Early Years Provider Updates | COVID-19 Edition 39

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 22/05/2020.  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

Data Collection

There will be no data collection on the late May Bank Holiday (25 May). Therefore, next week there will be one data collection on Thursday 28 May only, we will not be asking for data on 26 May. If you are open please continue to submit your weekly register information on Fridays.

From Monday 1 June data collection will return to the usual pattern (twice-weekly on Monday and Thursday before 12pm) to help monitor sufficiency and take up of places with regular data updates in anticipation of increased demand due to planned wider reopening next month.

In order to track attendance levels amongst vulnerable children more closely and inform policy making to encourage take-up of childcare by pre-school age vulnerable children, we will be asking for numbers of vulnerable children in attendance by category as follows: 

Attendance Totals – Children aged 0 – 4 years old only

  • Total number of children who are attending your educational setting today 0 -4 years old
  • Number of children who’s parents are critical workers
  • Children in need (CIN)
  • Number of children with an Education , Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)
  • Number of children who are both CIN and have an EHC Plan
  • Number of children assessed as vulnerable by providers or local authorities but not CIN and without an EHC Plan

All early years providers open will be required to submit data records by 12pm Monday’s and Thursday’s and registers every Friday please email this information to earlyyears@slough.gov.uk. All registers must be password protected before you send them to us using the password Attendance, please see the attached template.

Lockdown Babies | Children Born During the Coronavirus Crisis May 2020

Lockdown has changed all of our lives in so many different ways. But if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed it is that babies are still being born, including of course a new arrival in Downing Street. In England 1,688 babies are born every day. 

This means that 76,000 babies will already have been born during lockdown, and we have no idea when things will return to anything like normal.  The briefing paper attached highlights the need for policymakers to put families with young children, and especially those with newborns, at the heart of coronavirus planning.

Coronavirus Return to Work Training

Free Online Training Video Presentation for Early Years Settings

Childminders and early years settings were instructed to close their doors to most parents after close of business on Friday 20th March 2020. They are being asked to prepare to reopen from Monday 1st June 2020. A decision is due to be made by the government on 28th May 2020 with more information.

This training video gives useful guidance on how to adapt your business and setting due to Coronavirus. https://www.childcare.co.uk/training/return-to-work

You Can Save Me

During lockdown, some children and young people may be being abused and exploited at home. They can be made to believe that they should never tell anyone and that the abuse is their fault. Shut in with their abusers, they have little chance to escape or to tell anyone. These children need your help! As a neighbour or key worker visiting homes for any reason, you may be the only person able to spot abuse and report it. Please see the attached poster for further information.

New Government Updates for 22/05/2020 & 21/05/2020

Attending More Than One Setting

This is the DfE’s current position on children attending more than one setting, and transfers between settings. Hopefully the forthcoming guidance will give a little more detail.

To minimise contact between groups of children and staff, children should attend just one setting wherever possible and parents should be encouraged to minimise as far as possible the number of education and childcare settings their child attends. Childminding settings should consider how they can work with parents to agree how best to manage any necessary journeys, for example pick-ups and drop-offs at schools, to reduce the need for a provider to travel with groups of children.

Safeguarding and Remote Education During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Understand how to follow safeguarding procedures when planning remote education strategies and teaching remotely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Added information about virtual lessons and live streaming. Updated information on finding which video conference service is right for your school and using them securely.  For fuether information please click here.

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 to add more information for early years and childcare providers on letting us know if you are opening or temporarily closing at this time.  Click here to read the guidance in full. 

We have been working with the DfE and local authorities to find out which early years providers, including childminders, are currently open or temporarily closed. This is to help find out if there is sufficient and accessible childcare available in the coming weeks and to help support vulnerable children as best we can.

We still need further information about whether some providers are open or closed. We may contact you via email in the coming weeks to ask you about your setting and plans for the future. Please check that this email comes from an @ofsted.gov.uk address before responding as soon as you can.

If your operating circumstances do change (you open or close), notify us by sending an email to enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk with ‘Change in operating hours’ in the subject field. In the body of the email, please confirm the unique reference number for each setting and the details of the change. You can find your URN on your registration, your inspection report(s), and on your Ofsted reports page.

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 Years and Childminder Settings  Reopening from 1st June 2020

Following the Governments announcement on the proposed opening of nursery and childminder settings from 1st June 2020, the Early Years Team would like to support all Slough settings with preparing to reopen their setting. The Early Years Team will be making contact with all settings to discuss your plans and offer our support.