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21 November 2019
By Bev Johnston and Heidi Foster

Early Years and Childcare Bulletin November 2019

Welcome and Introduction Alex Gamby

Hello everyone

Welcome to term two - with Christmas in reaching distance, where did 2019 go? Another year of a high-quality Early Years and Childcare sector in Kent, thanks to all of you. I hope that when Christmas does arrive you will enjoy some fabulous activities with your children and families, followed by some well-deserved rest and relaxation with your own families and friends over the holiday period.

Early Years Free Entitlement Funding

Following the chancellor’s recent announcement on early years funding, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has

‘confirmed an increase in the hourly funding rates for all local authorities for the two-year-old entitlement and the vast majority of areas for the three and four-year-old entitlement.

There was an announcement on 31st October to advise that councils across England will receive a funding boost to deliver free childcare places, enabling parents to work more flexibly and supporting children’s early development.

Some of the additional investment will go to ensuring nurseries, preschools and childminders can support some of the most disadvantaged children, with an increase in hourly funding for all councils offering 15 hours free childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds. The vast majority of areas providing free 30 hours places for working parents of three and four-year olds will also receive an increase in the hourly rate’.

This could be an increase of 1.8% in the hourly rates for three and four year olds, and 1.5% for two year old rates for KCC. There will be a meeting of the Kent Schools Funding Forum held on 29th November to discuss the distribution of the additional funding through the Local Funding Formulae, following which there will be a communication to all providers.

Kent News and Updates

GDPR and Emergency Contacts

To ensure the safety of children, all early years and childcare providers usually request emergency contact details from parents, in case the parent is unable to respond/collect their child. This can be the contact’s name, address, telephone number and relationship to the child. However, in the context of GDPR, several questions have been asked regarding these emergency contact details. We have therefore addressed these key questions below.

1. Does the emergency contact need to give their permission for their personal details to be held by the provider?

Answer: No, the provider needs to hold this information in order to protect the interests of the child in the event of an emergency. This is known as the "vital interests" or "legitimate interests" basis under Data Protection law. Therefore, the provider does not need to get permission from emergency contacts to hold their personal details.

2. Should you give the emergency contact a copy of your privacy notice, so that they are aware of how their personal details are being stored?

Answer: Yes, emergency contacts should be provided with a copy of your privacy notice, so they are aware of how their personal details are stored.

How your privacy notice is communicated to the emergency contact will be at the discretion of each individual provider, but good practice would be that the parent be responsible for ensuring that the emergency contact has seen the nursery privacy notice and signs that this is true. A statement along the lines of the following could be used:

I hereby confirm that the above named emergency contact has seen the nursery privacy notice.

Providers could consider providing parents with a hard copy of their privacy notice, to provide to emergency contacts, in addition to notifying parents of how to access their privacy notice online. It is for each provider to assess whether these suggestions are implemented, in liaison with their Data Protection Officer.

Additionally, providers should be confident that emergency contacts are agreeable to taking on this responsibility. A statement along the lines of the following could be used on the registration paperwork:

I hereby confirm that the above named emergency contact has agreed to act as an emergency contact for my child in case of emergencies.

30 Hour Codes - Renewal of details by parents

This term has seen an increase in complaints and appeals from parents who have not confirmed/updated their details for their 30 Hour code through their childcare account.  Some have already been in the grace period; others have applied for their code early and have not confirmed/updated their details before their child first takes up their 30 Hours.

Are you displaying one of our posters which reminds parents of the need to reconfirm their details every three months?  You can find a downloadable version here.  Are you speaking to parents in the grace period when you receive your audit from Management Information?

It would be really helpful both for families and the local authority if you could assist in making this information available.  Thank you.

Ofsted and additional funding and resources

As you are aware the latest Ofsted framework has a clearer focus on how settings access and use the additional funding available to them.

It is vital that Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP), Disability Access Fund (DAF) and the Special Educational Needs Inclusion Fund (SENIF) is applied for and used for the benefit of our most vulnerable learners.

The following links will support you to do this:

Claiming EYPP and DAF

How to apply for SENIF

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) - new poster

We have now produced an EYPP poster for you to give to parents which will soon be available to download from KELSI.

Best Practice Guidance

We have been delighted to see so many setting SENCos at the Best Practice Guidance workshops during this term and are looking forward to using the new publication with you, to further develop your universal and targeted support for children in your settings. The document is being posted out to all early years providers and additional copies will be available on The Education People website.

SEND posters

We have been asked if we can make the SEND posters that we use in the SENCo one day training available to purchase so we have added those to the Equality and Inclusion products available too.

