Useful information for Bolton early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Confirmed case of COVID-19
If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your setting (child or staff member), you are advised to follow the 'Bolton Early Years COVID-19 Flow Chart' which replaced the Bolton specific Action Card (from September 2021). This is following the latest guidance issued by Government on close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case in all education and childcare sectors.
Please complete the eForm: https://forms.office.com/r/5tKrxsXKtr with all positive cases rather than emailing the details.
Warn and inform letters
Suspected case of COVID-19
If you have a suspected case of COVID-19 in setting (child or staff member) you are advised to follow the Government guidance: Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - System of control: prevention. The information will guide you through the process of what to do when an individual develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or has a positive test result confirmed whilst in setting.
Support continues to be available from the Local Authority Single Point of Contact regarding contract tracing and testing.
Useful information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) for the early years sector
The latest updates and changes to documents and guidance are listed at the top of the page.
Support from representative organisations
Support for the sector is available through representative organisations, such as PACEY and EY Alliance. Both have Covid webpages with FAQs for specific sectors that are answered by the DfE.
Update: Highly probable case of new Omicron variant in Bolton
For the attention of all Bolton education providers.
Bolton Council are aware of two highly probable cases of COVID-19 with mutations consistent with B.1.1.529 (variant – omicron) that have been identified in our borough.
Whilst they have not been laboratory confirmed, we are taking swift and precautionary action.
The individuals that have tested positive are linked and members of their households are being re-tested and are self-isolating.
Contact tracing is underway and all contacts regardless of vaccine status are being followed up and requested to isolate and get tested as necessary.
Our Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Lowey, has issued the following statement:
“Omicron is a new variant and we have more work to do to understand how easily this can be transmitted, and how well the vaccines work to protect against it. In the meantime, it is important that we all play our part to prevent transmission by remaining cautious and taking steps to keep COVID-safe, particularly at a time when our overall coronavirus rates are going up.
- Vaccination is critical, to help us strengthen our defences against this new variant – please get your first, second or booster jab without delay.
- Wear a face covering in all enclosed spaces, including on public transport, shops and crowded places.
- Isolate immediately and get a PCR test if you have symptoms.
- Use a lateral flow test before socialising, and ideally test twice a week especially if going into workplaces or shopping.
- Meet outdoors if you can as it is safer, and open a window to let in fresh air if you meet indoors."
For more information and advice visit www.CovidsStillHere.org.
Public Health update - Omicron variant
Please find below, information from Public Health regarding an update on the Omicron variant.
Further to the news over the weekend regarding the Omicron coronavirus variant, please find below an update including links to the new national guidance and confirmation of the local position.
Recent days have seen the announcement that the Omicron variant of coronavirus has been designated a Variant of Concern (VoC), and the government has subsequently announced a series of additional measures designed to slow down the spread whilst we learn more about this variant. This included a strengthening of measures around international travel, requiring all contacts of Omicron-confirmed cases to isolate for 10 days irrespective of their vaccination status, and the reintroduction of mandatory wearing of face coverings in retail settings and on public transport.
The DfE has now released updated Early Years and Childcare guidance at Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk), 29th November 2021. This update includes;
- updated advice in Overview and Tracing close contacts and self-isolation to reflect the change in self-isolation measures for close contacts of suspected or confirmed Omicron cases
- updated children and staff travelling from abroad
- updated advice on wearing face coverings in communal areas
- changed references of Public Health England (PHE) to UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to reflect name change added in the ‘Other guidance’ section where to find information on:
- when routine vaccines or teething may cause a mild fever in children
- what to do when a childminder has someone self-isolating in their home claiming financial support under the NHS Test and Trace scheme
Locally, the advice previously circulated in the ‘Joint Public Health and Education Position on Additional Baseline Measures for Education Settings in Bolton’ released 21th October 2021 (here) remains strongly recommended, in addition to the DfE operational guidance. These recommendations are due for review in the coming weeks, and we will keep them under review as we learn more about Omicron. At the current time, Delta is the dominant variant circulating in Bolton and the current recommendations continue to be appropriate for us locally.
Please continue to encourage staff, students and families to test twice weekly using lateral flow device (LFD) tests. Regular testing helps to break the chains of transmission by finding cases that might otherwise go undetected.
Please also take the opportunity where possible to encourage all eligible staff and students aged 12 and over to take up the offer of the vaccine, including boosters. Vaccines are our best defence against COVID-19. They help protect young people and adults, and benefit those around them. Vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on. To book a vaccine, please visit: Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk). Details of vaccination clinics in Bolton can be found at https://www.boltonccg.nhs.uk/patient-zone/coronavirus.
We know that many of you will be planning Christmas plays, nativities and other festive events. Local advice provided on the recent webinars and the local recommendation to consider opportunities to limit intergroup mixing where possible still stand, and you may also be interested to read the DfE blog at Can Christmas plays, nativities and other festive events in schools and nurseries go ahead this year? - The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk) (26/11/2021).
Local advice and support continues to be provided to all settings on preventing and managing cases of COVID from Bolton’s COVID response team who can be contacted on Covid19contacttracing@bolton.gov.uk, Tel. 01204 336004.
If there are any issues with continuity of education provision at your setting or school, please contact Start Well at email@example.com.
New temporary COVID-19 guidance (Update: Saturday, 27th November 2021)
Please see below a summary of the national changes to guidance announced over the weekend.
Our local recommendations for education settings and workplaces are consistent with these temporary measures.
