News from the Department for Education
More families in need supported by children’s centres
Children’s centres are reaching over 90 per cent of families most in need, new research has revealed – showing that an overwhelming number of families are accessing high quality, targeted services.
Minister Elizabeth Truss said “The government’s clear that children’s centres have a vital role to play in making sure families get the help they need by offering a wide range of local, flexible services so they can choose what works best for their family. Today’s evidence shows that centres are doing just that – acting as a valuable lifeline for families up and down the country.”
The report comes as Ofsted is considering how the inspection framework can be changed with the aim of overhauling and modernising the way they look at these centres. There are currently over 3,000 children’s centres open across the country, providing tailored and specialist services for local parents and children, with a further 531 additional premises providing children’s centre services as part of a network.
Centres are inspected individually or in small groups, with each centre receiving its own rating on services provided as well as the quality of management. Ofsted is now planning to inspect all the children's centres in each local authority area together as well as local authority oversight to make sure all children are being supported. It will consult on the new approach later in the year – helping ensure that all centres tailor services that meet the needs of local families.
For further information see:
SEND implementation grant
On 1 September, local authorities will begin to implement a new system of support for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND). The government is making an additional £45.2 million available to local authorities in 2014-2015, and intends to make £31.7 million available in 2015-2016 to meet additional local authority costs incurred in implementing the SEND reforms.
Details of the grant each local authority will receive
are available. The first instalment of the grant will reach local authorities by September 2014.
This new funding is in addition to support already provided including:
- £70 million SEN reform grant allocated to local authorities in 2014-2015
- £30 million for independent supporters planned between April 2014 and March 2016
- the package of support available to local authorities through the SEND pathfinder champions and delivery partners
On 10 June, the DfE published draft transitional arrangements guidance
to support local authorities in planning for implementation of the new system.
The government has also published a new easier-to-read code of practice
, which offers practical advice for councils, schools and hospitals to ensure they are providing the new support for these children and young people.
News from the Sector
4Children - Community Childcare and Early Learning Hubs
The nine Community Childcare and Early Learning Hubs are now into Year 2 of the project and the Hubs are working with a variety of early years settings to improve childcare in their local area. The Hubs are working towards three goals – improving quality, offering blended childcare to parents and supporting the provision of new childcare places as required.
DragonFisher Hub in York are currently creating leaflets and a website which they will use to engage parents in order to help them find childcare that meets their needs. Severn View Primary Academy Hub in Stroud has been working closely with both early years settings and childminders to create training around improving quality.
4Children has gathered all the learning from the first year of the project to create a toolkit of resources which contains background information to the project, resources and case studies which is available here
. 4Children are now looking to engage new providers or early years settings who would like to become a Hub. More information about the nine Hubs and toolkit can be found here
4Children - Reach Out
We would like to hear about how well you doing with data management and data sharing.
The Reach Out programme
is working with children's centres to develop an Outcomes Framework. One of the key issues is accessing data to establish a baseline and to track progress.
From our work it is clear that some children's centres have strategic agreements in place to ensure data is shared and accessed. They also have adequate systems in place to support children's centres work. However others do not.
Could you let us know what factors make baseline and tracking data work for you? For example; Is it leadership? Clear local strategic agreements? Good data presentation and updating?
If you can share this information then please contact John Alwyine-Mosely
to help prepare a case study to share with others.
The Communication Trust - No Pens Day Wednesday returns
The Communication Trust’s national speaking and listening event, No Pens Day Wednesday
is back for 2014! The event encourages schools and early years settings to put down their pens and pick up their language, providing free resources to support a full day of learning focussed totally on speaking and listening.
For 2014 we’re continuing to support mainstream primary and secondary settings, however, due to the SEND reforms and feedback from practitioners, we’re also providing additional resources specifically for the early years and SEN
This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday 15th
October, but schools and settings can run it whenever works best for them. Last year No Pens Day Wednesday
reached over 2,500 schools.
Family Action - Childcare in schools
Supporting schools to provide childcare from 8am to 6pm, 50 weeks a year
The Childcare in Schools team spent a great couple of days recently running the Family Action stall at the NAHT conference in Birmingham, meeting a number of headteachers who are interested in setting up school-based childcare.
Clearly where to start can be daunting, so people were glad to see that Family Acton is being supported by the Department for Education to offer free advice, information and resources via the Learning Exchange website
Free training for schools
If you are interested in learning how to overcome barriers to offer school-based childcare and holiday provision for older pupils (8am to 6pm, 50 weeks a year), register for free training workshops
. These are being held around the country between now and the end of the year, the next ones being:
New Family and Childcare Trust leaflet - ‘Is your child two?’
