ISSUE NO. 32 - MARCH 2016
Welcome to the March edition of the Foundations newsletter

Spring is in the air, the weather is getting warmer and a very welcome Easter break, for those of us lucky enough to get one, is almost upon us. Hopefully it will be a quieter time after a very busy but fruitful start of the year for the early years sector.

The Childcare Bill has received royal assent this month, and has now passed in to law as the Childcare Act 2016. Ofsted also announced this month plans to directly manage early years inspections from April 2017, bringing early years inspections in line with schools and further education institutes.

The government has launched a new web page which brings together all the current childcare provision in one place –

4Children hosted the recent round of Learn Explore Debate events this month, the presentations from which can be found here.

We have also uploaded some new case studies from early years settings on how they have used What to Expect, When? to engage with parents.

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 Children’s Partnership
Updates from the Government
Updates from the Sector
Latest Resources

Updates from the Government

Ofsted video on teaching phonics
Mark Lindfield, Senior HMI, talks in this short video about what to consider when teaching phonics in early years.
Ofsted statistics on childcare providers and inspections
Ofsted has published statistics on registered childcare providers and places, and inspection outcomes in the childcare sector as at 31 December 2015.

Ofsted brings early years inspections in-house
Ofsted will directly manage early years inspections and regulatory work from April 2017. Currently, early years inspections are carried out by Tribal and Prospects on behalf of Ofsted. Bringing early years inspection under direct management means that Ofsted will have full control over the selection, training and management of inspectors, and complete oversight of the quality of inspection. This will bring early years inspections in line with schools and further education and skills, with Ofsted directly managing all inspections.

Gill Jones, Ofsted Early Education Deputy Director has written a blog explaining the move to bring early years inspections in house.
New childcare support page on GOV.UK
A new web page has been launched on GOV.UK which brings together all the current childcare provision in one place – This will help parents and carers understand how these childcare offers will support them in their working lives.

Please do refer to this new web page on your channels when supporting and advising parents and carers to identify the best package of support.
2016 Child Health Profiles
Public Health England has published the 2016 Child Health Profiles. The profiles draw together information to present a picture of child health and wellbeing in each local area in a user-friendly format. They are a valuable tool for local government and health services in helping them to understand their communities’ needs, so that they can work to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people and reduce health inequalities.
Become an Early Years Teacher
Become an early years teacher and have a lasting positive impact on the lives of young children from birth to five. Visit here and register your interest today.
Children’s centres consultation to launch in summer
A consultation on the future of children’s centres will now launch in the summer. The consultation had been due to launch in autumn 2015, but speaking in the House of Lords, government education minister Lord Nash confirmed that it will be linked to the development of the government’s Life Chances Strategy.
Childcare and early years survey of parents: 2014 to 2015
The DfE has published information from its survey of parents with children aged 0 to 14, covering parents’ use of childcare and early years provision, and their views and experiences, including:
  • what childcare is used by different types of families
  • changes in take-up over the years
  • parents’ reasons for using or not using childcare and for choosing particular providers
  • parents’ views on the providers they used and on childcare provision in their local area in general
  • the influence of childcare arrangements on mothers’ decisions about whether to go out to work
Report evaluating the impacts of Tax-Free Childcare and the Free Early Education Entitlement
Frontier Economics has prepared a report for the DfE looking at the potential impact of Tax Free Childcare and the extension of the free places to 30 hours in England on parental work and the childcare market. The report shows that these policies have the potential to create incentives to raise employment rates and average weekly working hours for parents. At the same time these policies have the potential to create some uncertainties in the childcare market. They could raise the number of places and quality of the care offered by childcare providers, but also impact on pricing structures and on the offer of places to children not eligible for the free entitlement.

Updates from the Sector

Childminder Agencies
This month we hosted briefing sessions for organisations interested in becoming a childminder agency. To access the presentation and resources from these events, please visit here.
Case Studies
We invite you to read new case studies profiling various agency models as well as childminders who have joined an agency. For more information on childminder agencies, including support in setting up an agency, visit us here.
Learn, Explore, Debate (LED) events
We recently wrapped up another successful round of LED events across the country. Thank you to all that attended. The presentation is now available here.
Children's Centre Partnership Survey
4Children is conducting a survey to understand more about the impact on children and families of partnership working involving children’s centres. This survey is for staff with direct experience of working in partnership with children’s centres, for example by sharing data, working in a children’s centre, or referring or receiving referrals from children’s centre staff. We aim to hear from a wide range of partners including: health, social care, employment support, voluntary sector, early years and childcare providers, housing, education, Troubled Families teams, criminal justice, volunteers and carers.

The survey will take around 20-30 minutes to complete. Respondents can remain anonymous and have the option of being entered in to a prize drawer to win a £50 One4All voucher. 4Children will write a short report for publication in the summer based on the survey findings.

