Newsletter 274 (Contingency fund calculations; consultation from UK Health Agency - education setting guidance pack; final reminder - starting school questionnaire consultation; reminder - childminder mentor programme; Ofsted blog; summer network presentations; SEND and inclusion newsletter)

Early Years and Childcare broadcast

The West Sussex approach puts the child first. We work with children, families, communities, our partners and schools in a restorative, strength based way. Strong relationships are at the heart of what we do.

Newsletter for Early Years and childcare providers in West Sussex from West Sussex County Council

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Wednesday 12 July 2023

Newsletter 274 (Contingency fund calculations; consultation from UK Health Security Agency - education setting guidance pack; final reminder - starting school questionnaire consultation; reminder - childminder mentor programme; Ofsted blog; summer network presentations; SEND and inclusion newsletter)

Contingency fund calculations

Whilst we hope you do not find yourselves in this situation, it is important to ensure you are aware of what your contingency funding needs to be to cover exit costs in a worst-case scenario. This should be calculated on an annual basis.

A contingency fund is money reserved to address unforeseen financial circumstances in a business. These costs would include:

  • redundancy costs,
  • outstanding payments on premises,
  • professional fees, and
  • any advance payments, including deposits, from parents.

Where possible, we advise having a contingency fund to cover these types of costs. To support you to calculate the potential cost of redundancies, GOV.UK has a useful redundancy payment calculator.

Consultation from UK Health Security Agency - Education Setting Guidance Pack Evaluation  

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) South East are currently reviewing and evaluating the resources they share in connection with gastroenteritis and scarlet fever. These are the guidance documents shared with schools and early years settings to provide them with guidance on how best to manage an outbreak, including when to contact the local health protection team. The aim of the consultation is to ensure that guidance provided by UKHSA fully meets the needs of professionals. They would therefore be grateful if you could complete this questionnaire as this will help them tailor guidance packs to meet your needs. You can review the current guidance here:  

The closing date for the consultation is 14 July 2023 and you can respond to the consultation via the online survey found here.

Final Reminder - Starting School Questionnaire Consultation  

In newsletter #271 we asked for your feedback on the Starting School questionnaire shared with settings. The consultation is due to close on 21 July 2023. You can still have your say via the online survey found here.

Reminder - Childminder Mentor Programme  

In newsletter #270 we let you know about the Childminder Mentor Programme and how to apply for the autumn term. We want to remind you that requests for the autumn term must be submitted by 31 July 2023.

This leaflet will provide you with more information about the programme. If you are interested in taking part in the programme, please email your local setting support inbox or you can self-refer using this form.

Ofsted Blog  

Did you know that Ofsted have their own blog for early years? The blog is about education and care in children’s early years. It provides updates on developments and current issues in the early years sector. You can find out more and sign up to receive updates via their website. Previous blog posts include:

Summer Network Presentations  

We want to thank all who attended the most recent Inclusion/Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (INCO/SENCO) and Childminder Network meetings. We are pleased to share the presentations from these meetings with you.

The presentations for the latest Early Years Foundation Stage Leader Networks can be found in newsletter #267.

SEND and Inclusion Newsletter  

The July SEND and Inclusion Newsletter is now available for you to read.

Upcoming key dates

  • W/C 17 Jul - Autumn term estimates payments due
  • 31 Aug - Summer term Sufficiency deadline (all providers)
  • 04 Sep - Portal opens for Autumn term Actuals
  • 29 Sep - Portal closes for Autumn term Actuals
  • W/C 23 Oct - Autumn term Actuals payments due

Information, guidance and support

To allow our Early Years and Childcare Advisors to focus their support to where it is most needed, we ask that you check for information online before you contact us.

COVID-19 guidance

Other information and guidance (WSCC)

For help to access information

To request additional support for your setting

What to do if your setting needs to close

Please inform the Family Information Service if your setting needs to close or is re-opening. Email and include your setting name, Ofsted URN, the date you intend to close/open, and any changes to your operating hours. If you inform us of re-opening, you will be reinstated on the public list and appear on our website

If closing due to COVID-19, please consult the guidance to check when to inform Ofsted.

In the event of your setting having a confirmed COVID-19 case, if Public Health or the Department for Education have stated you must close for any period of time you must inform the Family Information Service. However, if Public Heath have not explicitly stated in correspondence to you that the setting must close, we would expect you to make contact with your Early Years and Childcare Adviser (EYCA) to talk through your circumstances, where possible, before making the decision to close the setting. If you are not able to make immediate contact with your EYCA then please email your nearest Early Help Hub using the following email addresses:

Where there are not clearly evidenced reasons why the setting had no option to close, there could be implications for funding received as per the government guidance. 

Links to our most recent newsletters

  • #273 (neglect questionnaire; reminder - EYFS consultation; National Professional Qualification in Early Years Leadership; supporting children's mental health and well-being in the early years; early years and childcare online courses; portable appliance testing)
  • #272 (Safeguarding focus: sharing safeguarding information to support transitions; possible business opportunity in Adversane; Foundation Years online event; new consultation - working together to safeguard children; Vodcast on the EYFS consultation; West Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership training; budgeting tips for the summer holidays; new guide from Health and Safety Executive)
  • #271 (Free entitlement autumn term estimates open; 30 hour codes summer autumn deadline; childminder networks; reminder to submit - termly childcare provider update form; Screen in the early years - digital devices and online safety webinar; starting school questionnaire consultation; updated government guidance; transitions to school - transition summary template; retention of staff)
  • #270 (Early Years Covid-19 Recovery Programme - autumn 2023; EYFS consultation - new supportive document; Free Entitlement funding rates 2023/24; New Post-Headcount/Exceptional Payment request form available; new consultation - changes to inspection complaints system; scam alert; hot weather advice and guidance; new oral health guidance; early years training)
  • #269 (Free entitlement summer term headcount payments; early years foundation stage profile information and guidance; EYFS regulatory changes consultation; Ofsted code of conduct; early years training; the Summer Reading Challenge)