ISSUE NO. 35 - JUNE 2016
Welcome to the June edition of the Foundations newsletter

This is an important time for the early years sector as we wait and see what the result of the EU referendum means for the sector and those who work in it. We will keep you updated on any policy implications that this may have in the coming weeks and months.

In the meantime we bring you news about capital grants funding in the early years with £40 million being made available through a local authority led bidding process. Ofsted has published its latest statistics which show that 86% of early years providers are now judged to be good or outstanding.

The government has announced that from September 2016, all new qualified early years staff (level 2 and 3) will also need to hold a Paediatric First Aid certificate in order to be included in the ratios.

The Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) has launched the report and resources from their High-achieving, White Working Class Boys project. 4Children recently ran a 'Healthy Children, Bright Futures' Conference, and all the resources and presentations from that can be accessed here.

As always do keep in touch at, and follow our twitter account  and 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

Minister sets out his vision for the workforce strategy
On Friday 1 July, Sam Gyimah MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Childcare and Education, spoke at the National Day Nurseries Association conference, setting out his vision for the workforce strategy and launching Millie’s Mark.

The Minister talked about the concerns he has heard from the sector regarding the impact on recruitment of the GCSE requirement for those taking level 3 Early Years Educator qualifications. The Minister stated that he was revisiting and reviewing the options on how to make sure the sector has the right number of staff and the right quality of staff to deliver the 30 hours. The Department for Education will communicate the next steps on level 3 over the summer. For guidance on the GCSE requirement please visit

The Minister’s full speech is now live on

Paediatric first aid consultation outcome
The DfE has published a summary of responses it received on the consultation, along with the government’s response outlining the next steps.

The government has decided to proceed to include, from 1 September 2016, a requirement in the EYFS that for newly qualified early years staff (with full and relevant level 2 or level 3 childcare qualification) to also hold a current Paediatric First Aid (PFA) or emergency PFA certificate in order to be included in the required ratios in an early years setting. Childcare providers will be allowed a three month ‘grace’ period to complete PFA training after starting work with a new employer.
DfE guide on setting up a Childminder Agency
The DfE has published guidance for anyone wanting to register and operate as a childminder agency. The document sets out legal requirements and other issues to consider for anyone registering or operating as a childminder agency.
Wraparound and holiday childcare: Parent and childcare provider ‘rights to request’

To help working parents access the childcare they need when they need it, the government wants schools to play a larger role in the childcare market. New guidance has been published to help maintained schools and academies (including free schools) understand how to respond to parents’ requests that the school that their child attends considers establishing wraparound and / or holiday childcare, and childcare providers’ requests to use school facilities for wraparound and / or holiday provision at times when the school is not using them. The ‘rights to request’ will help parents to work, or work for longer, if they choose to do so, by making more quality childcare available during the week and school holidays. The ‘rights to request’ guidance aims to maintain school autonomy and avoid imposing unnecessary administration burdens on schools. It comes into effect in September 2016.
Early Years Capital Fund: Applications open for local authority capital bidding round
The government is making capital grants of £40 million available to early years settings (this may also include schools that currently offer, or plan to offer, provision for 3- and 4-year olds) through a local authority-led bidding process. 

This substantial investment will help to create more childcare places in preparation for the government manifesto to double the funded hours of childcare available for working families of 3- and 4- year olds from 15 hours to 30 hours.

Through this funding the government has demonstrated its commitment to support local authorities to deliver their duty to ensure sufficient childcare places for the extended entitlement from September 2017.

If you are a provider who would like to submit a bid for capital funding, please contact your local authority directly in order to register your interest.

Your Local Authority must have submitted an Expression of Interest to the Department for Education in order to access the bid window.

The Department for Education is only accepting bids through local authorities as the priority for this capital bid round is creating 30 hours places where they are most needed.

Applications must be submitted by 31 August 2016.
Become an early years teacher and help children make sense of the world
Watch Roberto talk about his career change from law to early years teaching

Now’s the time to apply for a place so you don’t miss out on the course you want. To apply for a place starting in September 2016 please contact one of our training providers.

