Early Years Provider Updates | COVID-19 Edition 28

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 06/05/2020.  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

DfE Data Collection and Weekly Registers

The Local Authority is required to submit to the DfE 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.  Due to the bank holiday this Friday all registers must be submitted by Thursday 7th May please. 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


Parenting Programme Event Update

Please find attached the Slough Schools Wellbeing Virtual Support document which has details of the Solihull Parenting Webinar and the link for Eventbrite. We have capped the webinar numbers at 50 and so far 15 people have signed up.

Solihull Approach Parenting Programme

An overview of the Solihull Approach On-line Guides for Parents, Parents-To-Be and Carers. These guides offer the latest evidenced based advice to anyone working with - or caring for children. The session will also cover an introduction to new Slough multi-agency Parenting Strategy.  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/solihull-approach-parenting-programme-webinar-via-ms-teams-tickets-103503935056

Talk with Children Under 5 Years about COVID-19

Practical tips about how to talk, play and support children in the early years in relation to COVID-19 (and post COVID-19) https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/talk-with-children-under-5-years-about-covid-19-webinar-via-ms-teams-tickets-103506418484

New Government Updates for 05/05/2020 & 06/05/2020

30 Hours Free Entitlement

The DfE are making some temporary changes to the 30 hours free entitlement to ensure critical worker parents and those with vulnerable children are not disadvantaged during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and can continue to access the childcare provision to which they are entitled.

In order to support this they are intending to make three temporary changes to the entitlement criteria:

  • Parents who will not meet the minimum income threshold (16 hours per week at National Minimum/Living Wage) due to lower earnings as a direct result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be treated as meeting that test during the outbreak. This will apply only to parents who need to apply for, or reconfirm, their 30 hours place during the summer term. This will be a temporary change due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak which will be reviewed as the situation develops. 
  • Subject to parliamentary approval of temporarily amending the regulations relating to 30 hours childcare, if critical workers exceed the maximum income threshold (£100k per year) due to increased hours as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, they will remain eligible for 30 hours for the current tax year.
  • Local authorities also have the ability to relax the validity dates on 30 hours codes where parents were ordinarily eligible and expecting to take up a 30 hours childcare place between 1 April 2020 and 31 August 2020, but have missed the reconfirmation/application deadline of 31 March 2020. This will enable children to take up their places in the summer term.

At the moment, only the children of critical workers, and children who are vulnerable, are able to access childcare. A list of children prioritised for education provision can be found here. The DfE are therefore asking local authorities and childcare providers who are approached by critical worker and vulnerable child parents who have missed the 31 March deadline to accept their codes. Providers and local authorities will need to confirm that the child taking up the place did in fact turn three before 1st April 2020 to ensure they are eligible for a 30 hours place in the summer term.

They are also encouraging parents to continue to apply for, and reconfirm, their 30 hours entitlement, even when childcare settings remain closed to all but vulnerable children and children of critical workers. This will ensure a smooth transition back into childcare when settings fully reopen.

You may already be aware that Foundation Years hosted a video podcast with DfE to answer questions on funding arrangements. The vodcast covers DSG funding flexibility for local authorities, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme calculations and interaction between DSG funding flexibility and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and can be found by watching the following video:




Critical Workers Who Can Access Schools or Educational Settings

List of critical workers (key workers) who can send their children to school or other educational settings during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Guidance title amended to help users find it. No change to the content. Click here to view the article in full. 


Find out if you can use the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, or how to make a claim on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, by joining one of the following live webinars.

They're interactive giving you the opportunity to ask questions using the on-screen text box.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme: Providing an overview of the scheme, this webinar looks at who can claim, when to start paying SSP, employees you can claim for, making a claim, keeping records, and more.

Choose a date and time

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to Make a Claim: This guides you through making a claim, including the essential information you need, what to do before you make your claim, calculating and processing your claim.

Choose a date and time

These webinars are very popular, so we’ll do our best to answer your questions or signpost you to useful guidance.

If you’ve missed any of our live webinars, you can catch up with our series of recorded webinars on HMRC’s YouTube channel – available at a time to suit you.

Coronavirus (COVID 19) | Online Education Resources

Online educational resources for schools and parents to help children to learn at home. Updated to include information about how providers of high quality resources can be added to the list.  Click here to learn more.

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


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.

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