March 16, 2020

This edition includes: Coronavirus Announcements and Advice for Funding, Safeguarding, Ofsted, Health, Children's Centres and CPD Opportunities


Childcare funding during Coronavirus outbreak

Please find a message regarding early years funding on behalf of Children’s Services within BCP Council.  We also have information for parents for your use. Please ensure that owners and managers have sight of this message and, in this unprecedented time, we wish you all well. Kind regards, Early Years Funding Teams

Reminder: summer term applications for 30 hours childcare

Parents who want to begin a three and-four-year-old 30 hours place in the summer term must apply before Tuesday 31 March. As always, parents should allow plenty of time to apply to ensure that a valid code is received well ahead of the deadline. Parents that are currently in a grace period ending Tuesday 31 March must reconfirm their entitlement by the same date in order to continue receiving 30 hours funding.

Two-Year-Old Funded places

We have recently sent out postcards to families within BCP Council with a two-year-old child eligible for a funded childcare place.


Important information regarding the Coronavirus and notification to Child Protection, Child in Need or Early Help services

As a child care provider you will have children attending your provision with varying needs and family circumstances. There may be children who attend your provision who are being supported through Child Protection, Child in Need or Early Help services.

In line with current safeguarding practice, you will already be aware of reporting absence at your provision to the relevant professionals when required for those children being supported by the above services.

Please ensure that you also notify relevant professionals if a child being supported by the above services is not attending your provision due to :

  • the family having to self-isolate
  • diagnosis of coronavirus within the family
  • your childcare provision has to close for a period of time.

See updated information on the Early Years Safeguarding web page.

Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Training newsletter

Find upcoming course information, dates and costs here and you can sign up to get future newsletters direct to your inbox. Please see this urgent announcement regarding booked courses.


Signalong workshop for parents and carers

Linwood Teaching School Alliance now offer the Introduction to the basics of Signalong workshops for all parents and carers. The first workshop is on 17 June from 9.30am to 12.30pm at Linwood School. For more information please email.


Ofsted inspections and fe​es

As of 17 March 2020, The Secretary of State has allowed Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector to temporarily suspend all routine inspections of schools, further education, early years and social care providers. To provide maximum clarity and stability to the early years sector during this time of rapidly changing circumstances, the government has also confirmed there will be no rise in the fees paid by early years and childcare providers to register with Ofsted in 2020-21. This follows a recent consultation with the sector, which took on responses on fees for the Early Years Register.


Coronavirus update

Keep up to date with the latest advice and guidance for educational settings.

Coronavirus support for businesses

The Government has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by coronavirus. Please visit the Government website for more information.

Your Mind, Your Say survey

The Your Mind, Your Say survey is for anyone who has a view on children and young people’s mental health services including children, young people and their families/carers. You still have time to take part as the closing date has now been extended to Tuesday 31 March.

Children's centres

The safety of our families and staff is a priority, therefore we have taken the decision to cancel all children’s centre groups and programmes until further notice. This is following recent Government advice. All children’s centres will remain open for information, advice and guidance should you require this. We would also like to take this opportunity to direct parents and carers to Wessex Healthier Together which has lots of helpful information and advice around children and coronavirus.

General information

Vacancy data collection

Many thanks to those that have completed our vacancy data collection. We are missing some childminders and group setting data so this an appeal to those that have not yet had a chance to complete our brief survey.

We simply need to know how many children in total (funded and private together) you could have had on the morning of Thursday 27 February and how many you actually cared for that morning. Also, your current vacancies for funded two-year-olds, looking for a 15 hours place. We will always share the anonymised results so you can see the capacity in your own area. If you have any queries, please contact Darren Buckley. Thank you.

Bilingual Beginnings support audit

Completing this audit will enable early years settings to identify areas of strength and development to ensure inclusive provision for children who learn English as an additional language. This is a self-assessment tool for your information only. 

CPD opportunities

In line with Government advice regarding Coronavirus, the decision has been made to cancel BCP Early Years and Early Help training and network events until further notice. This will take place with immediate effect. Initially we will cancel (via CPD Online) events running up to and including Friday 17 April. We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated about events currently scheduled to run beyond this date and will notify you of arrangements for rescheduling cancelled training in due course. 

We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding. If you have any questions please contact Louise Chiles or call 01202 261913.

Childcare Jobs Dorset can be found here to search for or add job vacancies, information sessions and progressing your childcare career in Dorset.

We hope you have found this useful and informative, please email us with any feedback.