Early Years Update 17/11/2021

Would you like to view this email in a web page? Click here

Early Years

In today's update:


Will Quince, the newly appointed Minister for Children and Families has written an open letter to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their families and those who support them.

In the letter, the Minister reaffirms his commitment to delivering the SEND Review and the importance of supporting the most disadvantaged children and young people. He outlines his plans to continue to visit schools, nurseries and colleges around the country to directly hear first-hand from children, young people, parents and carers, school, college and local authority staff as well as meet with SEND organisations and experts so they can influence proposals.

Read the letter in full here

SEND logo

Early Notification Process for Children 0-5 Years Old

What is Early Notification?

Early Notification is the very first step in a process for health colleagues to inform the local authority that a child under compulsory school age has (or probably has) special educational needs. This process does not replace the Early Help Assessment. Starting a SEND Early Help brings together the involvement of other professionals in health and from partner agencies such as the Early Years Area SENCO when they are requested. SEND Early Help is the on-going process to manage the child’s journey.

Each term there will be an Early Notification meeting in each area to consider notifications received by a panel. The panel will make recommendations about timely intervention/next steps which may be recommending involvement of an Area SENCO, discussing reasonable adjustments with an early years setting, commencing Early Help or a timely EHCP application. One of the aims of the early notification process is that children do not arrive at a provider at the EHCP application stage without being known to anyone outside of the health team.

The Early Notification panels have started this term and will be reviewed in Summer 2022.

Public Health Updates

Local enhanced guidance

Please remember that enhanced guidance remains in place in Cumbria to help keep children, families and communities safe. Please find the up to date guidance here


Vaccination take up – become a Vaccine Champion

In Cumbria, around 30-40% of individuals in the 18-24 age group are still unvaccinated. If a team member in an education setting is unvaccinated, this means that they have to isolate for 10 days when identified as close contacts of positive cases, which presents a risk to staffing levels.

Cumbria County Council are inviting people to become Vaccine Community Champions in order to help get trusted information about COVID-19 to your community. Community Champions will:

  • Receive regular updates on the latest COVID-19 guidance and vaccination information from trusted sources
  • Support friends, family, and the wider community to remain informed and up to date on the latest information
  • Engage with identified priority groups living in Cumbria which include; people with disabilities, older people, younger people, and Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities, to help people make informed decisions around keeping safe
  • Feedback any local issues or concerns relating to COVID-19 and vaccinations

 What support will you get?

 How do I sign up?

Register online for the Vaccine Community Champion training:

25th November: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/201527824147

The session will be held between 2 - 3.30pm and will be held on Microsoft Teams.

Update to the contingency framework for education and childcare settings

The DfE have updated the contingency framework which describes the principles for managing local outbreaks of COVID-19 in education and childcare settings. It sets out thresholds for managing COVID-19 cases and when you should consider seeking public health advice. You should make sure your contingency plans outline how you would operate if your setting was advised to introduce any of the measures described in the contingency framework.

In response to recent queries, the DfE have updated the contact tracing ‘frequently asked questions’ which can be found on the document sharing platforms for primary and early years, secondary schools, further education and higher education and children’s social care.

Improving ventilation during COVID-19

Over the past few months we have shared information around improving ventilation as and when new guidance has been issued. 

As we are now approaching colder, and more inclement weather- now is a good time to revisit and update the advice to help you consider potential airborne transmission factors and look to improve ventilation measures where possible.

Download the updated advice below:

Improving ventilation during COVID-19 advice document.


Health awareness campaign for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities

Professionals working with parents/carers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are being encouraged to help raise awareness of a new service providing advice and support around respiratory infections in children aged 0-3 this winter. Lead by Barnardo's and with funding from the NHS, the service is available in a wide range of languages online and over the telephone.

If parents/carers would like advice, guidance or information about:

  • Chest infections in their child
  • How to access the right health support
  • Self-managing respiratory infections at home

You may be aware of refugees and recently arrived migrants who may not know they are eligible to be registered with GPs.

You can refer families to the Boloh helpline for advice on 08001512605 Alternatively, staff members can directly contact a Boloh advisor using the Boloh professional online referral form.

For more information visit the Boloh website.

The Happy Mums Foundation

The Happy Mums Foundation is a Social Enterprise based in Cumbria that promotes maternal mental health through the provision of peer support groups that provide mums with hope and shared acceptance. For more information you can visit the website - https://www.happymums.org.uk/ - or listen to the recent podcast in which Katherine Dalgliesh and Sarah Penn talk about the support they offer to mothers and pregnant women who are at risk of, or are experiencing, mental health problems.

 Happy Mums are now offering training to increase the confidence of early years practitioners to support mothers as well as fathers and partners who are experiencing difficulties. 

Share a book every day

rhyme week

World Nursery Rhyme week November

15th to 19th 2021

“….World Nursery Rhyme Week promotes the importance of nursery rhymes in early childhood development and education.

Over 5 million children from 113 countries have taken part since 2013. The initiative is open to parents, Early Years practitioners and anybody who works with children under the age of 7.” https://www.worldnurseryrhymeweek.com/about-wnrw/

The Rhyme A Day Challenge

Each year, 5 rhymes are chosen and there are lots of resources and ideas to help you to encourage children to take part in the ‘Rhyme a Day’ challenge.  

The 5 official rhymes for 2021 are:

Incy Wincy Spider

Sleeping Bunnies

Wind The Bobbin

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Down In The Jungle

Home Learning

Early Years

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

Chat Play Share: A wise old owl

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

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Emotion Coaching-supporting children’s behaviours

Emotion Coaching is about helping children to understand and label their feelings and emotions, developing their tools to problem solve and begin to self-regulate. This training would be suitable for all practitioners but particularly those who wish to explore their setting's approach to behaviour leadership.

Due to the demand for this course we are pleased to be able to offer further sessions virtually using Microsoft Teams on -

Session 1 - Wednesday 12 January 2022 from 2.00 - 4:00pm

 Session 2 - Thursday 10 February 2022 from 2.00 - 4.00pm

 Session 3 - Thursday 31 March 2022 from 1.30 - 3.30pm

 Please note that it is a requirement of the training that all three sessions must be attended

 If you would like to book a place on this course please email LIS business support on LIS.EarlyYearsBusinessSupport@cumbria.gov.uk with the name of your setting/school and the name of who will be attending. This is currently for one practitioner/provider.

Upcoming Events

Remember to log into SLA online to view upcoming training events in the new year. 

Save the date