Coronavirus Update


During the Coronavirus outbreak, the situation will be changing rapidly both nationally and locally.


We will use this page to hold all the latest guidance and advice for settings.

FIS Daily updates

26.01.21 FIS Update

Additional Coffee and Catch up – New – Book Now, Weekly Provider Survey, Early Education and Childcare Week – Parent Survey New, Contact Details

25.01.21 FIS Update

Business Support Grants – Additional Restrictions Grant – Reminder, Additional Coffee and Catch up – New – Book Now, Weekly Provider Survey, Contact Details

21.01.21 FIS Update

Business Support Grants – Additional Restrictions Grant – New, Additional Coffee and Catch up – New, Childcare brokerage – can you help?,  Contact Details

20.01.21 FIS Update

First 1001 days report working for babies – new, A workforce in crisis: saving our early years report – new, Weekly provider survey, Contact details

19.01.21 FIS Update

Weekly provider survey, Attendance monitoring/safeguarding – reminder, Contact details

18.01.21 FIS Update

NDNA announces Ofsted has paused all planned inspection activity for early years, EYFS disapplication, Weekly provider survey, Barnado’s see hear respond partnership extended, Business map provider webinars – last chance to book, Lockdown support for children, young people and parents new, Annual audit and census reminder, Virtual college mental health and wellbeing free resource package new, Contact details

15.01.21 FIS Update

Updated guidance on early education funding and completion of early years census, Symptoms free testing for early years workers – reminder, Business Map Provider Webinars - Book Now, Contact details

14.01.21 FIS Update

All party parliamentary group (appg) briefing pack – new, Contact details

13.01.21 FIS Update

Provider survey, Annual Childcare Audit and Census 2021 – Reminder, Staffing Information viewing difficulties, Contact details

12.01.21 FIS Update

Visitors to the setting – reminder, Employer referral for essential workers – reminder, Symptom-free testing for early years and childcare staff – reminder, Provider survey, Contact details

11.01.21 FIS Update

DfE Guidance for holiday or after-school clubs and other out of school settings – Update, Provider Survey, Critical Workers Update, Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector - Update, Contact Details for the Early Years Team

08.01.21 FIS Update

DfE Latest Guidance for Early Years and Childcare – New, Spring Term Funding, Symptom Free testing for Early Years and Childcare Staff – Reminder, Vulnerable Children and Critical Workers – Reminder, Ofsted changes – Reminder, Petition for Early Years and Childcare staff to be vaccinated – Reminder, Contact Details

07.01.21 FIS Update

Spring Term Funding, Symptom Free testing for Early Years and Childcare Staff – New, Vulnerable Children and Critical Workers, Ofsted changes – New, Petition for Early Years and Childcare staff to be vaccinated – New, Contact Details

05.01.21 FIS Update

DfE National lockdown to come into force on Wednesday 6 January

04.01.21 FIS Update

Spring Deadline for submitting estimate figures, Annual Childcare Audit and Census 2021 – approaching, Provider Survey – move to bi-weekly completion, National Business Support Zoom Webinar for Early years and Childcare providers – Book Now, Baby App Project

21.12.20 FIS Update

Covid – January Return – Out of School Clubs, Annual Childcare Audit and Census, Free Practitioners Training session – By Contact, Christmas Message from the Early Years and Childcare Service

14.12.20 FIS Update

Childcare Brokerage, New Self-Isolation Period Announced, DFE Guidance For Early Years, National Business Support Zoom Webinar, Out Of School: A Sector Under Pressure, DFE Covid-19 Helpline, Weekend Covid Support CYC Public Health, Contact Details

10.12.20 FIS Update

Ofsted Updates, Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline – Christmas opening hours, Children’s Wellbeing, Early Years TV , The Family Children's Champion Award

07.12.20 FIS Update

Vaccines, OFSTED, Weekend Covid Support CYC Public Health, Updated Government Key Guidance, DFE COVID-19 Helpline, New – Zoom Sessions – Employing Apprenticeships And The New Kickstart Programme, Provider Survey, Contact Details

12.11.20 FIS Update

Speech, Language Communication Handbook, NSPCC’s Look Say Sing Play, Confirm your childcare details with York FIS

09.11.20 FIS Update

Ofsted To Review January Date for Return to Inspections – New, Ofsted – Notifications, Speech by Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector – New, Provider Survey / Sufficiency Data, Early Years Leaders and Managers Briefing – Book Now, Contact Details

19.10.20 FIS Update

Tier 2 Update, DfE Actions Guidance, DfE Relating to Out of School Clubs and Holiday Provision, What you must tell Ofsted, Provider Survey / Sufficiency Data / Submitting your Actuals, Look Say Sing Play Campaign, Contact Details

12.10.20 FIS Update

Provider Survey / Sufficiency Data / Submitting your Actuals, Early Years Leaders and Managers Briefing, Look Say Sing Play Launch, Contact Details

05.10.20 FIS Update

Provider Survey / Sufficiency Data, DFE – Guidance Protective Measures for Out of School and Holiday Provision, Early Years Research Survey re Impact of Covid-19, New legal duty to self-isolate Now in Force, Information education settings should have to hand when they call  for advice on a positive case, HSE spot checks, Shared Foundation Partnership/Provider Information Sessions – REMINDER, Early Years Leaders and Managers Briefing, First Aid Course, Contact Details

28.09.20 FIS Update

EYFS Disapplications, Early Education Funding / Provider Survey, Public Health Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures, Level 3 Early Years Educator Apprenticeships, Contact Details

24.09.20 FIS Update

Public Health Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures, DfE Providing childcare, Contact Details

21.09.20 FIS Update

Childcare Brokerage, DfE - New advice service for nurseries, schools and colleges to respond to a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19), DfE Providing childcare, Early Education Funding / Provider Survey, Contact Details

14.09.20 FIS Update

Action Card Early Years Settings COVID-19, Public Health – COVID19 - Standard Operating Procedures and Related Documents, Hands, Face, Space government campaign, Government Update - Responding to those with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, Shared Foundation Partnership/Provider Information Sessions, Early Education Funding / Provider Survey, Help with Childcare, Contact Details

