COVID EY update 6.11.20

Email dated 06.11.2020

Dear Colleagues,

As Bristol is now experiencing a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases in settings and schools, we are providing a summary of contact details and information in the event of a suspected or confirmed case/cluster/outbreak for easy reference. We also include some updates we deem relevant under the newly announced four-week lockdown.

 

  1. Guidance on Reporting both Suspected and Confirmed Cases

Suspected Case(s):

  1. Please email the dedicated education inbox about all suspected cases education.covid19reporting@bristol.gov.uk
  2. If one of the 4 following criteria apply please also contact the Public Health England South West Health Protection Team (HPT) on 0300 303 8162 or swhpt@phe.gov.uk
  1. Hospital admission with COVID like symptoms?
  2. Possible case who won’t/can’t get tested?
  3. A cluster of possible cases/ increased absenteeism?
  4. Possible case with definite link to confirmed case?

One Confirmed Case:

  1. Inform BCC by emailing the dedicated inbox. education.covid19reporting@bristol.gov.uk  This enables the team to follow up any urgent local support and manage communication.
  2. Contact the dedicated advice service, introduced by Department for Education. This can be reached by calling the DfE Helpline on 0800 046 8687 and selecting option 1 for advice on the action to take in response to a positive case. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/918924/Symptomtic_children_action_list_SCHOOLS_FINAL_17-09.pdf

More than one confirmed Case:

  1. Please email the dedicated education inbox: education.covid19reporting@bristol.gov.uk
  2. Contact the Public Health England South West Health Protection Team (HPT) on 0300 303 8162 or swhpt@phe.gov.uk

 

  1. Covid-19 information-sharing arrangements to protect vulnerable children

Following notification of any cases to the Local Authority via the COVID-19 dedicated email address education.covid19reporting@bristol.gov.uk, schools and settings will receive an email sent from the COVID-19 email address containing a proforma to complete to confirm the details of any group/cohort/’bubble’ that has been asked to self-isolate. This will include the child’s name, date of birth and isolation dates for each child. This proforma will need to be returned password protected via the School Support e-mail address: schoolsupport@bristol.gov.uk . On receipt of this information, the Local Authority will then notify the setting of any children in the group open to Social Care or Families in Focus. The SEND and school transport teams will also be informed. This will assist the worker within these teams to provide timely support to the child and family. Settings will also be provided with a list of the workers involved with the children identified to enhance joint working.  Further details relating to these arrangements are attached.

 

  1. Covid-19 restrictions under national lockdown from 5th November 2020

Under the newly announced four-week lockdown period in England, government have issued new guidance for the early years sector: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020. Early years settings and childminders can remain open through the period of national lockdown, and parents can continue to use these settings as normal. Parents will be able to access other childcare activities (including wraparound care and some out of school settings) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, seek work, attend education or training, or for the purposes of respite care for carers.

 

Some key points:

  • Face coverings – in early years settings, there is no change to the existing position. It is not mandatory for staff and visitors to wear face coverings. In situations where social distancing between adults in settings is not possible (for example when moving around in corridors and communal areas), settings have the discretion to recommend the use of face coverings for adults on site, for both staff and visitors.
  • Visitors to the setting – settings should restrict all visits to the setting to those that are absolutely necessary. This means suspending parent and carer visits for new admissions, settling-in children new to the setting and attending organised performances.
  • Attending more than one setting – Children can attend more than one early years setting, but parents/carers should be encouraged to limit the number settings their child attends, ideally ensuring their child only attends the same setting consistently. There may be situations where a child needs to attend more than one setting, for example, children attending a childminder at either end of the day. Where this is the case, settings and parents/carers should work collaboratively to address any risks identified.
  • Parent and child groups (including baby and toddler groups) can continue where they provide support to parent and/or child, and children under 5 will not be counted within the 15 person limit – meaning parents and carers can attend such groups in larger numbers.
  • Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid-19 – updated 4th November : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

4.       EYFS disapplications – specific EYFS disapplications are in place for any provider who cannot comply with the EYFS requirements in full due to restrictions /requirements through the national lockdown A provider would not be able to utilise the disapplications simply due to an incidence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in their setting: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework–2/early-years-foundation-stage-coronavirus-disapplications

Some key points:

  • Paediatric First Aid – extension of PFA certificates until 25th November currently remains. Paediatric First Aid training can continue during lockdown.
  • Learning and development – during any period of intervention related to coronavirus (COVID-19), early years providers should use reasonable endeavours to meet the existing learning and development requirements, instead of this being something they ‘must do’. In practice this means that the most important thing is that children are cared for and are safe within settings. As far as possible, children should also benefit from a broad range of educational opportunities.
  • Assessment – the progress check at age 2 is not required to be undertaken during any period of intervention related to coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Staff qualification and ratios –  ratio requirements stay the same in the majority of cases but, during any period of intervention related to coronavirus (COVID-19), exceptions can be made to the qualifications that staff hold in order to be counted in the ratio requirements. Providers should use reasonable endeavours to ensure that at least half of staff (excluding the manager) hold at least a full and relevant level 2 qualification to meet staff: child ratio requirements, but this will not be a legal requirement.
  1. Ofsted Ofsted’s update on how they will carry out their work during the lockdown can be accessed here:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ofsted-coronavirus-covid-19-rolling-update

For further information, we strongly recommend that you access the following comprehensive list of EY Q&A for national lockdown, prepared by the National Children’s Bureau and accessed via the Foundation Years website::  https://foundationyears.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Early-Year-QA-5-Nov-2020.pdf

COVID-19 information and all recent communications can be accessed via the Bristol Early Years website: https://www.bristolearlyyears.org.uk/. Please check this site for regular updates.

Thank you once again for your resilient leadership at this extremely challenging time. Keep in touch with us and do not hesitate to access additional support through your Lead Teachers and the central inclusion team, whenever necessary.

Please take care and keep safe.

 

With best wishes,

The Early Years Team.

Contacts

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