14 March 2019
By Bev Johnston and Heidi Foster

Early years and childcare bulletin March 2019

Welcome and Introduction Alex Gamby


We would like to share with you some information about a recent Collaboration Leaders Day. You will all be aware that in Kent we have an infrastructure of collaborations (currently 70% of group providers are in a collaboration with a small but slowly growing number of childminders also included). You may be aware that three times a year we invite Collaboration Leaders together to specifically support them in this role. Often on these days we have looked together at the role of collaborations in driving further improvement in the sector and hence supporting improved outcomes for children. This was at the heart of the original rationale for introducing collaborations initially and has prevailed as a key reason and motivator.

At the recent Collaboration Leaders Day however, with a shared agreement that collaborations are very well established and increasingly mature in integral relationships between providers and in ways of working, an agenda item was focussed on how a collaboration can work to support its member providers on issues of business and financial planning, marketing and sustainability. This incorporated sharing a breakeven analysis tool designed to support individual settings to calculate the true costs of their business by scenario planning and inputting potential adjustments before making any changes to their business model. Leaders were also introduced to the idea of ‘Collaborative Marketing’ which is a process of sharing resources to increase leads, brand and influence and the ‘7Ps’ of Marketing – Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Physical, People and Process – a tool used to continually evaluate and re-evaluate business activities. There was a general view in the room that for providers to work together in this way was ‘breaking ground’ in the development of collaborative working.

The day overall was very well rated. Of the 56 delegates in attendance, 43 completed an evaluation form with 14 rating the day as Excellent and 29 as Good.

If you are not in a collaboration but would like to join one and/or would be interested in leading a new collaboration please email us on eycollaborations@theeducationpeople.org.

Early education and childcare entitlement

Early years free entitlement funding for 2019-20

Kent County Council’s (KCC’s) annual notification letter detailing providers’ Free Entitlement funding rates for the period April 2019 to March 2020 was sent out at the beginning of March.

Providers should:
1) Contact Robin Goldsmith on 03000 416160 if no letter has been received (only providers in receipt of Free Entitlement funding in autumn 2018 or spring 2019 will receive a letter).

2) Ensure that the correct information has been recorded against the Quality Leadership Supplement.  For 2019-20 KCC has changed its process for collecting Quality Leadership data to trigger entitlement to this supplement.  In the past it has been a single data collection in February which informed entitlement for the full year, however from 2019-20 there will now be three separate collection dates for the periods summer, autumn and winter.  Please check that the information recorded in your letter is correct. If the information is not correct, please contact Robin Goldsmith by 29 March 2019. Failure to do this will result in settings not receiving the correct Quality Leadership supplement for the period April to August.

30 hour audit of codes

Providers will receive their audit of 30 Hour codes by email at the end of March.  Please discuss the Grace Period with families who are found to be ineligible on the audit.

Dates to note

Three and four year olds
Synergy is currently open for estimate completions for terms 5 and 6 (summer 2019) until Tuesday 19 March 2019.  Please be aware that Synergy will close for adjustments claims for terms 3 and 4 (spring 2019) on Friday 26 April 2019.

Two year olds
The deadline for the final payment run is Friday 5 April and payment will be made the week commencing 15 April 2019.

Department for education free for two communication trial

KCC and The Education People are taking part in a trial being run by the Department for Education’s Behavioural Insights Team, which will affect the type of communication being sent out in March to some families potentially eligible for Free for Two.  The team has developed two different postcards and a golden ticket, with parents new on the March DWP list receiving one of these instead of our usual postcard.  Take up of places will be measured against each of the different types of communications, which will enable the Behavioural Insights Team to establish what works best when communicating with parents.  Those families who have previously been on the DWP list and who have previously received a KCC postcard will continue to receive our own communication.

Any families coming into your setting with black and white postcards or a yellow/gold golden ticket (KCC and The Education People logos are on the back) are therefore taking part in this trial and you should not be concerned.  These families should check their eligibility in the normal way.

