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Early Years Update 

Welcome to the latest update from the Bolton Start Well Service, covering all the news from the government, public health and other agencies affecting EYFS in Bolton. 

If you would like support and advice, Start Well will be on hand to call you.

Please contact the office on: 01204 33 8149 or email and you will be directed to the right person. 
In this update:

NEW Vaccination Update

We have been made aware of information circulating inviting nursery and teaching staff to book a vaccination at the Etihad. This information is false. If nursery or teaching staff do receive this information please do not attempt to book an appointment. Teaching and nursery staff are not currently eligible for the vaccine so will be turned away.

Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership

In Bolton, we are following the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) guidance. We recognise that Early Years workers have been added as Social Care workers. 
However in terms of the priority groups there has been no additional updates .
As defined by the JCVI the following are not eligible within this priority group
•   Administrative staff who do not have any direct contact with clients.
•   Social care workers working with children who are not considered priority within the context of the JCVI priority cohorts 1-9 (children under 16 who do not have underlying health conditions leading to greater risk of disease or mortality and children who have no underlying health conditions).
•   Unpaid carers
•   Teachers and teaching assistants
We are continuing to work with colleagues in Public Health and will let you know of any further updates or developments with regards to Early years workers accessing the vaccination programme.
Helen Shearer
Head of Start Well; Strategic Lead for Early Years

NEW Inclusion fund applications for Summer Term 2021 

The next deadline date for Inclusion fund applications is Thursday 4th February by 4pm (these applications if successful will be allocated funding from after Easter). Please email your application securely to
Please be aware we are unable to accept posted or hand delivered applications at this time.
You will need to include a copy of the ‘Child Information form’ with your application. It must be signed by the parent and a representative from your provision. This form also includes a checklist for you to follow to ensure you have sent all the relevant information with your application. We also now ask for you to assess the child using the Early Support Developmental step. A copy is available on the Start Well website at if you would like some support with this please contact Alex Baxter and we will endeavour to help you with this.  Please remember to ensure ‘Inclusion fund panel’ are stated in the information sharing part of the Early Help Assessment or review to give the panel permission to read these.
If you would like any further information about the Inclusion fund to support you in putting together your application please follow the below link:

NEW Draft EYFS Framework for Comment

This has been published on the Foundation Years webpages for the DfE here

As part of the legislative process needed to enact the reforms to the EYFS, DfE recently sought views on proposed minor changes to the safeguarding and welfare section of the revised EYFS statutory framework. These changes are intended to ensure the EYFS requirements are clear and to help keep children safe.
The draft framework has now been published and will be available for one month.  Changes to the current EYFS statutory framework are in red to highlight where DfE are seeking views.
The new educational programmes and early learning goals (ELGs) are not in red as these are final government policy as confirmed following the full 12 week public consultation conducted in 2019.
Please note that DfE are not seeking further views on the changes to the EYFS framework that were confirmed in the government’s official response to the 2019 EYFS reforms consultation. The response confirmed:

  • Final educational programmes;
  • Final early learning goals (ELGs);
  • Removal of the statutory duty for local authorities to externally moderate EYFS profile judgements;
  • Removal of the ‘exceeding’ judgement criteria from the EYFS profile;
  • Change to the safeguarding and welfare requirements to promote good oral health.

Read the draft framework
Draft statutory instrument for comment
The DfE has also sought views from local authority representatives on amendments to The Early Years Foundation Stage (Learning and Development Requirements) Order 2007 (EYFS L&D Order 2007) in respect of local authorities obligations, to reflect the removal of statutory local authority moderation. Feedback has been carefully considered and the revised proposals have been reflected in the draft SI.
The draft SI has now been published and will be available for one month from the date of publication for comment (as required by the Childcare Act 2006).
Please note that the draft SI also covers the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA). However, DfE are only seeking views on the EYFS aspects of the SI as the RBA aspects have been subject to a separate consultation process.
Read the draft SI
Have your say! The draft EYFS framework and draft SI will be available for comment until 18 March 2021. Please send your comments to

NEW Anna Freud Centre - Free Webinar

Managing challenging behaviour in early years settings 
This webinar will be taking a look at how to understand and manage emotions such as anger, aggression and frustration in young children. This is in response to consultation work with early years practitioners, who rated this as a key issue they would like support with.

