Early Years Update 16.12.20

Email dated 16.12.2020


Dear Colleagues,

As we head towards the close of the year, the Early Years team would like to thank you once again for your resilience and unwavering commitment to Bristol’s early years children and families. We acknowledge the unprecedented challenges you are facing everyday and the toll this must now be taking on energy levels and well-being. We hope you will be able to step away and take some time for yourselves to take stock and process all that has happened this year. We do not pretend that the situation will be any easier on the return in January, and as the winter progresses, but hope the vaccine holds the potential for a safer way ahead soon.

We hope you have now picked up our e-mail inviting you to respond to the Early Years National Funding Formula (sent via Ask CYPS 11.12.20) We welcome your views and feedback to inform future planning. We would also like to thank you for supporting the distribution of Early Years Food Vouchers for the holiday period for our eligible 2 Year Olds and for 3 and 4 Year Old children in receipt of Early Years Pupil Premium. I’m afraid the timeline relating to each of these items has been particularly challenging for all and we are grateful for your positive support and response.

Please be aware that we will be issuing further important guidance tomorrow regarding the management of Covid cases over the holiday period. We sincerely apologise for the late issue of this guidance, but it is currently being checked by Public Health. Please look out for this information which will be mailed via Ask CYPS as early as possible tomorrow.

Please also note the following items for information:

Applying for a school place for a Reception-aged child

The 15th January 2021 deadline for school applications is now looming and we attach a poster for you to share with your families, as relevant.

Are you ok? Christmas toolkit

Check in with your community this Christmas Earlier this year, we launched the Are you OK? campaign to encourage people to check in with friends, family and neighbours to make sure they are OK during the pandemic. Christmas can be a difficult time, even without the pandemic, and many people will find Christmas particularly challenging this year for lots of reasons. Some people might be spending it alone, whilst others might be facing more stress at home. Find out how to spot the signs for concerns and where to find help on the Are you OK website: www.bristolsafeguarding.org/areyouok

Please find attached a document from the Bristol Safeguarding Board signposting to suggested social media links. These focus on useful contacts to support well-being over the festive period. We recommend that you make these available to your staff and families, perhaps via your website.

Christmas message from the Mayor for Bristol’s children

The Mayor has recorded a special message for Bristol’s children, thanking them for being brilliant during a really difficult year and sharing some important breaking news. We would be really grateful if you might find time to play this short video: Mayor Marvin Rees’ Christmas Message to Bristol’s Children – Google Drive  Later in the week, it will be uploaded to We Are Bristol Kids, with a related activity for children to design a face mask for Father Christmas. An official council press release and social media version will also be issued to let adults know the news, but Marvin wanted Bristol’s children to be the first to know.

It just leaves us to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year!

Please continue to be extra vigilant and keep yourself and your loved ones safe during the festive period.

With very best wishes,

The Early Years Team


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