ISSUE NO. 25 - July 2015
Welcome to the July edition of the Foundations newsletter.

This has been yet another busy month for the early years sector, especially with the release of Ofsted’s early years annual report. The report highlights the improvements made by the sector with more settings now being judged as good or outstanding than ever before. Children’s development continues to rise as well, although the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers has remained the same.

Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah has announced that the DfE will be launching a consultation on the future of Children’s Centres later this year.   

As always do keep in touch at, and follow our twitter account  and facebook page for all the latest early years news.

If you are looking forward to an August break we hope you enjoy a well deserved rest and that you return refreshed and recharged for the year ahead.

Best wishes,
The Children’s Partnership
Updates from the Government
Updates from the Sector
Latest Resources

Updates from the Government

Choking hazards of raw jelly
We have been asked, through an official request from a London Coroner to raise awareness in early years settings about the potential choking hazard of raw jelly – which means packet jelly cubes that have not been dissolved in water - being used in play sessions.  This followed the inquest of a 22 month old child who choked to death on a cube of jelly that was being used in a play session. We would advise against using raw jelly cubes in play sessions and would like to highlight the importance of thorough risk assessments of potential choking hazards for young children in early years settings.
Children’s Centres Consultation
The Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah has said that the Government will launch a consultation on the future of Children’s Centres this autumn. The aim of the consultation is to determine if the Government is maximising the impact of Children’s Centres and whether they are helping families most in need. The government will also work with Ofsted to reform the way Children’s Centres are inspected, reflecting changes to how the provision is delivered across the country.
SEED baseline survey report
The DfE has published a Baseline survey of families taking part in the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED) project. The study is being carried out by NatCen Social Research in partnership with the University of Oxford, 4Children and Frontier Economics.

The baseline survey report provides descriptive findings from the first wave of the longitudinal survey of parents. Over 5,600 families (six cohorts of children) took part in the baseline survey over the period from October 2013 to November 2014. Most children in the study were two years old at the time of the baseline interview.

The report by NatCen Social Research shows that free Government-funded childcare provision for two-year-olds has closed the gap in take up of early years education between the most disadvantaged two-year-olds and children from wealthier backgrounds.

The study also highlights differences in language skills and behavioural development according to disadvantage:
  • The most disadvantaged children had less developed language skills and were reported to show lower levels of social and behavioural development than children who were not disadvantaged.
  • Parents from the most disadvantaged families were less likely to engage in home learning activities with their child.
Ofsted – Early Years Annual Report
Osted has published its annual report for the early years. Accompanying the report is a detailed survey exploring teaching and play in the early years which includes links to videos of good practice and detailed exemplification.

The annual report highlights that 85 per cent of early years settings are now judged good or outstanding, with:
  • 84 per cent of childminders good or outstanding
  • 87 per cent of private, voluntary and independent nurseries good or outstanding
  • Overall, 72 per cent of all early years settings judged good while 13 per cent were outstanding
In addition, the quality of early years provision in 86 per cent of primary schools inspected during the last two terms was good or outstanding.

The report also pointed out that although poorer children’s development is continuing to rise in line with their classmates, the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers has not narrowed.
Childcare Provider’s Statistics
Ofsted has published statistics on Childcare inspections and outcomes covering childcare in England. The report show that:
  • There has been an overall decrease in the number of childcare providers on the Ofsted register since last year (down by 3,134 to 89,117)
  • There has been an improvement in inspection outcomes over the last year, with 85% of active providers on the register rated good or outstanding at their last inspection, compared to 78% last year – an acceleration of an ongoing trend.

Updates from the Sector

The Communication Trust
Beyond Measure
Beyond Measure is a new piece of guidance and will help those carrying out the assessment in schools to use it as an opportunity for identifying children who may have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), helping to ensure that appropriate support is put into place for these children as quickly as possible. The guidance provides advice on how to look out for difficulties with speech, language and communication across the different EYFS areas of learning during the assessment process, and next steps if you have concerns about a child.  

Early Years Pupil Premium
The Communication Trust is seeking examples of how early years settings are using the Early Years Pupil Premium to support children’s speech, language and communication, in order to provide guidance to the early years workforce around good practice in this area. If you’d be happy to speak with the Trust about this, they are keen to hear from you – please contact us here

This is part of the Trust’s ongoing work to support the early years workforce; the Trust provides a number of resources and tools specifically for the early years and you can find all of these here.
Early Education
Making best use of Early Years Pupil Premium 
The first newsletter from the DfE funded Learning Together About Learning project is now available to download for free with helpful ideas about making best use of Early Years Pupil Premium.  To download the newsletter and sign up for future issues click here.

Every child a mover
A practical guide to providing young children with the physical opportunities they need by Jan White is a new book to help practitioners develop their understanding of the prime area of physical development.  It will be available in August and can be ordered from here.  

Training and Events
New for 2016, we are offering a series of linked courses and sessions allowing you several opportunities to increase your knowledge in specific subject areas. Sessions can be booked individually, but we recommend attending the complete series for maximum benefit. 

This also allows you to qualify for the multi-buy discount with the code EEDISCOUNT3. You can commission these as training for your setting or within your local authority too. We currently offer:
  • Developing early writing: a series of three linked sessions with Jasmine Pasch, Anni McTavish and Julie Cigman
  • Leadership: a series of three linked sessions with Jane Cook
You can see course outlines for these linked sessions on our website. For our full list of courses, including outlines and booking information, please visit here.
Talking Matters
Elklan CIC is being funded through a DfE VCS grant (2015-16) to implement and embed changes in practice which will support children’s speech and language development, and to evaluate this work.