- East Sussex: 25 June
- Atherton (NW): 25 June
- Northumberland: 4 July
- Wigan (NW): 4 July (for special schools)
- Coventry: 11 July (for special schools).
Family and Childcare Trust has just produced an A5 leaflet for parents on the free childcare places for two-year-olds, which you can view here
. If you are part of our Parent Champions National Network you can order bulk copies for free for your Parent Champions scheme, or otherwise you can purchase them - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The leaflet lists the 2014 criteria for eligible families, and has been published in response to a demand for more resources to help explain the offer to families - www.familyandchildcaretrust.org
National Children's Bureau (NCB) - Making it REAL (Raising Early Achievement in Literacy)
Free one day training!
Making it REAL training enables practitioners to use the REAL evidence-based approach that reaches out to parents and families, building confidence and knowledge to support the early home learning environment: this has a powerful impact on children's outcomes and on family literacy practice.
The training has been developed from NCB's successful partnership project with the University of Sheffield, and Oldham and Sheffield local authorities, and builds on the learning from Sheffield's Raising Early Achievement in Literacy project.
Book now for the next regional training event taking place in Bristol on Thursday 3 July 2014. Places are still available for up to four members of staff per setting or organization; to book please follow the link to NCB's eventbrite page here
Group training events are also available
As part of the project NCB is offering organisations, groups and local authorities group training events for 20 participants (one event per local authority area). As the number of events is limited, priority will be given to new areas and groups that have not yet received the training.
National Literacy Trust - Early Words Together Programme
National Literacy Trust (NLT) held a successful Peer Review Forum on 14/5/14, attended by Early Words Together Co-ordinators from 12 local authorities and our two evaluators: Coventry University and OPM.
Practitioners held sharing good practice workshops and explored diverse approaches to delivering the programme, relevant to local needs.
A summary of Early Year’s Policy and Practice, presented by Dr Cathy Hamer, was highly regarded and reinforced the necessity of early intervention and the importance of home learning environments, with the potential of changing children’s outcomes. Participants were positive about the Programme and constructive feedback included the application of Early Words Together in the development of Literacy Strategies, such as Sheffield’s, encouraging another area to: Introduce the idea of a cross-team/department literacy strategy covering skills, early years, primary and secondary education teams!
Practitioners can find information on how Early Words Together, works in partnership to support children’s reading, at www.literacytrust.org.uk
and parents can find hints and tips on how to help their children at www.wordsforlife.org.uk
NDNA - Numbers are fun – become a Maths Champion
National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)’s Maths Champions project aims to improve practitioners’ skills and raise their confidence in maths, supporting them to incorporate more early maths opportunities when planning learning and play for children.
The project is supported by the Department for Education and is now in its second year. The Maths Champions project works with graduates (EYPs/EYTs) to support practitioners in their nursery to provide an enabling environment and increase opportunities for maths through play.
Using the National Numeracy and Basic Key Skills Builder (BKSB) websites and tools, practitioners can assess their current level in maths and the use the online tools and resources to develop their numeracy skills and raise their confidence levels. NDNA are looking for new Maths Champions to start in September.
Applications are invited for OXPIP's Parent Infant Psychotherapy and Parent Infant Practitioner trainings. They are running Parent Infant Practitioner Training
and Parent Infant Psychotherapist Training
Courses start January 2015 but applications are being considered now. For more information on eligibility criteria, costs and how to apply please look at their website.
Good Practice Case Studies
4Children have been collecting case studies from a variety of practitioners in the early years, including nursery classes and childminders, to highlight areas of good practice that happens around the country in different settings.
These case studies cover a variety of topics including – creative planning, ICT record keeping and a childminder who takes early education funding for 2 year olds, and will interest early years practitioners from a range of settings.
The case studies can be viewed on our website
If you think you would be able to contribute towards a case study please email us a brief description of the good practice to Foundations@4children.org.uk
4Children - Nominate your Family Hero today!
4Children is searching the UK to find those outstanding Family Heroes who have gone above and beyond to help children and families. To nominate your hero please go to www.4childen.org.uk/familyheroes
Contact a Family
Contact a Family have published new research findings showing many mums with disabled children are locked out of the labour market due to the lack of affordable and good quality childcare. The research shows parents with disabled children pay 8 times more toward childcare costs than other families.
Read the research here
EYFS Narrowing the gap
Supporting outcomes of the most vulnerable children
1 July - London
7 July - Leeds
To book on go to www.4children.org.uk/event
or call 020 7522 6970