News from the Department for Education
Consultation on proposed changes to the role of the local authority in early education and childcare
Today the Government launches a six week consultation exercise setting out proposals for a changed role for local authorities in the delivery of funded early education for two, three and four-year-olds. We are asking for views on proposals to free local authorities from unnecessary administrative burdens so they can focus on their role as ‘champions’ of children and their families, particularly the most disadvantaged.
This consultation will open on Monday 25 March and close on Monday 6 May 2013.
Consultation on the development of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years)
The Government’s publication More great childcare
(January 2013) sets out the vision for quality in early education and childcare. It includes the Government’s response to Professor Cathy Nutbrown’s report ‘Foundations for Quality’
published in June 2012.
The Government wants to make sure there is more great childcare available for parents and children. The introduction of Early Years Teachers will support early years providers to ensure those who work with babies and young children become increasingly skilled and professional. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Education & Childcare) has asked the Teaching Agency to consult on the development of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years). They would like to hear your views on the proposed standards.
Early education for two year olds
From 1st April, the first children who will be eligible for a full three terms of funded early education will be turning two. Children will be eligible if their families meet the income and benefits criteria used for free school meals or if they are looked after by their local authority.
Places will be available from the start of the term following the child’s second birthday. Around 130,000 children will be entitled to a place (at any one time) from 1 September this year. Significant progress is being made - the DfE anticipates that from April, around 70,000 two-year-olds will be accessing a place across England. To support local authorities to target parents of eligible two year olds proactively, the DfE plans to provide lists of potentially eligible parents in their area termly. The first list is expected to be made available in May. Further information will be provided direct to local authorities.
Revised safeguarding guidance for professionals working with children
In response to recommendations from Professor Eileen Munro’s report, A child-centred system, the revised Working together to safeguard children guidance clarifies the core legal requirements on individuals and organisations to keep children safe. It sets out, in one
place, the legal requirements that health services, social workers, police, schools and other organisations that work with children, must follow – and emphasises that safeguarding is the responsibility of all professionals who work with children.
The evaluation’s first interim report findings were officially released at a CANparent Evaluation Conference on 13 March 2013. You can access the full CANparent trial evaluation interim report from the Department's website.
Ofsted – Revised Inspection Framework for Children’s Centres.
The revised inspection framework for Children’s Centres was published earlier this week.
News from the Sector
Children’s Centres – Reach Out!
will look at new and innovative ways that children’s centres can provide and maintain high quality services and reach out to all children and families in all communities at a time of economic tension. The seminars will bring together experts from across the children’s centre workforce to discuss and debate ways in which children’s centres can survive in these challenging times and debate subjects including early intervention, targeted services, and positive ways of improving effectiveness across children’s centres.
Children’s Improvement Board
The Children’s Improvement Board invites you to a regional event, ‘Improving Sure Start Children’s Centres: Commissioning and Performance Management’. The event will provide an opportunity to hear about learning from the Sure Start Children’s Centres Payment by Results Trial. Presentations from a selection of LAs will provide ideas for developing children’s centre services and improving outcomes for children and their families.
The Early Childhood Unit (ECU) has developed training based on its successful partnership project with the University of Sheffield, and Oldham and Sheffield local authorities. Funding from the DfE National Prospectus Grant (2013-2015) will enable a national roll out of free training.
NCB is currently developing a half-day workshop to support practitioners in delivering the progress check at two.
If you are interested in commissioning tailored consultancy and training on a range of early years issues, including Parents, Early Years and Learning (PEAL), listening to young children options including the Mosaic approach, mentoring, Quality Provision for Two-Year-Olds – A partnership approach, and leadership please get in touch.
Contact a Family
In light of the announcement on 'bedroom tax' on 12 March 2013, Contact a Family has issued important advice for families.
Over the next few months the government will launch the biggest shake up of the UK benefits system in over 30 years. Contact a Family has produced an overview of what this may mean for families of disabled children.
Srabani Sen, Chief Executive of Contact a Family, gave evidence to a committee of MPs looking at the Children and Families Bill in England. She represented our campaign Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM).
Disabled children are routinely illegally excluded from school with a devastating impact on their education and mental health, according to new research from Contact a Family.
Parentchannel.tv is an online service designed to support and encourage parents and carers of children aged 5-19, with a collection of videos addressing day-to-day questions and concerns spanning wellbeing, behaviour and learning. In addition to the parentchannel.tv site, the videos are available for use on other sites.
Children’s Food Trust
Have you seen our latest research on pre-school food? If you work at a nursery, children’s centre or other childcare provider, or if you’re based in a local authority and you work with childcare providers, we can help you address the issues from this survey. We offer specialist training to help you introduce the Government-backed Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings in England and our courses will help you put these practical steps into action.
Montessori St Nicholas
Montessori St Nicholas, the UK’s Montessori charity, is delighted to announce the publication of its first parenting book. The book takes a fresh look at family life to help parents put the child at the heart of the home and unlock their amazing potential. Packed with ideas and advice, it is relevant to parents of young children from birth upwards.
The work of the special interest group set up by the DfE was published on the 22nd
March with the Wave Trust’s report into fulfilling lives through providing the highest possible quality of care for mother and child at the earliest opportunity. The new report, entitled ‘Conception to Age 2 – the age of opportunity’ highlights the importance of support services for parents and child between the point of conception and age 2, during which time new research suggests there is a most effective interaction between mother and child.