Visit to find out more and register your interest today.
Ofsted statistics on childcare providers and inspection outcomes
Ofsted has published the latest statistics on childcare providers and places, inspection outcomes and movement in the childcare sector. The latest stats show:
  • 86% of providers were judged to be good or outstanding
  • The number of childminders has decreased by 1.6%
  • The number of early years places offered by providers registered with Ofsted has remained stable 
Employing Staff from Overseas - Checking DBS
It is not the role of Ofsted to issue guidance for providers on how to check the suitability of staff from overseas. Ofsted guidance on how it will check the suitability of applicants states that where an applicant has lived abroad recently then additional checks are usually required, such as a certificate of good conduct, which can be requested from the relevant embassy. As the EYFS does not prescribe this, then it is up to the provider to determine whether or not they do something similar. It is for providers to decide themselves how they determine the suitability of their own staff.

Updates from the Sector

Health Conference Resources
Thank you to everyone that attended the 'Healthy Children, Bright Futures' Conference on Thursday 16th June in London. The conference was a great success as 100 people from local government, early years, education and health all turned up to learn more about how to support children’s health. Delegates walked away with interesting and shocking statistics, inspiration from case studies and practical ideas from workshops.

PowerPoint presentations from each speaker can be downloaded from the conference web page
The Communication Trust
Share your CPD experiences and enter a prize draw!
Are you interested in entering a prize draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher? The Communication Trust is seeking the views of those who work with children and young people about their experiences of professional development opportunities around speech, language and communication and speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

We’ve developed a short survey to gather the views of a wide range of professionals including early years practitioners, teachers, teaching assistants, school nurses and health visitors. We want to hear from everyone, whether you’ve never had any CPD or initial training around children and young people’s communication, or have accessed a number of development opportunities in this area, your views are vital to our work.

Please follow this link before 15th July to access the short survey and enter the £50 Amazon voucher prize draw –
Platform 3 for Childminders Independent Evaluation report is now available
Platform 3 is an innovative, accessible and cost effective online learning route for delivering and undertaking the Level 3 accredited qualification: Supporting Children and Young People's Speech, Language and Communication.

Following the success of the 2013-2015 pilot project, The Communication Trust was awarded further funding through the Department for Education VCS Grant Scheme for 2015-2016. We worked with PACEY to tailor the existing delivery mechanisms of the qualification to address the specific needs of childminders.

We are delighted to announce that the independent evaluation report for Platform 3 for Childminders is now available and can be accessed here. Some of the key findings from the report are highlighted below:
  • Almost all (94%) of the practitioners surveyed at the end of the qualification felt that the qualification had enabled them to feel more confident in supporting children's speech, language and communication development.
  • The proportion of childminders who felt 'quite confident' or 'very confident' in their ability to discuss a child's strengths, weaknesses and needs with their parent/carer increased from 62% before the qualification to 100% after the qualification.
Platform 3 is now available to all those who work with all children and young people from different sectors across the workforce.

To find out more about completing or delivering the Award, please visit us or email us at
Contact a Family
Last week Contact a Family celebrated an enormous victory for their Stop the DLA Takeaway in Hospital campaign. The government has scrapped the rules that previously stopped payment of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) when a child (under 18) was in hospital. The new law came into force last week. Find out more on the Contact a Family website.  

This is monumental law change and an incredible legacy for Cameron Mathieson. Hundreds of families with the most disabled and poorly children will no longer be denied financial support when they need it most. Download the factsheet here.  
Centre for Research in Early Education
The Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) are very pleased to announce the launch of the High-achieving, White Working Class (HAWWC) Boys project report, produced to provide practical evidence based resources to tackle the challenge of white working class male underachievement.

Developed with support from Birmingham, Oxfordshire and North Yorkshire Councils, this DfE funded project addresses the policy question of how CREC might enhance the educational achievement of young, white working class boys (identified as boys growing up in low income households) in order to:
  • close the gap in their attainment on entry to compulsory schooling
  • improve access to the free early education offer
  • enable greater social mobility
Family Action
Increasing the provision of high-quality, inclusive school-based childcare for 0-5s with SEND

Are you looking to develop inclusive practices for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in your setting?  If so, take a look at the wide range of free resources on our Learning Exchange website  
National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)
Inspiring your little scientists
Inspire children to learn about the world through scientific experimentation with the National Day Nurseries Association’s brand new publication.

