ISSUE NO. 33 - APRIL 2016
Welcome to the April edition of the Foundations newsletter

We hope you all had a relaxing Easter break and are feeling rejuvenated and upbeat about the summer months ahead, despite the snowfall this week!

The DfE is currently consulting on the delivery model of 30 hours free childcare entitlement, while a separate review is taking place aimed at childcare providers seeking to identify what burdens exist in the current system and what can be done to limit unnecessary regulations and requirements.

West Sussex County Council has produced a video about the 2-year old integrated review, with interviews with parents, early years practitioners and Health Visitors.

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

DfE publishes new SEND resources
The SEND reforms put children and families at the heart of the SEND system, and local areas are working hard to make this a reality. To support local areas to do this, the Department for Education has published the user journey mapping research report and website at
Local areas can use user journey mapping to get in-depth feedback from children and young people with SEND and their families, and use this to improve the services they provide. The report and website set out the findings of this research, as well as providing guidance for LAs on how to carry out similar research.
The website will continue to be updated over the next 12 months, and the research team are keen to hear about other examples of local provision that reflect co-production, multi-agency working and successful processes – you can get in touch with them here.
Childcare free entitlement: delivery model consultation
The Childcare Bill has now received Royal Assent (Childcare Act 2016) and the Department for Education has launched a consultation on proposals for how the commitment to double free childcare for working parents of 3- and 4-year olds will be delivered. This seeks views on a range of issues including: ensuring the operation of a ‘grace period’ for parents; how places might be delivered more flexibly; provision for children with special education needs and disabilities; the role and responsibilities of local authorities in securing places; and information about childcare for parents.

To support local authority’s planning as they prepare to deliver the additional childcare from September 2017, draft indicative regulations and draft statutory guidance are published alongside the consultation document.
The closing date for the consultation is 6 June
Cutting Red Tape Review in the early years sector
Alongside the consultation on the 30 hour free childcare entitlement, the Better Regulation Executive (BRE) will be publishing a call for evidence on the impact of existing regulation on early years providers.

This Cutting Red Tape Review is aimed primarily at childcare providers and aims to identify what burdens exist in the current system and what can be done to limit unnecessary regulations and requirements.

The scope covers the activity of national regulators and local authorities in relation to the regulation of early years providers, including activity not designed specifically for the early years sector but where there is evidence of significant impact on providers.
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
Become an early years teacher and you will play an essential role in children’s development between birth and the age of five, providing high-quality early education. By training to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage, you’ll learn how to use your knowledge and skills to ensure all children have access to high standards of learning.

Visit and register your interest today.

Public Health England
Oral dental health, physical activity, obesity and healthy eating
These areas continue to be a cause of concern for our under 5's. The latest statistics published yesterday highlight that in 2014/15, more than 1 in 5 children in Reception, and 1 in 3 children in Year 6 were measured as obese or overweight. Children in most deprived areas are twice as likely to be obese than children in least deprived areas.

PHE and 4Children are trialling a supervised toothbrushing programme for 2 and 3 year olds attending both nurseries and childminding provision. Evidence of the impact of this programme will be published in early autumn.

4Children are holding a national conference Healthy Children, Bright Futures - Addressing Key Health Issues for Under 5's on 16th June. Click here for more details.

Updates from the Sector

The Children’s Food Trust
Has your setting helped improve the local 'out of home food' offer for children and families?
The Children’s Food Trust, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), and London Metropolitan University have been commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) to develop a new toolkit that will support local authorities and partners improve the local out of home food environment for children and families. The toolkit will focus on independent businesses, supplying food and non-alcoholic drinks, which are frequented by children, young people and their families, including takeaways, restaurants, cafes, retail bakeries, mobile vendors, market stalls, corner shops and convenience stores, and leisure centres.