The following DfE blog was also published last Friday (26/11/2021):
The public advice
- From 4am Tuesday 30 November face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.
- All international arrivals must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
- All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
- Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport from next week. All hospitality settings will be exempt.
From UKHSA Chief Medical Advisor CEM_CMO_2021_019.pdf
- On Thursday 25th November, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia were added to the UK’s travel red list.
- From 4am on Sunday 28th November, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola were also added to the travel red list.
- Non-UK and Irish residents i.e. people who are not normally resident within the UK or Ireland regardless of nationality, who have been in these countries in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.
- Those returning from any of these places before 4am on Sunday 28th November must take an NHS PCR on day 2 and day 8 – they must self-isolate for 10 days at home along with their households.
- After 4am Sunday, residents of UK and Ireland returning will have to stay in Managed Quarantine Services.
- Anyone who has returned from those areas in the past 10 days should take a PCR – regardless of whether they have booked or used a lateral flow device, and regardless of its result. UKHSA is actively following up with these individuals.
From tomorrow (Monday 29 November), we are strongly advising that face coverings should be worn in communal areas in all settings by staff, visitors and pupils or students in year 7 and above, unless they are exempt.
Pupils or students (in year 7 or above) should continue to wear face coverings on public and dedicated school transport, unless they are exempt.
All educational and childcare settings should continue to encourage staff and students to twice weekly using lateral flow device (LFD) tests.
Contact tracing and isolation
The current guidance on contact tracing and isolation remains in place - which means that close contacts should take PCR tests but do not need to isolate unless they are over 18 and unvaccinated. The exception is for close contacts of suspected or confirmed Omicron cases, who will be asked to isolate for 10 days.
All eligible staff and students aged 12 and over are encouraged to take up the offer of the vaccine, including boosters.
Vaccines are our best defence against COVID-19. They help protect young people and adults, and benefit those around them. Vaccination makes people less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on.
To book a vaccine, please visit: Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk).
International visits and trips
Individuals arriving in England must follow the red list rules.
South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe moved onto the red list at 12.00pm Friday 26 November.
Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were added to the red list at 4am Sunday 28 November.
Schools, out of school settings and colleges will want to consider whether to go ahead with planned international educational visits at this time, recognising the risk of disruption to education resulting from the need to isolate and test on arrival back into the UK.
Across all settings, people should continue to follow the basic rules of good hygiene. This will help to protect individuals and others from COVID-19. These are:
- washing your hands
- cleaning your surroundings
- covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze.
More information on the guidance for educational and childcare settings is available on gov.uk: Guidance for schools: coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Weekly provider update email
Follow this link to view the weekly provider update email.
For updates, click here.
COVID-19 testing in Bolton
Book online at: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling: 119
- Pharmacies. Find your nearest participating pharmacy by entering your postcode at https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
- Bolton Arena. Arena Approach, Horwich, BL6 6LB, Monday to Friday 8:00am - 15:30pm
- Victoria Hall. 37-39 Knowsley Street, BL1 2AS. Open 7 days a week, 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Order online at: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
This information is valid up to 30th September 2021. Check the latest information on testing in Bolton at: www.bolton.gov.uk/testing
Links to Government guidance
Actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
This document sets out the measures that settings should have in place to manage transmission of COVID-19 on a day to day basis.
Contingency framework: education and childcare settings (publishing.service.gov.uk)
This document describes the principles of managing local outbreaks of Coronavirus (COVID-19), including responding to variants of concern, in education and childcare settings.
Test and Trace: overarching privacy notice (summary version) GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
In exceptional circumstances, settings may be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help with identifying close contacts.
Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
This document provides guidance to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or anyone who tests positive for COIVID-19 - covers stay at home/self-isolation.
Managing coronavirus (COVID-19) in education and childcare settings GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The measures education and childcare settings should be prepared to introduce to manage coronavirus (COVID-19).
What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19 GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Information for parents and carers about attending schools, nurseries and colleges in 2021.
Protective measures for holiday or after school clubs and other out of school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Protective measures for providers of community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings offering provision to children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Guidance for parents and carers of children attending community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings.
Use of the NHS COVID-19 app in education and childcare settings
Actions for leaders and staff when using the NHS COVID-19 app in education and childcare settings.
Education recovery support
This document provides a list of resources to help early years settings, schools and 16 to 19 education providers support children and young people’s wellbeing and education recovery.
Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update (Ofsted's plans 2021)
Guidance and details of our plans as part of a phased return to full inspection.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Ofsted notifications
We would like to remind all early years education and childcare providers that if you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in setting, whether a child or staff member, or you're affected by a COVID related setting closure, you MUST continue to notify Ofsted (or your childminding agency, if applicable).
This is a legal requirement as set out in paragraph 3.52 of the early years foundation stage statutory framework.
Please report as soon as you are able to, and in any case within 14 days. See ‘tell Ofsted if you have a COVID-19 incident at your childcare business’ to ensure that all the required information is included in your notifications.
Access Ofsted's COVID-19 rolling update (Ofsted's plans 2021) here.
Additional COVID-19 Measures in Education Settings from Monday 25th October 2021
For all early years providers and out of school settings.
Please find a PDF containing further information from Public Health giving the latest COVID updates and data in a slide set. This supports the letter sent out to all early years providers by email on the 21st October 2021, strongly recommending additional measures for education settings in Bolton from Monday 25th October.