Committee news

The Charity Commission is asking you to check and update your charity details before submitting the annual return.  Before you can submit your annual return, you will need to check all your charity details are correct on the register and update them if needed.  The first time you log in to do your annual return the service will guide you through six screens that show all your charity details. You will need to update any details that are not correct and then you can submit your annual return.

Find out more about this change and what information is covered in the service. If you need help to prepare an annual return their guidance explains what you need to do.

Changes to public display names on the charity register

As part of changes to online services, if current trustees have used a public display name on the charity register their full legal name will be displayed to the public from the 1 April 2019, unless they apply to have it removed. This is known as a dispensation.  The Charity Commission can grant a dispensation if displaying a legal name to the public could put the relevant person or people in personal danger. Dispensations will not be granted automatically.  Find out about display name changes and how to apply for a dispensation.

Using the early years pupil premium (EYPP) and disability fund (DAF)

Following the recent Briefing and Networking Sessions, and the exceptionally useful sharing of ideas, we have collated everything that was shared and have presented them in a visual format which will be put on to KELSI for ease of access. When you visit KELSI you can click on ideas of interest as some will have additional information attached.

Please remember to ask your families if they are entitled to the additional funding as it can make such a difference for their child. For further details use the links below.

Using EYPP

The size of the font relates to how many people suggested an idea with the top 10 across both funding streams as follows:
Staff training
Early Talk Boost Training (I CAN)
CPD Online training
Resources – most popular mention was a bubble machine
Extra sessions for child
Emporium Plus membership
Lending library

Using DAF

Thank you also for the ‘wish list’ of resources for Emporium Plus, all those suggested will be considered when we make some additional purchases. You will get further information about how to access the new equipment in due course.

House of Commons Education Committee

Providers may be interested to read Parliament’s Education Committee report on early years education.


Wraparound and holiday childcare

In 2016 the Department for Education published guidance to help schools understand how to respond to requests from parents and childcare providers about wraparound and holiday childcare. These ‘rights to request’ refer to children from Reception up to the end of Key Stage 3 (Year 9) and includes breakfast clubs, after school childcare and childcare that is available through schools during the school holidays. If you are a provider looking to open wraparound and/or holiday childcare and are interested in approaching a school for the use of their premises, please follow the link below for more information:


Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

The following three documents will support settings to identify those children for whom an EYFS Profile will need to be completed this summer and will assist with carrying out the assessment.

EYFSP Handbook

2019 EYFS Assessment and Reporting Arrangements

EYFS Profile 2019 eLearning

National children's day - 12 May 2019

National Children's Day UK is all about the importance of a healthy childhood, and how we need to protect the rights and freedoms of children in order to ensure that they can grow into happy, healthy adults.  It's a day of celebration, but it's also a great opportunity for councils, local services, community groups, sports clubs, schools, charities, families, carers - anyone involved with children - to raise awareness about projects they are running or things they care about.
For further information click on this link http://www.nationalchildrensdayuk.com/

New mobile app

A new mobile app is available to help signpost serving regular and reservist Armed Forces personnel, veterans, the wider Armed Forces community including spouses, partners, children and parents and practitioners to the support and assistance they might need. This includes healthcare, housing, schools, financial advice and support to find jobs.
The app has been commissioned by Forces Connect South East, the scheme set up by KCC and six other councils, the NHS and forces charities around the South East in partnership with the Ministry of Defence.

It was developed by KCC and the Wow Factory marketing agency and is designed to link the Armed Forces community to organisations that can help, across a wide array of services, in four easy clicks. The app is aimed at the entire Armed Forces community as well as practitioners and wider public sector staff.  The app is free. To download, search ‘Forces Connect’ in your app store.

Leadership and workforce conference - 28 June 2019

Ashford International Hotel
Keynote speaker Gill Jones Ofsted HMI Early Years

This year we have been fortunate to have secured Gill Jones, Ofsted HMI Early Years as a keynote for our already very popular Leadership and Workforce Conference.
The conference will be focused on the new Education Inspection Framework with the themes of high-quality teaching and learning and wellbeing of the workforce threaded through. A range of workshops will be available for delegates to attend with a market place that offers information and products for the sector.