Invitation: If you are an early years setting or school which has been involved in any initiatives to improve the healthfulness of local independent food businesses the project team would like to hear about your involvement. Please contact Dr Patricia Mucavele, Head of Nutrition, Children’s Food Trust, by 12 May 2016. Email: 
Contact a Family
Big Lottery funding will help Contact a Family reduce parents’ confusion about SEND changes
Money awarded to Contact a Family by the Big Lottery Fund means the charity is able to help more families navigate the new system of support for children with special educational needs or disability (SEND) in early years settings, schools and colleges.

The introduction of the Children and Families Act in September 2014 changed the way children with SEND are supported in England. Since then, Contact a Family’s helpline has seen a huge increase in the number of calls from parents who are worried and confused about the SEND reforms and what they mean for their disabled child.

The Big Lottery funding means the charity can help make sure parents of children with SEND understand the changes so they feel less confused and more confident about supporting their child. At the same time it will help disabled children get the best education and achieve their goals.
  • The three year project aims to reach 130,000 families across England helping improve their understanding of the SEND changes and the new system and enabling them to make informed choices with and on behalf of their child.
  • A dedicated team of Contact a Family parent advisors will work in every region in England delivering SEND information sessions, workshops and events for parents.
  • Parent information guides will be available online and circulated to parents via local parent support groups.
  • A team of volunteer parent-carers are being recruited to help support local families and make sure as many families as possible in their communities are aware of the SEND information and advice Contact a Family offers.
Find out more  
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.

The Learning Exchange website
Find out what’s new on the Learning Exchange website:  
Developing inclusive childcare practices
We were delighted to welcome delegates from across the childcare sector (e.g. PVI, school-run) to our recent inclusion workshop, held in Northumberland on 24 March 2016. The interactive session focused on key challenges within early years provision and how these issues might be overcome (e.g. supporting parents of children with SEND, developing inclusion within rural settings, supporting families with EAL).
Children’s Centre Leader March 2016 Issue Published
The latest edition of Children’s Centre Leader has been published. This free quarterly journal is for everyone working in children’s centres and linked services. Children’s Centre Leader is provided online, by email and on the Medium platform – so take your pick on how you receive your copy. 

Click here to subscribe, read this issue, or find out more or visit This quarter you will find articles on: Supporting Family Choice; Reclaiming Quality; Employability for Parents in Lambeth; Rural partnerships with the Fire Service in Northumberland; Champions for two-year-olds in Kent; and Birth Registrations in children’s centres.  Do you have a story to share?  Get in touch and tell us more.   
National Portage Association (NPA)
Providing training and support to the early years workforce to develop Portage practice and support children with SEND and their families.
Having run a successful 2 year contract and project funded by the DfE to ‘sustain and develop the Portage workforce’, the NPA continue to build on this work.

The NPA offer 3 levels of Portage Training:
  • Portage Awareness Workshops
  • Portage Workshops – training delivered by NPA accredited trainers and parent trainers.
  • Training for Trainers Workshop
If you are interested in accessing the training and/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 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 
PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) 
PACEY shortlisted for four awards
PACEY is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted in four categories of the prestigious Memcom Awards 2016. MemCom (short for Membership Communications) is a resource for membership bodies, charities and not for profits. The awards are now in their 15th year.

PACEY has been shortlisted in the following categories:
  • Magazine - Professional Association or Royal College: one of five organisations nominated, PACEY has been shortlisted for its recently redesigned Childcare Professional magazine. The magazine is distributed to PACEY’s 30,000+ membership base
  • Main membership Website: for PACEY’s newly designed and improved website. Improved content, functionality, personalisation, meaningful reports and a significant uplift in users lead to PACEY being shortlisted with just two others in this category
  • Magazine – Charity: PACEY’s Childcare Professional magazine is one of three publications shortlisted
  • Best use of Social Media: PACEY is a finalist in this category for its swift and meaningful response on social media to negative comments about childminders. PACEY goes head to head with just one other organisation in this category
Every organisation shortlisted will received a commendation and winners will be announced at an awards dinner on 19th May in central London.
Implementing the 2 year old integrated review in West Sussex
Implementation of the review has been jointly led by managers in the NHS Trust and the County Council. They read the pilot authorities evaluations, National Children’s Bureau reports and visited Islington to speak to Council and NHS staff leading the programme; also observing how the integrated review was working in practice at Archway Children’s Centre and Nursery School

They shared their findings with their organisations and agreed to aspire to an integrated review where everyone was together in the same room. They felt that this would empower parents to support their children’s learning and development through their involvement in the process. This approach would also enable intervention at the earliest opportunity where needed, building trust between parents and professionals.