Department for Education - Data Capture
The Department for Education (DfE) are not collecting the data during the summer holidays, so the collection on 22nd July was the last this academic year. On 11th August, the DfE released their plans for data collection from September to the end of 2021:
"We had ...planned to move towards new arrangements that reflected a more stable environment, focussing on collecting data much less frequently; that supported LAs to manage markets while effectively informing the development of local and national policy.
Unfortunately there remains a number of variables, such as progress with the vaccination programme, the spread of the virus and its impact on workforce availability, potential for new variants and the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, that we are still facing a complex and uncertain picture as we move towards autumn term. We have therefore decided to continue with the existing data collection in the autumn term, but to reduce the frequency of the collection in recognition of the feedback we’ve received within the consultation. In practice this means we are planning data collections as follows:
w/c 13th September
w/c 11th October
w/c 8th November
w/c 13th December
Join our 'COVID-19 - Early Years Bolton' Facebook group page for early years providers. This closed group was originally set up following discussions with early years providers regarding Bolton’s Covid-19 response. This is not a Council group. It is a forum to share ideas / explore opportunities to safely link together and generally offer each other support during this difficult time. Bolton Council is a member of this group and will share information that is relevant to the sector. Joining link and QR code below.
Other dedicated group pages:
All of the group pages are linked to the main Bolton Start Well Facebook page who will share information that is relevant to the sector directly to the group pages.
Please note, the group pages are not continually monitored by Bolton Start Well, so if you have an urgent query, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01204 338149.
Weekly Public Health data for Bolton
Please use the links below to access the weekly Public Health data information for all education settings:
The weekly note on COVID-19 in Bolton is available via a link within the Public Health Update for Education document.
Guidance updates include:
- Latest policy around asymptomatic testing;
- Updated workforce section;
- Changes to advice around individuals previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable;
- Reminder that disapplications to the EYFS ended on 31 August;
Added additional guidance on educational visits.
Early Years Webinar - 6th September 2021
To access the webinar and presentation slides, click here.
Early Years Education and Out of School / Summer Activity Webinar - 19th July 2021
Please find below a link to access the recording of the Early Years Education and Out of School / Summer Activity Webinar, 19th July 2021.
- Bryony O'Connor, Public Health Specialist;
- Helen Shearer, Head of Start Well, Strategic Lead for Early Years.
This webinar includes:
- Latest coronavirus case and testing rates;
- Vaccination information;
- Guidance summaries;
- Local support information;
- Contact tracing update;
As mentioned during the webinar, Bolton CCG have compiled a list of FAQs. The FAQs can be accessed via https://www.boltonccg.nhs.uk/patient-zone/coronavirus (scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the drop down arrow next to the option 'COVID-19 vaccination programme in Bolton', and the FAQs will appear).
Also as mentioned during the webinar, anyone wishing to book their second vaccination (there must be a minimum of 8 weeks between doses) can contact NHS Bolton CCG directly for help on: 01204 462125, 462030, 462157, 462028. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 08:30am to 5:30pm.
Early Years Step 4 guidance
From Monday 19th July and following the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions, there have been several updates to related Government guidance for the Early Years sector. Please find below useful information and links to help support during this transition period.
Foundation Years have added useful information to their website, including a link to the recently recorded DfE Webinar: What Step 4 changes mean for education and childcare settings, and a comprehensive FAQs document to answer questions on the Step 4 guidance for early years settings.
You will also find further support and guidance from the documents listed below, all recently published by the DfE and NHS Track and Trace. They are available to access here: Contact Tracing From Step 4 Onwards - Google Drive
- RP148 Contact tracing for Step 4 onwards (FAQs)
- RP149 Contact tracing 'letter for Parents, Carers or Guardians
- RP150 Contact tracing for children and young people from 19th July 2021 (working document)
- Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19
- Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
As always, should you require further support, please contact the Start Well team during regular office hours by email: email@example.com or telephone: 01204 33 8149, and we will do our very best to assist further.
COVID-19 control measures after 19th July 2021
Information for parents and carers: coronavirus (COVID-19)
Information and guidance for parents and carers of children attending early years settings, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Published by: Department for Education
Published: 16th March 2021
Actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic
This guidance explains the actions you should take to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your setting. This includes public health advice, endorsed by Public Health England (PHE).
You should work closely with parents, carers, staff and, where appropriate unions, when agreeing the best approaches for their circumstances.
This guidance is for local authorities and all early years providers in England. This includes early years provision in:
- Maintained schools;
- Non-maintained schools;
- Independent schools;
- All providers on the Ofsted early years register, and
- All providers registered with an early years childminder agency.
For reception year groups schools should mainly refer to actions for schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, although some of the information in the early years guidance is relevant to reception.
Published by: Department for Education
Published: July 2021
COVID-19: Actions for out-of-school settings
This guidance explains the actions out-of-school settings should take to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their settings. This includes public health advice, endorsed by Public Health England (PHE).
Published by: Department for Education
Published: July 2021
Ministers correspondence to all early years providers
Vicky Ford, Minister for Children and Families and Jo Churchill, Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care have written a letter to all early years providers. This letter provides some important advice and guidance around support for child health and well-being.
Please find below, links to the revised guidance for early years education and childcare providers to support the coronavirus (COVID-19) response as we move into Step 4 (from 19th July).
A summary of the proposed key changes can be found on page 4 of the new guidance 'Actions for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic (applies from Step 4)'. This guidance applies to maintained schools, non-maintained schools, independent schools, all providers on the Ofsted early years register and all providers registered with an early years childminding agency.