For more information please contact Jessica Southgate, Head of Policy,

The Communication Trust
The Communication Trust have produced a free online resource for staff working in education settings to help them understand, review and shape their approach to involving children and young people as part of everyday good practice. The new toolkit contains information about what practitioners are required to do by the 2014 SEND Code of Practice 0-25, guidance, activities and approaches, and signposts to practical tools that can be used across a whole setting to make systemic changes, making personalised, meaningful involvement of children and young people with SLCN an integrated way of practice.

The toolkit draws on research exploring the views of children and young people with SLCN and their families on their involvement in decision-making.

Access the Involving Children and Young People with SLCN – A toolkit for education settings by completing the registration form here.
Early Education
Learning Together About Learning EYPP project
As we approach the end of our project, we are keen to have feedback on the first year of the Early Years Pupil Premium via our survey.

We have published a booklet, based on the outcomes of the project so far Practical tips on allocating Early Years Pupil Premium Funding can be downloaded for free from our website.
Publications and Resources
Browse our publications and resources here. Read an excerpt online from Jan White’s latest book, Every Child a Mover, and buy your copy today.
Family Action
‘Developing inclusive childcare practices for 0–5s with SEND’
National charity Family Action has been funded by the Department for Education (DfE) to support school-based early years settings to develop their inclusive childcare practices for 0-5s with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), as well as earlier work supporting schools to develop wraparound childcare and holiday provision.
Developing inclusive childcare practices
Family Action’s forthcoming workshop ‘Developing inclusive childcare practices’ will be held on 24 March 2016 in Northumberland. This event will give delegates the opportunity to:
  • consider how they can welcome and support families who have a child with SEND
  • hear how other providers are developing inclusion in their setting
  • share their own experiences of developing inclusive childcare practices for young children with SEND
  • take part in an interactive workshop
  • learn more about current childcare policies (eg 30 hour entitlement).
For full details, and to download a booking form, visit the ‘Training and events’ page on the Learning Exchange.
The future of inclusive childcare
We were delighted to welcome over 80 delegates to our recent conference ‘The future of inclusive childcare’ (London, 10 March). It was lovely to see staff from early years settings that Family Action is working with across England, as well as practitioners from across the childcare sector - all with the focus of making childcare provision inclusive for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Family Action’s Childcare in Schools team would like to thank all the speakers for sharing their good practice and for giving us all lots to think about:
  • Sue Robb (4Children)
  • Alison John (Alison John & Associates)
  • Kate Moxley (Streetsbrook Childcare, Solihull) and Joanne Burridge (St Michael’s Children’s Centre, Bedworth)
  • Trudy Surman (St Osmund’s Pre-School, Salisbury)
  • Sheryl Aitcheson-Labarr (Drumbeat Special School, London)
  • Sarah Bagshaw (St Bede Academy, Bolton).
National Day Nurseries Association
Join NDNA for Healthy Body Happy Me 2016!
NDNA’s annual Healthy Body Happy Me campaign encourages better health and happiness by giving children ideas for play, learning and fun! Each day of the week-long campaign has a special theme promoting healthy messages with fun activities, tips and ideas.

A range of FREE digital, downloadable resources is now available to download on the NDNA website suitable for all ages. Register your interest and be in with chance of winning a free Healthy Snacks Happy Children and Let’s Bake and Create publications combo.

With thanks to sponsors Hope Education, Citation Professional Solutions and British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health.

Latest Resources

Learn Explore Debate Presentation

Childminder Agencies Presentation

Ofsted Video on Teaching Phonics

Childminder Agencies Case Studies


Healthy Children, Bright Futures - Addressing Key Health Issues for Under 5s
Save the Date!
Central London - Thursday 16 June 2016

On 16 June, 4Children will host its first health conference to address key issues for the early years, including childhood obesity and oral health. Join us for a full day of insight into what's being called a national emergency, including case studies and practical tips on improving health for under 5s.

Registration will open next month. Stay tuned for additional details. To pre-register, please email and we will contact you when registration officially opens.
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.
Sightlines Initiative
Loris Malaguzzi in the UK: what future for early childhood education?
14th May - London

This day provides a unique opportunity to explore the ideas and practices of Malaguzzi and the schools of Reggio Emilia; and to think critically about the current condition and future directions for early childhood education in the UK - and what we want for our children and society. The day is organised and led by leading experts on Reggio Emilian pedagogy, from Italy, Sweden and the UK.

As part of this day Professor Gunilla Dahlberg will be discussing the transforming of awareness and practice amongst Swedish educators and preschools in the Swedish Reggio Emilia Network. ​This session will be a unique opportunity for UK early childhood and Foundation Stage educators endeavouring to develop learning environments sharing the principles evident in Reggio Emilia, to encounter the parallel learning journeys of other Northern European educators who have faced the same problems, and to exchange ideas.
Raising achievements outdoors
15th April
Early physical & sensory development
20th April
British values and diversity
22nd April
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