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ISSUE NO. 17 - DECEMBER 2014
Welcome to the December edition of the Foundation Years newsletter

With Christmas fast approaching we hope that your preparations for the festive season are going smoothly. While it is undoubtedly a very busy time of the year, hopefully most of you will have holidays and seasonal celebrations to look forward to!

We have been busy too, since the last newsletter in November we have brought you a number of key updates form the government. These include an FAQ on the Early Years Pupil Premium, background to changes to Ofsted’s inspections of new settings, and guidance for practitioners on the Integrated Review.      

2015 will see us return with a new look newsletter that will continue to bring you the latest news and updates from the government and the early years sector. As always do keep in touch at foundations@4children.org.uk, and follow our twitter account  and facebook page for all the latest early years news. 

Wishing you all the very best for Christmas and a 2015 that brings you all that you hope for.

Best Wishes & Merry Christmas
The Children’s Partnership
Latest resources:

Early Years Pupil Premium FAQs

List of Outstanding providers 2013-14

Exemption for schools from registering 2 year old separately with Ofsted

Guidance for practitioners on Integrated Review

Background to changes to Ofsted's inspections of new settings 

Tuning into 2 year olds: Improving outcomes for 2 year olds

EYFSP attainment by pupil characteristics  

 


Events:
Monday 5th January 2015, Maths in Early Years, Wallington Surrey
 
Saturday 10th January 2015, Promoting Positive Behaviour, Bromley
 
Saturday 17th January 2015, Sensory Awareness, London
 
Saturday 17th January 2015, Maths in Early Years, Telford
 
Saturday 17th January 2015, Phonics, Essex
 
Saturday 31st January 2015, Leadership and Management, Rugby
 
Saturday 31st January 2015, Phonics, London
 
Saturday 7th February 2015, Working with Babies, Bradford
 
Saturday 28th February 2015, The Drama of Sound: EYFS Conference,  Ambleside
 
NEWS FROM THE GOVERNMENT

Integrated Review Study Report
The Department for Education and Department of Health have published the findings of a study led by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) into the pilot phase of the integrated review which can be accessed here.
 
The findings, welcomed by both departments, encourage the roll-out of integrated health and early years reviews for children aged 2 bringing together the Early Years Progress Check and the Healthy Child Programme review at age 2-2½.
 
In addition, NCB have two documents with support for practitioners on how to implement the integrated review. These are also available on the Foundation Years website.
 
Potential new DfE project in disadvantaged areas
The DfE has been exploring interest in a potential new project which will test innovative approaches to improving outcomes for young children in disadvantaged areas. The project aims to encourage more outstanding provisions into deprived areas and has generated considerable interest from early years providers. We will keep you updated with any new developments. In the meantime you can read more about the project here
 
Early years funding benchmarking tool
The updated early years funding benchmarking tool and early years proforma for 2014-15 have been published by the Department for Education.

The funding benchmarking tool includes information on LA funding to early years providers to deliver early learning places for 2 and 3/4 year olds, including rates for private, voluntary and independent providers, schools and maintained nursery schools and retained funding for central support. The tool also allows comparison across other LAs.

The early years proforma contains details of the early years single funding formula for 2 and 3/4 year olds.

The tools can be found here.
 
EYFSP attainment by pupil characteristics
The Department for Education has released information on attainment for the early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) by pupil characteristics, specifically:
  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • eligibility for free school meals
  • special educational needs
  • English as a first language
  • month of birth
at national and local authority level.

You can access the report here.
 
Extension to Childcare Business Grant scheme
The Government has announced that the Childcare Business Grant scheme has been extended for another year. The Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement further funding of £2 million for the scheme to cover 2015/16. The scheme will, therefore, continue to accept applications after 31st December, 2014.

The scheme provides financial support for childcare providers and new childminders who register either with childminder agencies or Ofsted. Further information on the scheme can be found at: http://www.childcarebusinessgrants.dcms.gov.uk/.
 
Ofsted's Early Years and Childcare Guidance Webinar
Join Ofsted for a webinar on Dec 16, 2014 at 6:00 PM GMT.

The webinar has been set up to seek views on Ofsted’s guidance for early years and childcare providers. This follows a review by the Better Regulation Executive of some aspects of their work. The review identified a number of issues for Ofsted to address and they have made some changes as a result, which are now being evaluated. The webinar is an important element in this evaluation.    

Register now! https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2809472474161130754
Read more about the webinar
 

NEWS FROM THE SECTOR

Children’s Food Trust 
Update on EU Food Information for Consumers (FIC) regulation
New allergen information rules (EU FIC) and where to get advice.
If you are an early years setting and you provide food (including drink), you will need to comply with the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (No. 1169/ 2011) from 13 December 2014.

As you are already aware the Department for Education Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYSF) which came into effect in September 2014, section 3.47 states ‘Before a child is admitted to the setting the provider must also obtain information about any special dietary requirements, preferences and food allergies that the child has, and any special health requirements. Providers must record and act on information from parents and carers about a child's dietary needs.’

