Early Years Update 24/11/2021

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Early Years

In today's update:

Public Health Updates

Advice for Christmas events in educational settings in Cumbria

The Cumbria Education Infection Prevention Control (EIPC) team has produced a document to support educational settings in decision making about events. It has been adapted from draft guidance developed in Greater Manchester and provided by the Schools Taskforce group in the North West.

The document can be downloaded here

Vaccination - encouraging your teams to become vaccinated


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.

Guidance for supporting employees to take up their vaccination is available here

 FAQ Document on the COVID-19 vaccine

Birth to 5 Matters evaluation survey

The Early Years Coalition of sector organisations which produced the Birth to 5 Matters guidance is now evaluating its reach and impact. They would be grateful if early years sector colleagues could spare 10 minutes to complete the survey online any time before 14 December 2021 at:


Help with childcare costs: information for parents and providers

HMRC have produced a toolkit to help you communicate with working parents about the support they can get through Tax-Free Childcare. In this toolkit, you will find a series of FAQs and myth busting facts about Tax-Free Childcare

Parents and providers can see the government childcare website, which helps parents view our range of offers, and identify which is suitable for them at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

Spring term deadline for 30 hours applications

The next deadline for 30 hours applications is 31 December 2021 for parents with three- and four-year-old children who would like to access a 30 hours place from 1 January 2022. We would encourage parents to apply in plenty of time ahead of this date, in case HMRC requires additional information, and would appreciate your help in sharing this message with families.

Early Years Mentoring support and leadership – expression of interest

The Department for Education (DfE) recently announced an offer of a package of support to be delivered both in settings and virtually. This will be provided in the form of whole-setting leadership support and mentoring for practitioners.

Cumbrian colleagues who are interested in applying for the role of a Mentor, Expert or Area Lead can find more information on the Foundation Years website.

Children’s Grief Awareness Week

Today marks the end of Children’s Grief Awareness week. Very sadly, is it believed that 10,000 children have been bereaved of a primary caregiver across the UK due to the pandemic, with even more children losing a parent to other causes.

There is information on bereavement support, including for educational settings on the County Council website - Bereavement support

Child Bereavement UK provide advice on supporting bereaved children in the early years here

Exemplar support materials for assessment

The early years team have produced a range of exemplar documents that you may find useful. These documents are not recommendations but are there for you to use as or if you wish in your setting/school. These can be found here  under  Observation and Assessment.

Home Learning

Early Years

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

Chat Play Share: Pat a Cake

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

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Upcoming Events

Save the date

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