill Family Centre

Barnardo' s Eden 0-19 Child and Family Support Service

The panel members were really impressed by the commitment to supporting families to be happy and healthy especially important during these difficult times. We now have 28 settings from across the County who have been awarded the pledge. If you are interested in becoming a pledge setting please go onto our website to find out how you can take part. The next panel meeting will be held after Christmas. Please submit your completed pledge workbooks before 14th January to be considered at this meeting. We look forward to hearing how you are supporting our early years children and their families to be happy and healthy.



Support for families in need

When we surveyed families of young children through the ‘Cumbria Together – Have your Say’ survey, financial concerns as a result of the pandemic was one of the greatest areas of worry. We know that needs are likely to increase further as we go into winter. Here are some charity funds that may help (please check to see if they apply to your area):

CFM Mission Christmas

CFM Mission Christmas applications are now open, for families in the north of Cumbria (ie within broadcasting range of CFM). You can submit an application using the link below for families with a genuine need. Please check the eligibility criteria when applying.


After receiving your application, the team will be in touch closer to Christmas to arrange collection of gifts. Please do not contact them regarding an update as they are an extremely small team and they will, as always be working through the applications as quickly as possible.

Support for families in the Barrow Area

Barrow Local Resilience Forum is a partnership of community, voluntary and statutory agencies set up in response to COVID-19 to support local communities in the recovery from Covid-19

An emergency items and financial support (in exceptional circumstances) pilot process for families and individuals has been set up. This is facilitated through the Community COVID Recovery Group with Walney Community Trust co-ordinating the process and support.

School/Voluntary/Community Organisation/Charity/Statutory Agency can apply using the attached referral form and criteria –

CCRG Emergency Items Emergency Finance Pilot General Criteria Guide

CCRG Emergency Items & Emergency Finance Pilot Referral Form

Tesco Little Helps

Tesco ‘Little Helps’ can provide mobile phones to vulnerable families. They work through charities and organisations that work with families and young people who need support with connectivity.

For more information please see - https://www.tescomobile.com/why-tesco-mobile/on-your-side/little-helps


This month there is an interesting and informative article from The Harvard Centre on the Developing Child about resilience. There is a really useful video included that would be really good to share in staff meetings.

Resilience can help us get through and overcome hardship. We aren't born with resilience—it's built over time as the experiences we have interact with our unique, individual genetic makeup. But what exactly do we mean when we talk about resilience? “


Home Learning

Early Years

This week our focus is on the rhyme 'I'm a Little Firework'.  Please share with parents to support home learning around the development of speech, language and communication.

Chat Play Share: I'm a Little Firework

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

Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday  


The Wordsworth Grasmere Early Years Sessions

Wordsworth Grasmere work with children in the foundation stage to bring William Wordsworth’s poetry alive though songs, games, play and exploration, either in the setting or at their base in Grasmere. For more information please email education@wordsworth.org.uk

Early Education West Cumbria

The West Cumbria branch have restarted some CPD sessions, starting with Kickstart Calm with Relax Kids. For more information please visit


Upcoming Events

9th November - Designated Safeguarding Lead clusters, look out for your emailed invitation.

10th November - Emotion coaching part 1 (see last week's update for details)

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