News from the Department for Education
Regulation of childcare
The government has today published its response to the consultation on the regulation of childcare.
Last year, in tandem with publishing More Affordable Childcare, the Government launched a public consultation on ‘The Regulation of Childcare’ which ran from 16 July to 30 September. They received 386 responses and held meetings with key stakeholders. The responses received have helped to shape the Government response. A copy of the consultation document, the report and Government response can be found here
The Government response outlines plans to:
- Align the staffing and qualification requirements for out-of-hours care for children in the Reception class and 5-7year-olds with those governing the school day
- Remove the requirement for out-of-hours providers to meet the EYFS learning and development requirements for those children who are in the Reception class
- Raise the threshold for compulsory registration from two hours to three hours where the care is provided both in friendship and in domestic settings – for example, a parent can pay a friend to look after children for up to three hours a day in the friend’s own home without the friend needing to register with Ofsted
- Enable providers to register multiple premises in a single registration process. e.g. a nursery chain can notify Ofsted of its intention to open a number of new settings in a single registration process
- Enable childminders to operate on non-domestic premises for part of the working week. e.g. a childminder could provide care on school premises from 3-6pm
- Remove the requirement for local authorities to approve childminder training – this will open up the market and improve access to training for childminders, including from childminder agencies
- Align the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Early Years Register and the General Childcare Register
- Rename the GCR to become the Child Safety Register
Timing and next steps
The government will produce an updated version of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, to which the relevant legislative changes apply. The revised EYFS will be published in April 2014 for implementation in September 2014 and will be available on the Foundations website
Minister’s letter to childminders
Over the next few weeks, the Minister for Education and Childcare, Elizabeth Truss is writing to all childminders in England informing them about Government reforms designed to make it easier to work as a childminder and to attract new people into the profession. The reforms include making it easier for childminders to access early education funding for 2, 3 and 4 year olds; the introduction of childminder agencies; and how childminders can work with schools in providing before and after school care. The letter is being sent by post to all childminders over the next few weeks and can also be viewed here
Removal of the requirement for childminders to register as a ‘food business’
Childminders no longer need to register as a food business. Since 1 January 2014, when registering their business, childminders will only have to provide Ofsted with details of how they plan to provide food as part of their service. These details, held by the inspectorate, will be available to view by local authorities. Previously, childminders that supplied food on a regular basis had to register as a ‘food business’ with their local authority, on top of registering with Ofsted. The move by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), forms part of the Government’s commitment to reduce the burden on businesses.
The change in requirements follows a consultation on the registration of childminders as ‘food businesses’ in England by the FSA in 2012.
You can get more information on the Food Standards Agency website
Childcare business grant scheme
Cash grants worth up to £500 are still being offered to people across England who want to start their own childcare business. New businesses are also being encouraged to team up with a free mentor so they can access specially-tailored business start-up advice.
Becky Padley received a cash grant in October 2013 and is now running her own child minding business, TippeToes childcare, in Sheffield. She said:
“Without the help of the grant, setting up my business wouldn't have been possible. I used the cash to join the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, join the national childcare register, pay for my Disclosure and Barring Service checks and also do some advertising. Without this money I wouldn't have been able to afford to do any of that.”
Department for Education publish Early Years and Childcare Survey results
The Department for Education has published the results of the Early Years and Childcare Survey of Parents 2012-13.
Findings from the survey include:
- 78% of all families in England with children aged 0 to 14 had used some form of childcare during their most recent term-time week – this equated to 4,194,000 families or 6,090,000 children
- the majority of families (63%) had used formal childcare and early years provision, whereas 39% had used informal childcare (provided by friends and family)
- the majority of all parents (58%) rated the overall quality of local childcare provision as very or fairly good
- on perceptions of cost opinions were divided, 32% of parents rated the affordability of local childcare as very or fairly good, with 29% unsure and 39% saying it was very or fairly poor
- the proportion of mothers in employment increased from 60% in 2011 to 64% in 2012
You can view the report here
Early Years Census 2014
The Department for Education has published ‘Early years census 2014: COLLECT guide for local authorities’
This document is designed to help local authority users complete and submit their early years census 2014
returns using COLLECT
(Collections Online – Learners, Education, Children and Teachers), the department’s centralised data collection and management system.
The guide includes information on:
Read the guide
Department of Health to manage CANparent for a third year
- accessing COLLECT
- uploading and submitting census data
- error queries
The Department of Health is to run the CANparent Trial for a third year from 1 April 2014. The transfer of CANparent to the Department of Health will ensure that important links are used to further promote the trial, such as midwives, health visitors, antenatal services and the Information Service for Parents. The third year will build on existing learning from the trial and support providers to become sustainable and establish themselves as leaders in the universal parenting classes market. There will also be a focus on health outcomes for children. More details will be available soon.
CANparent Quality Mark due to be launched
CANparent will launch the CANparent Quality Mark (QM). The Quality Mark will provide a recognisable stamp for quality approved parenting classes and provides assurance to parents, professionals and commissioners.
For more information visit the CANparent website
News from Ofsted
Ofsted has launched a consultation on how childminder agencies should be inspected.
The government’s Children and Families Bill 2013 will allow for the creation of childminder agencies. They will help childminders with training, support, advice and networks. The aim is to better support existing childminders, attract new high quality providers into the market, and provide more choice for parents.
You can view the consultation here
More information is available here
The closing date for the consultation is 21 March 2014
News from the Sector
The Communication Trust
No Pens Day Wednesday – another year another success!
