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spacer image Early Years Essential - Edition 12 March 2021 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,

I hope you find the information in this edition of EYE useful. As always, please contact me if you need advice or guidance regarding EYFS.


We’ve updated the SYMPTOMATIC AND CONFIRMED CASES flowchart for MK schools and settings (PDF) that outlines the local process that must be followed for confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Please save the latest version now, for future reference, and share it with staff.

Remember, you only need to use the online form to report confirmed cases in staff or children who are attending setting/school. You don’t need to report confirmed cases in staff or children who aren’t accessing setting/school - because they will engage with NHS Track and Trace.

If you have a confirmed case of Covid – 19 and you need guidance, please contact me as the Key Education Contact for settings on 01908 254929 or 075 865 542 79.

If you are unable to contact me, please ring Jenny Bargrove on 01908 254071/254509 or 075 573 135 37


Best wishes

Belinda Woodcock

Improvement Partner Early Years

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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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Reducing Transmission in the wider school community

If you haven’t already done so, we’d recommend reminding parents and carers that England is still in a period of national lockdown. Please therefore encourage them to:

•          wear face-coverings when dropping off and collecting their children

•          avoid gathering outside the setting at the start and end of the day

•          avoid car sharing wherever possible

•          engage with the LFD testing programme for parents and carers (see item below)

Supporting parents and carers to ‘do their bit’ will help reduce transmission of the virus.  This will contribute towards make your setting/school community a safer place and help to reduce the likelihood of bubbles collapsing in the future.


LFD testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff

All households with children of school age can test themselves twice a week at home.

If you haven’t already done so, please share this information with parents and carers, encouraging them to engage with home testing.

Parents and carers can access twice-weekly home testing kits:

•          via their employers - if they offer testing to their employees

•          at a local test site

•          by collecting a home test kit from a test site

•          by ordering a home test kit online

You should not give setting test kits to parents and carers. Neither should you order additional test kits to your setting for this purpose.

Rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff provides further information for parents and carers about who can be tested and how to get a test.


LFD test kits for early years group based settings

Guidance and delivery schedule for Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) nurseries

Settings will start receiving deliveries of lateral flow device (LFD) from 11th March, to be used from the week beginning 22 March. Staff will be asked to take their test kits home and carry out the test twice a week, preferably in the morning.

Further guidance on asymptomatic home testing is now available for you to view on the DfE document sharing platform.  This platform has the latest testing guidance, which includes:

•          Guidance to support set-up of testing for staff, including a ‘How To Guide’ 

•          In-depth information and videos on how to self-test from home

•          Clinical standard operating procedure for the tests. This provides comprehensive step by step information for settings delivering the testing programme. 

•          Frequently asked questions

•          A delivery schedule providing you with your expected delivery dates and testing supplies

If you have any queries about your expected delivery date and supplies, please check the delivery schedule in the first instance. You will be able to report any delivery issues using a DfE online form from 15th March and more information will be shared on that day.

The number of testing kits that you will receive for workforce testing is based on a workforce estimation using the number of childcare places on record with Ofsted. If this data is no longer up to date and thus you do not think you have received the correct number of test kits, please use the online form available from 15th March to report it to the DfE.

DfE will provide you with further information on how to order further testing supplies by the beginning of April.

If you have any questions, concerns or issues that are not addressed through the document sharing platform, please call the DfE coronavirus helpline on 0800 046 8687. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.


DfE guidance

Preparing for restrictions to help contain community transmission

Earlier this week, the DfE published COVID-19 local restrictions in education and childcare settings.  This contains the contingency framework for education and childcare settings.

You should have a contingency plan in place that outlines how you’ll operate if any of the approaches for easing and tightening of restrictions become necessary in the local area. This includes how you’ll ensure that every child receives the quantity and quality of education and care that they’re normally entitled to - onsite or remotely.

More information about contingency planning can be found on the covid19forschools (and settings) webpages.

Remember - no educational setting should move to implement restrictive measures of the kind set out in the contingency framework without the explicit approval of the DfE.


MK services

MK weekly COVID-19 summary

Please see our weekly ‘snapshot’ of provision that we use to monitor demand and capacity in MK settings and schools.


Useful info

Milton Keynes Open 2021

Launching 'Westbury Young Artist of the Year'

The Milton Keynes Open 2021 aims to encourage and champion local artists of all ages.  It provides a fantastic opportunity for children and young people to have their work exhibited at Westbury Arts Centre during a major art event and they even be named as 'Westbury Young Artist of the Year'.

The usual submission fee for under 18's has been waived this year. This means that each child or young person (under the age of 18) who wishes to do so can submit up to three original artworks free of charge.

Prizes are up for grabs in three age groups: Years 3-6, 7-9 and 10-13.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 4 May 2021 and the exhibition will run from Saturday 10 – Sunday 18 July

Full terms and conditions can be found at  or you can contact the team at


MKC covid19forschools (and settings) pages

We’re glad that the webpages continue to be helpful. Please remember that they contain more information than we can include here.


Please continue to forward this newsletter to relevant colleagues.  You can also contact EY Enquiries if you wish to add any colleagues.

For weekly video updates from Council Leader Pete Marland, plus weekly data slides, please visit our Covid Outbreak Control page.

By working together and keeping each other well informed, we can reduce anxiety and workload across the MK education system.

Note: Please do not respond directly to this email.

Thank you

Belinda Woodcock

Improvement Partner – Early Years


MKC contacts

Please contact EY Enquiries 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:   

EMA (Ethnic Minority Achievement) Network:

Early Education Funding: 01908 254522


We want to ensure that this newsletter reaches the correct individuals.  Please email   if you would to subscribe or unsubscribe.

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.

Your email contact details will only be used to send you copies of EYE. If you no longer want to receive EYE, please contact to remove your contact details from out mailing list.

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