Who is this webinar for?

  • Nursery managers and owners, childminders, children centre managers; Nursery workers and other childcare practitioners
The event will be open to anyone in the early years sector interested in attending,  particularly managers, with the aim of encouraging the cascading of information to practitioners.

16:15    Registration (log-in to online webinar)
16.30    Chair’s welcome - Liz Bayram, CEO, PACEY
16.45    Dr Camilla Rosan:
The Early Years in Mind network: a response to what childcare workers have told us they want help with.
17.00   Dr Sarah Peter
How childcare workers can apply attachment ideas to support young children who display challenging behaviour in the setting
17.20    Attachment-informed practice in action – a case study from a setting.
17.35    Questions and Answers
18.00    Close
The webinar will be recorded.
Other webinars in the series will include:
  • Supporting bereaved children in early years settings
  • Caring for children in early years settings who have experienced trauma
Book Now
24th February 2021
  • Online (joining instructions will be shared with registrants close to the event)
  • 1.5 hours
  • 16:30 - 18:00
Price: £0.00 Free

NEW Free business support for Childminders - Webinar

Webinar - EnterprisingYou: Free business support for Childminders
Date/Time – Tuesday 2nd March @ 18:30 for approx. 1hr
About this event
On the 2nd of March, EnterprisingYou are hosting an event aimed at raising awareness of free and fully funded support for childminders who live in Greater Manchester. Not only will you find out about EnterprisingYou, exclusively available to the self-employed in Greater Manchester, you will also discover more about our extensive training offer and partnership opportunities.

  • An introduction to EnterprisingYou – supporting the self-employed in Greater Manchester
  • Paid partnership opportunities
  • The power of coaching and mentoring
  • How to get involved and access free support
  • Q&A

The session will be conducted via Microsoft Teams. You can access the link here: Click here to join the meeting
For more information about the EnterprisingYou programme, please visit their website, email at or call on 0161 667 6900.
Any questions please get in touch with Michael Ayre (Growth Company)

On duty Speech and Language Therapist

As a reminder to all early years practitioners and inline with the Bolton Early Years Integrated Communication and Language Pathway, we would like to encourage you to contact the Early Communication and Language Team before completing an Early Help Assessment when you're requesting 'more help' from an additional service.

We now have a duty rota which means a Speech and Language Therapist will be available to answer your questions and offer support for individual children you may have concerns about.  See details below.

Asymptomatic testing

The Government has written to all Local Authorities, setting out what considerations there may be for delivering community testing to critical workers in educational settings. Bolton Council is continuing to work closely with colleagues across Public Health, DHSC and Government to secure the most effective approach to asymptomatic testing for the early years sector. The early years workforce in Bolton has been prioritised to access the community testing sites available, across the Borough.  We recognise that there are still some challenges for some of the workforce in accessing the sites and we will continue to explore all options available. We will give further updates in due course.  

To access further information on community testing please go to:

Bolton Start Well spring term briefings

If you have missed any of the leads briefings for the spring term (EYFS focus), you can access the recordings and presentation slides on the Start Well website here.  

Still to come - EYFS Briefing for Communication Champions | 23rd February 2021 | 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Bolton Start Well: Supporting the Home Learning Environment

Have you seen our new online resources?

Bolton Start Well have added a new section to the website to provide resources, ideas and advice to nurture quality home learning experiences.
In light of the current pandemic, we have also included a section on remote access to the EYFS during COVID-19 lockdown, which will provide a rationale for remote access, as well as practical tips and home learning activity ideas shared by Bolton settings.
On this brand new webpage, early years practitioners will find:

  • Links to useful website, pages, resources designed to support home learning.
  • Top Tips for practitioners to help support parents and carers in the home learning environment.
  • Resources collated for under 3s, over 3s and those with additional support requirements.
  • An Idea’s swap section, an area to show off what is working well and perhaps the challenges you’re facing but most importantly overcoming! 

You will find this new area of the Bolton Start Well website in the main menu under Resources. Alternatively, to go straight to the Home page, click here.
We hope that this might help you to support parents and carers at home with young children during the COVID - 19 pandemic. 
Let us know what you think, if this is a helpful tool and how we can further develop this to support you during these challenging times.

