Early Years Update 12/01/2022

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Early Years

In today's update:

Public Health Updates

Colin Cox

Colin Cox, Cumbria's Director of Public Health

“The rate at which COVID is spreading in Cumbria and indeed the rest of the UK is truly alarming right now.

“Thankfully, it does appear this variant is milder than previous ones, but the focus now must be on protecting our NHS and care services.

“That’s why we must all remain incredibly cautious over the coming weeks and bring the case rates down. Continue to get tested regularly and self-isolate if you’re positive. Keep your distance from others wherever possible. Wash your hands regularly and wear face masks in busy public spaces.

“Also, please make sure you get your first, second or booster vaccines as soon as you possibly can. If you haven’t had your first or second vaccine yet, it’s not too late. You won’t be judged or asked why by anyone – but please book it now.”

People with a positive LFT now won't have to take a PCR to confirm their result.


From 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK. Whilst levels of COVID-19 are high, the vast majority of people with positive LFD results can be confident that they have COVID-19.

Updated national self-isolation guidance Frequently Asked Questions

A series of frequently asked questions about the updated national self-isolation guidance have been answered by the Public Health team and can be found below:

Updated national self-isolation guidance FAQ's (Word document)

Temporary change to COVID-19 notification form

In light of the current pressures on education settings, we have shortened the notification form for informing the Education Infection Prevention and Control (EIPC) team of positive cases. This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 case rates are high.

A copy of the new form can be found below:  

Education settings should continue to email their notification forms to EducationIPC@cumbria.gov.uk. In the meantime, work is continuing on the new electronic reporting system, and we hope to roll this out in the coming months.

DfE update on Childcare Ratios – exceptional circumstances

The following statement has just been released by Ofsted:

It remains a priority to continue providing face to face education and childcare, but we know that COVID-19 continues to put early years settings under significant pressure, particularly in relation to workforce absence.

Government considers COVID-19 to be an exceptional circumstance in which the staff-to-child ratios set out in the EYFS can temporarily be changed if necessary, for example to respond to COVID-related workforce absences. This relates to paragraph 3.31 in the EYFS.

In some cases, providers may choose to respond to staff and child absences by temporarily mixing age groups of children who would otherwise be educated or cared for separately. Ratios should be guided by all relevant requirements and by the needs of individual children within the group. For the purposes of meeting EYFS ratio and qualification requirements, all staff educating or caring for a mixed age group of children can be considered ‘available to work directly with’ all the children who have been grouped together. 

In all circumstances, settings remain responsible for maintaining the quality of care, safety and security of children. 

DfE on COVID issues affecting the childcare and early years sector – Weekly survey

DfE is running this survey to understand the impact of COVID on early years settings, focusing on workforce and child absences. You may have already received an email from the DfE to take part in this survey, so please can you look out for it.

The survey should take around 5 minutes to complete and will be sent out weekly during January and February to track how the effects on the sector are developing.

Throughout the survey you will be asked to answer questions about a specific day (Wednesday) to give us a snapshot of your provision on that day.

Please click here to access the Survey link

This week’s survey will close at 23:59 on Wednesday 12th January.

Launch of New Weight Management Service for Cumbria

We have been asked to let you know about Cumbria’s new (online) weight management service for adults aged 18 years and over.

Oviva Tier 2 Weight Management is a fully remote, digitally enabled weight management and behaviour change intervention. It offers personalised support led by expert healthcare professionals. Participants can complete the programme from the comfort of their own home via the NHS approved smartphone app or over the phone. They can schedule appointments with their health coach at times that suit them (including evenings and weekends).

Participants will learn more about managing their weight and receive personalised support to reach their goals in a way that suits them. The programme is highly accessible; care can be delivered in over 22 languages and support is available for deaf and/or visually impaired people.  

See FAQ and Self Referral Flyer

Early Years information

Supporting Children’s Speech, Language and Communication Development in Early Years Settings and Schools has recently been revised and contains links to the Speech and Language Pathway and new documents from Speech Therapy. 

This document can be found on our website-

Support for Early Years and Childcare Provision


Ask for help if you need it

Ask for help

If you are struggling there is help available. Don't be afraid to ask.

Cumbria County Council can provide urgent help and emergency support, including basic food and essential items, or if you are struggling to cope with your current situation for whatever reason.

Call the county council's Support Helpline on 0800 783 1966 (Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4.30pm).

You can also email COVID19support@cumbria.gov.uk and you will receive a response within one working day.

The 1921 Census is here!

1921 census

Discover your family secrets and surprises from 100 years ago with the interwar 1921 Census.

The 1921 Census sets the scene for a key point in history as it is the last census to be released for 30 years; the 1931 Census was lost in a fire and the 1941 Census was never taken due to the Second World War.

The Census will be available free of charge in Cumbria Libraries and Archives centres later this year, although the date has not yet been set.

If you can’t wait, it is available online now at a small cost at findmypast.co.uk.

The 1921 Census will provide some fascinating insights of the 38 million lives from that year and their society.  This collective reflection will offer us a glimpse into the lives of those recovering from the great influenza pandemic, women who had finally won the right to vote and how society has evolved over the years. 

Find out more about the 1921 Census

Home Learning

Early Years

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

Chat Play Share - Frosty Snowman

Early Years SENCO Networks

You should now have received a letter inviting you to attend an Early Years SENCO Network via Teams on either Tuesday 1 February or Thursday 3 February 2022 (Spring Network) and either Tuesday 21 June or Thursday 23 June 2022 (Summer Network). Please book your place now.  

Upcoming Events

Remember to log into SLA online to view upcoming training events -

A Feast of Books 2nd February



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