I am sure that everyone of you has been able to digest the recent announcements from the Government and the implications for each of you. I am astounded and extremely disappointed that once again the Early Years Sector warranted just a “one liner” from Boris in the announcement, to say that we remain open for all children. It is beyond my comprehension that we should be excluded from the same guidelines that are applied to both Primary and Secondary schools, when we are part of the Education System of this country. It would appear that as of yet we have been offered no scientific evidence on which these decisions have been made? We are in receipt today of a letter from the Head of KCC Early Years, an extract below
A good number of you have already emailed us to express your views on this, which include surprise, disappointment, frustration and anger, also asking if we are able to explain the Government’s rationale for its approach and seeking our guidance as to what you should do next.
First of all, please be reassured that we do empathise with your responses and position. We have emailed the Department for Education directly and also the Local Government Association to ask for the Government’s rationale on keeping early years and childcare settings open, including on the position for out of school providers.
Until such time as we may be advised differently or further clarification to the position we now find ourselves, we have no option but to remain “open”.
I will keep you all updated of any further information shared with us.
The vast majority of you have shared your views with me over the last few days and every family has made an individual decision as to whether they return their children to our setting during the current level of restrictions. From the decisions you have made I have been able to lay on a skeleton staff on a daily basis, to reassure the staff that they are able to spend a consistent amount of time away from the setting and to assist them where necessary to support their own families who may be “home schooling” and to continue to keep children in their existing pod bubbles. I would like to be able to continue with this practice for as long as is possible and numbers allow. Therefore I am asking you that should you reconsider your position and decide that subject to the current Government guidelines, you would wish to return your child to preschool to their usual sessions then you follow the details below.
To enable me to plan a consistent approach to staffing and pod levels I am applying cut off dates –
Should you wish to return your child w/c 11th January you inform me of your decision by Wednesday 6th January
Should you wish to return your child w/c 18th January you inform me of your decision by Wednesday 13th January
Should you wish to return your child w/c 1st February you inform me of your decision by Wednesday 27th January
For those children who are returning this week there is no further action required.
As from the beginning of next week we will be sending out distance learning activities in the same manner as we did in March. These activities will be provided purely to support you in the continued education of your children whilst they are at home and are entirely voluntary on your behalf – you may dip in and out as you wish! We would ask that should you complete any of them you return a weekly activity sheet as before and of course we will be happy for you to share any photographs you may take, but will not be printing the photos for records on this occasion, however the returned activity sheets will be printed to form part of their ongoing Learning Journey. For the children who are attending preschool many of these activities will be completed during the course of their week with us.