07.09.20 FIS Update

Early Years Peer Challenge Review, Early Education Funding – Reminder of key dates and actions you need to take this week, Action Card Early Years Settings COVID-19, Sickness Policy, Public Health England report on the preliminary results of the coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and antibody prevalence surveillance in schools programme, EYFS Disapplications, DfE Updated guidance for parents and carers, Parent Survey, York Coronavirus data, Contact Details

01.09.20 FIS Update

Early Years SEND Partnership – Free Training, Early Years and Childcare Parent Survey, OOSC Childcare Needed for September, Two Evenings, Contact Details

24.08.20 FIS Update

Holiday and After School clubs guidance, OOSC Childcare Needed for September, Two Evenings, Survey Monkey, Parent Survey, Launch of the #backtoschoolsafely campaign, Early Years staff, Return to work guide, FAQ’s and Coronavirus review and link to case studies, Contact Details

17.08.20 FIS Update

Ofsted, Virtual Session for Providers Re-Opening, Covid - 19 Supervised Tooth brushing guidance, Survey Monkey, Parent Survey, Contact Details

10.08.20 FIS Update

Survey Monkey, Parent Survey, Autumn term funding, DfE  Action for Early Years and Childcare Providers, Case Study, York Coronavirus data, Early Years Alliance - Parent survey on access to childcare, Contact Details

03.08.20 FIS Update

Virtual Session for Providers Re-Opening in September, Provider Data / Information, DfE Early Education Entitlements Guidance, DfE – Action for Early Years and Childcare Providers, Self-isolation period – Update, Share your best post-Covid practice, Government consultation - Review of business rates, Contact Details

27.07.20 FIS Update

DfE Early Education Entitlements Guidance, DfE – Action for Early Years and Childcare Providers, DfE – Safe working in Education, Childcare and Children’s social care, Early Years SEND Partnership – Training Opportunities, Contact Details

20.07.20 FIS Update

Holiday Schemes and Out of School Clubs Information, Share best practice with colleagues, Preparing parents for September- Let’s be York, If you can help, Education Psychology Flyer, Two Year Old Progress Check, Virtual Session for Providers Re-Opening in September, DfE – Help Children aged 2-4 to learn at home during COVID-19, Children’s Commissioner – Best Beginnings Report, Launch of Review on Babies and Children’s Health, Contact Details

13.07.20 FIS Update

Sufficiency Survey Monkey, DfE Out of School Guidance, HMRC update: Job Retention Bonus, Investment in traineeships and apprenticeships for young people announced, Preparing for full opening in September,  Shared Book Reading Opportunity, Paediatric First Aid, Barnardo’s ‘See Hear Respond’ service, Contact Details

08.07.20 FIS Update

Ofsted update, Re-opening of parks and Social distancing, PPE – Reminder, Sufficiency Survey Monkey – Reminder, Draft materials from Public Health for comment – Reminder, Early Years Reference Group – Reminder, Recognising Vulnerability and Using the FEHA Tool during the Covid-19 Pandemic FEHA training, Contact Details

06.07.20 FIS Update

Sufficiency Survey Monkey, DFE – Education Plans from September 2020, First Aid, CYC Education Psychology Service – E-Modules to Support Staff through the COVID-19 Pandemic, The Sutton Trust – Getting the Balance Right, Draft Schools and Early years Covid-19 pack from Public Health England, Contact Details

03.07.20 FIS Update

DFE Update - Plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education at the start of the autumn term, DfE Guidance - Holiday Clubs and Out of School Settings, Local lockdowns: guidance for education and childcare settings, Managing Your Way Through COVID-19 – Out of School Clubs, Key Issues Communications, Quality Improvement Newsletter, Sufficiency Update – Vulnerable Children, 6th July - Summer Term Leaders and Managers Zoom Briefing – City of York Post Covid-19 response for children and young people in York, The Sutton Trust – COVID-19 Impacts: Early Years, Contact Details

01.07.20 FIS Update

Sufficiency Survey Monkey, 6th July - Summer Term Leaders and Managers Zoom Briefing – City of York Post Covid-19 response for children and young people in York, Managing Your Way Through COVID-19, Primary and Secondary Schools, Contact Details

29.06.20 FIS Update

Sufficiency Survey Monkey – Reminder, Opportunities for Early Years Practitioners, 6th July - Summer Term Leaders and Managers Zoom Briefing – Child Poverty, Message from City of York Healthy Child Service, Early Years education and child development support for 0-4 year olds, Managing Your Way Through COVID-19, Dfe guidance published on advice for parents and carers about keeping children safe from abuse and harm, Council For Disabled Children – Frequently Asked Questions, Contact Details

26.06.20 FIS Update

Sufficiency Survey Monkey, Primary Schools - Relaxation of lockdown, reduced social distancing measures etc, Letter from Cllr Cuthbertson, 6th July - Summer Term Leaders and Managers Zoom Briefing – Child Poverty, Contact Details

24.06.20 FIS Update

NHS Training – SLCN/Physical and Sensory Needs, Managing Your Way Through COVID-19, Heatwave conditions, Contact Details

22.06.20 FIS Update

Sufficiency Survey Monkey, Out of School Provision, Contact Details

19.06.20 FIS Update

Early Years Alliance, Childcare Safeguarding Message and Assetts, Emails, 100 handers stickers – Special Branch request, DfE Policy Paper - Actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020, Communication with parents/carers, Contact Details

17.06.20 FIS Update

Managing Your Way Through COVID-19 – Reminder - Childminders and Out of School Clubs, PPE-update, Contact Details

15.06.20 FIS Update

Managing Your Way Through COVID-19 – Reminder, PPE-update, Weekly Survey Monkey Reminder, Contact Details

12.06.20 FIS Update

Out of School Clubs in York - Finding your way through COVID-19, Maternity leave and furlough eligibility, Handwashing advice- update, Informing DfE and Health and Safety Executive in the unfortunate event of a member of staff’s death, DfE guidance –all in one place , Contact Details

