SAAF Education Blog: Early Years Census 2021 Update

Early Years Census 2021 Update

The Department for Education has released guidance around the Spring Census 2021 – specifying how to submit hours and report on children being sick due to coronavirus on Census Day.

Please note it is important that if you are a provision that has chosen to close or are only open for key workers this will greatly impact your funding. It is important that you are open as normal on census day with the option for all children to attend.

The spring census will take place on Thursday 21 January 2021.

Reporting on Census Week

Funded hours, extended hours and hours at setting for pupils who are in attendance during census week should be recorded as normal.

Funded hours, extended hours and hours at setting should be recorded as the number of hours the pupil would normally be expected to attend during census week in the following circumstances:

  • Pupils are absent because they are self-isolating
  • Parents have chosen not to send their child to nursery

Funded hours, extended hours and hours and setting should be recorded as zero if the nursery provision has decided to close, and where the child is not attending because the school has chosen to restrict nursery provision to certain groups of children (e.g. vulnerable children and children of key workers).

It is important to note that provisions must be open to all pupils on Census Day otherwise nurseries or early years provision will lose out on funding.

Implications of new government guidance

There are some implications of this government guidance which are stated as follows:

  • As stated above, if nurseries or early year provision are not open on Census Day, they will lose out on funding
  • Funding that comes from Local Authority to pay schools their termly nursery funding is based on the Spring Census count of funded hours
  • ESFA guidance on how Local Authorities are expected to fund schools for the Spring Term is yet to be released
  • Further information and guidance from the Department for Education is still to be expected

You can read the Spring Census 2021 in full here for more information.

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