Bolton Start Well digital offer for parents

Useful information for parents

Start Well Centres offer a range of activities and integrated support services to help parents with every aspect of parenting to give a child the best possible start in life.
During the COVID pandemic, the centres are only open for a restricted range of services, so we are continuing to offer online digital access to parent’s favourite sessions via the Facebook group:

The full online programme, as well as the services still offered in centres, are listed on our website.  This may be a useful resource for providers to encourage parents to access and to support home learning activities during the national lockdown. 

Please share the information and links with your families and don't forget to use the hashtag #earlyyearsinbolton in all of your Facebook and Twitter posts.

Department for Education: data collection

The Department for Education has requested regular updates from childcare providers, including nurseries in schools, via this DfE link (link)

Due to the present national lockdown, the Department for Education is currently asking for data to be submitted weekly. This means that the next return will be due on 24th February 2021.  

To make sure that we can provide an accurate submission to the DfE, reflecting the current position in Bolton, please can providers complete this data return on a weekly basis by 12 noon on Wednesday.

If you are having problems completing the data, need help with the link or have any other questions, contact us.

Email: or phone: 01204 332170

Families Information Service.

UPDATE Weekly updates from Public Health

Please use the links below to access the weekly Public Health data information for all education settings:

Public Health Update for Education: 12th February 2021 - 18th February 2021  
Weekly Note on COVID-19 in Bolton: 10th February 2021  

The latest data for Bolton is published at:

Bolton Action Card and GM Contact Tracing Guidance

If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your setting, you are advised to follow the Bolton Action Card (9th December 2020)

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 there is a positive test result confirmed whilst in setting.

The latest GM Contact Tracing in 0-19 Education Settings (1st December 2020) document looks different from the previous version as we have adopted the Greater Manchester format to make future updates more efficient. We would encourage everyone to re-familiarise themselves with this Contact Tracing Guidance.

The documents above, as well as other useful information for the early years sector relating to COVID-19, can be found on the news pages of the Start Well website.

Please note, this document is currently being reviewed by Public Health and other system leaders and further adaptations will be available in due course.  In the meantime, settings should continue to use the current version alongside current guidance documents, noting that the self-isolation period for anyone coming into contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is now 10 days and not 14 as stated in the current action card.


Reporting to Ofsted

Ofsted guidance for if your operating circumstances change or you have a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in setting.

If your operating circumstances change (that is, you open or close):

  • let Ofsted know by sending an email to: with ‘change in operating hours’ in the subject field
  • in the body of the email, confirm the unique reference number for each setting and the details of the change - the URN can be found on the setting’s registration, inspection report(s), and Ofsted reports page

In addition, any confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the setting (either child or staff member), or if the setting has been advised to close as a result, should be swiftly reported to Ofsted through the usual notification channels.

Guidance published by Ofsted on the 11th November to help support providers when informing Ofsted of a COVID-19 related incident can be found here.

The guidance states that you should report to Ofsted:

  • any confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the setting, either in children or staff
  • if the setting is advised to close as a result

You must inform Ofsted within 14 days of a confirmed positive test for COVID-19.

You can access Ofsted's COVID-19 rolling update here.

COVID-19 financial and business support


Bolton Council

If you own a business and have been affected by coronavirus, there is help and advice available here:    

Business Bolton

Since April 2020, there have been a number of Government grants announced with differing eligibility criteria to consider as well as timescales to follow.  

To help your understanding of the support currently available, Business Bolton have pulled together some useful information to highlight the different financial support schemes and how they are accessed by childcare providers.  We hope you find this information helpful.

Business Bolton Slides - Childcare Providers (3rd February 2021)

Other business support

Available from the Business Growth Hub, business support agency for Greater Manchester, who work closely with Business Bolton (Bolton Council).

  • Offer fully funded business support.
  • 121 or group support available for many areas including digital, mentoring, advice, skills and training.
  • Work underway to scope the potential of a specialist support programme for child care providers.

Contact: Bolton Account Manager, Jonathan Crabtree.
Tel: 07525 603484.
Business Bolton website:

Local / national restrictions and FAQs

See the Bolton Council website for details of local / national restrictions and the FAQs of what you can and cannot do:


Please continue to use the hashtag #EarlyYearsinBolton so that collectively we can continue to connect our posts with families in the borough.