11.06.20 FIS Update

 Primary Schools - Update, Managing Your Way Through COVID-19, Weekly Survey Monkey

08.06.20 FIS Update

Managing Your Way ThroughCOVID-19, Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update, Registration visits, Weekly Survey Monkey, York Armed Forces Information and Directory of Support, Council for Disabled Children and the EYSEND Partnership

05.06.20 FIS Update

Out of School  Provision, Weekly Survey Monkey, Questions and Advice, Staffing

03.06.20 FIS Update

DfE – Actions for Early Years and Childcare Providers, DFE – Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, Taking Small Groups of Children Out to Outdoor Public Places, York MASH, NCB supporting resources, PPE – update

01.06.20 FIS Update

DFE Changes to the law on education, health and care needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus, CYC Small and Micro Business Grants, Wider opening of provision, Training opportunities, Funding Portal 

29.05.20 FIS Update 

PPE deliveries, Public Health -Heatwave Advice During COVID19,Funding Portal - Update, DfE Guidance Help Children Aged 2-4 to Learn at Home

27.05.20 FIS Update

Updated guidance on supporting children and young people with complex special educational needs and disability (SEND),Council For Disabled Children – FAQ 4, Prioritisation of Children into Settings, PPE Deliveries – Childminders

26.05.20 FIS Update

Preparing for the wider opening of early years and childcare settings from 1 June, DFE Online education resources for home learning,PPE Packs for Settings, OFSTED, York Business Grants Scheme Extended

22.05.20 FIS Update

Online Information and Q&A session, Educational Psychologist Helpline, Public Health Data, Materials to support wider opening of schools – Educational Psychology Service, DfE guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for educational settings, Parent Survey for Re-Opening/Wider Opening

21.05.20 FIS Update

EHCP Appendix, May Half Term, DfE update on children attending more than one setting, Testing of Under Fives, Wider Opening of Schools – School Crossing Patrols (SCP)

18.05.20 FIS Update

DfE Supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - actions for educational providers and other partners

15.05.20 FIS Update

DfE: Safe Working in Education Childcare  and Children’s Social care settings including use of PPE,  Parent Survey for

Re-Opening/Wider Opening, Training, Poem: Today

13.05.20 FIS Update

Vulnerable pupils and Children of Key Workers, Childminders, Transition

12.05.20 FIS Update

Update after the government announcement at the weekend

11.05.20 FIS Update

Letter from York Schools and Academies Board (YSAB), DFE Guidance on conducting a SEND risk assessment during the coronavirus outbreak

07.05.20 FIS Update

Funding Deadline Reminder, Contact Details

05.05.20 FIS Update

HMRC Bounce Back Loans,  DFE – Eligibility for Early Education, DfE – Attendance in Early Years Settings, RIDDOR, CPD resources for staff – trauma and loss, Technology support for children and schools during coronavirus, Message from Family Learning, Contact Details

04.05.20 FIS Update

What parents and carers need to know about schools, colleges and other education settings during the coronavirus outbreak, Childminders –HMRC Self Employment Income Support Scheme, Message from City of York Children’s Safeguarding Children Partnership, Message from City of York Business Team about ‘Our City’, Contact Details

01.05.20 FIS Update

SEND Code of Practice 0-25, Early Years SEND Newsletter, Council for Disabled Children FAQ, BLOG, A message from the Family Learning Team, Contact Details

30.04.20 FIS Update

National Day Nurseries Association – Key Questions,DfE - Attendance in Education and Early Years settings, Phone script,Providers re- opening, Safeguarding, Contact Details

29.04.20 FIS Update

DfE Guidance – Use of Early Education Funding During the Coronavirus Outbreak, GOV.UK – Bounce Back Loans, DFE Guidance - Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak, Family Learning Survey – monthly prize draw!, Contact Details

28.04.20 FIS Update

Testing for Essential Workers, Childcare Sufficiency, Early Learning Alliance FAQ, Children’s Commissioner – tackling the disadvantage gap during the Covid-19 crisis, Contact Details

27.04.20 FIS Update

Home learning, Temporary changes to EYFS, York Learning, York Mind, York Schools and Academies Board (YSAB), Statement regarding the reopening of York Schools and Academies, Contact Details

24.04.20 FIS Update

Letter from  the Secretary of State for Education, Testing - Announcement from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, DFE - What parents and carers need to know about schools and education during the coronavirus outbreak, Keeping in contact with families, SEND, Resources to support outdoor learning, Local Area Teams, Urgent information and advice for Duty Holders from CYC Property Services – Water Hygiene, Contact Details 

23.04.20 FIS Update

Business support Finder Tool, Voluntary Sector Advice, Forest School Update, Makaton Training, Contact Details 

22.04.20 FIS Update

DFE Guidance – Actions for Early Years and Childcare Providers,DFE Guidance – Attendance in Education and Early Years Settings, Paediatric First Aid–update, Contact Details

21.04.20 FIS Update

City of York Council: Email update and support from community hubs, Contact Details

20.04.20 FIS Update

DFE Guidance Financial Support, HMRC – Portal, DFE Guidance – Information for Parents and Carers, DFE Guidance Vulnerable Children and Young People, Home Learning, Marketing information on Google, Information Sharing, Paediatric First aid, Contact Details

17.04.20 FIS Update

DfE Guidance on Closure of Educational Settings for Parents, Data Portal to Track the Impact of COVID-19 –CEEDA, Contact Details

16.04.20 FIS Update

DfE Guidance – Early Years and Childcare Closures, Community Hubs, NSPCC – Updates, Contact Details

15.04.20 FIS Update

MASH Out of Hours Contact Number – Correction, Emergency Fund For Small Businesses, Quality Improvement Information, Contact Details

14.04.20 FIS Update

DfE Guidance on School Closures, Information and advice from Property Services, Emergency Fund For Small Businesses, Coronavirus (COVID-19) DFE business support hub, Advice for Parents during Corona Virus, Council for Disabled Children, Contact Details