Current guidance: Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
An overview of the proposed changes can be found on page 4 of the new guidance 'COVID-19: Actions for out-of-school-settings (applies from Step 4)'
Please note that the Government are changing the controls that apply in early years settings with the aim to maintain a baseline of protective measures while maximising attendance and minimising disruption for children. You will find the Governments summary of the evidence for the decisions being made here.
Spare PCR kits
If providers have any spare PCR test kits from the recent surge testing, please can they drop them at Harvey Start Well Centre, Shaw Street, BL3 6HU, for the attention of Chantelle Walker.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
All adults aged 16 and above, are eligible for the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. Eligibility criteria.
Those that have had their first dose eight weeks ago (or more), can now get their second. Some sites offer second dose and booster (if eligible) walk-ins.
For the latest list of vaccination sites, click here.
Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The guidance 'Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' has been updated to include:
- Further guidance on what to do if you’ve missed the claim deadline.
Updated: 10th June 2021
Published by: HM Revenue and Customs
Guidance on Paediatric first aid certificates
The guidance on paediatric first aid certificates has been updated.
First aid certificates - If your paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate expired on or after 1 October 2020, the DfE previously advised that this would be valid until 31 March 2021. The extended deadline for requalification has now passed and providers must have a valid PFA certificate in place.
You can see the full guidance as well as the updates here: Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update
Updated: 3rd June 2021
Published by: Ofsted
Changes to childminder testing process
Following feedback on the registration and uploading process since March, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS Test and Trace have been working to identify ways to make it easier for childminders to identify their profession when recording results on the NHS Covid-19 test results portal.
The changes are due to come into effect from 2 June and are designed to allow us to monitor more clearly the effectiveness of our testing programme and identify any areas or groups within the early years childcare system that are not engaging in testing, so we can identify potential barriers.
Instructions on how childminders can access testing kits remains unchanged and can be found on the gov.uk webpage: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/asymptomatic-testing-early-years-staff-in-different-settings/rapid-asymptomatic-coronavirus-covid-19-testing-in-early-years-settings#childminders-and-wraparound-childcare-providers.
This means that childminders will need to follow the process detailed in the attached document for each completed asymptomatic LFD rapid test.
If you have any questions about this change, please contact the Department for Education Coronavirus Helpdesk. Information on how to contact them can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/contact-dfe
Updated guidance has been published on the Council website to help anyone self-isolating. It has financial advice, support contact details, well-being tips and lists of essentials and other things to consider should anyone be required to self-isolate.
COVID-19 Self-Isolation Support – Bolton Council
LFD testing kits - supporting letter and further information
As Bolton sees a significant rise in coronavirus cases, a cross sector plan is being put into place to help us all pull together to reduce transmission. Lots of activity has taken place / will be taking place in certain communities over the next few weeks.
Testing strategy for education settings
Taking the learning from the recent enhanced testing in targeted areas, from an education perspective we are now looking to focus primarily on increasing LFD testing amongst secondary aged pupils and adults. The wider Bolton community is also being encouraged to really push the uptake of regular LFD testing as the main approach, with targeted areas having mobile ‘pop-up’ PCR testing and vaccination sites to complement this. Note that LFD tests are for staff, parents and secondary aged children.
We have engaged with the DfE to increase the quantity of LFD kits that schools and early years providers are able to order to give you testing kits to pass on to parents. The attached letter should also be provided with the test kits.
Testing continues to remain voluntary but consistent testing and reporting will really help Bolton to tackle the spread of the virus.
LFD tests are for asymptomatic cases. Anyone with symptoms must access a PCR test through the national portal, and must follow isolation guidance.
Multiagency communications plan
We know that all settings have different ways of communicating swiftly with parents (and in the case of secondary schools, your pupils). We would encourage you to:
- Signpost to the resources on www.bolton.gov.uk – this includes frequently asked questions and information about testing / isolation
- Share relevant Bolton Council social media messaging in your forums
- Create your own social media posts (where relevant) using the below text and image
It’s important that we all continue to take a twice weekly free rapid test, so that the virus spread can be tracked as early as possible. By tracing it in the borough, we can ensure those who need to isolate do so as fast as possible to help us control the spread. There is support and advice available here if you do need to isolate.
LFD test kits, vaccination sites
Community Response and distribution of LFD test kits for parents.
The attached press release details the next stage of the community response to the rise in infection rates.
As part of the response, we have been working with the DfE and have arranged delivery of home LFD test kits to all early years settings, primary and secondary schools for distribution to parents. We are asking all parents to take LFD tests twice weekly. Further supporting communications for parents will follow.
There are a number of vaccination sites stood up and being planned for the borough. Education, teaching and support staff are all encouraged to access vaccination sites to have their eligibility status checked. Many people are unaware that they may be eligible for the vaccination and by accessing the sites, the vaccination team can have an informed discussion with the individual and provide further advice.
A pop-up vaccination site is available at Quebec Hall, access via Back Bankfield Street, Bolton, BL3 5ND. Open everyday 8:00am-8:00pm
Thank you for your continued work and dedication in what continues to be an extremely challenging time for Bolton.
COVID-19 re-ordering test kits
The DfE have introducing a new online system for re-ordering test kits for testing at home. This means that you are able to re-order test kits and better manage stock levels and deliveries to your nursery.
