ISSUE NO. 43 - MARCH 2017
Welcome to March edition of the Foundation Years Newsletter

This has been an incredibly busy time for the sector with the Department for Education publishing a number important documents. These include the revised EYFS 2017, FAQs on 30 hours childcare entitlement, statutory guidance for LAs, model agreement for LAs, and the early years workforce strategy.

We bring you news that for the first time in the Pupil Premium Awards’ five year history, there is now a new Early Years Pupil Premium category which will recognise the hard work that Early Years providers across the country are doing for their children in receipt of the Early Years Premium.

Childcare Works continue to add 30 hours information and resources  to their website including presentations from Early Implementers with learning from both Local Authorities and providers perspectives.

We hope you will find the information in the newsletter helpful and as always do keep in touch at You can also follow our twitter account  or facebook page for all the latest early years news. 

Best Wishes
The Foundation Years Team
Updates from the Government
Updates from the Sector
Latest Resources

Updates from the Government

Revised EYFS 2017
The revised EYFS was published on 3 March 2017 and will come into force on 3 April 2017. The revised EYFS includes a requirement that to count in the staff:child ratios at level 3 staff who hold an Early Years Educator qualification must also hold a level 2 English and mathematics qualification.

It also includes the new paediatric first aid (PFA) training requirements that were announced in July 2016 via the government response to the PFA consultation, including that all newly qualified entrants to the early years workforce with a level 2 or 3 qualification must also have either a full or emergency PFA certificate within 3 months of starting work.

A one page guide for providers detailing the changes to the EYFS is also available here.
DfE FAQs on 30 Hours Childcare Entitlement
The Department for Education has published a number of important resources on the 30 hours childcare entitlement. These include a one-pager on Eligibility and a Frequently Asked Questions document.
Early Education and Childcare: Statutory Guidance
The DfE has published updated Statutory Guidance for local authorities on the provision of early education and childcare. It sets out what schools and local authorities must do to comply with the law.

The current statutory guidance which is valid until 31 August 2017 includes information on:
  • the extension of the early education entitlement for 2 year olds
  • the introduction of childminder agencies
  • providers who do not actively promote fundamental British values or promote views or theories as fact which is contrary to established scientific or historical evidence and explanations
 This will be replaced by new statutory guidance valid from 1 September 2017 which also includes information on:
  • the introduction of 30 hours free childcare
  • how local authorities should pay providers to deliver free places
  • the requirement that local authorities publish information about childcare in their area, including free childcare entitlements
Model Agreement
The DfE has published a model agreement outlining the information local authorities should include in their agreements with early years providers.
The model agreement is for:
  • local authorities
  • early years providers, including:
    • early years providers and childminders registered on the Ofsted early years register
    • childminders registered with a childminder agency that is registered with Ofsted
    • independent schools and academies taking children age 2 and over and which are exempt from registration with Ofsted as an early years provider
Early Years Workforce Strategy
The DfE has published the early years workforce strategy setting out how the department plans to support the early years sector to remove barriers to attracting, retaining and developing the early years workforce. Commitments contained in this strategy include:
  • enabling staff with an Early Years Educator (EYE) qualification who also hold level 2 English and mathematics qualifications, including Functional Skills, to count in the level 3 staff:child ratios
  • consulting on allowing those with Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS), and its predecessor Early Years Professional Status (EYPS), to lead nursery and reception classes in maintained schools
  • working with the sector to develop level 2 childcare qualification criteria
  • improving the quality of early years training and providing access to continuous professional development (CPD)
  • providing funding to support the sector to develop quality improvement support in partnership with schools and local authorities
The government’s response to the Level 3 early years educator: numeracy and literacy requirements consultation can be found here.
Early years benchmarking tool
The DfE has published information on indicators of local authority (LA) early education services, and ways to compare an individual LA to other LAs.
The early years funding benchmarking tool and the early years proforma covers all local authorities in England. These funding tools include projected spending in the 2016 to 2017 financial year to provide early learning places for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds.

Local authorities can use these tools to compare their local systems and outcomes against other local authorities. They can use these comparisons to support improvements in fairness and increase value for money.
Early years providers, parents and others can use these tools to:
  • understand the early education system in their area
  • understand decisions taken by local authorities
  • compare these to other local authorities
Ofsted page for Childminder registration
Ofsted has launched a new Facebook page aimed at people who want to register as childminders. Like or follow the page for updates on registering with Ofsted and ask them about the process.
Pupil Premium Awards – EYPP
On 1st March 2017, the Department for Education launched the 2017 Pupil Premium Awards. Since 2013, these awards have recognised the achievement of schools that have done the most to raise the attainment and life chances of disadvantaged pupils through the Pupil Premium funding.