09.04.20 FIS Update

Summer Term Funding, Contact Details

08.04.20 FIS Update

Funding, Family Learning, Contact Details 

07.04.20 FIS Update

Home Learning Activities, Hungry Little Minds, NSPCC advice on talking to children about Coronavirus, Learning and Development, Funding Estimates, Children and Young People’s Safeguarding Children’s Partnership, DfE Guidance – Updated 7.4.20, Contact Details

06.04.20 FIS Update

Coronavirus Related Critical Incident Support, Support with mental health and anxiety, Funding Actuals, Volunteering and Getting Help, Contact Details

03.04.20 FIS Update

Phone call updates, Protocols for vulnerable children and young people, Contact Details

01.04.20 FIS Update


31.03.20 FIS Update

Funding/Furloughed Staff, Contact Details

30.03.20 FIS Update

Vulnerable Children, Easter Holidays, OFSTED, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Interim Funding Deadline, Charging parents, Furloughed Staff, Contact Details

27.03.20 FIS Update

Public Health Enquiries, Council Website, Furloughing Staff, Childminders, Vulnerable Children, Contact Details

26.03.20 FIS Update

Public Enquiries, Social Distancing, Open/Closed Settings, Vulnerable Children, Funding, Childminders, Contact Details

25.03.20 FIS Update

Open/Closed Settings, Renting Council Premises, Operational Issues, Contact Details

24.03.20 FIS Update

Non-Attendance, Sufficiency of places for Key Workers, Funding, Contact Details

23.03.20 FIS Update

Key Workers, Vulnerable Children, New Children Attending Settings, Sufficiency of Places for Key Workers, Funding, Contact Details


Early Years Funding Team Updates

Autumn Term Funding Guidance

23.03.20 Funding Team Update

01.04.20 FIS Update on Funding information 

09.04.20 Funding Team Update - Summer Term Funding


Spring Term Funding

The new DfE FAQ still does not provide the detail we require.  We continue to press for clarity as do other LAs and the DfE’s strategic partner, Hempsalls. Thank you though to everyone who has submitted interim figures and we are now processing payments so that they reach your accounts as quickly as possible.



Spring 2021 Funding Deadline

If you have any queries regarding the below, please contact the Early Years and Childcare Service on 01904 553880

Please could all playgroups, day nurseries and childminders ensure you submit your estimate figures (total number of funded hours per week you are expecting to be taken at your setting, for all 2, 3 and 4 yr olds) onto the funding portal by Tuesday 5th January 2021. It is important that you submit your estimates by this deadline to ensure prompt payment of your interim payments.

For school nurseries only, due to the staggered/delayed return of children into school at the start of the spring term, we have extended the deadline for school nurseries, so please could you ensure you submit your estimate figures onto the funding portal by Tuesday 12th January 2021.


What will happen to funding for free childcare offers during this period of disruption?

On 17 March 2020, the Chancellor confirmed the government would continue to pay for free early years entitlement places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds even if settings were closed or children were not able to attend.

We expect local authorities should follow this position and continue early entitlements funding for all childminders, schools and nurseries.


What additional business support is available to childcare settings during this period of disruption?

The government has announced a package of support for workers and businesses which will benefit childcare settings.

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme means that for employees who are not working but kept on payroll, the government will contribute 80% of each worker’s wages of up to £2,500, backdated to 1 March 2020. Settings can access this scheme while continuing to be paid the early entitlements funding via local authorities.

Further information can be found


Childminders – HMRC Self Employment Income Support Scheme

HMRC have now published guidance to help you find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.


HMRC Bounce Back Loans – Update

Applications for Bounce Back Loans are now open. A letter from the Chancellor is also attached to explain the scheme.


Annual Childcare Audit and Cenus 2021

The Annual Childcare Audit and Cenus 2021 is now LIVE and ready for you to log in to the Provider Portal. to complete.

The deadline to complete the Annual Childcare Audit and Cenus 2021 is Friday 5 February. Please note failure to complete may affect your funding.  This is completely separate to the deadline for spring estimates.

  • Providers who offer funded childcare places we ask you to complete both the census questions and the audit.
  • Providers who do not offer funded places we ask that you complete the audit only.
  • Schools and academies do not need to complete the census but we ask that you complete the audit questions to help ensure your early years childcare provision is kept up to date.  

Please ensure you check now that you can log in to the Provider Portal. If you can’t, let us know and we will reset your password or talk through any issues you may be experiencing with accessing the Provider Portal.


The Audit part forms the agreement you have from your Ofsted Registration that your information is held with your Local Authority and that you will ensure your information is regularly updated. York Family Information Service and the Early Years Childcare Service have responsibility to ensure families receive good quality and up to date information and also that childcare needs of families are met. The information supplied in the audit supports with this work.


The Census part ensures the DfE and the Local Authority have an accurate snapshot of information about each Early Years childcare provision and the providers in York, who offer funded places.

Information and Guidance


Managing Your Way Through COVID-19

We had excellent engagement from nurseries, playgroups and childminders at the recent Hempsall’s sessions and I can confirm that the presentations for the first two sector sessions are below:

A-Z financial support 

In a nutshell - planning guide for early years and childcare

PACEY Symptoms and testing flow chart

York Child Minders finding your way slides 

York Nurseries and Preschools finding your way slides


Ofsted –change

Ofsted have been working with the DfE and local authorities to find out which early years providers, including childminders, are currently open or temporarily closed. They have now asked that if providers operating circumstances do change (you open or close), notify Ofsted by sending an email to  with ‘Change in operating hours’ in the subject field. In the body of the email, please confirm the unique reference number for your setting and the details of the change. You can find your URN on your registration, your inspection report(s), and on your Ofsted reports page 

Ofsted has changed their expectations around being informed of significant events. From the end of January 2021, childminders, nurseries and all other childcare providers must use an online notification form to tell us about significant events.


