A statement from Department for Education, Early Years Strategy and Entitlements
Government have published guidance for early years providers about the temporary disapplications and modifications of certain elements of the EYFS statutory framework during COVID-19.
From 24 April 2020, the Government has temporarily disapplied and modified certain elements of the EYFS statutory framework for early years providers who remain open to vulnerable children and children of critical workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 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.
The temporary changes include:
providers are not required to meet existing learning and development requirements, but instead should use reasonable endeavours to meet them during the COVID-19 period
providers are not required to undertake the EYFS profile assessment in 2019/20 academic year, and accordingly local authorities are not required to collect or moderate data on this
providers are not required to undertake the 2 year progress check during the coronavirus (COVID-19) period
exceptions are allowed to the qualifications that staff hold in order to be counted in ratio requirements
requirements around paediatric first aid (where children aged 2-5 years old are on-site). For those caring for children aged 2-5, providers must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure one person with a full PFA certificate is on-site at all times when children are present. If after using best endeavours they are still unable to secure a member of staff with PFA to be on site then they must carry out a written risk assessment and ensure that someone with a current First Aid at Work or emergency PFA certification is on site at all times children are on premises.
There is no longer the requirement for new entrants to hold PFA certification to count in ratios during this period.
The term ‘best endeavours’ applies to the paediatric first aid requirements. This is a higher level requirement than ‘reasonable endeavours’. The guidance providers further information on this.
The rest of the EYFS remains in place. Please be aware that the requirement to have someone with full PFA certification on-site remains in place where children aged 0-24 months are on-site, due to the higher safety factors for babies and children in this youngest age bracket.
Early years providers and local authorities should familiarise themselves with the details of the changes, that can be found on the usual EYFS statutory framework webpage. Government will notify providers when these temporary changes will be lifted via usual government communications.
We have worked with Foundation Years to produce a video podcast for local authorities and providers to share the latest information on the EYFS disapplications.
Official information for play & childcare workers about COVID-19 (UK)
On April 23rdHealth Secretary Matt Hancock announced that essential workers can access coronavirus tests, members of their households can also access the test if needed
The ‘essential worker’s list remains unchanged and includes early years practitioners and childminders. To book a test go online: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested
The HMRC Furlough Scheme is now live:
In essence, the government says that whatever proportion of a provider’s income is made up from private (non-government funded) income, this is the proportion of their wage bill settings can claim financial support for via the Job Retention Scheme.
So if a provider receives 60% of its usual income from private income and 40% from government funding, it can only claim support via the Job Retention Scheme for the provider for up to 60% of their paybill.
The government has said ‘usual’ income will be defined as the provider’s income in February 2020.
To make a claim, you will need:
You also need to provide either:
You’ll need to have this information to hand before your start to make a claim, if you’re inactive online for 15 mins while making the claim you’ll be kicked out and have to start again, you cannot save your application and return to it at a later time to complete.
17/04: Ofsted:invoices for Annual Fees;Additions to the list of critical workers that can access childcare.
Invoices for annual fees issued from 3 April 2020 will now have a due date of 30 September 2020, so that you have freedom to delay your payment during this time. Your annual fee date will not change.
Additions have been made to the list of critical workers that can access childcare and school provision for their children.
· researchers are included if their work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response
· pharmacists are included in the list of health and social care staff that are essential to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response
· staff who work for the embassies of other countries, and who are essential to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response, are included in the definition of local and national government
· parliamentarians and essential parliamentary staff are also included in this list
15/04 Ofsted & ACAS
Childminders looking after the children of key workers
Childminders and childcarers looking after the children of key workers on domestic premises can apply to work from non-domestic premises for up to 50% of their time. If you would like to do this, email your application form to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review the details and contact you as quickly as possible to discuss your request.
Closing or resigning registrations
At this time, you do not need to let us know if your early years or childcare setting is closed due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), whether that’s because you are not caring for any children of critical workers or vulnerable children, or because you are ill.
You should tell us if you are resigning your registration. To do this, email email@example.com 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.
You can find a recording of their most recent Coronavirus webinar event on their webinars webpage:
Live Twitter Q&A sessions
If you have questions or concerns about time off work, pay, remote working and what steps you can take to reduce the spread of the virus, you can also join Acas experts on live Twitter chats which are being run each Friday over the coming weeks.
Send your questions in advance to @acasorguk #AskAcas.
A reminder of guidance and updates published recently:
A summary of recent employment law changes (from April 2020)
National Minimum Wage update
New Furlough letter template available to download
New home working advice
03/04 Government safeguarding advice:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers:
HMRC – Job Retention / Furloughed Workers Scheme – Update 30/03
Further guidance has now been issued by HMRC:
You must have a PAYE Scheme and the employee employed as at 28th February 2020.
The claim will be based on the employee’s earnings at 28th February 2020 – either monthly basic salary if on a fixed salary or a more detailed calculation if their pay varies.
The employee will be paid through the payroll as normal and the claim will be made via an online portal, this should be open in a couple of weeks.
Claims will then be made 3 weekly and the furloughing extended for 3 weeks at a time.
If the employee is in sick leave then you can furlough once they have completed their sick leave but not during, further rules concern employees on or about to enter Maternity leave.
Employer National Insurance contributions and Employer pension contributions will also be refunded (up to 80% of normal levels)
The employee cannot carry out any tasks for you other than volunteering (providing these don’t generate income for your company) or on-line training (subject to National Minimum Wage payments for this period)
You must still negotiate with your employee and write to them informing them of the decision to furlough them.
All payments received under the scheme are taxable on the business.
HMRC COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme update 27/03
As things stand now (Monday 23rd) we think the current position is/will be when the Coronovirus Emergency Bill is passed early this week:
As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China. Based on current evidence, novel coronavirus (COVID-19) presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing.
Advice for childcare settings
Local authorities in England were issued with guidance to disseminate to early years providers, schools and further education providers about how to keep the virus at bay. As part of this, a UK wide campaign has been launched to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Settings can help promote the campaign which promotes basic hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses. There is a helpful poster you may wish to download and display within your setting.
You may also wish to plan activities for children that help them learn the importance of handwashing to prevent the spread of infections.
Public health England have issued guidance titled ‘COVID-19: guidance for educational settings’, the guidance contains information about the virus, how it is spread and the ways to prevent infection. It also gives details what to do if a child or staff member becomes unwell if it is believed that they have been exposed to COVID-19.
The DfE have created a helpline offering guidance for Educational settings. The helpline is 08000468687 or settings can email Dfe.firstname.lastname@example.org
Advice for Employers
ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) have published advice for employers and employees about the Coronavirus. In case coronavirus spreads more widely in the UK, employers should consider some simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff.
Within the guidance they recommend that Employers should take steps such as ensuring that Managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace develops the virus.