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spacer image Early Years Essential - Edition 17 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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Easter Break

Like the DfE, we anticipate that MK schools and some settings will close as usual during the 2 week Easter break. We don’t expect you to remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.


Contact tracing over Easter

Settings and schools will continue to play an important role in contact tracing for children and staff during this period.

Like at Christmas and February half term:

1.         Children or staff who were in setting/school up to 48 hours before having a positive LFD test result OR developing symptoms which are then confirmed as COVID-19 via PCR testing, should notify the setting/school. The setting/school should complete the MKC online form, assist in identifying close contacts and advise members of the affected bubble(s) to self-isolate. This is important because the individual may have been infectious whilst they were in setting/school.

You are not expected to be on-call all the time. Staff responsible for contact tracing may designate a limited time each day to receive notifications of positive cases and to advise close contacts to isolate. This can be done via text or email. As before, making sure that parents/ carers understand the process will be crucial.

2.         Where children or staff receive a positive LFD test result OR develop symptoms more than 48 hours since being in setting/school, the setting/school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.

Experience now tells us that a few parents still choose to let settings/schools know about these cases. There’s no need for you to be involved in contact tracing but it would be helpful if you could retrospectively let us know of any confirmed cases when you’re back at setting/school after the Easter break. We don’t envisage you receiving many of these notifications, but it does helps us to check that all positive cases have been accurately reported. Again, making sure that parents/ carers understand the process will help.


Easter holiday home testing

We strongly recommend that you remind staff, parents/carers and secondary aged students about the importance of continued testing over the Easter break.


Test kit supplies for private, voluntary and independent nurseries

  • You will now have received a delivery of test kits. You will be able to report any missing kits or delivery issues using an online form from Monday 15 March. DfE will provide additional information on that day


Webinar on the testing programme for private, voluntary and independent nurseries

  • Nurseries in the private, voluntary, and independent (PVI) sector can now access an introduction to rapid testing webinar which provides information on how the testing programme should be managed by settings.
  • Currently, childminders will not receive home testing kits.

Further guidance on asymptomatic home testing is available for you to view on the primary schools and nurseries document sharing platform.


Primary schools and maintained nursery schools

•          You’ll need to use the DfE’s contact us form to place orders for additional home testing kits so that staff have enough tests to continue testing themselves over the Easter period.

•          Please place your order no later than 5pm on Wednesday 17 March - to ensure delivery in the last week of term.

•          More information on how to order additional home testing kits can be found on the primary schools and nurseries document sharing platform.

•          Please note that if families collect LFD tests for household testing (from a collection site or via the post) these are for over 18’s ONLY. Secondary aged pupils must only use the LFD home tests that have been provided for them by their school, college or educational provision.

Childminders will still be able to go to the LFD tearing testing centre at the Central Library, Milton Keynes Centre. It is open from 9:30 to 4:30 Monday, Wednesday and Friday and to 7:00 on Tuesday and Thursday.


MKC services

Reformed EYFS – September 2021

Thank you for attending our first spring, EY meeting. We shared the main changes to EYFS and assessment and have more planned for the summer term on:

25 March 2021 at 18.30 - 17.00

13 April 2021 at 16.00 - 16.30

22 April 2021 at 18.30 - 19.00

To book please contact

Each meeting will be a reminder of the changes and what you could do to prepare. We would be pleased for you to bring any questions or share good practice.

September seems a long way off but we encourage settings and schools to start preparing by reading the following documents:

The reformed EYFS and Revised Development Matters documents


MK weekly COVID-19 summary

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


Early Years attendance reminder

Please continue to send your attendance data returns by noon each Thursday to and

Thank you for your continued support in submitting your returns.  Your weekly submissions are a critical resource to the DfE to help give an understand of the sectors capacity and demand. We thank you for your hard work your co-operation.


Useful info

Bucks Buzzing - free resources

Bucks Buzzing is part of the Local Nature Partnership for Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes. They have a small amount of funding that can be used to purchase wildflower seeds or equipment for school gardening clubs.

There are also free activity sheets available on their webpage and links to other websites and resources.


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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