Information on financial support available from City of York Business Team

There is information about support available for the early years sector in the below websites and we understand the you have already been made aware of these:

The Actions to take including the job retention scheme:

Financial support available (recently updated guidance):

Our business hub provides information all in one place:

If you would like to be kept up to date with business support and information, please register for our e-bulletin here:

Please always check the website for latest information.


Childminders – HMRC Self Employment Income Support Scheme 


HMRC have now published guidance to help you find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant.


Phone call updates

From Monday 6th April, the Quality Improvement advisers will be carrying out calls to all providers who are currently open, weekly for day nurseries, preschools and out of school clubs and fortnightly for childminders. The calls are instead of the usual Quality Improvement visits and in the current situation will focus on vulnerable groups, concerns you may have about families, children or staffing as well as any operational issues.


Temporary changes to EYF

To support early years providers who remain open to vulnerable children of critical workers during the coronavirus outbreak, the Government has temporarily dis-applied and modified certain elements of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework. These changes come into force today (24 April). This will allow providers greater flexibility to respond to changes in workforce availability and potential fluctuations in demand, while still providing care that is high quality and safe.

Foundation Years hosted a video podcast with the Department for Education (DfE) to share the latest information on the dis-applications and answer your questions.

 You can watch the video and download the slides here. DfE will shortly publish guidance here.



Below is a Transition Form and an introductory letter that we have been working on to support transition from settings to schools. The aim is to smooth transition for the child and support quality information sharing and joint planning. As always if you have any questions please contact your Quality Improvement Adviser.

Transition Introductory Letter 

Transition Form


DFE Guidance – Attendance in Education and Early Years Settings

You may recall an earlier update in which we explained that we would be collecting this type of data from you on a regular basis for submission to the DFE on a weekly basis. If you're interested in how this data is used please see the link below:


Voluntary Sector Advice

York CVS are offering advice to the voluntary sector on furloughing of staff.  Issues related to HR concerns in advance of submitting details to HMRC can be emailed the HR section at York CVS. Please bear in mind they do have limited capacity which may impact the speed of their response 


GOV.UK – Bounce Back Loans

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme will launch on 4th May 2020 and more information will be published by the government. The attached guidance sets out who is eligible to apply.


Vulnerable Children

I know that settings may also want offer places to support other children who are vulnerable  and do not meet the current criteria.  If this is the case you should discuss this with your quality improvement adviser who will arrange for the local authority to make a decision about whether or not a child should be offered a place.  You should continue to contact MASH/Front Door in the usual way if you do have safeguarding concerns about a child. I’ve attached the link here as a reminder about the current criteria for vulnerable children.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): early years and childcare closures 

As per the existing Supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak guidance, vulnerable children of all year groups continue to be expected and encouraged to attend educational provision where it is appropriate for them to do so. 



Reporting incidents of COVID-19 to RIDDOR:

You must only make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) when: 

  • an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
  • a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
  • a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) DFE business support hub now live

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) business hub on gov.​uk provides business users with a clearer user journey, signposting to the most important information for them.

This hub is now live and can be found here:



The DfE has published new guidance for Ofsted-registered childcare providers about childcare provision following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You should continue to tell us if you are resigning your registration. To do this, email from your email address that we have on your registration and include your unique reference number (URN). You can find this on your registration, your inspection report(s), and on your setting’s Ofsted reports page.

If your paediatric first aid certificate is due to expire, see advice from the Health and Safety Executive. It has announced a 3-month extension to the validity for all certificates coming up for renewal on or after 16 March.

Link to further information:


Paediatric First aid

We have recently contacted Ofsted regarding Paediatric First Aid and the current 3 month extension to First Aid certificates and whether this will be extended further. Ofsted are urgently seeking guidance from the DfE on the situation and as soon as we have further information we will let you know. In the interim period there are a number of actions practitioners who are nearing the end of their current First Aid training can do:

  • Risk assess the situation
  • Carry out an online refresher where possible
  • Update information and skills through website information e.g. Red cross
  • Identify someone locally who may be able to provide back up 

The requirements in the EYFS on paediatric first aid certification remain in place to ensure children are kept safe. Paragraph 3.25 and Annex A of the EYFS set out the requirements, including that ‘at least one person who has a current paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present. Ofsted have agreed the validity of current certificates can be extended by up to 3 months. This applies to certificates expiring on or after 16 March 2020.

In the interim period providers can complete 50% of the paediatric first aid course online and complete the practical element of the course once face to face training resumes.

First Rescue are now offering this online element and have extended their usual 10 week time limit to complete the classroom element until November 2020. For more information please contact:  with the full name and email address of the person who needs to complete the online element of the course. These will then be sent to First Rescue who will send you a log in. Once this is completed you will be able to download a certificate but this will just be for the online part of the course. The delegate will need to follow up the online session with a face to face course on either 7th or 14th November 2020. The date will be allocated by WDU so please keep both dates free until WDU confirms your session. After you have attended the face to face date, your qualification will be completed.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

There has been widespread coverage about supply issues with PPE, from clothing, masks, and gloves to sanitiser and gels. We have received the following advice from our colleagues in Public Health:

 PPE is becoming a national issue and supplies are being directed to those most in need, in particular our NHS and social care colleagues that are providing personal care to people with confirmed COVID19.

 It is unlikely that settings will require PPE.  You should have soap supplies in your setting and be washing hands regularly.  Soap is far more efficient than alcohol gel, which is used as second best for staff that are out working in the community visiting patients, or in hospitals when staff are going from one patient to the next without the time to wash their hands in between each.

 In terms of surface wipes, the usual cleaning regime that you have in your setting is sufficient to rid surfaces of any viruses.  Gloves are being prioritised to front line staff that are working in an environment where there are confirmed cases of COVID19.


Community Hubs

A reminder from CYC colleagues about local community hubs which are now up and running to support vulnerable people and families across the city. The hubs are partly staffed by volunteers. There are nine across the city and support includes provision of food and medicine for residents self-isolating.