'Inspiring your little scientists' provides an abundance of ideas for scientific experimentation that will help young children to learn about the world around them.
Discover fun and playful experiments and generate scientific thinking from an early age including:
  • Fizzy rockets
  • Balloon powered cars
  • Magnetism
  • Cornflour gloop
  • And over 70 more!
Find out more
National Literacy Trust
New resources developed to support early digital learning
Technology is part of everyday life and many toddlers are using touchscreens almost before they can walk and talk. A new survey from the National Literacy Trust and Pearson shows almost all families (97%) own tablets or smartphones. Access to touchscreens in early years settings has increased too, from 41.4% in 2014 to 58.2% in 2015. However, our survey shows that that early years practitioners lack confidence in using technology. 

Our third annual Early Years Literacy Survey: The Use of Technology to Support Literacy in the Early Years found fewer practitioners used touchscreens to share stories in 2015 (40.8%) than in 2014 (49.1%). Of these, only half (55.1%) are confident doing so, compared to 82.2% who are confident using books.

You can read more about the findings of the survey and access resources here.  
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.

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 here
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 the Portage Support Hub

Latest Resources

High Achieving White Working Class Boys Project

DfE Guidance: Setting up Childminder Agencies

4Children Health Conference Presentations


Early Education
Conference: Improving life chances: the role of the early years
Friday 14 October 2016, London
What is the role of the early years sector in improving children's life chances, and how can the sector respond to the government's emerging life chances strategy?  This one-day conference will take a topical look at early years policy developments and research findings relating to the life chances strategy.

Confirmed speakers include:
  • Helen Stephenson, Director, Early Years, Child Poverty and Children’s Services Strategy, Department for Education
  • Professor Kathy Sylva, University of Oxford
  • Naomi Eisenstadt, University of Oxford
  • Bernadette Duffy, Head, Thomas Coram Centre
More information and book – early bird booking rate available until the end of July.
Early Education national events
Confused about what next after the U-turn on baseline assessment?  Come to a half-day seminar:

08 Jul - Baseline Assessment: What do we do now? - with Nancy Stewart - Sheffield

Book now for courses in London in the autumn.  Dates for Cardiff and Tyne-and-Wear will be added shortly (see our website for the most up to date list)

Characteristics of effective learning series:
  • 19 Oct - Creative and Critical Thinking: challenging children’s ideas and understanding -with Julie Fisher
  • 08 Nov - The Power of Play - Ensuring challenge and progression through child initiated learning in the EYFS - with Kym Scott
  • 17 Nov - Active Learning - with Nancy Stewart
Leadership series:
  • 18 Oct - What kind of a leader do you aspire to be? Inspiration, motivation and the power of emotional intelligence in leading for quality in the early years - with Fiona Kemp 
  • 08 Dec - Effective supervision and understanding others, including the practical development of coaching and mentoring skills -with Fiona Kemp
Other courses:
  • 10 Nov - Schemas and the 2-year-old - with Stella Louis
  • 24 Nov - Ready, Set, Read! Inspiring reading in the early years foundation stage - with Anne Harding
  • 29 Nov - Elemental Play and Learning Through Risk, Challenge And Adventure Outdoors - 2 Day Course - with Kathryn Solly
Further details and book
National Portage Association
Annual Conference
Dates: Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October, 2016
Venue: Hilton Hotel, Northampton
Our conference theme for 2016 is ‘Communication is Key’. The Conference is an opportunity for children, parents and practitioners to share ideas and practice, to explore the future of early years and the opportunities this presents for Portage and the NPA.

Delegates will have the opportunity to attend two stimulating seminar sessions each day, network, visit exhibition stands and hear keynote speakers.

This year’s keynote speakers:
Julie Revels – from Kate Cairns Associates, talking on ‘Five to Thrive’
Jo Birbeck (Educational Psychologist) will be talking about Video Interaction Guidance.

For more information:

For highlights from our 2015 Conference:
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