We are working together with DAF to provide a funded membership.  If you have a child, or children, who are accessing DAF funding, Emporium Plus can offer you a complimentary membership, allowing you to access a high-quality resource that can support you to meet their needs and interests.  This membership will run for one year.  If you would like more information, please contact [email protected]

We informed you in the July 2019 Bulletin that the Department for Education (DfE) had launched the Early Years Professional Development Fund, a comprehensive programme of evidence-based training, development and coaching support to nominated ‘Early Years Continuing Professional Development Champions’ across England. The EYPDF project is being led by The Education Development Trust (EDT) and Elkan.

The DfE proposed a model whereby champions will cascade their learning through local partnerships, via a ‘train-the-trainer’ model to other practitioners working in pre-reception private, voluntary and independent (PVI) and school-based settings. Each partnership will be made up of between 10 and 15 providers and meet the criteria outlined by the DfE.

The four partnership areas identified in Kent are:

  • Tonbridge and Malling
  • Sevenoaks
  • Dover
  • Canterbury

We held two Provider Information Sessions in September and subsequently received several expressions of interest forms from settings in each of the partnership areas wanting to take part in the project and nominations for staff to be champions.

The two Tutor Champions and two Mentor Champions have been selected for each of the four partnership areas, a total of 16, and we will share the final list of settings and champions at the next Briefing and Networking sessions.

The EDT has invited all champions to an initial training session in London on 4 December 2020.  The Tutor Champion training is commencing in January 2020. The rollout of the training to the partnerships is scheduled to take place from Autumn 2020.

Children starting school in September 2020

All children will need to have applied for a mainstream school place between 5 November 2019 and 15 January 2020.

It is imperative that even if a family is considering specialist provision for their child that they apply for a school place. This can be rescinded if they are offered a special school place but if the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process is not complete when the child is due to start, they would not have a place at any school and KCC would consider them to be a “child missing education”.

There were some cases last year where parents were actively encouraged not to apply for a mainstream school place as it was felt that this would then ensure that the local authority would offer a special school place. This would never be the case and puts the child at risk of not having any offer of a school place.

Delayed/Deferred Entry to school

Parents are able to delay or defer their child’s place within the statutory school starting date timeframes, but this needs to be with the written agreement of the school and KCC admissions department needs to be notified. Parents will still need to apply for a school place at the usual time. Further information for parents can be found on and search for deferred entry.

There is a flowchart and guidance on the KELSI SENIF page if you click on the “information for settings” button outlining the responsibilities for settings in these situations.

Zenia Ford
SEN County Manager Early Years

To be at least good Ofsted states that ‘Leaders engage effectively with … other local services’. The purpose of the annual conversation visit is to secure an opportunity to engage in a professional dialogue with an improvement adviser. It is an opportunity to explore and understand your setting’s approach to the monitoring of the quality of provision, to sample elements of the safeguarding and welfare requirements and consider the setting’s place within the self-evaluation and improvement planning processes.

Raising and maintaining the quality of your provision is something you do all the time, not just when your inspection is due or if you receive a compliance visit. Raising quality is a continuous process and getting people to change the way they work can often be quite difficult. Staff may need quite a lot of support as they try to introduce new practices. The annual conversation is an opportunity for managers to think ahead about the kind of support staff may need and to celebrate what staff have achieved with the Early Years and Childcare Service. This helps managers encourage staff by drawing attention to achievements and praising staff. Getting some recognition for a job well done is very important; it motivates and encourages people to continuously raise standards and improve quality, all of which is captured on your note of visit as a record of external verification.

We are pleased to say that our data shows that where the joint evaluation identified that you could be at risk of falling below good, the majority of you were able to take swift action to secure a good or better Ofsted judgement.

We all want babies and young children to receive the best quality care and education we can provide. Having continuous assessment procedures in place is a hallmark of good quality. It takes time, good management and the support of all staff. Once in place, the continuous cycle of evaluation, change, and review is an excellent preparation for inspections. External verification and professional dialogue about practice is a key element in giving babies, children and families excellent quality care and education.

Some childminders with a good or outstanding Ofsted judgement are being offered a visit as their inspection becomes due.  Advisers will contact childminders directly when they are able to offer such a visit.

Staff Holiday Entitlement

Following a recent court case Harper v Brazil, the holiday entitlement you pay your part time employees may change.

This will affect those employees working for part of the year or term time and is based on the hours worked 12 weeks prior to their holiday.

Please contact your accountant or legal representative for further advice.