The hubs are part of the city’s co-ordinated response to the COVID-19 emergency. They are not open to the public and are at strategic locations around the city. People keen to help and volunteer are being asked to sign up to or call 01904 551550, or go to

You can now sign up for regular email updates to get the latest information from City of York Council during the coronavirus outbreak. Sign up via this link and select Schools and Families.

Vulnerable people needing help because they are directly affected by coronavirus and have no other source of help should email our Community Support Coordinators at or call 01904 551550.

Support with food deliveries, prescription collection and more

Anyone who has been told to stay indoors for 12 weeks, or who has difficulty getting to the shops/chemists, paying for food or just booking a supermarket online delivery, can phone 01904 551550 or email to get assistance from the new City of York Council hubs. Help is available for people who in financial difficulties and also for those who can afford to pay for supplies but are unable to get out or to get help from family/neighbours.

Please see a previous press statement for further details


York Learning

York Learning’s Family Learning team have put all sorts of activities onto their Facebook page and Instagram, including fun games, activities and recipes to try at home, a Wednesday afternoon “Ask the teacher” slot for all those maths questions and tips for managing stress in a Friday weekend wind-down.  These can be found at: and @FamilyLearningInYork on Instagram.


Emergency Fund For Small Businesses

The LA has launched a £1m support fund for small businesses who don’t qualify for other government support.  Applications can be made through and are available to businesses which;

  • Have 50 or fewer employees, including one person business/self-employed;
  • Need support adapting to new trading arrangements;
  • Are experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus and
  • Do not qualify for any other government grant or rate relief packages.

We recognise that there will be few early years and childcare providers who may meet the criteria but newly registered childminders or out of school providers might want to consider making an application. 


Children and young people: support with mental health and anxiety

This is a challenging time for everyone, including children and young people. There is a range of material available to help them during this time, including these:

The National Autistic Society have some tips for managing uncertainty that would be useful for many families including those with a child with autism

The important thing to remember is that different children will deal with the situation in different ways. There's no 'one size fits all' solution to supporting children through the pandemic, so make sure you have regular chats to scope how they're coping.


Advice for Parents during Corona Virus

Please see below (and website link) from the Vale of York NHS Clinical Commissioning Group:

You may have read in the media that there have been reduced A& E attendances across the UK and this is the same locally along with reduced GP consultations. This also includes children and our local paediatricians and GP’s have confirmed this.  

There is a concern that parents are not / will not seek medical advice (or seek it too late) for non Covid related illnesses, some of which could be serious as they are worried  about contact with coronavirus should they visit the hospital.

We know some children have been affected by this.

There are possible reasons, social distancing etc. meaning children are not passing on coughs, colds, tummy bugs etc. however this statistically does not explain the low numbers.

Please see the attached information leaflet / circular for everyone’s attention and to share with families they come across. This has been developed by the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health.

Please disseminate to parents via your usual channels.


Home Learning

The DfE have updated guidance on supporting children to learn at home which includes links to a variety of learning apps for parents to use with their children as well as guidance and advice for parents at home with their children during the current situation.

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

The BBC today unveils its biggest push on education in its history supported by DfE- ensuring that every child in the UK has the opportunity to continue to follow the appropriate core parts of their national school curriculum in these challenging times. There are also some useful resources for pre-schoolers.

A Parent’s Guide to Promoting Early Learning and Development at Home (0 - 5 years) Supporting Families During the Coronavirus Pandemic (attached).


Marketing information on Google

Settings may need to contact Google as some providers have a ‘temporarily closed’ sign coming up when a google search is carried out for their provision. It is worth double checking as parents may think provision is temporarily closed when you may still be open for Vulnerable groups and Key Worker children.


Business support Finder Tool

Please find attached a link to the On-line Coronavirus business support finder tool that was released this week which can help you find out what support is available for you and your business:


Letter from  the Secretary of State for Education  

Please see the attached letter from Gavin Williamson.



Full details on how to access testing in all nations and who is eligible can be found here:

Essential workers can book tests for themselves and their household via a new online portal on This will make the process of getting an appointment quicker and easier, while reducing the burden on business. The online booking service applies to England and Scotland.

If you need further guidance and support on issues related to testing, please contact DHSC at Employees who have been referred for a test can seek assistance from the Coronavirus Testing Helpdesk on 0300 303 2713 for any technical issues related to their booking.


DFE - What parents and carers need to know about schools and education during the coronavirus outbreak

There are updated sections on returning in the autumn term, closures, transport, vulnerable children, critical workers and resources.


Keeping in contact with families

The below script is to make contact with every child in care who is remaining at home.  The virtual school is keen to ensure that these vulnerable children do not become disproportionately disadvantaged during the COVID 19 situation.  The targets identified in each child’s ePEP are a good starting point for settings to provide bespoke learning support to ensure that children continue to make progress with their identified learning needs.  Children’s views wishes and feelings about the current situation should still be gathered by phone/email to include in summer term ePEP reviews.

Phone script for providers to use with Chidren in Care

This suggested script is to help the virtual school better understand the challenges that children in care are experiencing with home learning.  It is hoped that settings will also use this information to aid practitioners in their approaches to supporting children with their home learning.

Thank you all for your cooperation with completing this for each child.  The virtual school looks forward to receiving the completed forms at and would politely request that these are submitted by Friday 8th May 2020.

As good practice the form can be used for all children to help support their home learning and development but please only submit completed forms to the Virtual school for those children who are looked after.



The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) has launched two mailboxes to answer questions, collate resources and share information on Coronavirus and the impact on children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). They are designed to be used by professionals, practitioners, parents, carers and families of children and young people with SEND.

This Department for Education (DfE) guidance is for special schools, specialist colleges, local authorities and any other settings managing children and young people with complex special educational needs and disability (SEND).


Local Area Teams 

Niall McVicar (Head of Early Help and Local Area Teams) has provided the following information about new arrangements for his service:

We are bringing in some important changes to link arrangements with Early Help through Local Area Teams. Given the current COVID-19 situation we need to ensure we have robust contingencies in place should staff be unavailable for any reason. All being well, these new arrangements this will become the ongoing arrangements through the recovery phase.