For the first time in the awards’ five year history, there is now a new Early Years Pupil Premium category which will recognise the hard work that Early Years providers across the country are doing for their children in receipt of the Early Years. The application period will run until 31st March and applications can be made here.

To enter for a national prize, you will need to submit an application with information about how the Early Years Pupil Premium has been used effectively and could include information and evidence on; 
  • Supporting the transition from Early Years to school;
  • Promoting healthy eating and lifestyles;
  • Improving parental engagement;
  • Using the Education Endowment Foundation’s Early Years Toolkit.
For more information on entry criteria, prizes and previous winners visit the Pupil Premium website.

Updates from the Sector

Childcare Works – 30 hours
Key items to note from Childcare Works include the growing number of resources freely available from including DfE’s frequently asked questions and eligibility criteria briefings.  Also on the site are briefings about how out of school providers need to be considering the new opportunities for delivery of 30 hours, and 10-steps workbooks for schools and PVI settings. 

We’ve also a briefing on charging and lunchtimes.  When it comes to early implementation there’s information about key learning and slides from presentations delivered by local authorities and providers on their experiences so far. 

As we move nearer to the next early roll out from April 2017 in Leicestershire, Tower Hamlets, Dorset and North Yorkshire, we will be sharing all the useful information and key messages with you in preparation for the national roll out in September 2017. 
Early Education
Foundations of Being: new publication available for pre-order
You can now pre-order Early Education’s latest publication Foundations of Being: Understanding Young Children's Emotional, Personal and Social Development, by Julia Manning-Morton. This book starts from the principle that young children’s emotional, personal and social development is fundamental to all other areas of development and learning, introducing and illustrating key ideas and theories on the topic. Foundations of Being can be purchased at the special pre-order price of £15.00 until the end of May 2017 (expected shipping date June 2017). To pre-order your copy, visit our website.
Pre-school Learning Alliance
The Pre-school Learning Alliance is launching an innovative approach to professional development. Individual practitioners and setting managers can benefit from a free consultation with a qualified training advisor to tailor a programme of support and development that meets their needs.

Three easy stages to SMARTpd:
  • Complete a short, online questionnaire providing information on areas identified for development in your SEF or at your last Ofsted inspection.
  • Have a telephone consolation with a qualified early years training advisor
  • A bespoke training programme combining free resources, on-line programmes, publications and workshop sessions is developed and emailed to you.
‘I contacted the Pre-school Learning alliance to speak to them about some training requirements and they came back to me with the most fantastic training plan that was catered specifically to our needs.  I received excellent personal service and the smart pd bespoke plan has already been utilised and used during staff meetings.’ Sarah Fletcher; Footprints Pre-school, Yateley, Hampshire

If you would like to benefit from the new tailored SMARTpd programme please register you interest by contacting
PACEY has published the results of our second survey of the childcare and early years sector. Building Blocks 2017: A report on the state of the childcare and early years sector in England looks at a wide range of issues affecting the childcare and early years workforce, including experience, qualifications and training, working conditions, finances and future plans.

This year’s survey of nearly 2000 practitioners paints a picture of a sector that is highly experienced, increasingly well-qualified, dedicated and committed to improvement. However, it has also revealed a number of stark divisions and inequalities within the sector, with higher numbers of practitioners both more and less confident about the future than in the past. We found a number of notable divisions between childminding and group settings, as well as between different regions in the country.
Some of our key findings include:
  • The early years profession is fluid, with people moving in and out of different, related roles throughout their career, but staying in the sector for the long haul
  • Childcare and early years professionals find their work highly rewarding and are motivated to improve through gaining qualifications and CPD
  • Partnership working between schools and early years settings is on the rise, but more needs to be done to improve the quality of these relationships and include childminding settings
  • The sector is uncertain about the new 30-hour entitlement, and further work needs to be done to remove key barriers and encourage settings to offer it
  • Confidence in the future is down overall, but there are also higher numbers of people more and less confident than in 2015, pointing to increasing polarisation
  • A majority of settings have unfilled places and no plans to expand in the next year.
We also outline a series of practical steps government and local authorities need to take now which revolve around three core aims:
  • ensuring that the early years and childcare entitlement works for all providers
  • supporting childcare providers to improve and sustain their businesses
  • raising awareness of childminding.
Local Government Association
Improving outcomes for children and families in the early years: a key role for health visiting services
By integrating health visiting with other services, such as children's centres, early help, safeguarding and public health teams, we can provide better support to children and their families. The cuts to local authority public health budgets make it more important than ever for health visitors and commissioners to work together to monitor and evaluate the impact of the service. This new publication compiles case studies demonstrating innovation in this area.
Family Action
East Midlands Adoption Support Service (EMASS)
Our DfE-funded EMASS project is working in partnership with a number of local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to ensure adopted children and those with attachment-based difficulties and their families in the East Midlands receive the support they need when they need it.

