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Welcome to BCP Early Years and Childcare News

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This edition includes: Safeguarding updates, Nasen SENCO Forum, virtual Skype meetings for childminders and information on equality and diversity in the early years.
Government guidance
The latest Government guidance for childcare settings during the COVID-19 outbreak is included in your early years and childcare web pages. Please see our new Coronavirus information section for childcare providers.
Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak updated 27 July
Advice, training and support for childcare professionals
Safeguarding responsibilities during the summer holidays
A reminder to all childcare providers, including those who will be closed over the summer holiday period, that they have a duty of care to help safeguard children and their families.

Childcare settings must ensure they are contactable and able to respond to other relevant safeguarding professionals. This would include, but not be limited to, Children’s Social Care and Early Help Services.
See updated information on the early years safeguarding web page
Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership newsletter
The Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership have issued their August newsletter containing articles on the following:
  • Changes to the Dorset Children’s Advice and Duty Service (ChAD)    
  • First Response Hub
  • Anthony's blog on Stemming the Tide - Child Exploitation
  • New Complex Safeguarding Service
  • Provate fostering
  • NSPCC podcasts
  • Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust - free webinar training
  • Children’s Society – the impact of COVID-19 on adolescents, parenting and neglect
  • Multi-agency Safeguarding Training
  • Engaging Families Toolkit 
Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership newsletter August 2020
Early Years Funding for Autumn 2020

The deadline to submit estimated claims for the autumn term is Wednesday 19 August.

Log into the provider portal
Early education entitlement for two-year-olds

In March, the government temporarily extended eligibility for the early education entitlement for the two-year-old children whose parent(s) meet the following conditions for the duration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

- That they are excluded from claiming public funds because of their immigration status, or their lack of immigration status; and

- They are in receipt of support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

The government has decided that from 1 September 2020 this extension, will be made permanent.

The children of these families will be entitled to a funded place if their parents are working and meet similar low-level income requirements to others eligible for the scheme (e.g. a household income of £15,400 a year or less after tax).

Children starting school in September

Education is of paramount importance for children and it is the government’s plan that all children and young people, in all year groups, will return to or start school full time from the beginning of the autumn term. 

The prevalence of COVID-19 has decreased since schools restricted their opening in March, the NHS Test and Trace system is up and running and more is now understood about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments in schools.

Scientific evidence shows that COVID-19 presents a much lower risk to children than adults of becoming severely ill, and there is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults.

Schools in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are continuing to work closely with the Local Authority and Public Health. They have risk-assessed their sites in relation to government guidance and have put key prevention and safety measures in place. These include:

1) Minimising contact with individuals who are unwell - staff and pupils that have any COVID-19 symptoms, or who have someone in their household with symptoms will be asked not to  attend school, to self-isolate and to seek testing immediately.

2) Cleaning hands thoroughly and more often than usual - many schools have introduced new sinks or have created hand washing zones/sanitising areas within classroom or year group bubbles.

3) Keeping good respiratory hygiene by promoting ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’, though anyone who has cold like symptoms should not be in schools until they have had them checked out.

4) Enhanced cleaning including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often with detergents and bleach.

5) Minimising contact between individuals and maintaining social distancing where possible. Children will be in a bubble as a class or a year group and will have zones to be in which will not overlap with others.

6) Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) where needed; this will apply to first aiders and some members of staff who work with pupils with additional needs or who have conditions themselves.

We understand that some parents and carers will be anxious about their child starting school at this time, but please help us by reassuring them that the safety of their children is a key priority as they start their exciting journey into primary school and that everything is being done to support the safety of all.

In addition to the communication that schools will have had directly with families, the Local Authority will be sharing further information with parents about the safe return to school via social media, the websites and newsletters. Thank you for your support.

Face masks and children
Face masks must NOT be put on babies and young children (under the age of three) in an effort to protect them from coronavirus. Wearing a face mask in this age group can put babies and children at serious risk of harm or death.
Further information
Level crossing safety
There are around 6,000 level crossings in Britain. Every day they are used by thousands of people to cross one of the busiest rail networks in the world.

Network Rrail have produced a useful safety guide for pedestrians.
Network Rail website
Beach and water safety advice
RNLI lifeguard services are currently limited on beaches in the UK.

They have produced essential safety information to support parents, grandparents and carers to keep children and young people safe at the beach and around water.
Beach and water safety information
Keeping babies safe in hot weather
Babies and young children can be vulnerable during hot weather.

Find lots of useful tips and advice from the NHS on how to protect babies and young children during a heatwave.
NHS guidance on keeping babies safe
Nasen SENCO Forum
The nasen SENCO Forum is a great place for early years SENCOs. Joining will enable you to access discussions and support each other, which is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Forum is a great place to ask and answer each other’s questions, share ideas and develop knowledge and skills for FREE! 

Mandy Wilding will be holding 5 structured COVID-related discussions.
Instructions for joining nasen SEND discussions
Virtual Skype meetings for childminders

During the pandemic we have been offering childminders virtual Skype meetings to keep in touch and we are happy to continue with these if requested.

Click on the link below to read comments from some of those who have attended meetings so far. 

Childminders feedback
Early years and diversity 

As early years professionals, you all know that what happens in the first few years of a child’s life are absolutely crucial to how they develop. That goes for battling gender stereotypes too.

Find useful information on diversity below.

Celebrating difference and challenging gender stereotypes in the early years foundation stage
Tips to promote gender equality in the early years
We want to hear from you...
We hope you find the information in this newsletter useful. If you have suggestions for future items or topics that you’d like covered or any comments / questions about the items covered in this edition, please email us.

All early years and childcare workers based in BCP Council can subscribe to receive this newsletter direct to their own email. Please ask them to click on the link below.  
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