News from the Department for Education
Message from the Director of Early Years and Childcare, Department of Education
Since the publication of More Affordable Childcare
in July our focus at the Department for Education has been on making a reality of the policies it set out.
Overall, the Government’s aim is to create real choices for parents. We want to see an early years and childcare market where families understand and take advantage of their core entitlement to early education, and parents who work find it easy to get high quality and affordable childcare.
Demand for childcare is set to grow. The extension of the early education entitlement along with demographic change, welfare reform, and economic growth all present a great opportunity for providers of all types, whether that’s nurseries, childminders, schools – either as providers themselves, or working with others – or through common sense arrangements with friends.
We know that real choice means high quality provision. That is why at the same time as removing the barriers to growth in the market, we are refocusing the regulatory and funding regime to reward quality outcomes. We want to continue the upward trajectory in early years quality and ensure that every penny of investment has the greatest impact for children.
Our vision is a system that enables parents to find the childcare they need, and where children get an early education that equips them for life. Delivering that vision depends on the energy, creativity and passion that resides within you – let’s work together to unleash it.
Early Years and Childcare
Department for Education
The Department for Education has now published further information about childminder agencies and the trials it is running at: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/improving-the-quality-and-range-of-education-and-childcare-from-birth-to-5-years
20 trials are now established, representing a mix of schools and children’s centres, to private businesses including nanny agencies and nurseries, and local childminder networks. In addition and linked with its role in supporting the trials, additional supporting information has been placed on the Strategic Partner website at: http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/child-minders
The Department is running a consultation on Primary Assessment and Accountability and on whether we should retain a baseline at the end of Key Stage 1 or introduce a simple check at the start of reception as a baseline to measure progress.
Please click on the link below to take part in the on line consultation which closes on 11 October: https://www.education.gov.uk/consultations/index.cfm?action=consultationDetails&consultationId=1920&external=no&menu=1
The consultations on tax-free childcare and new planning regulations for nurseries are due to close on 14 October and 15 October.
News from Ofsted
The updated versions of Conducting early years inspections
and the Evaluation schedule for inspections of registered early years provision
is now available on the Ofsted website.
These versions highlight the introduction of the ”requires improvement” judgement which makes it clear nothing less than good is good enough. The schedule gives clear grade descriptors which not only guide inspectors in the making of their judgements and most importantly are helpful in supporting individual setting’s self-evaluation processes.
As previously attention is given to what an inspector “sees on the day of inspection” but also the knowledge of the provision being inspected.
The documents emphasis the crucial role of teaching and it is helpful that Ofsted’s definition of teaching is included. References to 'Development Matters' have been removed and in places references are now made to the Early Years Outcomes aide.
News from the Sector
The Communication Trust
Help develop children’s talk with Small Talk
Learning to talk is one of the most important skills a child will ever learn. They need to be able to communicate with the people around them so they can learn, make friends, sort out problems and have fun.
But learning to talk doesn’t happen by accident, it needs support from their parents to make this happen. The booklet Small Talk
can help encourage the development of a child’s speaking and listening skills and it will also explain roughly what a child should be doing at a certain age.
Wraparound childcare in schools
With funding from the Department for Education, Family Action is supporting selected schools to develop flexible and affordable wraparound childcare provision for 8 to 14 year olds (8am to 6pm, 50 weeks a year).
As part of its Wraparound Childcare in Schools programme, dedicated staff at the charity are providing free, bespoke support to a number of primary, secondary, special, academy and free schools in two areas of the country:
* North West:
around Wigan and Bolton
around Westminster and Southwark.
The Wraparound Childcare in Schools team is also continuing to support all schools across England
to develop their childcare provision through its dedicated website, the Learning Exchange.
OXPIP is open for applications to people wishing to train as either a parent-infant therapist or as a parent-infant practitioner. The courses are fully funded and start in January 2013. Three levels of training will be offered.
PIP UK is a national charity whose aim is to co-fund, develop and support new and existing parent infant partnerships across the country. PIPs use psychotherapeutic interventions to help parents or carers form a more secure bond with their babies. PIP UK have just allocated match funding to the first PIP sites. Liverpool and Brighton will work with PIP UK to develop parent infant psychotherapy services within their local area.
September sees the launch of the parliamentary campaign, the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto – a cross-party manifesto for the conception to age two period. It seeks to place the first two years of life, a vital period for brain development, at the heart of policy making. The manifesto will be launched at each party conference this autumn.
National Literacy Trust
Talk To Your Baby Conference 2013
Giving babies the best start: What we know works and what’s new
Monday 25 November 2013, Central London
This annual conference is renowned for its in-depth and engaging reviews of policy, research and practice. Delegates from across the early years, healthcare, education, cultural and third sectors come back year after year to learn, share best practice and be inspired.
A great line-up of expert speakers will give early years professionals the guidance and support they need to deliver outstanding provision.
Achieving Two Year Olds
Achieving Two Year Olds (A2YO) is the national DfE support programme for providers and local authorities, delivered by Hempsall’s and Mott MacDonald. A2YO’s aim is to support the implementation of free early learning for the least advantaged two year olds. They have recently launched a FREE nation-wide roadshow for group providers, children’s centres, schools and childminders. Over 60 roadshows will occur over the next few months across daytimes, evenings and weekends, and you are invited to come along to the next dates in the diary:
Newcastle – Gateshead Hilton Hotel – 25 November 2013
Birmingham – Thistle Hotel – 26 November 2013
Nottingham – Mercure Hotel – 3 December 2013
Wimborne – Hamworthy Club – 5 December 2013
Leeds – Novotel Hotel – 6 December 2013
London – QEII Conference Centre, Westminster – 11 December 2013