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spacer image Early Years Essential - Extra Edition 18 September 2020 spacer image
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left menu image spacer image spacer imageImportant information and updates during the Coronavirus pandemic
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Dear Colleagues

We are pleased that you are finding the EYE informative during this challenging time. As always, if you have any early years related questions, please contact Early Years Enquiries or Belinda Woodcock – Improvement Partner for Early Years.

Sharing information

Please continue to help us by sharing this EYE with your Early Years teams, committees and other relevant colleagues. By working together and keeping each other well informed, we can reduce anxiety and workload across MK Early Years providers.


Best wishes


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In This Issue
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tag spacer image spacer imageImportant information and updates during the Coronavirus pandemic spacer image spacer image
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MKC covid19forschools webpages

The webpages are currently undergoing updates. New pages are being added to streamline the content and make it easier for you access the information you need.

Thank you for bearing with us whilst we finish this. Providers will find the information useful too.


DfE guidance

Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE)

On 1 September, keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) 2020 came into force. On this date a slightly amended version was published. The new version, accessed by the link above, replaces KCSIE 2019 and the ‘for information’ version that was published on 17 June 2020.

The amendments relate to:

  • changes, where legislation required it, to reflect mandatory Relationship Education, Relationship and Sex Education and Health Education from September 2020.
  • additional information that’s available to support schools, maintained nursery schools and colleges protect their pupils, in areas such as mental health, domestic abuse, child criminal and sexual exploitation and county lines.
  • clarifications to help you better understand and/or follow he guidance.

KCSIE part 1 is also available to view in 11 community languages.


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

At the start of the summer holidays new multi-agency statutory guidance of female genital mutilation was published. This is an essential document for everyone with statutory duties to safeguard children and young people– so please share it with your early years team, committees, governing boards, trusts and proprietors.

The guidance has 3 key functions:

•          to provide information on FGM (including the law)

•          to provide strategic guidance on FGM

•          to provide advice and support to front-line professionals who have responsibilities to safeguard and support women and girls affected by FGM

FGM remains a criminal offence – it’s a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls. It should therefore be treated as such.

Cases should be dealt with as part of your existing structures, policies and procedures for child protection and safeguarding. So please make sure that all your staff are fully appraised of the guidance and have the training they need to understand it. This is essential in ensuring that it’s fully incorporated within policy and practice in your school or setting.


Ofsted update

Early years interim visits

Yvette Stanley has recorded a short video explaining our approach to early years this autumn. Ofsted will be conducting interim visits this term for some providers, inspection of those providers on the childcare register and we will also be carrying our research to find out what the impact of the pandemic has been on children and early years providers. If you need to find out any more information about the work Ofsted have planned, you can read their collection of documents titled Ofsted’s autumn plans for 2020.


MKC services

Health professionals visiting schools

The Government has given clear guidance that health professional should restore services to pupils with EHCPs or who are going through the EHC assessment process. During lockdown, health professionals continued to support children and young people via virtual consultations and aspects of this approach will continue where appropriate. However, some interventions (particularly assessments and annual reviews) require face to face contact.

Health professionals recognise the challenges that MK schools and early years providers face, understand that protective measures are in place and appreciate that different schools and early years settings have different ways of working. They do however need to see pupils in the school environment and children in their setting environment.

Health professionals will therefore:

  1. Call the SENCO to discuss the need for visits for individual pupils.
  2. Obtain information regarding which bubble the pupils belongs to.
  3. Understand school protocols for visiting professionals.
  4. Plan visits for pupils that minimise the need to move between bubbles.
  5. Wear their own PPE (surgical masks/apron/gloves) and change these between bubbles if more than one is visited.
  6. Laminate assessment materials and resources, where possible, to support effective cleaning between every pupil seen.
  7. Continue to work with the IPC team, and health service, to ensure that the highest standards of infection control are in place.

Please note that many health professionals, especially SLT and OT, will need to see pupils in their classrooms and children in their settings in order to provide a comprehensive assessment of strengths and needs within the education environment.

For more information contact Amanda Bousaki


Troubled Families Programme

We’re pleased to say that this programme has been extended for a further year (2020 – 2021) to allow us to support an additional 264 MK families.

There are a few updates to the programme this year with key changes being:

  • The programme has been extended to include expectant parents as well as families with dependent children.
  • The criteria for involvement has been broadened in relation to families at risk of homelessness and experiencing in work poverty.
  • Clarification that involvement in gangs, knife crime and county lines are all legitimate indicators of eligibility.

There will be continued support from the Troubled Families Employment Advisors (TFEAs) during the additional year of the programme. (You should continue to contact Penny Rogers in relation to benefit support.)

It’s important that we receive timely referrals in order to assist you in helping to support families. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly highlighted the difficulties that some families face.

More information can be found on the strengthening families webpage or you can contact the team via


Useful Information

World Nursery Rhyme week 16-20 November 2020 – free resources

The benefit of learning nursery rhymes enables children to develop a wider vocabulary, develop early literacy, language and memory skills.  Register now to sign up to nursery rhyme week and to teach children a new rhyme each day for a week. 


Hungry Little Minds

A reminder that the Government’s website Hungry Little Minds, has lots of activities to support the development of early language and literacy skills.


World Book Day resources

The World Book Day website has resources to support children’s language and speech development.


Physical activity for children

The Government’s useful infographic promoting “Every movement counts”, is especially pertinent at present, as young children are returning to educational settings after the period of lockdown.


Outdoor Learning

The Woodland Trust have produced a useful booklet about getting the best out of the outdoors and outdoor learning.  Their website also has many useful outdoor ideas. Outdoor learning is extremely important as it promotes curiosity and investigation, which in turn develops enquiring minds and supports children to gain resilience and to achieve.


Making a mud kitchen

Since the onset of Covid-19, it is even more paramount to give plenty of daily children fresh air.  A mud kitchen is a great way to support children outdoor learning.


MKC contacts

Please contact us if you would like any additional colleagues to receive copies of this regular update.

For general schools queries: Sufficiency and Access Team 01908 253338 or email:

EY Enquiries:  01908 254071 or 01908 254509 or email:

Safeguarding: 01908 253169 or 01908 253170

SEND Team enquires, support, advice and information 01908 657 825 or email:

Early Education Funding: 01908 254522


Thank you

Belinda Woodcock

Improvement Partner – Early Years


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EYE is a quick way of accessing both local and national news. It is published regularly as early years updates become available and is part of the core offer to schools and providers.

Disclaimer: Milton Keynes council accepts no responsibility for the actual content of any materials suggested as information sources in this publication, whether these are in the form of printed publications or on a website. Their use should not be interpreted as an endorsement of particular companies or their products.

The websites referred to in these materials existed at the time of going to print. Please check all website references carefully to see if they have changed and substitute other references where appropriate. Also, check all signposted training (whether MKC or independent) meets the needs of your setting.

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