A Busy Month for the Sector 

Welcome to the second newsletter of the year. Its wide range of contents shows just how busy the last few weeks have been. We hope the following information will be useful. In addition, due to the feedback from the successful Learn, Explore, Debate events held in January we are looking at adding an additional function to the website to highlight health resources and useful links.
Remember, the first ‘More Great Childcare’ consultation – “Early education and childcare staff deployment” – closes on 25th March, so don’t forget to get your responses in.
With best wishes
The Strategic Partnership
Events ·      Friday 1st March, ELDP lead practitioner training, Lancashire
·      Saturday 2nd March, Child Development and Observation, Assessment and Planning, London
·      Tuesday 5th March, NDNA, Member Event, Lincoln
·      Tuesday 5th March, Quality in the Foundation Years, London
·      Thursday 7th March, ELDP lead practitioner training, Cheshire East
·      Thursday 7th March, NDNA, Member Event, Coventry
·      Friday 8th March, Quality in the Foundation Years, Birmingham
·      Monday 11th March, Quality in the Foundation Years, Leeds
·      Tuesday 12th March, NDNA, Member Event, Bolton
·      Thursday 14th March, Children’s Centres – Reach out!, London
·       Thursday 14th March, NCB, An integrated approach to early education and health, York
·      Thursday 14th March, NDNA, Member Event, York 
·       Friday 15th March, ELDP lead practitioner training, Cheshire East
·      Wednesday 20th March, Express Your Health!, Birmingham
·      Thursday 21st March, Express Your Health!, Leeds
·      Thursday 21st March, Children’s Centres – Reach out!, Leeds
·       Saturday 23rd March, Children’s Centres – Reach out!, Birmingham
·      Monday 25th March, Workshop: Developing effective methods and tools for measuring Children’s Centre outcomes, London
·      Monday 25th March, ELDP lead practitioner training, London
·      Tuesday 26th March, Safeguarding our Futures in Times of Austerity, Cambridge
·      Tuesday 26th March, ELDP lead practitioner training, London
·      Tuesday 23rd April, NDNA member event, Sunderland
News from the Department Early Years Educator ‘Full and Relevant’ Criteria Consultation
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 (Graduate) and Early Years Educators (Level 3) will support early years providers to ensure those who work with babies and young children become increasingly skilled and professional. 
The Teaching Agency has been asked to consult on new, tougher ‘full and relevant’ criteria to underpin new Early Years Educator qualifications from September 2014.
The Teaching Agency would like to hear your views on the draft criteria.  You can do this by taking part in the consultation, which is open until 22 April 2013 at
Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents
Childcare should be safe, of high quality and affordable, so it best promotes children’s development as the foundation for their future success at school and in later life, and supports families by enabling parents to work as they choose, and with confidence. Despite the significant improvements in the quality and professionalism of childcare in the last few years, the Government recognises there are persistent concerns over the suitability, cost and availability of provision, with too few parents having the choice of a good provider, particularly in the most deprived areas, and UK families facing some of the highest fees in OECD countries.
The new 2011 edition of Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents was published by the Department for Education on January 31st. It was carried out for the Department for Education by Ipsos MORI, and offers a detailed statistical  portrait of the sector. It includes a wealth of information on: parents' childcare arrangements, their views of particular providers and provision in general. Nearly four-fifths (78%) of all families in England with children aged under 15 used some form of childcare in 2011 and the survey report describes in detail: what childcare is used by different types of families; parents' reasons for using, or not using, childcare, and for choosing particular providers; and the influence of childcare arrangements on mothers' decisions about whether to go out to work.
New Good Level of Development measure
Following trials of the new EYFSP assessment over the summer, the Government has now set out how the new Good Level of Development measure will be defined.  From 2013, children will be defined as having reached a good level of development at the end of the EYFS if they achieve at least the expected level in:
·      the early learning goals in the prime areas of learning (personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language) and;
·      the early learning goals in the specific areas of mathematics and literacy.
As Dame Clare Tickell’s review of the EYFS made clear, the prime areas of learning are essential for children’s healthy development.  The Government also believes that a good foundation in mathematics and literacy is crucial for later success, particularly in terms of children’s readiness for school. We want to encourage schools to strengthen children’s knowledge and understanding in all these important areas.
However, all areas of learning within the EYFS are important and the GLD measure will be supported by a measure of the average of the cohort’s total point score across all the early learning goals in order to also help to promote the attainment of all children across all the early learning goals.
CANparent Update
The CANparent Team has just delivered a sustained period of marketing to raise awareness of the offer of classes with parents. This saw bus adverts, Facebook adverts, refreshed posters, and five road shows in each of the Trial areas. The road shows provided a great opportunity to tell parents about CANparent and answer their questions about parenting classes. Initial feedback suggests that this face-to-face engagement has been a success. This highlights yet again the important role that all those working with families in the Foundation Years can have in making sure that mothers and fathers are aware of the benefits of the CANparent offer of classes.
Developments in Bristol continue with a number of providers now offering classes. The classes are not directly subsidised by £100 vouchers in Bristol but providers are using a range of different funding approaches which may include some charges to parents. A launch is planned for March which will showcase what providers are offering. You can keep up to date at
The first interim report from the trial evaluation is nearly ready for publication and we’ll be sharing the findings at an event in mid-March. If you would like to receive a summary of the interim report, email
The CANparent Trial is one year old in April and the team are already looking back at the lessons from the first year’s activity. The findings from this review will help inform plans for the CANparent Trial in 2013/14.
You can keep in touch with CANparent via Twitter at #CANparent and at the DfE Facebook page, or you can join our stakeholder list for updates by emailing
Payment by Results
The Department’s current Payment by Results in Sure Start Children’s Centres trials will end, as originally planned, on 31st March this year. A good deal of valuable learning is emerging from the trials and DfE will ensure that this is captured and disseminated widely. An evaluation of the trials will be published this summer.

