Early Years Update 01/12/2021

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Early Years

In today's update:


Public Health Updates

Monitors are currently being dispatched to early years providers. Settings will receive an email directly from the supplier, once their monitor allocation is dispatched. We expect all deliveries to have taken place by the end of the Autumn term. DfE has also produced a ‘how to’ guide on using CO2 monitors in education and childcare settings, also available on the Google drive. If settings have any further queries about their DfE issued CO2 monitor(s) they can call the DfE COVID-19 helpline on 0800 046 8687.


New rules on face coverings and self-isolation rules for early years settings

The Department for Education has updated the Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance in the light of the discovery of a new variant of Covid-19, known as the Omicron variant.

The main changes are:

Self-isolation rules: The updated Actions guidance states that: "All individuals who have been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, irrespective of vaccination status and age, will be contacted directly and required to self-isolate immediately and will be asked to book a PCR test." It adds that these close contacts "will be informed by the local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace if they fall into this category".

The self-isolation rules for all other close contacts (i.e. of Covid cases that have not been identified as the Omicron variant) remain unchanged.

Face coverings: The government is now recommending that "face coverings should be worn when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas" as a "temporary measure". This recommendation applies to "staff and visitors, including children aged 11 or above on 31 August 2021". Face covering do not need to be worn outdoors.

There is also new guidance on:

  • Circumstances where people may not be able to wear face coverings
  • Access to face coverings (including the recommendation to have a small contingency supply)
  • The safe wearing and removal of face coverings

International travel: The updated guidance states that: "All travellers arriving into the UK should isolate and get a PCR test by ‘day two’ after arrival – this will be legally required from 30 November." It adds that travellers "may end their isolation once they receive a negative result. If the result is positive, they should continue to isolate and follow rules on isolation following a positive test".

Baby and toddler groups

Guidance for baby and toddler groups has remained unchanged. Groups can operate as normal and without restrictions on attendance, though Actions for Early Years states that they should follow the control measures detailed in the guidance.

For all the latest updates on Covid-19 guidance changes, there is a helpful section on the Early Years Alliance's Operating during Lockdown and Beyond FAQs page.


Updated Government Guidance

The following documents have also been updated on 28th November:

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak


Free Family Learning

The Family Learning team have updated the Family Learning programme for 2021/22. There are lots of interactive courses that are suitable for families of children within the early years. There is also the added incentive of a fun half day out with Cumbria Outdoors for those that take part in a family learning course.

Please see the brochure for more information and for details on how to request Family Learning sessions. 


Resources for LAs welcoming Afghan Families

The Department of Education have sent the following message via local authorities:

Thank you for your continued support for families who have arrived in your areas as part of Operation Warm Welcome. We are writing to share some useful links to mental health and wellbeing resources for these children and for teachers and others providing support to them, provided in the wellbeing resources pack.

If you have any further queries, please contact us at afghan.dfe@education.gov.uk 


Home Learning

Early Years

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

Chat Play Share: Round and Round the Garden

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

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday


Wensum English Hub

There is the opportunity to access some EYFS CPD with a very strong speech, language and communication needs focus. The first roll out through the Orgill Hub was very well attended and received and as a result the Wensum English Hub would now like to host the same CPD for schools and settings. The sessions will be virtual, and open to everyone. 

For more information and contact details please read this flyer.


Upcoming Events

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

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