Early Years Update 05/01/2022

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Early Years

In today's update:

We hope that you have managed to have a restorative break throughout the festive period and would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year. We look forward to working in partnership with you to ensure that 2022 is as happy and healthy as possible for you, your teams and the children and families that you care for.

The pandemic has taught us all a great deal about resilience and reminded us that we need to continue to look after our own physical and mental health. The attached booklet will be going to households in Cumbria early in 2022 and we would like to share this preview with you as it contains some ideas and sources of support.

Wellbeing and mental health: A guide to looking after yourself and others is available here

Please remember that, for children in the Early Years, the Anna Freud ‘Early Years in Mind’ website provides very useful advice for everyone supporting families facing difficulties.

Congratulations – New Years Honour

We would like to say an enormous congratulations to Mrs. Margaret Bravo, Manager of St Peter’s Pre-school, Carlisle for being awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s New Years Honours List, for services to Education. We join with all the children and families that Margaret has served for many years, in admiration and appreciation.

Public Health Updates

The new variant of COVID-19 - Omicron - is highly infectious and spreading fast. Every adult in the country now needs to get a Covid-19 booster vaccine, because two doses of the vaccine are not enough to give the level of protection against infection we all need. Boosters give you the best possible protection against the virus and should significantly reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalisation.

It is more important than ever to get vaccinated. Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

The DfE have published updated Childcare adviser Q & As

REMINDER - Please download this Letter from Director of Public Health, Colin Cox for Head Teachers and Setting Managers to send to the parents of their children and young people. This summarises the recent national guidance and also makes clear that, due to issues affecting supply of LFD test kits, anyone not able to ‘test-to-release’ from isolation should continue to isolate until either the end of the isolation period, or until an LFD test kit is available.

Clarification on how self-isolation changes impact under-fives

The DfE has confirmed that children aged under five who have tested positive for Covid-19 can now end their self-isolation after seven days, rather than ten, if they receive negative lateral flow test results on days 6 and 7 of self-isolation.

The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. If both these test results are negative, and the child does not have a high temperature, they may end their self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to their education setting from day 7.

Anyone who is unable or chooses not to take lateral flow tests will need to complete the full 10-day period of self-isolation.

(with thanks to the Early Years Alliance for this clarification)

COVID19 Support – Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS)

The government is reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS). This will be a temporary scheme to support employers facing heightened levels of sickness absence due to COVID-19. The scheme will refund small and medium-sized employers’ COVID-related SSP costs for up to two weeks per employee.  PVI providers should check whether they are eligible to claim.  Employers will be eligible for the scheme if:

  1. They are UK-based and employ fewer than 250 employees as of 30 November 2021
  2. They had a PAYE payroll system as off 30 November 2021.
  3. They have already paid their employees’ COVID-related SSP.

Employers will be able to claim the costs for up to two weeks of SSP per employee that has to take time off because of COVID-19 occurring from 21 December 2021. This two-week limit will be reset so an employer will be able to claim up to two weeks per employee regardless of whether they have claimed under the previous scheme for that employee. The claim window is expected to open mid-January 2022 when more guidance will be made available, see this link: Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Early Help Assessments

Referrals to the Early Years Area SENCO or Early Years Specialist Advisory Teacher  

Over the last few months there has been a significant increase in the request of Area SENCO and/or EYSAT support. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the procedure for submitting a referral for support and the paperwork to include.

Many referrals are being submitted without the required paperwork which can result in a delay processing the request and making it more difficult for the referral to be assessed effectively and directed to the most appropriate professional/service

Please ensure that when you are submitting a request for support you enclose the following:

  • A completed Early Help Assessment – Signs of Wellbeing and Success, which fully details the child’s needs. The Early Help paperwork can be found here
  • A completed consent form which has been signed and dated by the parent/carer and the assessment coordinator (Appendix 1 in the Early Help paperwork)
  • A completed service request form with Early Years ticked (Appendix 2 in the Early Help paperwork)
  • Evidence of the Assess – Plan – Do – Review process such as a SEN Support Plan or IEP

Assessment Information – the recent changes to the EYFS mean that our preferred option for children with additional needs is the Early Years Developmental Journal which is available here

Please ensure that this information is sent securely via e-mail (Egress) to your nearest office below or through the school portal.

Furness and South Lakes to LIS.BusinessSupportKendal@cumbria.gov.uk

Carlisle and Eden to lis.businesssupportcarlisle@cumbria.gov.uk

Allerdale and Copeland to lis.businesssupportwhitehaven@cumbria.gov.uk

If you do not receive an acknowledgment letter within a few days, please get in contact to check that your referral has been received.

LADO easy read leaflets


The Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO) have produced a series of small, easy to read leaflets, which are downloadable and printable, to share with those involved in managing the allegations process. The aim is to explain to you either as an employer or the person against whom the allegation has been made what will happen during the process.

A leaflet is available to share with the young person who has made the allegation to give them an understanding also, of what will happen in response to their concern.

The leaflets are available on the CSCP website here under 'Additional Resources'

Early Years information

Please see the following CCC websites for further EYFS support and resources:

Support for Early Years and Childcare Provision – this is where key resources are available such as the training programme, early years PEPs, Healthy Families Pledge, exemplar documents for observation/assessment, support for communication and language, home learning resources, the transition toolkit and more.

Password protected webpage for training webinars and videos on the EYFS. You will also find the ‘Revised EYFS subject leader guidance for schools’ section here for specific subject areas eg ‘What does maths look like in early years?’

Home Learning

Early Years

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

Chat Play Share - Happy New Year

Updated guidance

Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed (Covid-19) infection

What parents need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19

Upcoming Events

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

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