News from the Sector

Following the publication of the government report More Great Childcare, NCB are compiling feedback into a report, which will inform NCB’s response to this and the Children and Families Bill. The survey will close on March 1.
Read more
The Early Childhood Unit (ECU) at NCB are holding the eighth in a series of free regional events as part of the Peer to Peer Support Programme, titled An integrated approach to early education and health on Thursday 14 March 2013. The keynote speaker is Helen Moylett, President of the British Association of Early Childhood Education.
Read more
Under the Peer to Peer Programme delivered by ECU in partnership with the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People (C4EO) examples of practice are assessed by a panel of sector experts who consider them against robust criteria, including the ability for other local areas to implement and use this 'best' practice. C4EO shares this evidence to inspire best practice across regions and local areas, and incorporates examples into reviews of 'what works' for each theme, the latest of which is the Enfield case study Quality Matters in Practice (QMIP).
Read more
The new Early Years Developmental Journal is now available on the NCB website. The journal is designed for families, practitioners and others, to use as a way of recording, celebrating and supporting the progress of children with a disability or special educational needs. It is also for people who would like to find out more about children’s development in the early years. It links closely with Development Matters in the Early Foundation Stage guidance and replaces the Early Support Developmental Journal. 
Read more
The existing Early Support resources have been revised, updated and adapted for use with older children and disabled young people. They are available to download for free.
Read more
Best Beginnings 
Child health charity Best Beginnings is delighted to announce the imminent launch of two new free mobile phone apps for mums: Bump Buddy covers pregnancy and Baby Buddy covers the first six months after birth. The interactive apps deliver personalised pregnancy and parenting information and prompts for reflection and action, in the voice of a chatty, knowledgeable friend. In addition to this daily 'push' of information there are plenty of other fun functions designed to enhance contact-points with professionals.
Read more
Children England
On Weds 20 March in Birmingham and Thurs 21 March in Leeds, Children England will be holding free Express Your Health! workshops. These are an opportunity to review the changes around Health Reform and its implications for the voluntary and community sector and the commissioning of services for children, young people and families. The Safe Network and Children Matters East are holding Safeguarding our Futures in Times of Austerity, an event on Tues 26 March in Cambridge, to explore the challenges and opportunities in both a commissioning and safeguarding environment and learn from outstanding good practice.
Read more
Early Education
Early Education has recently published I am two! Working effectively with two year olds and their families, a new publication that explores how best to support practitioners to work with the parents of two year olds, early childhood development and the impact of developmental delay, and the the role of early intervention.
Read more
British Heart Foundation
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has just published Early movers, a new early years physical activity guide. This pack is designed to help early years practitioners plan and organise physically active play environments for children under five. Written and collated by the BHF National Centre, this guide is relevant to all settings who provide care to children from birth up to the age of five.
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To build on the momentum of the 2012 Olympic Games, the British Heart Foundation is offering access to a series of free physical activity related training events and resources. Practical training will be based around one of three themes, one of which is Early Movers – helping under 5’s live active and healthy lives.
Read more
On 12 February, KIDS launched a new suite of resources to support families and carers of disabled children who will be using the new personal budgets. As part of the ‘Making it Personal’ project, sponsored by the Department for Education, KIDS has worked with a number of partners to develop a new suite of resources to explore how personal budgets can be used to their best advantage. The eLearning package for parents and carers is under development and will be released during March 2013, supported by regional events.
Read more

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