As part of the EMASS programme, we are planning to deliver a series of free half-day practice-sharing events from May onwards. These will focus on issues such as: Separation and loss; Attachment in the classroom; Promoting pro-social behaviour; Managing anger and aggression; Presenting a sensitive curriculum; Managing ASD and ADHD.

Find out more: Lincolnshire Behaviour Outreach Support Service (BOSS)
Family Action’s Lincolnshire Behaviour Outreach Support Service (BOSS) is offering two free one-day training events in May 2017 to support Lincolnshire schools and academies to address issues that may be contributing to pupils’ challenging behaviour. Download our booking form:
Training for early years and school staff
Family Action is also offering a range of workshops across the country (e.g. aimed at early years, school and adoption/fostering professionals). These include: Mental Health First Aid Youth; The Emotional Wellbeing of Foster Carers & Adopters; Direct Work & Communicating with Children; Panel Chairs and Advisers; Panel Administrators; Assessing Prospective Foster Carers; Strengthening Special Guardianship Assessments.

Find out more:  
National Portage Association (NPA)
Would you like to develop your skills, knowledge and confidence to support children with SEND and their families? The NPA provide training and support to the early years workforce to develop Portage practice.
Launch of New Website
We are pleased to announce that we recently launched a new NPA website. To take a look visit:
Portage Workshop – A Small Steps Approach to Learning for Children with SEND
Recently updated to support the implementation of Portage principles within early years settings.
If you are interested in accessing the training or developing Portage in your area please contact (South) (North & Midlands)
Further information can also be found
The NPA Stamp of Approval Scheme
This award is available to early years settings (including childminders and foster carers) whose staff have completed the Portage Workshop and demonstrate that they deliver high quality, inclusive early years education, based on the Portage model and Portage principles.
For criteria and application information visit us here.

Latest Resources

EYFS 2017

Early Years Workforce Strategy

30 hours FAQs

Presentations from Working with Childminders and CMA event



Action for Children
Learn Explore Debate (LED) Events
As part of our continuing work as the Department for Education’s (DfE) strategic partner for early years and childcare, Action for Children are holding the next round of Learn Explore Debate (LED) events in April 2017.

This event will offer a unique opportunity to find out more about a number of issues affecting the sector, including:
  • Workforce Strategy
  • Assessments
  • EYFS Update
  • Ofsted Updates
  • Health and the Early Years
  • Study of Early Education and Development (SEED)
  • General Updates from the Early Years Sector
Senior representatives from the DfE will be on site to share ideas from emerging practice and speak with you about your views. The day promises to be very informative, gives a real opportunity to the sector to ask questions and receive clarifications.

Doors will open at 9.30am with the events starting promptly at 10.00am and ending at 1.00pm. To book your place please follow the appropriate link below:  
School partnerships with Childminders and Childminder agencies – forming effective partnership models
 Action for Children is pleased to announce the first round of free roadshow events specifically for schools/maintained nursery schools and childminders/CMAS to offer an opportunity to look at effective and innovative ways to work in partnership with a particular focus on the 30 hours agenda.
These roadshow events will look at enabling partnerships to form and develop through effective systems and information sharing.

The audience for this event is schools, maintained nursery schools, Childminder Agencies and childminders.

Date and timings:
Monday 27th March 4 – 5.30pm for schools and 6 – 7.30pm for childminders
South: Northfleet Nursery School, 140 London Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 9JS (To book your place at this event please email FAO Charlotte Dinning)
North: The Sue Hedley Nursery School, Campbell Park Road, Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, NE31 1QY (To book your place at this event please email
Early Education
Annual National Conference 2017
Our Annual National Conference will be held at the University of Sunderland on the 5-6 May 2017, hosted by our Sunderland branch. The conference is entitled ‘Now there's a thought: exploring the potential and power of children's thinking’, with speakers Alison Gopnik, Iram Siraj, Kathy Ring and Elizabeth Carruthers. For more information, or to book a place, visit the conference page on our website.
Courses and Events
All our 2017 courses and events can be found online at
Follow us, Like us and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter: Facebook Twitter

Copyright © 2017 Action for Children, All rights reserved.

 view email in browser   | forward to a friend  Like Foundations Years Update on Facebook
 unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences