Early Years Provider Updates | COVID-19 Edition 27

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 communications from the Early Years and Prevention Service to keep you informed of various different initiatives and government updates for 05/05/2020. We hope you find this informative and if you have any suggestions about content please contact us on earlyyears@slough.gov.uk.  

It is important to keep in contact with families during this time, so please share this information across all of your contacts.

What’s New


NEWS: New online tool from HMRC available to check eligibility for self-employed grant support

HMRC's new online tool allows those who are self-employed to register and check if they're eligible to claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

To use the tool you will need: 


Training and CPD

During the pandemic it may be appropriate for some staff to complete some online training to support their continuous professional development. We have compiled a spreadsheet that contains some e-learning opportunities which you may want to explore in line with each employee’s development needs.  We have also gathered information regarding other e-learning opportunities including webinars and online videos. Please see the relevant attachments at the bottom of this article to learn more.

  • Basics of Safeguarding during COVID-19
  • SEBDOS | Live Virtual Bespoke Training on ASD, ADHD, Behaviour Management and Safeguarding
  • Nasen - Early Years | Working Together with Parents to Identify SEND

New National Helpline for Parents Launched

STAR Academies Trust has launched a new national helpline for parents called StarLine. The service will be a free telephone helpline offering parents and carers personalised advice and support from a team of qualified teachers, education and parenting experts.


Vodcast on Early Years Funding Arrangements to Support Childcare Sufficiency

On 28 April, the Department for Education (DfE) published guidance setting out how, in exceptional circumstances and only when other options have been exhausted, local authorities may use their dedicated schools grant (DSG) funding differently during the COVID-19 outbreak in order to secure childcare for the children of critical workers and for vulnerable children.

Any setting which sees their early entitlement funding reduced in order to fund childcare places elsewhere will be able to increase the proportion of their salary bill eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in line with the Department’s guidance on access to the scheme.

Foundation Years hosted a video podcast with DfE to answer your questions on these funding arrangements. The vodcast covers:

•     DSG funding flexibility for local authorities

•     Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme calculations, including a worked example

•     Interaction between DSG funding flexibility and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme




New Government Updates for 04/05/2020 & 05/05/2020

Ofsted | COVID-19 Rolling Update

Ofsted guidance and information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) for schools, early years, children's social care and further education and skills providers. Updated with information on our temporary changes to the process for those applying to register children's social care provision during this time.  To find out more information please click here.  

Childcare and Children's Social Care Health Declaration Form

Health declaration form for childminders and people who work in childcare or children's social care. Added a temporary social care health self-declaration form for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.  You can access the form here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Guidance for Schools and Other Educational Settings

Guidance and advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in educational settings for staff, parents and carers, pupils and students. Added 'Actions for HE providers during the Coronavirus outbreak'. The full article can be accessed here.

Statistics | Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

Statistics on early years foundation stage profile assessments including breakdowns by pupil characteristics. Updated to explain that 'Early years foundation stage profile results in England: 2019 to 2020' publication is cancelled due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). To find out more information please click here.

Eligibility for Government Childcare Offers Protected

Temporary measures ensure critical workers will still be eligible for childcare offers if their income has changed due to Coronavirus.  To find out about the temporary measures put in place please click here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Attendance in Education and Early Years Settings

A summary of how many children and teachers attended education and childcare settings since Monday 23 March. Updated spreadsheets and added 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) attendance in education settings: 30 April 2020 summary'.  Click here to view the full article.

Educational Setting Status Form – Request for Feedback

We are looking for volunteers to test improvements to our educational settings status online form and provide feedback over the coming days and weeks. We are looking to speak to those who collate the information and complete the daily form through short remote sessions.

If you are able to help, please send your name and contact details to:


Keeping in Touch and Targeted Support for Early Years Settings

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.


DfE Data Collection

The DfE have now requested that the Local Authority submits to them the total number of early years children (0-4 year olds, excluding 4 year olds in reception) being cared for, every Monday and Thursday.  Please can all providers (who are open) continue to submit registers every Friday but in addition to this please email earlyyears@slough.gov.uk before 12pm on Monday’s and Thursday’s with the following information:


Total Number of 0-4 Year Olds in Attendance Number of Children Who’s Parents are Critical Workers Number of Vulnerable Children


Early Help Provision

We appreciate that our children, young people and families may experience some challenges in the coming weeks.

Where possible, the Early Help Hub will continue to provide support to families through our family support. If you require support from the EH Hub team and you have a family support worker already, please contact them directly or call us on 01753 476589.

If you are not currently supported by our family support workers but require support and advice, please call us on 01753 476589 and our Family Information Service will be happy to provide you with information and advice to ensure you get the support you need. If this line is not available you can access the website by clicking on the following link: www.sloughfamilyservices.org.uk

If the child or young person requires immediate protection please call the Front Door Hub on 01753 875362 and send the electronic multi-agency referral form (MARF) to sloughchildren.referrals@scstrust.co.uk

Domestic Abuse | Slough Safeguarding Partnership

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

Alternatively if you can also access the Slough Safeguarding Partnership newsletter by clicking here.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

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@berkshire.nhs.uk.

VE Day

Slough Borough Council are doing a few different things to mark VE day and would you like to get the little ones involved. The link below goes to some blank bunting so the kids can do draw/paint their own VE Day designs. Some ideas to include are – poppies, our flag colours and 75 years. Click here to learn more.

If you would like to take part please email your photo’s of the finished art work to gemma.leary@slough.gov.uk  as soon as possible but by Wednesday evening the latest.