In the summer of 2015 a pilot was run in the Crawley area. Health Visitors were assigned to early years settings, and information about which settings 2 Year Old Free Entitlement funded children attended was shared. Once contact had been made settings shared information with Health Visitors about children who were eligible for an integrated review.

In September 2015 we ran half-day sessions on the integrated review in different parts of the County and invited Nursery practitioners and Health Visitors in each local area. We arranged seating plans so that nursery staff and Health Visitors could network with each other easily. The sessions covered the process everyone should follow, lessons learned from the pilot, and a session on ‘being two’ by Dr Kay Mathieson. Nurseries were asked to appoint a lead practitioner for the 2 year old integrated review who would be the main point of contact with the Health Visiting team, date Health Visitor contact lists were included in the delegate packs. 

Relationships between health staff and settings staff developed. Practical issues for the review including venues, timing, resources and administration were worked through at a local level. Some of these issues continue to be addressed through integrated working relationships. Between January and March 2016 10% of all 2year reviews were integrated.

An on-line survey of Health Visitors, Nurseries and Childminders was circulated in January 2016 to find out how well things were going, how well prepared staff felt, what was working well and not so well, and asked for any suggestions staff wanted to make.

As the process was embedding in Crawley settings Health Visitors and parents were involved in making a short film to answer questions that were coming up regularly about how to carry out an effective integrated review within an early years setting.

Going forward
Moderation of delivery has begun to look at consistency and quality, monitoring of referrals made for children and the numbers of children at aged expected levels will be introduced soon. Some social media campaigning will begin in September 2016 to inform parents and carers about the integrated review and encouraging them to access the opportunity for their child to have one!

Latest Resources

Implementing the Integrated Review film

SEND Resources


Healthy Children, Bright Futures - Addressing Key Health Issues for Under 5's
Date: 16 June 2016
Location: Grand Connaught Rooms, London
Never before has children’s health been deemed a ‘national emergency’. With this in mind, there needs to be a greater emphasis on joint working between health, education and early years. There is a real opportunity for everyone working with children to get involved in the health agenda to ensure a positive, healthy and bright future for our children.

Join us at this exciting one-day national conference to hear how you can help support your children to be healthy in:
  • Nutrition
  • Oral Health
  • Physical Activity
Early Bird Offer - Closes 6th May 2016 at 17.00

Full information and to book today -
Or call 0207 522 6904  
National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)
New NDNA online course: Making Maths Matter
Understand the basics and importance of maths in the early years with NDNA’s new online course: Making Maths Matter.

Key course topics include:
  • What “maths” means in the early years
  • The key components of maths: weighing, counting, measuring and shapes
  • Brain development in relation to maths
  • Develop your environment to support maths
  • Different teaching methods.
You can also access a range of free activity ideas and audit tools.
Last chance to benefit: NDNA Conference early bird offer
30 April is fast approaching, with just one day left to benefit from the NDNA Conference early bird offer! With two streams available: leader and practitioner, there's something for the whole team to enjoy.

Leader Stream - just £199 per person (£230 full price) 
  • Hanif Qadir -  combatting radicalisation and promoting British values
  • Childcare minister Sam Gyimah MP
  • Sean Harford Education Director of Ofsted
  • Endearing storyteller and novelist Gervase Phinn
  • Obesity expert Prof Paul Gately and many more!
 Practitioner Stream - just £99 per person (£125 full price) 
  • Taking risks and outdoor learning with Hywel Roberts
  • Improving Outcomes for SEND children
  • Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being
  • Speech, language and communication and more!
National Portage Association (NPA)
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.

For more information
For highlights from our 2015 Conference
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