Early Years Provider Updates | COVID-19 Edition 12

This article has been brought to you by Slough Borough Council's Service Lead for Early Years and Prevention, Michael Jarrett, for the attention of the Early Years Sector.

Please find below updates and information for all settings regarding the operation of provision during COVID-19.

During this unfamiliar time the team would like you to know that we are here to offer you support, in whatever way you may need it? We are on the other end of the phone or email and will continue to provide you with daily email updates. Even if you are currently closed the team can offer a range of support from discussing government guidance documents to reviewing local area initiatives.

We understand that this is a difficult period for everyone and in these uncertain times it can often help to share concerns, questions and queries with others, so please do keep in contact and pick up the phone anytime for a catch up. You can email and call individual members of the team or for general enquiries contact earlyyears@slough.gov.uk or call 01753 476554.

If your setting is currently still open and are considering closure please discuss with the Early Years Service and for further information, advice or guidance please contact the team on 01753 476554 or email earlyyears@slough.gov.uk.

Family Information Service

Slough’s Family Information Service has a record of all settings currently open for children of key workers/vulnerable children, please signpost parents and carers to the FIS if they need to find care including holiday provision if you are unable to stay open, call 01753 476589 or email fis@slough.gov.uk, Slough’s Services Guide.

Reminder Weekly Registers are Due in Thursday This Week (Due to the Bank Holiday Weekend) Before 1pm

All settings who are open this week must send the local authority details of the children who attended or are attending your provision. Please see the attached template, if you require a word version please email clare.thompson@slough.gov.uk.

Submit your settings attendance by completing the spreadsheet and then password protect it and send to earlyyears@slough.gov.uk . Please do not email personal details without password protecting the document first. Please use the password ‘Attendance’.

Childminders please call Danielle Mercer on 07770 936674 or Sharon Rose on 07920 287687 if you are unable to email in the details

Group settings please contact or Karen Loft on 07923 260393 if you are unable to complete the spreadsheet.

Hubs Plans

The Slough Early Years and Prevention Service has a developed a Hub strategy in case of spikes in demand. The Hub plan can be deployed if needed in the coming weeks/months. A lot depends on the demand as the current participation rates, taking account of key workers and the families of children that qualify for a ‘vulnerable’ place, is much lower than we had anticipated. If and when things change the Hub strategy we have developed can be deployed as appropriate.
This will include contacting settings who are currently closed to find out about staff availability and capacity, if the need arises we will be in contact.

Domestic Abuse | Slough Safeguarding Partnership

Challenging times may result in the need to access specialist support, don’t be alone, attached at the bottom of this article are some resources that might be able to help. You can also access the Slough Safeguarding Partnership website here to learn more.

Mental Health and Well-Being

If providers have any children or young people displaying any Mental Health and or well-being concerns, then please contact the East Berkshire Getting Help Service at: CAMHSGettingHelpEast e: CAMHSGettingHelpEast@berkshire.nhs.uk

Working Families

‘Furlough is now available for those who cannot continue working because of caring responsibilities
The government coronavirus job retention scheme (furlough) was initially aimed at employees whose work is no longer being carried out because of coronavirus and who cannot work at home because of the nature of their job (i.e. their job itself was at risk of redundancy). It did not seem the scheme was open to parents and carers whose job continues to exist, but who cannot continue working because of childcare and caring responsibilities.

Our policy team lobbied tirelessly for 10 days for government to clarify this. And our call was answered! Government guidance was amended on 4 April to say that if you cannot continue working because of caring responsibilities arising from coronavirus, you can ask your employer to apply to the coronavirus job retention scheme for you. Though bear in mind, your employer still has to agree to put you on furlough. A step in the right direction and relief for many families. For more info, read our FAQ page on furlough.’

Early Years Foundation Stage Forum

We’re very pleased to let you know that Slough have renewed their participation in the Early Years Foundation Stage Forum and subscription to the FSF has been extended for another year.
If you have forgotten any of your login details or have any problems with access, please let eyfs know by emailing customer.service@eyfs.info and they will be happy to help!  Have you got a new member of staff who has recently joined your team and therefore might not be a member of the forum? Under the terms of the scheme all staff working within the setting can join for free, if you need more information then please feel free to get in touch

National Careers Service

The National Careers Service has announced that it is adapting the way it delivers its offering to ensure it can continue to provide an uninterrupted service to thousands of citizens across the South East. The National Careers Service provides free, professional and impartial advice on getting a new job, changing careers, training, education and the labour market; support which is available to anyone aged 13+ and living in England. Please see the attached press release for further information.

Government Updates | Guidance for Educational Settings

Guidance for schools and other educational settings about the novel COVID-19.  Updated guidance to reflect the announcement on school closures. For more information on the school closures please click here.

COVID-19 | Closure of Educational Settings | Information for Parents and Carers

Information for parents and carers about the closure of schools and other educational settings following the outbreak of COVID-19. Added information about the Easter holidays. Updated information about exams, and resources and support. For more information please click here.

COVID-19 School Closures

What schools will need to do during the COVID-19 outbreak. Updated sections on funding, holidays and practicalities. For further information please click here.

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Results 2018 to 2019

Early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) results for the 2018 to 2019 academic year, at national and local authority level. Updated EYFSP pupil characteristics 2019: underlying data files to provide a full time series of underlying data files back to 2013.  To view the results please click here.

Ofsted COVID-19 Rolling Update

Ofsted guidance and information relating to COVID-19 for schools, early years, children's social care and further education and skills providers. Updated to add that at Ofsted, we're working with local authorities and the wider Civil Service to deploy our staff to areas where they are needed most, based on their skills and experience. Added information for childcarers on how to apply to work from non-domestic premises for up to 50% of time, and on invoices for early years annual registration fees issued from 3 April, which will will now have a due date of 30 September 2020 so that settings can delay their payment during this time. For further information please click here