You will have received a welcome email containing your Unique Organisation Number (UON). You can also find your UON at the following link. Your UON will enable you to place ongoing re-orders for test kits via the online ordering system, which can be accessed at the following link.
You can find guidance on how to place an order on the document sharing platform.
As a first step you should use your UON to access the online ordering system, familiarise yourself with the system, and check that your delivery address and contact details are correct.
When you are ready to place your first order, you will need to consider our delivery timelines. Any order which is placed by Wednesday 5pm will be delivered the following week. Any orders placed after this point will be processed and delivered in the subsequent week. For your first order, you may want to place the order at least three working days before the weekly Wednesday 5pm delivery cut off, to ensure that any initial setup issues can be resolved in good time. The table below summarises the delivery timelines:
Week 1: Order Placed
Week 2: Order received
Week 3: Order received
Orders placed before Wednesday 5pm
Orders placed after Wednesday 5pm
Each delivery you receive will be based on the staff numbers you submit and will provide you with sufficient test kits to test twice weekly for three and a half weeks.
Please consider your current stock level and your testing demands before placing any order, to ensure that the order you place meets your testing needs.
Childminders and staff in wraparound childcare providers
Providers can access asymptomatic twice-weekly testing by:
- going to a lateral flow test site
- collecting home test kits from a collection site
- ordering a home test kit online
Primary schools, schools-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools
Guidance for these settings on how to re-order supplies can now be found on the schools document sharing platform - Re-order test kits interim guidance notice primary
Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.
This guidance: Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) has also been updated.
The changes made include:
- The YouTube video about the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme has been updated.
Published by: HM Revenue & Customs
Updated: 29th April 2021
Test and Trace Support Payments for parents and guardians - support from providers
The Government has announced a new payment for parents and guardians during this period.
Parents and guardians might be able to get a payment of £500 if either:
- They have been told to self-isolate because of coronavirus (COVID-19) and they cannot work from home;
- They’re the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate and need to take time off to look after them.
Government guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/test-and-trace-support-payment
Bolton have put together a briefing note explaining how this process will work in Bolton and what your role as an early years provider will be to support the process. This is available here.
Please read and if you have any questions please send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes to the Test and Trace support payment for parents
Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria.
The extension of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, which is administered by District and Unitary Local Authorities in England, ensures that parents receive the financial support they need, if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.
Guidance: Claiming financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme (updated 22nd March 2021)
Parents and carers should apply to their Local Authority to receive a payment. Applications for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme are made via the Local Authority in which the parent or carer resides, not the Local Authority where the setting is situated, if these are different.
To be eligible, applicants must meet all of the criteria that:
- They are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period;
- They are employed or self-employed;
- They cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result;
- They meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment; and that their child or young person:
- Aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and normally attends an education or childcare setting; and
- Has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Nurseries, schools, colleges and further education providers are required to provide a letter to all parents or carers of the children advised to self-isolate, to support their application to the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. A template letter is available for early years and primary schools on the primary schools document sharing platform titled with the code RP81. A template letter is available for secondary schools and further education providers on the secondary schools and colleges document sharing platform titled with the code RP83. The letter must detail the child’s name and date of self-isolation. Parents or carers will then be able to provide this letter to their Local Authority as evidence that their child is required to self-isolate.
Once an application for a payment has been received, the Local Authority will be in touch with your setting to verify the details of the child provided on the application. This will include a check of the child’s name, age, address and days of self-isolation. This check is to minimise the event of fraudulent claims. It may be conducted before or after a payment is made, depending on the arrangements the individual Local Authority has chosen to put in place. The letter you give to parents and carers should explain to them that their Local Authority will conduct a check with their child’s setting if they apply for a payment.
Asymptomatic testing: early years staff in different settings (New guidance)
This Government guidance details how staff in early years settings can access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
This guidance explains the options for:
- Staff in school based nurseries and maintained nursery schools;
- Staff in private, voluntary and independent nurseries (PVIs); and
The guidance was published on the 24th March 2021 and can be accessed here.
The asymptomatic testing programme does not replace the current testing policy for those with symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate immediately and follow Government guidance on symptomatic testing.
PPE for Childminders and standalone Out of School Settings (OOSS)
Bolton Start Well has been able to access emergency kits of PPE and face masks for all Bolton Childminders and Standalone OOSCs that have not received face masks directly from Government. You can collect a PPE pack and masks from your local Start Well Centre. Please follow this link to identify your local Start Well Centre. Alternatively, please refer to this document.
Ahead of collecting the kits, please can you phone your local centre and give them your Ofsted registration number and then let them know which day you can collect your kit. They will then ensure it can be ready on the day that you want to collect it. You will be asked to quote your EY registration number on collection.
For OOSC, when you call to arrange collection, please leave your setting name and the name of the person who will collect the kit.
We understand that there are some areas of Bolton where you may not have access to a local Start Well Centre at this time. If you think you may need to make alternative arrangements, please email your details through to the Start Well Development & Commercial Team StartWellDevelopment&CommercialTeam@bolton.gov.uk with the email title ‘PPE for childminders and Standalone OOSC’ and someone will be in touch to see how they can support you.
Expansion of testing for Childminders
With effect from the 22nd March 2021, there are more options available to Childminders to enable them to participate in the asymptomatic testing programme. This testing offer is also extended to anyone who works in an occupation related to a school, early years childcare provider, or college and their household, childcare and support bubbles. More information can be found here.
We want to extend our sincere thanks to local areas who have offered early years settings asymptomatic testing via local community testing programmes over the previous months.
