Welcome to the January edition of the Foundation Years Newsletter

All of us in the Foundation Years Team at Action for Children wish you all the best for 2017. No doubt this new year will bring challenges, surprises and rewards as we work together to ensure that early years children  learn and develop through quality experiences, interactions and environments.

As always this newsletter bring you the latest news form the sector and government as the focus heightens on preparing for the 30 hours delivery from 1st September of this year.

Best Wishes
The Foundation Years Team
Updates from the Government
Updates from the Sector
Latest Resources

Updates from the Government

£50 million boost to childcare schemes
The Education Secretary Justine Greening has announced a £50 million grant scheme to provide thousands of new childcare places.
The government has confirmed a list of successful projects benefitting from grants worth £50 million, which will help to deliver the government’s landmark 30 hours free childcare offer.

These confirmed projects will create almost 9,000 free places for eligible 3- and 4-year-olds, saving parents around £5,000 per year when it is rolled out from next September.

Almost 200 nurseries and pre-schools will receive a share of this funding to invest in new buildings, convert old ones and upgrade facilities.

More than £2 million of this funding will be invested in the Education Secretary’s first 6 opportunity areas of:
  • Blackpool
  • Derby
  • Norwich
  • Oldham
  • Scarborough
  • West Somerset
These areas have been identified as social mobility ‘coldspots’ and are benefiting from additional funding to help all children to reach their full potential.
Early years national funding formula: allocations and guidance
The DfE has published documents for local authorities outlining how much funding local authorities will get for the financial year 2017 to 2018, and guidance to help them implement the funding changes. The documents provide:
  • a breakdown of early years national funding formula (EYNFF) funding allocations for the financial year 2017 to 2018 (together with formula-only allocations)
  • a step-by-step guide on the data used to calculate the allocations
  • operational guidance to help local authorities implement the changes introduced as part of the EYNFF
Early Years Initial Teacher Training
National College for Teaching and Leadership (part of the Department for Education) would welcome your feedback on our early years initial teacher training marketing campaign.
If you could please take the time to fill in this short survey, we would be very grateful as your feedback will help to inform our future marketing.

If you are an employer, please complete this survey . Anyone else please complete this survey
Funding available to train as an early years teacher
Funding for both early years employers and trainees is available, to find out more please visit
Become an early years teacher
If you want to apply for an early years ITT place starting in September 2017, please contact one of our training providers.

Watch this video to see what it means to become an early years teacher.

Updates from the Sector

Action for Children
We are pleased to announce that a new Childminder Agency has been registered by Ofsted. Suffolk Childcare Agency has become the 9th childminder agency in the country and will cover Suffolk and the surrounding areas. If you would like more information about Suffolk Childcare Agency or about Childminder Agencies in general please contact or take a look at the dedicated Childminder Agency page on the Foundation Years website
Bercow: Ten Years On – reviewing support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs: your views are needed
Bercow: Ten Years On is a review of support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) in England being conducted by I CAN and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT). The review has launched the first phase of evidence gathering, seeking evidence on the reality of SLCN support and information for children, young people and their families, and the impact of this on outcomes.

This phase of evidence gathering will run between 16th January and 16th March 2017, aimed mainly at people who work with children with SLCN, or who have responsibility for providing services. However anyone is welcome to contribute.

You can contribute in two ways: complete a short 10 minute online survey about the support children with SLCN are getting and the scale of the issue, and submit written information sharing your experiences of the reality of SLCN support and information for children, young people and their families through the more detailed inquiry.

Watch out for phase two when they will be seeking the views of parents, carers and young people. For more information e mail or visit the Bercow: Ten Years On website.
Childcare Works Update
Further LED events have been announced by Action for Children for March 2017. These will be in Leeds, Birmingham, London, Taunton, Newcastle and Manchester. They will focus on the latest updates, partnership models, parents' views, quality practice implications and things to do before September 2017. 

The website is now up and running. This will be a great source of information and events for providers. Already here are briefings about eligibility, lunches and charges, and schools forum. There is the Childcare Works getting ready guide and the slides from last autumn's LEDs too. 
Communication Trust
Would you like some guidance on commissioning speech and language services for your school? The Communication Trust have developed a ‘One Stop Guide’ to take you through key steps to consider when you are planning to commission speech and language support . These include top tips on decision making around the service that you commission, practical steps to integrate your service into your school and how to assess if it’s actually working. We’ve collected some case studies from schools sharing experiences of commissioning too.

To access the ‘one stop guide’, an accompanying short video and some school case studies, click here.
Early Education
Outdoors and active resources
A joint project between London Borough of Newham, Early Education and Learning Through Landscapes has resulted in the publication of a free online resource.  Key findings and resources from the Outdoors and Active project can be found here and a book version of the resources is also available to pre-order here.
Early years pedagogy: blogs and resources
Have you seen our new blog series on aspects of early years pedagogy?  Read recent blogs here and follow @earlyed_cathy for more.  The blogs are available to all, with additional resources available to members only in the members’ area of our website.
Family Action
Learning Exchange
Take a look at the Learning Exchange website, where you can find information about Family Action’s recent grant award by the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver a pilot East Midlands Adoption Support Service (EMASS).

EMASS provides a wide range of attachment training, resources and support for schools, as well as supporting adoptive families. Keep an eye on our website for details of forthcoming EMASS events.

On the Learning Exchange, which is managed by Family Action and funded by the DfE, you can also find free resources produced as part of our previous DfE-funded projects. These will help you to:
  • develop more inclusive childcare practices for 0-5s with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • set up wraparound provision on a school site (e.g. after-school, breakfast and holiday clubs)
 Training for early years and school staff
Family Action is also offering a range of open workshops across the country (e.g. aimed at early years, school and adoption/fostering professionals). These include:  
Find out more about our training  
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

30 Hours Childcare

Business Sustainability

Childminder Agencies 

Maths in the Early Years



Childcare Works
30 Hours Special LED Events
Childcare Works has created a special programme of LED events for providers focusing on 30-hours. The events will be delivered in partnership with the Foundation Years Team at Action for Children.
The audience for these events is all types of early years and childcare providers including chains, children’s centres, schools, childminders and local authority officers working with providers, business support officers, and partner roles in other organisations.

  • Introduction and setting the scene
  • Childcare Works update
  • Partnership models
  • Parents’ point of view/experiences
  • Practice implications for children
  • Actions before 1 September
  • Evaluation and close
To book your place please follow the links:
8th March London (Morning)
8th March London (Afternoon)
21st March Birmingham (Morning)
21st March Birmingham (Afternoon)
22nd March Leeds (Morning)
22nd March Leeds (Afternoon)
23rd March Taunton
23rd March Manchester
27th March Newcastle
The Foundation for Infant Loss Training
National Conference in Child Safety
5 May – London

National conference for early years professionals with an interest in keeping children safe. The conference will cover the following topics:
  • Preventing accidents
  • Child burns prevention
  • Importance of paediatric first aid training in early years settings
  • Safe sleep education
  • Abuse
  • and many more
To book your place email
Early Education Events
Leading excellence in the early years: a conference for primary headteachers and leaders
3 March - Tyne and Wear
Speakers: Anne O'Connor, Helen Moylett, Ruth Moore
Early Education Annual National Conference 2017 - Now there's a thought: exploring the potential and power of children's thinking
5-6 May - Sunderland
Speakers: Alison Gopnik, Iram Siraj, Kathy Ring, Elizabeth Carruthers
All our 2017 courses and events can be found online at
National Literacy Trust
Talk To Your Baby 2017: Early Language in a Connected World | 13 March 2017 | London Met University | £245

With expert speakers now confirmed including LuCiD Director Elena Lieven and Oxford Professor Kathy Sylva, the Talk To Your Baby conference will draw on new evidence into child to parent interaction, practice in settings and community-wide approaches to increasing language and literacy outcomes. Book now to develop your understanding of the latest research, practice and policy in early language acquisition. Hear from acclaimed speakers and collaborate with peers from a wide range of disciplines across the sector.
Sightlines Initiative
Networks Showcase Day
4 March 2017 - London

Sightlines Initiative Network members present experiences of early years centres and educators being inspired, finding new enthusiasms and abilities in supporting children’s deep learning; illustrations of children's sociable, imaginative and deep learning.

The London & West Midlands Network groups, and others in the Sightlines Initiative Community Network will present and discuss recent and current experiences in their developing of creative pedagogy.

An introduction to the network, for educators interested in change and listening to children.
Reggio Study Week 2017
2-7 April - Loris Malaguzzi International Centre, Reggio Emilia, Italy

A one-week study visit to learn about and be inspired by the world-renowned educational approach of the preschools and infant-toddler centres of Reggio Emilia. This course will explore the key principles underpinning the Reggio approach to early childhood education. It will involve lectures, presentations, discussion groups, exhibitions, visits to preschools and infant-toddler centres.
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