This conference is an opportunity for leaders and managers to come together for professional development and to take the opportunity to hear about local and national agendas that affect and shape our sector.
Further details on how to book a place and confirmation of workshops and guest speakers will be communicated in due course.

Threads of Success

We are delighted that so many people have opted in to continue receiving information from the Early Years and Childcare Service about the promotional opportunities we are offering.  However, we have not had a response from everyone yet and remember, unless you opt in, you might miss out!  To opt in, if you haven’t done so already, please visit  https://www.threadsofsuccess.co.uk/gdpr-form.

Lastly, if at any time you want to be removed from all non-statutory communications, just email threadsofsuccess@theeducationpeople.org and we will remove you from our promotion and marketing list.

Childminding under the 50 percent rule

The Education People has posted a blog to support those thinking of using childminders to run an out of school club under the 50 percent rule. Childminders thinking of caring for children under the rule may also find the blog useful.

Communication is the number one skill. Without it, children struggle to make friends, learn and enjoy life (Talking point 2019).
Poor language is linked to poor behaviour even in very young children. Two in three language delayed three year olds have behavioural problems (The Communication Trust).
Children need adults to nurture and support their communication and language development. The more you and their families know and understand about language and how it develops the more you can do to support the child to ensure that they thrive and achieve at your setting and at home.

Speech and language development in children is based on the building blocks of Listening and Attention, Play, Understanding, Interaction and Talking, Speech sounds.  Childminders and settings are in a unique position to support each of these skills in everyday activities in small groups.  The link below takes you to The Communication Trust resource of activity ideas to use in settings or at home.  You will find that many of them are things that you do already but with a focus on developing the different building blocks.  Sharing this resource with families will help them to work with you to develop children’s speaking and listening skills.


Supporting families to develop their children’s communication skills is another important part of your partnership working with families. For example, developing strategies to support children and families to rely less on their dummy and have dummy free time while they take part in activities to encourage developing communication skills. The Chatter Matters leaflet from Kent County Council is a very simple guide you can share with parents of babies:

http://knet/directorate/EYPS-document-library/Documents/Chatter%20Matters %20Leaflet.pdf

Small Talk, a more informative resource aimed at parents of children from Birth to Five is available from The Communication Trust. Practitioners can use it in their own settings and as a starting point to introduce tips for families to support their children at home. There are also simple guides to inform parents and carers about where the child should be in their development and checklists to ensure that children are progressing as they should.

The document is found here:


The Universally Speaking resource booklets provide resources aimed specifically at practitioners, the Birth to Five ages and stages document can be found here:


More resources are available from the Talking Point charity that gives parents/carers and practitioners the information they need to help children develop their speech, language and communication skills. The site http://talkingpoint.org.uk/ provides access to a database of resources and fact sheets to use yourself and share with families.
If you have any concerns about the speech development of a child in your setting speak to the parents/carers and discuss with them ways that you can work together to support the child. Observation and record keeping will help you to monitor progress and provide evidence should you need to make a referral to the Early Years Local Inclusion Forum Team at a later stage.

Keep yourself informed

The Early Years and Childcare Service’s Childminding Team uses a closed Facebook Group to share information with childminders. If you haven’t already joined the group you can do so here.

Briefing and networking sessions

Our regular Early Years Briefing and Networking Sessions provide a good opportunity to keep your setting and staff up to date and to network with colleagues from other settings.
The presentation slides from the February Briefing and Networking Sessions can be viewed here.

Evaluations were positive with comments:

“Good mix of listening and discussion. Good being able to talk to reception teachers as well as early years settings”

“Useful information about the new inspection framework – good to hear how other settings use EYPP and DAF”.
Why not book a place on the next round of Early Years and Childcare Briefing and Networking sessions and benefit from the opportunity to network and hear important updates?

EYC 19/057 Mercure Tunbridge Wells 11 June 2019
EYC 19/058 Mercure Brands Hatch 12 June 2019
EYC 19/059 Holiday Inn Sittingbourne - The Coniston 18 June 2019
EYC 19/060 Hythe Imperial 19 June 2019

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