All childminders will be able to access asymptomatic twice-weekly testing by either:
- Attending a test site to get tested where they will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home.
- Collecting tests to do at home, https://find-covid-19-rapid-test-sites.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/
- Order a test kit online - More information can be found on www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
This is a very welcome development for Childminders. Testing will help to identify positive cases, particularly those who may have the virus and do not have symptoms. Those who test positive will then self-isolate, helping to reduce transmission of the virus. All positive results from rapid tests undertaken at home do need to be confirmed with a standard PCR test.
In addition, the households, childcare and support bubbles of early years children are also able to access twice-weekly asymptomatic testing. More information can be found here.
The asymptomatic testing programme does not replace the current testing policy for those with symptoms. Anyone with symptoms (even if they recently had a negative LFD test result), should still self-isolate immediately according to government guidelines. Those with symptoms should follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and book a PCR test.
How to self test at home
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) posed the following questions regarding the rollout of testing kits to PVI settings and received further clarity from the Department for Education (DfE):
Q: Is it possible to have a forward programme of lateral flow test deliveries beyond the current phase?
A: No specific steps need to be taken to sign-up to receive the first delivery of test kits. PVI nurseries will start to receive deliveries of Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) from 11 March to be used from the week beginning 22 March. Separate guidance on how PVIs can re-order further supplies will be available on the document sharing platform by the beginning of April.
Q: Some settings have reported receiving more lateral flow tests than required, while others have received under the required amount. In these instances, can lateral flow tests be redistributed between settings where required?
A: The number of testing kits that PVIs 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 PVIs do not think they have received sufficient number of test kits, they should use this online report form to report this to us. You will need your nursery's unique identification number to complete this. Settings should not redistribute test kits to other settings.
You can access the guidance 'How to self test at home' here.
Guidance and delivery schedule for coronavirus test kits to Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) nurseries
The Department for Education wrote to all Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) nurseries to invite them to access the COVID-19 Education Testing Programme.
From 11th March settings should have started to receive deliveries of lateral flow device (LFD), to be used from the week beginning 22 March. Staff are asked to take their test kits home and carry out the test twice a week, preferably in the morning. Please note that you should not offer testing to children in early years settings.
Further guidance on asymptomatic home testing is now available for you to view on the document sharing platform here. 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
Guidance for primary schools, schools-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools on how to reorder supplies can now be found on the document sharing platform here.
The reordering journey for PVI nurseries is different than that for primary schools, schools-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools. Separate guidance on how PVIs can reorder further supplies will be available on the document sharing platform by the beginning of April.
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 this online report form to report this issue.
Going forward, The DfE will be providing you with the latest information and announcements through their daily DfE sector bulletin. If you have colleagues who would like to receive the daily email directly, please ask them to sign up by using this DfE sector bulletin subscription form.
The DfE will be providing PVIs with the latest information and announcements using your Ofsted registered email account. You can also view the guidance on the document sharing platform here - Primary Schools Document Sharing Platform - Google Drive
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 8:00am to 6:00pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Asymptomatic testing for 'critical workers' who cannot work from home
Please find details about the asymptomatic testing programme - targeted at ‘critical workers’ who cannot work from home in this letter. In the letter you are asked to register your interest in taking part in this.
Please read the letter and also the FAQ before registering your interest.
The tests are being prioritised for those in essential roles, providing critical services needed to keep the borough running. All early years settings and wraparound childcare providers are critical services.
All the information you need is in the letter and guidance document.
If you have any further questions, please contact: email@example.com
Early Years Provider Business Planning and Support
Bolton Start Well regularly update the Business Planning and Support webpages which now include a section relating to COVID-19. You can access the homepage here.
COVID-19 vaccination leaflet
NHS Bolton have produced a COVID-19 vaccination leaflet which will help to dispel some myths and concerns about the vaccine. The leaflet also answers some of the most commonly asked questions.
The CCG intend to deliver a copy of the leaflet to every household in Bolton but prior to this, the electronic version is available here.
Payments to providers and EYFF - January 2021
Please note this information is for private providers, including Childminders, in receipt of early years funding entitlements.
Here is a copy of the funding proposal for private early years providers and the Parental Request for Remote Access to EYFS During COVID-19 Lockdown - (letter template) that link to the rationale explained in a new PVI funding webinar recorded on the 7th January 2021. You are strongly encouraged to watch the webinar as it will explain the process that will need to be followed. This process has been shared with the Department for Education.
The authority have explored all options that are available within the current financial parameters. Bolton will pay EYFF to all providers who are open to all children. Duplicates will not be paid and must be resolved.
For providers who have been informed by parents that although they have booked a nursery place or their child was on the Headcount last term, will not, due to the COVID -19 Nation Lockdown, be attending but plan to take up the place once the National Lockdown comes to an end, will be paid the EYFF for that child. The following arrangements will be introduced to support this.
In the following circumstances and for the agreed implementation period as set out by Government.
For all Funded providers who are open to all children.
- Set up a ‘Parental Request for Remote Access to EYFS During COVID-19 Lockdown’ with parents - see document and webinar.
- A copy of the contract must be held for auditing purposes.
- Providers must commit to the delivery of that agreement at an individual child level, delivered virtually by the child’s key person (e.g. Tapestry, Class DoJo or alternative apps, Zoom or telephone contact).
- For children with SEND accessing EYIF this agreement will be aligned with the Early Years Inclusion Fund (EYIF) objectives and should be delivered by the child’s key person.
