This article has been brought to you by 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.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): early years and childcare closures https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures
All settings who have remained open will need to send the local authority details of the children attending your provision. This information must include children who were on roll and children who have started at your setting due to the Coronavirus situation (additional children from pre COVID19). This information must be submitted in order to ensure funded early education payments during this time. Please see the attached template, if you require a word version please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please notify us at email@example.com if your circumstances change and you decide to close or reopen provision. If you have any key worker / vulnerable families looking for alternative care please direct them to the Family Information Service on 01753 476589 or FIS@slough.gov.uk
Changes to Ofsted Registration
Ofsted’s telephone contact centres are still open and providers can make contact to request that overnight care is added to their registration if you wish to provide this service. You should also be able to do this online. You should also be prepared to explain what your procedures are for doing this. i.e. serviceable fire alarms in the property, where children will sleep, safety etc. If you having any difficulties doing this please let Slough Early Years Service know and we will make contact with Ofsted on your behalf.
If your paediatric first aid certificate is due to expire, see advice from the Health and Safety Executive. It has announced a 3-month extension to the validity for all certificates coming up for renewal on or after 16 March. Childminders: At this time, you do not need to let Ofsted know if you are closed due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), whether that’s because you are not caring for the children of critical workers or vulnerable children, or because you are ill however please do inform the Early Years team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Contracts With Parents
We have been receiving lots of enquiries from settings about the contract arrangements they have with parents and carers. Each setting should consider their own contracts with parents and have your own process for dealing with situations where parents have decided to completely withdraw their child’s place. Legally all contracts should be adhered too and providers should discuss payment arrangements with individuals where situations arise.
We are awaiting the results of a parliamentary amendment to make the Government ‘top up’ for self-employed workers’ earnings to the lower of 80% of their net monthly earnings averaged over three years, or £2,917 a month. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-01/0122/amend/coronavirus_daily_cwh_0320rev.14-18.html
Health and Safety Considerations
If you are open and have taken on children from other settings (keyworker children) please ensure you have the following in place ready for the first day the child starts:
- ECHP documentation
- Behaviour plans – so new staff can understand the risks and the controls required. This will also dictate any specific training required, and resultantly who can provide the support
- Personal Emergency Egress Plans - PEEP’s (children and staff) – these will need to be reviewed in the new building to ensure pupils and staff can get out of the building safely (evac routes will need to be practiced)
- Ensure medicines are transferred over to the receiving setting before the child commences
Additionally, any setting that is partially opened need to:
- Ensure that they have trained staff on site to provide the required administration of medication for any children on site (epi pens / buccal etc)
- A paediatric first aider as a minimum is on site
- Someone is on site who understands how to use the fire alarm, should it be activated
- Ensure their insurance company is formally informed of the current arrangement
Please note that any setting which remains open, are still required to observe all the PHE guidance about social distancing, hand washing etc. Hence appropriate activities should be chosen during the day and provision must be restricted to those keyworkers who have no other alternative arrangements in place to enable them to continue to work.
Volunteering or Requesting Support
The One Slough website is now available to register as a volunteer or to request support and can be found at https://sloughcvs.org/covid19/
Slough Children’s Services Trust
The key message from the Trust (children’s social care) right now is that they will continue to provide their statutory functions and partners are asked to follow the normal procedure for making a contact / referral through the Front Door by emailing email@example.com. The Trust will screen all contacts against the agreed threshold and will progress any cases that meet the statutory threshold for social care intervention.
Please note that the Early Years Service is still operational during this time, for any queries or questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01753 476554.
Once again, many thanks for all that you are doing to keep services available to those who critically need them. Keep well and know that we are here if you need to make contact with us.