Since the introduction of the MASH it has taken on the role of providing initial advice and triage on all cases coming to early help. Where partner agencies and schools require advice and guidance around individual family support needs, they can contact the MASH Early Help Coordinators. Early Help Coordinators within the MASH establish what level of early help support is required and secure this either from partners or by triaging into LATs.

We are introducing some changes to link work in order to improve coverage and allow Local Area Support Practitioners (LASP) capacity to work with more families at an early help level. Partner led FEHA monitoring and advice that was previously offered by LASPs within the link work role, will now be provided by the MASH Early Help Coordinators. This will provide LASPs with increased capacity to deliver more meaningful, targeted support to the families we are working with.

Attached is a summary of these changes which clarifies the support provided by Local Area Teams at a Level 2 and a Level 3 within York’s new Levels of Need document.

For any partner wanting to access early help and support please speak to the Early Help Coordinators within the MASH. You can do so by phoning 01904 551900 and selecting the options for early help, or or by emailing

Please be aware that to discuss individual cases you will need to ensure you have consent from the family to speak to us. You can find out more details for the MASH by visiting


Information and advice from Property Services

Please see linked information from Buildings Maintenance Guide from CYC Property Services.

Maintained and other schools including early years and childcare settings which use CYC property services are reminded to contact them if:

  • Their building has closed or is planned to close
  • Access arrangements to their site, or emergency out of hours contact arrangements, have changed

Service users are also requested to ensure that their preferred contact details are provided so that Property Services can work with contractors to ensure that service visits can be arranged. It is also recommended that emergency contact details are posted at the entrances to school sites.

Urgent information and advice for Duty Holders from CYC Property Services – Water Hygiene

Providers, Maintained Schools and MATS using CYC Property Services should ensure that school duty holders read the site water hygiene management guidance before reopening: CYC Property Services - Water Hygiene during COVID 19 Pandemic

If you have any further questions or queries please contact facilities management


Quality Improvement Team Information


Keeping in touch with Families

The Coronavirus crisis has created significant challenges for Early Years providers with the sudden closure of some settings having an impact on children, families and practitioners alike. During the current climate it is imperative to keep in touch with families; those that are staying at home and those that may be self -isolating. Early years practitioners have a special relationship with the children in their care. This is particularly true for key persons and the children they are assigned to.

Many providers are not sure when they will be able to reopen and if they will get a chance to see children again before they start school. For young children particularly it is hard for them to understand why they might not be visiting your provision again or if you have remained open they may still not see their favourite key person or special friends for quite some time

A few suggestions to help you stay in touch with families during the crisis:

  • Send out regular e-newsletters to parents who are still using the setting and those who are at home, this will help you keep in touch and share relevant information
  • Provide parents or a child’s temporary new setting  with your most recent summative assessment of their child’s learning and development. Make suggestions as to how they can support any skills their child was on the cusp of mastering, or that they may need a little more support with. 
  • Create an online album of photographs you have taken with the children and share with families so that children can look through them with their families.
  • If parents are willing and able to, ask if you can use Facetime, Skype or Zoom to speak with children. 
  • Ask parents to share tasks with children – such as asking them to draw a picture to share with you.
  • You could record or livestream a storytime session. Use one of the children’s favourite books and try and make it a regular activity. Parents can use the videos multiple times if needed to help keep you in their children’s minds.
  • Share some activity ideas with parents – think of things that you may have usually done in your setting that they can recreate easily at home


York Mind

York Mind is an independent local mental health charity that aims to empower individuals experiencing mental ill health to start on the pathway to recovery. The following information is about a range of new online workshops it is offering for anyone who may be struggling during the current lockdown:

York Mind’s existing services remain operational, the new offers are free of charge for those able to access them:

Mindfulness – a six week course running from 1 May to 5 June 2020 (10:30am – 12:00 noon)

Yoga for wellbeing and relaxation – a four week course running from 15 May to 5 June (10:00am – 11:00am)

Building Resilience – a four week course running from 7 May to 28 May (1:00pm – 2:00pm)

Creative Writing – details to be announced

1-1 Coaching – further information on the website

1-1 Telephone support – further information on the website

You do not need to have severe or enduring mental health problems – these offers are for all who just might need a few tips or would benefit from being in (virtual) contact with others.

For more information, please see:


CPD resources for staff – trauma and loss

We would like to draw your attention to some resources from our EducationaI Psychology team which could be useful for you and your staff. These resources include:

  1. Trauma-informed approaches to Behaviour
  2. Loss and bereavement booklets:  
    1. Supporting Bereaved Children
    2. When Someone Close Dies
  3. Critical incident guide

These resources can be found on the Educational Psychology area of the York Education website.


York Childminder

It’s a shame for all my  children to not see each other, so I’m sending many links for activities, crafts and ideas to my minded children at home, I have also made a whatsapp group for us all, to share ideas and so the children can all see each other and see what they have been up to. We face time regularly too and on my daily exercise I try and walk past one of their houses to give them a wave, which they in turn do to me. The children particularly love sending and receiving photos of each other. 


Resources to support outdoor learning

Learning through Landscapes (LtL) have launched a Facebook group for educators on outdoor learning. LtL aim to provide Webinars, lesson ideas and resources for outdoor learning and play through the virtual forum.


Manager of a Preschool York

I been having online staff meetings weekly and also I have been contacting staff individually once a week for a mini supervision and setting work for them. We have also had an online committee meeting. We have been ringing round all our parents and I have been sending emails regularly and adding Facebook posts. We have all been putting ideas, resources and song and story recordings on tapestry daily for parents to access as well as encouraging them to share what they have been doing. This has been very successful with all but a couple of parents accessing this and many of our EYPP families engaging really well. We are going to do a weekly tapestry photo book, including at least one picture from each child who has shared something for the children to see their friends and for parents to share ideas. We have emailed parents to check they are happy with this. I am going to continue to engage with parents through tapestry over the Easter holidays and keep a check on emails and the mobile. I have one family on a FEHA I am ringing weekly and I have agreed with the family support worker at school that they will ring on one half of the week and we will on the other. They have been engaging really well through tapestry as well so that is positive. 