If you are attending a CPD Online course, you will now be able to complete an online evaluation the day of the course by logging into your account (via phone/tablet etc.) and going into Events due to attend.  To access the evaluation, you need to know your log in and password to CPD Online.

You will also able to complete the online evaluation at any point after the training.  Once the Training & Development team has received the register and delegates marked as attended on the system you will be sent a link via CPD Online reminding you to log in and complete your evaluation if you haven’t already.

Please note that delegates are only able to access certificates of attendance once an evaluation form has been completed and the register has been marked by the CPD Online administration team.

We would ask you to only view The Education People website using Chrome, not Internet Explorer.  The Education People website does not display correctly in Internet Explorer.

For settings to download Chrome click here.

National News and Updates

Early Years Foundation Stage reforms consultation launch

The Department for Education has launched a public consultation seeking views on changes to the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The goal of the reforms is to improve outcomes for all children and reduce workload. Visit the Foundation Years website for a summary of the consultation.

The consultation includes proposed changes to the educational programmes, the early learning goals and the EYFS profile assessment. It also seeks views on one change to the safeguarding and welfare section of the framework to promote good oral health.

The consultation is available here and will run until 31 January 2020.

Findings from the pilot of the draft revised EYFS framework led by the Education Endowment Foundation, in partnership with NatCen Social Research and Action for Children have also been published.

Inspecting Safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills

The handbook sets out what Ofsted inspectors must consider when inspecting safeguarding. It outlines the evidence that inspectors will look for during inspections and sets out the judgements they will make.

The handbook needs to be read alongside the Education Inspection Framework.

Published 2 September 2019

Published 9 August 2019

Ofsted support videos:

Video: Inspecting early years providers – care before and after school
Video: What does ‘cultural capital’ mean for early years?

Immunisation Resources

Please click on link to free resources [postcards/posters] which can be ordered from PHE to promote child immunisation programmes through schools and early years settings.

Good Practice

Education Inspection Framework - Quality of education - part 1 of 4

This is the first in a four part series looking at each of the new judgements in the Education Inspection Framework. Over subsequent bulletins we will look at behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.

Ofsted (2019)

The quality of education judgement combines aspects of the previous judgements of ‘teaching, learning and assessment’ and ‘outcomes’ with the aim of providing a more holistic view of standards, giving a particular focus on the curriculum. It was identified that the previous judgement suggested a need for data driven outcomes resulting in a paperwork heavy workload that in some cases took practitioners away from what they do best – being with children.

Providers that only offer before and after-school care and holiday provision will not have this judgement taken into consideration by inspectors when reaching their judgement for the overall effectiveness: quality and standards of the early years provision as they do not have a requirement to meet the EYFS learning and development requirements.

Ofsted’s intention has been to put the curriculum at the heart of inspection; for early years providers that curriculum is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). To evidence this the new framework breaks down the quality of education judgement to clearly identify and acknowledge a provider’s:

  • Intent – how you decide what the children in your care need to learn and the skills they need to develop
  • Implementation – how you go about teaching what children need to learn and the skills they need to develop
  • Impact – how you check what children know and can do as a result of your intent and implementation.

They will not grade separately on intent, implementation and impact but to reach a single judgement for the quality of education they will draw on the evidence they have gathered using their professional judgement.

During inspection inspectors will spend as much time as possible gathering evidence to inform their judgement on the quality of education by:

  • observing children at play
  • talking to children and practitioners about the activities available
  • observing interactions between adults and children
  • gauging children’s level of understanding
  • talking to practitioners about assessment of what children know and can do and how they are continuing to build on this
  • evaluating practitioner’s knowledge of the curriculum – the EYFS
  • reviewing the progress check at two for those children to whom this applies
  • reviewing how well children are developing in the prime and specific areas of learning and how this helps them be ready for the next stage in their learning
  • looking at the impact of any additional funding e.g. EYPP, SENIF and DAF
  • identifying the quality of support for those children with SEND
  • evaluating how well leaders assure themselves that their curriculum intentions are met and sufficiently challenge the children to develop, consolidate and deepen their knowledge, understanding and skills
  • talking to parents.

Assessment continues to be valuable in terms of knowing what children can do and what they need to do next; however, it should not generate lots and lots of paperwork. The EYFS Statutory Framework states “assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork”.

Wendy Ratcliffe HMI for Ofsted stated, “whatever it is that you are doing in terms of assessment for your children do it because it has benefits for the children, don’t do it for us”.