A training cascade, building on learning from Every Child a Talker and the Early Language Development Programme, will reach early years practitioners in 6 areas, across England, working with 4,500 children; specially trained local staff will then support settings to embed changes in practice and undertake an audit with the aim of achieving Communication Friendly Setting status.
Family Action
Family Action is supporting a variety of school-based childcare settings to develop more inclusive provision for 0-5s with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Find out more about our project.
  • Training events: Family Action will be running three FREE training events in the autumn, aimed at school-based childcare providers working with children aged 0-5.
  • Case studies: Take a look at our most recent case studies page, where you’ll find hints and tips from other childcare providers on developing a more inclusive childcare environment.
  • Learning Exchange Bulletins: Sign up to our free Learning Exchange Bulletin or browse previous issues.
  • Facebook page: Take a look at our Facebook page, where you will find recent links to useful products, services, organisations …. and much more!
National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)
Ahead of expansion of free childcare, the Department for Education is reviewing levels of funding that nurseries receive for delivering this provision. The National Living Wage will have a huge impact on nurseries’ pay rolls and NDNA will emphasise this issue with the Government as part of its response to its call for evidence. 

But first we want to better understand how NLW will affect nurseries. Could you spare a few minutes to complete this short survey to help NDNA represent you on this important subject? All information will be kept strictly confidential and you can respond anonymously if you prefer.
National Portage Association (NPA)
The NPA Stamp of Approval Scheme
The award is available to early years settings (including childminders and foster carers) whose staff have completed Portage training 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.
Barnardo’s has published a report outlining how Children’s Centres can further support parents and children, by providing the mandatory birth registration service directly within local communities, with a particular focus on reaching the most disadvantaged families. During the course of this research, parents, Children’s Centre staff and registrars had the opportunity to set out the advantages, disadvantages and practical ways forward needed to establish this practice more widely.
Book Trust
Bookstart Corner is one of Book Trust’s targeted reading programmes aimed at families with children aged 12-24 months, who need extra support to develop a love of stories and rhymes. This evidence-based free programme allows Children’s Centres to offer intensive support for parents and carers. You will receive free online training and high quality resources including books, rhymes and puppets to help you build on the work you already carry out with families. 

To receive more information or to register your Children's Centre please email
Montessori Centre International has offered professional development courses, workshops and seminars over the past twenty years. Some of the courses are designed to support existing students, whilst others are aimed at Montessori educators wishing to keep in touch with current Montessori training and practice.
We also run courses for qualified early years practitioners wishing to find out about Montessori practice and its relevance to children today.
  • We offer in-house seminars for Montessori settings that are members of the Montessori Schools Association
  • Training for Montessori practitioners who want to work with parents
  • Training for childminders who want to include Montessori principles into their daily work with children
We invite you to see what MCI offers. We consider this aspect of our training as an essential part of the continued preparation of Montessori teachers.

Why not sample a short course, workshop or seminar? All professional development courses are listed in the MCI Training Directory published every August.

Latest Resources

SEED Baseline Survey Report

Teaching and Playing in the Early Years

Ofsted Early Years Annual Report


Information Sharing seminars - Preparing for the Integrated Review
15 September Manchester, 17 September London
'The Integrated Review at Age Two', due to come in by September 2015, is designed to bring together the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Progress Check at age two with the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) 2 – 2 ½ year health and development review, into an integrated process.

We all know that a child’s early years are essential in laying the foundations for health and well-being throughout their lives, which highlights why the HCP and the EYFS progress checks are so important.

With September fast approaching, these important seminars ask the question ‘How can we prepare for the Integrated Review?’

These seminars will demonstrate the new information sharing tools available and also explore;
  • Updates regarding the Integrated Review and Information Sharing
  • Why integration is so crucial
  • The Integrated Review – experiences and evidence so far
Don’t miss the unique opportunity to hear first-hand the work other local authorities are doing and the systems they are developing to share information, to engage not just the work force, but also parents – inviting, identifying and involving them all in a holistic process.
Supporting SEND in the Early Years
Birmingham - 13 October, Leeds - 15 October & London - 21 October
 Following the successful release of the 4Children and the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) toolkit for SEN and disability in the early years, we are delighted to announce a series of seminars this October. These events will introduce you to this unique resource and give you the opportunity to hear from those who have used the tool in practice.

Together, we will learn how it can be used to support children and settings who are affected by the new SEND reforms.  

What is the SEN and Disability in the Early Years Toolkit?

Each section of the toolkit provides a briefing on a particular aspect of the SEN and disability reforms as they apply to early years providers. Each section is based on the statutory requirements and the guidance from the early years, the SEN and the disability frameworks, and draws on a range of relevant practice guidance and other materials to provide an accessible guide to SEN and disability in the early years. Towards the end of most of the sections of the toolkit is a useful tool, an activity or a reflective task to support practitioners in applying the particular topic to their own setting.

These seminars will provide settings with support to roll out the new SEND changes and offer opportunities to share good practice from those delivering services to children and families.

Please note the programme is currently being finalised for these timely seminars – speakers and full programme coming soon.

Book your place today

National Portage Association
Annual Conference
Dates: Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd October, 2015 Venue: Hilton Hotel, Northampton

Our conference theme for 2015 is ‘Moving Forward with Portage’. 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:
Hayley Goleniowska – parent blogger and campaigner, founder of Downs Side Up
Wendy Joy (MCSP) and Jane Reynolds (MCSP) (Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapists) will look at skill acquisition and how to move children forward physically.
For more information go here  

Conference Costs:
£98 + VAT for day delegates (includes refreshments and lunch)

Accommodation at special rates for those wishing to attend 2 days (limited places).
Different rates offered for parents/families, attending either as day delegates or residential. Please follow link above and see application form for details. Children attend free.
Play & Creativity for 0-2s
7 August, 2015

21 August, 2015 
Effective Early Learning & Thinking  
24 September, 2015
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