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.
COVID-19: Guidance For Educational Settings
New Guidance poster update | https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19?utm_source=73156638-93f5-438d-b600-bee222bc7493&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance on Vulnerable Children and Young People
Questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people. Updated guidance to include additional information on children with education health and care (EHC) plans and children in alternative provision (AP) settings.
Government Launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
On 26/03/2020, the UK Government launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp.
The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.
This will help combat the spread of coronavirus misinformation in the UK, as well as helping ensure people stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
The GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow the British public to get answers to the most common questions about coronavirus direct from government.
The service will provide information on topics such as coronavirus prevention and symptoms, the latest number of cases in the UK, advice on staying at home, travel advice and myth busting.
The service will also allow the government to send messages to all opted-in users if required.
To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.UK pages as well as links to GOV.UK for further information.
Tooth decay rates for children in Slough have gone from 41.5% to 37.9% The general trend nationally from 2008 when it was 30.9% to 2019 at 23.4% has slowed and so we’ve bucked the trend! Our oral health work IS making a difference 😃 So pleased!
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, call 01753 476589 or email email@example.com
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
Details that might help families during any period of isolation (activities to do at home):
With many settings and schools closed it is very important that we use this time to have some quality time and fun learning together.
The following websites provide parents and carers and early years settings with some great ideas to support learning and play at home.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/tiny-happy-people | This website provides parents and carers with simple activities and play ideas to support and develop communication skills in babies, toddlers and children. There are short clips for you to watch and be inspired as well as tips and advice.
https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/ | This website shares ideas to encourage families to ‘chat, play and read’ with children from 0 – 5 years. There are clips for you to watch and support their learning at home with simple ideas and things you’ll find in the home.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies | This website is bright and colourful with many activities with fun activities to do, watch and sing along with your children
There are websites below with some free resources and ideas for practitioners. It is helpful for sharing a bank of ideas with parents over time. Be selective and look for activities that are simple for parents to do.
The below two links are for outdoor learning – something that we should still encourage parents to do with their children because of the health benefits from being outside – if you have a garden make the most of it.