Here is a short video explaining how to do this.

Save the date!

You can view the current online training offer on the Bolton Start Well website course page here.   For more information or assistance with booking, please contact the Start Well team by telephone: 01204 338149 or email:

Training offer - Spring and Summer 2021
February 2021
22/02/21 | 6:30pm – 7:30pm | Supporting Children with English as an Additional Language (EAL)
23/02/21 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm | PVI Network Meeting
23/02/21 | 4:00pm – 5:00pm | EYFS Briefing for Communication Champions
25/02/21 | 6:30pm - 8:00pm | Safeguarding Policy into Practice
25/02/21 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm | Using the Communication and Language Journey to Support Interventions
March 2020
01/03/21 | 6:30pm – 8:00pm | EYFS Briefing for Childminders
03/03/21 | 10:30am - 11:30am | Out of School Network Meeting
03/03/21 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm | Language Through Listening
04/03/21 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm | WellComm Speech and Language Toolkit
09/03/21 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm | Communication and Language Pathway: Accessing ‘More Help’
10/03/21 | 6:30pm – 7:30pm | An Introduction to the WellCommm Toolkit for Childminders
11/03/21 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm | Introduction to the Role of the Communication Champion
18/03/21 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm | Exploring Awareness of Children Learning EAL – C&L Journey
25/03/21 | 9:30am – 11:00am | PVI Network Meeting
April 2020
07/04/21 | 6:30pm – 7:30pm | Early Years Communication and Language Development Surgery
21/04/21 | 4:30pm – 5:30pm | EYBIC
22/04/21 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm | Using the C&L Journey to Support 2 Years Olds
27/04/21 | SENCo Briefing
28/04/21 | 1:00pm - 4:00pm | Boys Writing Development: Awaken the Inner Writer
May 2020
05/05/21 | 4:00pm - 5:00pm | EYFS Briefing for Leads in Schools
06/05/21 | 10:00am - 11:30am | Out of Schools Setting Network Briefing
10/05/21 | 6:30pm - 8:00pm | EYFS Briefing for Childminders
11/05/21 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm | WellComm Speech and Language Toolkit
17/05/21 | 4:30pm – 5:30pm | Supporting Children with English as an Additional Language (EAL)
18/05/21 | 10:00am – 11:30am | EYFS Briefing for EY Leads in Daycare Settings
20/05/21 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm | Using the C&L Journey to Support Your Interventions
25/05/21 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm | Introduction to the Role of the Communication Champion
27/05/21 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm | PVI Network Meeting
June 2020
08/06/21 | 4:00pm – 5:00pm | EYFS Briefing for Communication Champions
09/06/21 | 6:30pm – 7:30pm | Early Years Communication and Language Development Surgery
17/06/21 | 1:00pm – 3:00pm | Exploring Awareness of Children Learning EAL – C&L Journey
21/06/21 | 6:15pm - 8:45pm | Are You Ready For Your Ofsted Inspection? Childminders
23/06/21 | 10:00am - 12:30pm | Are You Ready For Your Ofsted Inspection? Out of School Settings
24/06/21 | 9:30am - 12:00pm | Are You Ready For Your Ofsted Inspection? Daycare
Every Child Training
These pre-recorded sessions will be available upon request.  Once you sign up, you will be sent a welcome email with a link to the training which you can watch at any time.
The Number Journey
The Early Communication and Language Journey
The Mark Making to Writing Journey
Phase 1 Phonics

Ask us!

We are keen to hear your views and questions. This might be suggestions of different ways of working, to sharing of information that might be useful for other early years professionals. Please contact us at the Start Well inbox:  or via the links below:  

Bolton Start Wel
Families Information Service

Useful links

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.UK

Protective measures for out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Actions for early years and childcare providers during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Collection of guidance for early years settings

Copyright © Bolton Start Well Service 2021. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Bolton Start Well Service
Bolton Council
Harvey Centre
Shaw Street

Tel: 01204 338149

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Start Well Service, Bolton Council · Smithills School ICT, 2nd Floor · Smithills Dean Road · Bolton, Bol BL1 6JT · United Kingdom

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