The new EU Food Information Consumers (FIC) regulation, affects all early years settings who provide food, you have a legal responsibility from 13 December 2014 to provide accurate allergen information to parents, children and staff for every food and drink item you provide that contains any of the 14 allergens as ingredients.
Read more about the Regulation here.
 
The Communication Trust
Chatterbox Challenge
At The Communication Trust we work with 50 organisations who have a focus on speech, language and communication. One of our members, I CAN, the children’s communication charity, runs Chatterbox Challenge; the annual, educational fundraiser that sees 0-5 year olds develop their communication skills by learning songs and rhymes around a theme before singing them together in an inclusive sing-along.

This year’s theme, Chatterbox Challenge 2015: Garden Adventures with Ben & Holly, is all about getting young children chattering about what they see, hear and feel indoors and outdoors. Children are encouraged to get sponsored for their involvement, helping to raise vital funds for I CAN’s work with children across the UK who are struggling to communicate. Join in the fun and register at www.chatterboxchallenge.org.uk
 
Family Action
Childcare in Schools - Developing sustainable and inclusive childcare on a school site

Family Action is running two free workshop sessions on 21 January in Birmingham.

1. Develop and sustain your school-based childcare
This DfE-funded workshop will look at the barriers schools face in developing affordable, flexible and sustainable childcare on their sites (e.g. breakfast and after-school clubs, holiday programmes), and how these challenges can be overcome.

This workshop will be of interest to all those interested in developing childcare on a school site (e.g. school staff/governors, children’s centres, Early Years workers, private, voluntary or independent providers (PVIs).

2. Making your school-based childcare more inclusive
This DfE-funded workshop will enable delegates to consider ways in which schools and other childcare providers based on mainstream school sites can make their provision more inclusive for the under 8s with SEND.

This workshop will be of interest to all those who wish to make their school-based childcare provision more inclusive for young children with SEND (eg schools, children’s centres, nurseries, private, voluntary or independent providers (PVIs).

For more information, please email the Childcare in Schools team.

Advice and support
Visit the Learning Exchange website for numerous free templates, top tips, news articles and useful links to help you develop school-based childcare provision.

Find out how other schools approach school-based childcare.

Sign up to the latest Learning Exchange e-bulletin.
 
National Literacy Trust
Technology engages boys and poorer children to read for longer
The National Literacy Trust and Pearson released their second annual survey data on the role of technology in supporting young children’s communication and language skills.

Touch-screen technology could be a vital new weapon to combat low literacy in key target groups: boys and disadvantaged children. New research published by the National Literacy Trust and Pearson reveals that technology can be a more engaging learning tool for disadvantaged children at age three to five, than books.
Read more about the survey here.
 
New findings: Preliminary Evaluation of Early Words Together, Coventry University
Early Words Together provides a targeted, literacy focussed peer education programme to empower parents to support their child’s early learning at home. 

Evaluation by Coventry University, using a pre & post test survey of 346 families, supplemented by in-depth feedback, found:
 
  • Motivating parents to use library and activities to improve children’s home resources for learning
  • Increased interest and enjoyment of the child in communication, language and literacy
  • Increased awareness and confidence of the adult in supporting their child’s early literacy
  • These findings together indicate an effect on the child’s school readiness
The biggest changes in families’ behaviours are in relation to shared book activities, increased communication and parent contact.
Read more about the report here.
 
NDNA
The law on allergy awareness for childcare providers is changing – are you prepared?
From the 13th December all childcare providers in the UK who provide snacks and meals to children must be able to detail and prove what ingredients are in every single food dish they serve.

In partnership with The Safer Food Group, NDNA provide an accredited Level 2 Allergy Awareness for Childcare Practitioners online training course. From just £11.99 for NDNA members, the video-based course has been specifically designed for anyone who works in childcare.

To see our promotional video and read more visit www.ndna.org.uk/allergy
Read more about the course here.
 
Hempsall’s
Hempsall’s announce their new leadership of the Children’s Centre Leader Reader Quarterly Journal
Early years training, research and consultancy organisation Hempsall’s has announced it is to take leadership of the FREE quarterly journal for children’s centre leaders the Children’s Centre Leader Reader (CCLR). 

Director, James Hempsall says that adding the publication to their services brings an exciting and charitable dimension to their work in the children’s centre arena:

"Firstly, and on behalf of the readership of CCLR, I would like to thank Sue Webster, Vicki Lant and their team for their tremendous achievement of creating such an amazing resource and network for children's centre leaders". 
Read more here.
 
Montessori
Montessori Centre International is delighted to announce the new Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – Birth to Seven (Early Years Educator)
A training in Montessori education requires a breadth of understanding and varied set of skills as well as specific attitudes to children. It is with the aim of simultaneously cultivating of all of these that Montessori Centre International, Crossfields Institute and CACHE have developed this new qualification.

The development of interactive learning materials on MCI’s new virtual learning environment now allows all MCI students to communicate, reflect and collaborate with other students and tutors around the world, establishing an international community of Montessori learners fit for the 21st Century.

Next part-time and distance learning course commences in February 2014 – please email Rupert@montessori.org.uk to request further information. Or telephone: 020 7493 8300
 
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