The Communication Trust runs No Pens Day Wednesday and 2013 was the third year of this national speaking and listening event. It’s all about promoting the importance of speaking and listening activities and 2013 was the most popular event by far with more than double the numbers previously reached signing up - over 2,480 schools!
After the event, the Communication Trust undertook an online evaluation survey with those who had taken part to find out what had worked well and how No Pens Day Wednesday had raised awareness of speech, language and communication and impacted on teaching and learning in schools.
Childcare in Schools
If you are a school or other childcare provider and are interested in setting up childcare provision
for older pupils on a school site, take a look at our training and events
page to find out about our forthcoming workshops.
With funding from the Department for Education (DfE), Family Action is offering free ‘Dismantling the Barriers’ workshops across the country. These will offer school staff/volunteers and any childcare providers the opportunity to learn how they can set up and deliver flexible, affordable childcare on a school site.
– new maths resources and training to support maths in early years
Maths is a specific area of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage and providing fun and interactive opportunities to support children in learning early mathematical concepts, such as numbers and calculating, will provide strong foundations for future development across all areas of learning.
NDNA has developed three online training courses to enable all early years practitioners to confidently support children to enjoy maths:
The Children’s Partnership Adoption Recruitment Campaign
The Children’s Partnership has launched a campaign to increase the number of people coming forward to adopt children from within the community and voluntary sector.
You can view more information about the First4Adoption campaign here
about motivations for adoption and fostering, and a debunking of widespread myths.
Contact a Family
Improving outcomes for parents with disabled children
Contact a Family offers free sessions for groups of parents with disabled children on topics from money matters to preparing for the future. To book a workshop at your session, you can email
Help for parents worried about their child's development
Contact a Family's latest guide, Developmental Delay
, is aimed at parents worried about their child's development or who have been told that their child has developmental delay. The free, practical and short booklet also includes a useful pull-out poster to help parents recognise the key skills developed by most children between birth and five years of age, and to encourage them to visit their GP if they are anxious their child isn't reaching these important developmental milestones.
Montessori – new online CPD course
Montessori Centre International is excited to announce the launch of a new online course, Montessori for Childminders. The course enables registered childminders to build on their current qualifications and explore the inspirational Montessori approach to education from the comfort of home.
The online course consists of six modules and an experienced Montessori mentor is on hand to support the learning process and there are self-assessment activities to enhance study.
Childminders who have completed the pilot scheme have already commented on how the course has helped them self-evaluate their current practice and introduce new activities and approaches to benefit the children in their care. The course offers childminders the opportunity to promote their setting to prospective parents with a new, unique selling point. It also extends Montessori’s reach to families who don’t currently access Montessori in a nursery setting.
The Children’s Food Trust
The Children’s Food Trust Eat Better, Start Better Phase 2 Evaluation Report has been published, including the results from all 20 local authorities that took part in Phase 2 of the programme. The report is available online
The programme saw outcomes of increased nutrition and healthy cooking knowledge for parents and practitioners and improved healthier food provision for children. The report also makes a number of recommendations including wider use of the Eat Better, Start Better programme, local authorities to develop local authorities to develop integrated approach to early years food and nutrition within the education and health service , and encouraging early years settings to sign up to the Early Years Code of Practice for Food and Drink.
The Children’s Food Trust offer a range of expertise, evidence-based resources and accredited early years food and nutrition training to support children’s centres, childminders and nurseries to follow national best practice in their approach to food, and demonstrate this to parents and to Ofsted.
GroBrain is a range of flexible visual resources to use with parents and carers in antenatal and postnatal settings, one-to-one or in groups. The resources help parents explore child development, bonding, attunement and brain development in an accessible and interactive way.
Grobrain realise many people find it difficult travelling to training, so are actively considering creating an on-line training package.
If you're interested in taking part in a pilot on-line course for the Baby Massage sessions visit www.grobrain.co.uk
Rosie Renshaw, Training and Marketing Executive, has contributed an article to GovToday on the possible impact of early stress on educational attainment.
View the article
Learn, Explore, Debate Events
We are pleased to announce that we will be running another round of FREE
Learn, Explore, Debate events across England this March.
The dates for the events are:
- Thursday 13 March, Manchester
- Monday 17 March, London
- Wednesday 19 March, Birmingham
- Friday 21 March, Taunton
- Thursday 27 March, Newcastle
- Friday 28 March, Leeds
These events are aimed at organisations, local authorities and leaders and mangers of all schools and settings. The sessions will give the opportunity for learning and sharing together as well as giving the latest information in relation to the Foundation Years.
For more information and to book your place please visit www.4Children.org.uk/Event
These events do fill up quickly so please book early to avoid disappointment.
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 are running a second programme of FREE nation-wide roadshows 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:
3rd February 2014 - Manchester
10th February 2014 - Bristol
13th February 2014 - Liverpool
28th February 2014 - London
3rd March 2014 - Exeter
4th March 2014 – Peterborough
11th March 2014 – Birmingham
Children England have now published the full programme
for its voting summit on 27 February 2014.
The event is free
for Children England members and each Children England member will receive one vote (though you can send as many delegates as you like).
Non-members are welcome to attend but will not be able to vote. If you would like to vote but aren’t yet a member you can join Children England for 2014/15 (April 2014 to March 2015) and they will activate you membership immediately, allowing you to vote.