- Early Years Funding can then be paid to the setting that is linked to that child through the Headcount.
- PLEASE NOTE FOR SETTINGS THAT ARE ONLY OPEN TO VULNERABLE AND KEYWORKER CHILDREN, THIS OPTION DOES NOT APPLY.
- Funding will follow the child and any child not receiving their funded place due to Schools or providers not being open, must be removed from the Headcount.
Early years funding entitlement Spring term 2021
As stipulated in the guidance ‘Use of free early education entitlements funding during coronavirus (COVID-19) ,Updated 17 December 2020’
Funding from the Department for Education (DfE) to local authorities in the spring term 2021
The normal process for determining funding allocations for local authorities for the early years entitlements is to take an annual census count of the number of hours taken up by children in each local authority in January. This is the mid-point of the academic year and so balances the relatively lower numbers eligible for the free entitlements in the autumn term and the higher numbers in the summer term. This means that local authorities would in normal circumstances be paid for the spring term 2021 based on the January 2021 census data.
In July we asked local authorities to continue funding providers as if coronavirus (COVID-19) had not happened and said that by exception we would base local authorities autumn term funding on the January 2020 census count. We also announced that our intention was to return to the normal funding process from 1 January, and use the January 2021 census count to drive funding allocations for the 2021 spring term. The number of children attending childcare has been increasing across the autumn term and attendance is much higher than during the first national lockdown.
Therefore, we will fund all local authorities on the basis of their January 2021 census for the spring term.
Full guidance can be access here; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-free-early-education-entitlements-funding-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/use-of-free-early-education-entitlements-funding-during-coronavirus-covid-19#section-one
Payments to Providers
Following Government guidance please note that Spring term 2021 will need to be paid on actuals, if a child should move settings during this term the funding will follow the child.
The Local Authority is being funded on actuals and the projected overspend on the Dedicated School Grant is currently £300k due to the protection provided in Autumn term therefore there is no funding available for duplicate payments in Spring Term.
To keep adjustments to a minimum we ask for your help by updating the portal as soon as possible, when a child moves or joins your setting.
Encouraging parents to settle their child in before census week will also help Bolton Council with the monies that will be allocated for the year ahead.
Spending review – Early years funding announcement: 2021-2022
Information for local authorities and early years funding for the 2021 to 2022 financial year has now been published. We will release further information and details on how we will consult with you in the New Year. These funding increases will take place from April 2021. More information to follow.
Self-isolation guide for parents during COVID-19
Please find below a link to the poster, Self-isolation guide for parents during COVID-19. Please display where this will be visible to practitioners, parents and carers.
Self-isolation booklet A PDF guide to help you through your self-isolation period.
COVID-19 Self-isolation Support – Bolton Council Everything you need to know to prepare for and get through your self-isolation period.
This is the link to the Governments guidance for the wider opening of early years and childcare settings
It is the responsibility of the Owner/Manager to compete a risk assessment and ensure that it is shared with all staff.
Communication with parents and carers is key and elements of the risk assessment shared with parents may reassure them in such uncertain times.
Please contact your health and safety provider for additional support.
COVID-19 Early Education and Childcare Support Pack - Last updated 09 09 2020
This document includes:
- General compliance checklist - this is a basic compliance checklist. This can be used to help you ensure that your building is safe to reoccupy. You may need to liaise with other competent persons when completing this form.
- Discussion template - could be used at a pre-meeting, when your setting is meeting to discuss opening the site or increasing the number of persons on-site. It poses questions relating to a setting environment and invites you to consider the plans you have in place; you can add or delete sections as needed.
- COVID-19 early years and childcare generic guidance based risk assessment - This is a generic guidance-based risk assessment. It provides lots of example control measures, but you will need to add or remove hazards and controls to make this document suitable for your own site.
This document is supplementary to the COVID-19 Early Education & Childcare Support Pack. It is important that employees (particularly those who have been identified as at increased risk from COVID 19 are individually risk assessed. This document is based on advice issued to the maintained schools sector and has been adapted as tool for Early Education and Childcare Settings which they may wish to use.
You can contact the Start Well team by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 01204 338149 for additional support and advice during normal operating hours.
Bolton Council - Early education entitlements funding during coronavirus (COVID-19) Autumn term 2020
As outlined in the government announcement and guidance documents, early education entitlements funding for the Autumn term 2020 will be based on the January 2020 census (for autumn term only). The Government Guidance states, ‘Local authorities are best placed to monitor and manage their local childcare market and have responsibility for ensuring sufficient childcare places'.
The general funding principle remains that local authorities should aim to fund providers which are open and offering the entitlements as far as providers are able and providers that are closed due to public health reasons at broadly the same level they would have expected to if coronavirus (COVID-19) had not happened.
Local authorities should not fund providers which are closed, without public health reason, from the start of the autumn term.
Local authorities may need to use some early years DSG funding which has not been spent on providers which are closed for non-public health reasons to address local sufficiency gaps.
DSG entitlements funding is provided with the intention that it is used to fund early years provision. Any entitlements funding should remain within early years expenditure.
We encourage all providers to open to deliver childcare places for all children who need it, and to deliver entitlements places, unless they have been advised to close, or left with no option but to close, due to public health reasons.’