Forest School Update

Please see below information from Andy Mulholland on Forest School networks and the information on exploring different types of play.

Forest school Information

Exploring Play Types


Makaton Training

Please also find below details from The Makaton Charity who have made some Makaton Training available online.

 Makaton Workshops


Activities to do at home/setting

Early years home learning collection

Health body Healthy mind guides


Learning and Development Support

Communication, Language and Literacy




Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

Description: all children’s audiobooks are available for free while schools are closed.

Registration: not required




Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

Description: access to masterclasses on texts from a range of authors, including videos from the authors and activities linked to novels.

Registration: is required




Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

Description: a site with recommended booklists, categorised by age range and topic, including fiction and non-fiction. Family activities are included in the ‘Home Time’ section.

Registration: not required


Classroom Secrets


 Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

 Description: downloadable resource packs which cover a range of subjects, including reading and writing.

 Registration: not required


Personal Social and Emotional Support


Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families


Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

Description: wellbeing advice for all those supporting children and young people.

Registration: not required


British Psychological Society (BPS)


Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

Description: advice on dealing with school closures and talking to children about COVID-19.

Registration: not required


Children’s Commissioner


Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

Description: a downloadable guide for children about coronavirus.

Registration: not required




Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

Description: an educational resource for all adults on children and young people’s mental health.

Registration: not required, but registration increases functionality


The Child Bereavement Network


Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2 

Description: advice on supporting grieving children during the coronavirus outbreak.

Registration: not required


Physical Development


Boogie Beebies


Key stages: early years foundation stage

Description: videos that get younger children up and dancing with CBeebies presenters.

Registration: not required


Disney 10 Minute Shakeups


Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

Description: 10-minute activities based on Disney films that count towards a child’s 60 active minutes per day.

Registration: not required




Mathematics Mastery


Description: downloadable guidance and resource packs for parents and pupils. 

Key stages: early years foundation stage, key stage 1 and key stage 2

Registration: not required




Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

Description: a range of activities. Some are interactive and some are to be completed offline. Activities are categorised by age range.

Registration: not required




Key stages: early years foundation stage and key stage 1

Description: videos for numeracy development designed for children aged 0 to 6. There are fun activities that can be applied to everyday life and play.

Registration: not required 


Top Marks


Key stages: early years foundation stage, key stage 1 and key stage 2

Description: a range of interactive maths games categorised by age group.

Registration: not required


White Rose Maths (home learning)


Key stages: early years foundation stage to key stage 2

Description: presentations and downloadable workbooks which are easy to use for parents. New material is being released each week. 

Registration: not required


Training and Development for staff teams

You can ask furloughed staff to undertake training to remain upskilled whilst away from work under the latest guidance of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme criteria. However, they must be paid at least the National Living Wage (NLW) / National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the time spent training even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised. This means that you will need to top-up staff wages to ensure that the additional hours of training (work) they are being asked to do, doesn’t take them below the NLW/NMW thresholds. To avoid breaching this requirement and to demonstrate compliance in any potential HMRC audit you may want to set out the time you expect an employee to spend completing online training in a defined period (e.g. 4 hours per week / 16 hours per month) and pay them the statutory minimum wage for those hours. If you are confident that the 80% of their usual salary keeps them above the statutory minimum wage then this may not be necessary




Early Years Alliance

ABC (Alistair Bryce Clegg)

Early years TV


SEND Guidance

Legislation around increased access to outdoor spaces has now been relaxed for people with Autism and other SEND needs. An excerpt of the guidance is copied directly here but for the full government guidance see attached link.  

15. Can I exercise more than once a day if I need to due to a significant health condition?

You can leave your home for medical need. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area - then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day - ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.


 Even in such cases, in order to reduce the spread of infection and protect those exercising, travel outside of the home should be limited, as close to your local area as possible, and you should remain at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household or a carer at all times.

Support can be found at the website Ambitious About Autism

 Please find Government guidance on supporting mental health and well-being for children and young people with SEND here.

 Please find FAQs from the Council for Disabled Children here


Useful Links

Information on providers currently open

DFE Guidance

Government Business Support

Business support Finder Tool

OFSTED Rolling Updates

York Council -

Children and Young People's Safeguarding Partnership Information

NDNA Coronavirus Support

Early Years Alliance Guidance & Business Advice

PACEY Guidance

NHS Advice

The National Autistic Society tips and advice

Coronavirus Testing

Relate support and advice

Young Minds Advice

Hungry Little Minds Activities

 NSPCC safeguarding and child protection

Keeping Children safe - Parents' digital safety and wellbeing kit (PDF)

Guidance on Absence from School or Early Years Setting

Vulnerable Children: Guidance for Early Years Providers

Early Years Home Learning Activities


Hempsall's Managing Your Way Through COVID-19

We had excellent engagement from nurseries, playgroup, childminders andat the recent Hempsall’s sessions and I can confirm that the presentations for the first two sector sessions are below:

A-Z financial support 

In a nutshell - planning guide for early years and childcare

PACEY Symptoms and testing flow chart

York Child Minders finding your way slides 

York Nurseries and Preschools finding your way slides

York Out of School Clubs finding your way slides


Contact Information


In order to ensure that Covid-19 related queries from settings are dealt with as effectively and efficiently as possible please direct all emails to:

Quality Improvement

Early Education Funding

Other early years and childcare issues

Please also be clear in your subject heading.

For public health related enquiries (related to COVID-19 or otherwise), please contact 

Department for Education coronavirus / COVID-19 helpline: 0800 046 8687 (8am Mon - Friday) - email

Social Care - If you have significant concern regarding a vulnerable child: 

    • If the matter is urgent please contact the Front Door /MASH Monday – Friday between 8.30am and 5pm on 01904 551900 where you will be able to discuss your concerns with a social worker.
    • If it is out of hours please contact the Emergency Duty Team on 01609 780780 or if a child is at immediate risk please contact North Yorkshire Police.