Early Years team update

Letter dated   29.05.20

Dear Colleagues,

Please find below this week’s updates from the Early Years team. We appreciate this is an extremely busy time as you carry out detailed risk assessments to establish how your provision can operate safely for staff, children and families. 

A reminder of the materials available to support you in planning for reopening:
• the DfE planning guide   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-early-years-and-childcare-settings-from-1-june
• and a Foundation Years vodcast   https://foundationyears.org.uk/2020/05/preparing-for-wider-opening-of-early-years-settings/

Please check these sites regularly for updates as we understand there will be further iterations to the planning guidance in the next few days.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Early Years settings

From our communications, we know that sourcing specialist PPE is presenting an ongoing challenge for providers. Government guidance currently states that PPE is required if any child displays Covid-type symptoms during the school day:

 “ if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while in their setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home. A fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn”

Based on this guidance, the LA has sourced PPE items for PVI settings and Childminders to access, if needed. These items include: face visors, type IIR face masks, disposable aprons, disposable gloves and hand sanitiser.

We are currently in the process of confirming delivery of PPE items and will let you have further information on Monday. The distribution point for early years PPE will be the car park at the Bristol Education Centre (BEC). We hope to make the items available from the middle of next week, but please await confirmation and further details.

Early Years Funding

Thank you to those providers who have submitted claims for dual funding during April 2020. A form for May will be shared shortly. With the majority of Early Years Providers re-opening next week, we wanted to clarify what will happen regarding dual funding in the future:

Dual Funding from 1st June 2020:

  1. Dual funding for any child whose original provider reopens will cease, as the expectation is that the child will return to their previous provider.
  2. Dual funding will only continue where a child’s original provider continues to be closed for legitimate reasons (e.g. illness, shielding, staff shortages, no childcare being requested by parents or as the conclusion of a comprehensive risk assessment)

We have had many enquiries this week about the reallocation of funding where a child was sharing their free hours with two providers. As all providers have been paid in full, the decision will remain with the provider (who is being asked to release their claim) to decide if they will do so. BCC will support their decision and not force any provider to reallocate funding. If you are facing this challenge and need any support, please contact Early Years to talk through your options.

Re-opening from 1st June 2020 – when are you planning to reopen?

So that we may manage the sufficiency of the city, please reply to this email, if you were previously closed, with a simple A, B or C to inform us of your operational status.

  • A = I am reopening from 1st June 2020
  • B = I am reopening, but later in the summer (please provide us with your reopening date)
  • C = I am not reopening.

Weekly Attendance Registers

We are so grateful for the submission of your registers during the closure. Thank you for all your efforts and patience with the spreadsheets. The DfE has asked LAs to continue to collect them throughout the summer term. This information allows us to make sure that our most vulnerable children are being reached and lets the DfE know the demand for childcare for critical workers.

Please keep in touch with us regarding your current position. Our central and Lead Teacher teams will continue to be in touch to provide support and guidance. Communications can now also be accessed via our refreshed website for professionals: https://www.bristolearlyyears.org.uk/ Please visit the home page for EY Covid-19 information, home learning ideas and further latest news.

With our best wishes,

The Early Years Team


Deborah Brown - (General Enquries)
Dawn Butler - (General Enquiries)
Nicola Theobald - (General and Nursery School Enquiries)
Sharon McDonald - (Childminder Enquiries)