The quality of education judgement places an increased focus on the importance of vocabulary and the use of stories, books, songs and rhymes to encourage and develop children’s language. It is a well-researched fact that the number of words a child knows has an impact on future academic success.

A new term introduced to the Early Years Inspection Handbook is Cultural Capital. Simply put, this is the essential knowledge children need to prepare them for future success, and as part of making a judgement for the quality of education inspectors will consider how well the curriculum is used to enhance children’s experiences to prepare them for future success. The good news is that you should be doing this already as it is enshrined in the EYFS through the principles of the unique child. Ofsted have created a short video for providers titled ‘What does 'cultural capital' mean for early years?’ to explain in more detail their understanding.

We have been collating information with regard to recommendations being made following inspection and although it is too early to identify specific patterns, we have seen the following recommendations being given in relation to the quality of education:

  • support children's own interests more consistently, making use of opportunities that arise from the daily activities
  • build on the good parent partnerships to develop more frequent and effective ways to help parents extend their children's learning at home
  • develop further practitioners' skills and confidence so that they can take every opportunity to extend children's learning as they engage with them in their play
  • review and improve the length and organisation of group activities to ensure that all children remain engaged and make the most of the learning opportunities throughout.

For further support and training please visit our website.

Once upon a story

The revised Ofsted early years inspection handbook (2019) places an increased emphasis on the importance of language and vocabulary.  To read more click here.

Committee News

Sending Annual Returns to the Charity Commission

When did your charity last send in their annual return, was it before 12 November 2018?  If it was, you will need to do things differently next time as the Charity Commission changed its systems on 12 November 2018.  To help with this they are providing guidance which can be found in this link.

Guidance Publications

The Charity Commission ‘CC’ provides a collection of guidance publications that can be used by registered charities.  Currently they range from CC3 to CC49 and can be found following this link.


Learning through life

The debate over using bright colours and plastic toys versus a more neutral, natural approach is a hot topic. Wooden and natural resources encourage creativity and imagination in young children. Plastic toys can often only be used for their purpose and can restrict children’s thinking skills. To read more click here.

New Education Inspection Framework

Ofsted started inspecting under the new education inspection framework from 1 September 2019. To date a small number of childminders in Kent have been inspected under the new framework and some have chosen to share their experiences with us.

Common topics include:

Learning Walk
With the increased focus on the curriculum and being able to evidence Intent, Implementation and Impact of this on a child’s learning and development, a learning walk is a great opportunity for you to share your good practice and the safe and exciting environment that you provide for the children in your care. Although you might feel overwhelmed at the thought of doing this with the inspector, whilst simultaneously interacting and supporting your children, use your practice to show how well you know them and how you have brought on their learning and development in your provision. Sharing how your plans have incorporated each area of the EYFS will help you demonstrate your knowledge of the curriculum and how this has led to the achievement of early learning goals for individual children.

Paperwork and Evidence
Whilst Ofsted requirements have changed regarding paperwork, remember there is still a place for this. Involving parents in their child’s learning and making information on learning and development available is still an EYFS requirement. You could use selected paperwork and resources to show examples of good practice and to consolidate what you have shared with the inspector during your learning walk.

During inspections where there have been assistants present, the inspector has tested their knowledge of safeguarding to ensure that relevant and up to date information is being cascaded down effectively. Why not diarise a regular time slot to discuss new safeguarding trends and information that appear in our regular Safeguarding Bulletins or choose a Serious Case Review (SCR) to read to keep your knowledge up to date? Please click here to access the SCRs on the KSCMP website. Think about how you would identify any children needing early help or who are at risk, help those children to reduce their risk of harm by getting the support they need and manage safe recruitment and any allegations about adults who may pose a risk to children.

For more information on the new framework, please click the link to listen to a recent Ofsted Webinar.

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.

You can view the presentation slides from the October 2019 Briefing and Networking sessions here.
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 20/001 Aylesham Community Project, Canterbury - 5 February 2020
EYC 20/002 Darenth Valley Golf Club, Sevenoaks - 6 February 2020
EYC 20/003 Singleton Environment Centre, Ashford - 11 February 2020
EYC 20/004 Hadlow Manor Hotel, Tonbridge - 12 February 2020

We are also running two additional evening Briefing and Networking sessions specifically for eligible childminders and out of school settings who find it difficult to attend the weekday afternoon sessions.

EYC 20/114 Duke of York Royal Military School, Dover - 26 February 2020
EYC 20/115 Inn on the Lake, Gravesend - 4 March 2020

Kent Early Years and Childcare Provider Association

The Early Years and Childcare Provider Association has not met since the edition of the previous bulletin.

Contact us