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Actions for Early Years and Childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak

Updated 2 July 2020

This guidance covers providers registered with Ofsted and childminders registered with childminder agencies for children of all ages, including nurseries and wraparound childcare and clubs (before and after school and holiday care).

Actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020

Updated 16 June 2020 

As a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the government’s 5 tests have been met, meaning we can move forward with modifying measures which have been in place. Based on all the evidence, from 1 June 2020 we can welcome back more children to Early Years and Primary School Settings, and from 15 June 2020 to Secondary School and Further Education Settings

This document sets out the overarching aims and principles of this next phase, including information about protective measures which will be in place. the government will work with the profession to produce more detailed guidance ahead of 1 June 2020.

Actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020

Early years foundation stage: coronavirus disapplications

Updated 1 June 2020 

To support Early Years providers who remain open to vulnerable children and children of critical workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Government has temporarily disapplied and modified certain elements of the EYFS statutory framework.

The disapplications and modifications to the EYFS are for all Early Years providers in England that are opening for vulnerable children and the children of key workers during the COVID-19 period: maintained schools; non-maintained schools; independent schools (including free schools and academies); all providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register; and all providers registered with an Early Years childminder agency (CMA).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings

Updated 1 June 2020

There are important actions that children and young people, their parents and those who work with them can take during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, to help prevent the spread of the virus. This advice seeks to support staff working in schools, colleges and childcare settings, to deliver this approach in the safest way possible, focusing on measures they can put in place to help limit risk of the virus spreading within education and childcare settings.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings

Updated 1 June 2020

This advice seeks to support staff working in schools, and other education and childcare settings, to deliver this approach in the safest way possible, focusing on measures they can put in place to help limit risk of the virus spreading within education and childcare settings.

Help children aged 2 to 4 to learn at home during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated 28 May 2020

Advice for parents and carers of early years children who have not yet started school.

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Ofsted - Report a serious childcare incident

Guidance to report a serious childcare incident online was published in February 2020. Ofsted registered childminders, nannies, nurseries and other daycare must use this service to report significant events affecting their childcare within 14 days.

Ofsted can take action against a provider if they do not tell Ofsted about these incidents within 14 days.

The day of the incident is the first of these 14 days.

What a provider must tell Ofsted

  • the death of a child
  • where a person’s suitability to look after children might be affected, including: involvement with social services or the police
  • something significant affecting their health
  • events that might affect the smooth running of the childcare, such as a fire or flooding at the premises
  • serious accidents, injuries or illnesses to a child
  • food poisoning affecting two or more children.

Find the guidance and link here to report a serious childcare incident

Further guidance has also been published on the following:

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The new Education Inspection Framework (EIF)

Published on 14 May 2019, this framework sets out Ofsted's inspection principles and the main judgements that inspectors make. It applies from September 2019.

The Inspection Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills Settings has also been updated in light of changes to the inspection framework. *Please note this document was further updated on 2 September 2019

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Guest blog: Gill Jones - Ofsted Early Education Deputy Director

Gill Jones, Ofsted's Early Education Deputy Director, comments on the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) and clarifies the expectations at inspection in her blog.

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Ofsted video support

Ofsted have created a number of short video clips to support with particular elements of the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF), these include:

Additional video clips are also accessible on the Ofsted website

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Hungry Little Minds, DFE, update February 2020

In July 2018, the Secretary of State for Education announced the government’s ambition to halve in ten years the proportion of children who finish Reception year without the communication, language and literacy skills they need to thrive. As a result, the Department for Education launched Hungry Little Minds - a new three-year campaign to encourage parents to engage in activities that support their child’s early learning and help set them up for school and beyond.

Political developments have meant a few changes to the timescales throughout the year have had to be made however, the toolkit and associated resources are still very much available.

In addition, on Friday 21 February 2020 they announced eight Early Years apps, with a focus on literacy, language and communication, have been awarded a quality mark by the Department for Education. This comes after new data reveals three quarters of children aged five and under have used smartphone or tablet apps at least once in the last six months to learn.

A panel of experts recommended that the apps should be accredited to help parents make informed decisions about the use of technology in creating a positive learning environment at home.

The full list of apps can be found on the Hungry Little Minds website

Have you seen our new Kent Out of School Facebook Page? Once you have answered a couple of questions to confirm eligibility you can access this forum for sharing information and opportunities for training.

Latest publications
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Main findings: childcare providers and inspections as at 31 August 2019 - Published 19 November 2019

This official Ofsted statistic release includes registered childcare providers and places, inspection outcomes, and joiners and leavers as at 31 August 2019.

Guidance for Early Years settings on Lockdown Procedures

This guidance is to help you consider how best to ensure the safety of children, parents and staff in the event of a local threat or emergency which may result in your setting being placed into ‘lockdown’. Most of your existing procedures for handling an emergency will involve evacuation of the premises and will be focused on an event happening in your building. However, in some situations, it is likely you will be advised to stay put (lockdown) rather than evacuate the premises.

Ofsted recommendations update
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Analysis of Kent Early Years Ofsted reports is identifying recommendations consistently being set around the following areas:

  • Making greater use of opportunities to consistently challenge and extend children's learning and development to help them make the best possible progress.
  • Supporting staff confidence to respond to opportunities that arise in children's play, to extend, challenge and maximise learning to the highest levels
  • Targeting staff coaching more precisely so that every opportunity is made to extend learning experiences and challenge older children.
  • Improving the outside area including activities, the environment and quality of staffs interactions, highlighting and supporting children who learn best outside and to provide more challenge and interest for younger children.

Analysis of Kent out of school Ofsted reports is identifying recommendations consistently being set around the following areas:

  • Effective use of staff supervision, monitoring, training and development to help staff to develop their skills and knowledge, their interactions with children to challenge and extend children's thinking skills and extend good practice
  • Developing partnerships with schools, parents and other providers to meet children's needs and extend children's learning
  • Extending children's understanding and respect for needs and views of other children, people and communities beyond their own experiences.

Contact details
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Early Years and Childcare Service
Telephone: 03000 41 23 23
Email: EYCimprovementservices@theeducationpeople.org