The Autumn term will be a transitional term in preparation for Spring term 2021. The Government has stated that, ‘We expect to return to the normal early years funding process and use the January 2021 census count to drive funding allocations for the 2021 spring term.' We also expect local authorities’ funding to providers to return to the normal approach (that is, ‘funding following the child’) for all providers from 1 January 2021. However, we will keep this under review and confirm the approach in further guidance in the autumn.’
In Bolton payments for the Autumn 2020 term will, in the first instance, be based on the previous Autumn term 2019 total submitted hours. This means that if providers are open, but caring for fewer children then they usually would be in the autumn term, as a result of low demand from parents or for public health reasons, they can continue to be funded as if the COVID-19 pandemic were not happening. This gives another term of secure income to nurseries and childminders who are open for the children who need them. We recognise that numbers for the Autumn term 2020 may have, in some cases increased. Any additional funded children that are above the figure submitted in Autumn 2019 will be paid. This will be identified using the providers Autumn 2020 headcount using the funding Portal or paper copies as used by some Childminders.”
To enable the process to run smoothly Bolton Council needs confirmation that funded providers will be open for the autumn term and to confirm which funding entitlement they will be offering. Please complete the funding form that all providers will be asked to return so that the headcount can open, and payments can then be made. This will ensure we have accurate information about the entitlements you will be offering. You can access the form here; https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=159713125652
Provider will need to ensure that they have completed a Parental Declaration Form that states the agreed conditions, hours and patterns of access to the Funded Early Years and Childcare Entitlement (including a record of any other setting they are splitting their entitlement across). It also enables providers to capture parental consent for you to validate their eligibility code. A copy of a ‘model’ Parental Declaration Form can be accessed here; https://www.boltonstartwell.org.uk/downloads/download/15/model-parental-declaration-form?downloadID=15
Payments will be paid monthly; Adjustments will be actioned reflecting the movement of Children however numbers used for funding will not be reduced to a lower level than Autumn 2019.
The headcount portal will open on Friday 14th August 2020 and close on the Thursday 3rd September 2020 for the initial headcount returns. Monthly amendment tasks will be scheduled following this submission
The Government guidance setting this out in more detail can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-free-early-education-entitlements-funding-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/use-of-free-early-education-entitlements-funding-during-coronavirus-covid-19
Thank you in advance for completed the funding form ( link above). Please do not hesitate in contacting Bolton Council if you should need further support.
COVID-19 education, childcare and activities - signposting service
If families are not able to access their current early education or childcare provider, and there are no alternative care options, please ask them to contact the One Stop Shop on 01204 337220. Whilst places cannot be guaranteed, the Council will be able to provide families with details of early education, childcare and sessional activities that are currently open to help them find the services needed.
Early education and childcare will look different to previous years. The Government has issued Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which will be updated by the Government should the COVID-19 situation change.
Bolton Families Information Service have produced some local 'How to' guides - these guides will help families to understand childcare and sessional activities throughout COVID-19. Please share this with the families you support.
for more information, follow this link: https://www.bolton.gov.uk/schools-children/covid-19-childcare-education-keyworkers/1
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
National guidance states that additional PPE is only required in childcare settings and schools in a small number of exceptional cases.
Settings are advised to procure PPE via existing procurement routes. If you are struggling to source PPE, a request can be made for an emergency PPE pack by contacting email@example.com.
If incorrectly used, PPE can give a level of false reassurance. It is essential that all staff using PPE have received appropriate training in the 'donning and doffing' of the kit using the link below, or they could increase rather than reduce their risk. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-personal-protective-equipment-use-for-non-aerosol-generating-procedures
If staff need any support, they can email the Community Infection Prevention and Control Team on CommunityInfectionPrevention&Control@boltonft.nhs.uk.
Supporting mental and psychosocial well-being
Early Years in Mind - a free online network for early years practitioners.
Early year finance
Funding (PVI only)
Additional claims from the 1st June 2020 for children attending a setting not included on the summer 20 term original headcount submission
Funding from 1st June - 7 weeks maximum to end of term for all children
- This will be an email/attachment return process (the headcount portal will not be re-opening) – further information will follow for this process going forward.
- Title your email as ‘Name of Provider’ June – Aug additional claim summer 2020
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Lauren.email@example.com
- An encrypted email will be sent to you to respond with an attachment to complete. Please can you then respond securely when completed by the deadline dates stated with the following information for the additional children you are claiming funding for:
- name of child
- date of birth
- full postal address
- which funding accessed - Two-year olds (confirm number of weeks/hours)
- which funding accessed - three/four-year olds (confirm number of weeks/hours and if it is universal or extended, include code if known)
Please note that funding entitlements paid are for the summer term 2020. Parents may need support to understand that the funding cannot be recalculated from the 1st June to stretch payments until the end of August. All normal conditions apply.
For any further specific queries, please contact Julie Edwards, Schools Finance Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01204 332035.
If you would like support and advice, the Start Well team will be on hand.
Please contact the office on: 01204 33 8149 or email: email@example.com and you will be directed to the right person/team.
The Start Well SEND team are available to support you if you need help or guidance during this challenging time.
Call the team on: 01204 338355 or send an email to: StartWellSEND@bolton.gov.uk
SEND FAQ - in response to COVID-19
To support children with SEND during the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be a number of questions you have in relation to services and the processes that will be followed during this time.
With this in mind, Bolton Start Well have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help answer some of your queries. The information can be found on the links below:
The Start Well SEND team are available to support you if you need help or guidance during this challenging time.
Call the team on 01204 338355 or send an email to: StartWellSEND@bolton.gov.uk