Early Years & Childcare Bulletin - Term 1 2023
Welcome and Introduction from Alex Gamby
Dear Early Years and Childcare Providers
Welcome to a new academic year and Term 1 – although by the time you are reading this, I think that Term 2 will be in sight. I really don’t know where the time does go, but it does fly by terribly quickly, does it not?
I do hope that in some way, shape or form, each and every one of you managed to have some ‘you’ time over the summer months, spend time with family and friends and recharge a little. I know that Term 1 invariably brings the challenges of settling in often lots of new children, so I also hope that this has gone/is going as well for you as it can do. We have heard anecdotally from some of you that many children are presenting with a wide range of need, so if there is anything (else) the Early Years & Childcare Service can do to support you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact details on the final page of this bulletin as usual.
Where we are now and also looking ahead a little, there are significant challenges for us in the Early Years & Childcare Service and doubtless no less for yourselves in the sector as well. We are starting to plan for the delivery of the Government’s new Free Entitlements for two-year-olds and under and for Wraparound Provision. As we do this we await from the Department for Education (DfE), revised Statutory Guidance and information about the funding framework - specifically capital and/or ‘pump priming’ funds and the level of funding for free entitlements with effect from April 2024. Wherever we are and whatever we know will be shared at the Briefing and Networking Sessions in October. We also await the outcomes of the Kent County Council (KCC) Early Years Review, again about which there will be an update at these sessions.
I would like to once again recognise and acknowledge that at the beginning of this new academic year and in the context of national and local (Kent) initiatives and developments, however these manifest themselves, that for you as providers the challenges of funding, recruitment and retention and the meeting of the wide, diverse and often complex needs of children prevail. I continue to be thoroughly and wholeheartedly grateful for all that you do for Kent’s children and families. Thank you so very much. I look forward to seeing people at the Briefing and Networking Sessions.
Yours, as ever
Head of Early Years and Childcare
Kent Early Years and Childcare Provider Association
The Early Years and Childcare Provider Association met on Monday 25 September and received an update and was able to comment on:
- the DfE’s requirements regarding new Free Entitlements being introduced with effect from April 2024 and Wraparound Provision from September 2025
- the progress of KCC’s Early Years Review.
Both of these are agenda items for the Briefing and Networking Sessions in October so please do book your place if you are interested to hear. Please see page 19 of this bulletin for details. Also at the sessions will be the usual opportunity for you to talk with at least one member of the Association.
The Association was pleased to welcome Debbie Jones from Muddy Puddles Nursery in Ditton as the new (and long awaited) early years group provider representative for Tonbridge and Malling.
National News and Updates
Early Years Foundation Stage Assessment Support Survey
The DfE has launched a short survey to seek the views of early years practitioners, teachers and school and setting leaders on assessment in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Feedback from the sector will help shape future policy development in this area.
Please take the time to fill in this short, anonymous survey. Have your say by Tuesday 3 October.
Early Years Professional Development Programme (EYPDP)
Speech and Language UK is working in partnership with the Education Development Trust (EDT) to train 10,000 early years practitioners over four cohorts, from March 2023 - March 2025 in Communication and Language, Early Maths and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. This is funded by the DfE as part of its Early Years COVID Recovery Plan. The training is free for settings and practitioners that meet the criteria which is outlined in the link below.
Cohort 1 has been extremely successful; Cohort 2 is full and Cohort 3, which commences in January 2024 is now open for registration. Cohort 4 starts in April 2024.
UKHSA Cold Weather 2023/24 Preparedness Programme
To support you and the families with whom you have contact to prepare for the colder months please see below information and guidance issued by the Government.
Looking after children and those in early years settings before and during cold weather: teachers and other educational professionals
Keeping warm and well: staying safe in cold weather
Met Office WeatherReady campaign
Guidance and Information on Managing Cases of Infectious Diseases in Education Settings
The UK Health and Security Agency health protection in children and young people settings collection may be useful for education colleagues.
The information is designed for use by staff members in children and young people settings (for example teachers, managers, teaching assistants and cleaners) to prevent and respond to infection, incidents and outbreaks while minimising disruption to children and young people's face-to-face education. It includes useful guidance, tools and resources.
Our e-Bug programme also has a range of resources which can help educate young people on infection prevention and control and how to prevent antimicrobial resistance.
The National Deaf Children’s Society Event
On the 17 October from 4pm to 5.15pm, The National Deaf Children’s Society is hosting the Early Years Networking Groups – The Social and Emotional Wellbeing of the Family.
The groups meet four times a year to share knowledge, experience and good practice. By joining one of our Early Years Networking Groups you will:
- receive training, expert advice, practical tips and resources
- meet and exchange ideas with practitioners working in similar roles
- develop your practice to plan and provide for deaf children who attend your setting or who may do so in future.
These groups are most helpful for practitioners working with children under the age of five, such as teachers, nursery workers, nannies, childminders and librarians.
You do not need to be a member to attend.
For further information and to book your place please click on this link.
Kent News and Updates
Funded Training for New Staff on the Free Early Education Entitlements and Synergy
If you are a new early years group provider, manager, administrator or member of staff responsible for free early education entitlement claims through Synergy, are you aware that you can access free advice and support from the Early Years & Childcare Service’s Childcare Sufficiency Officers (CSOs)?
The CSOs offer a funded training session covering everything you need to know about the entitlements and how they are delivered in Kent including the Kent Provider Agreement, parental declaration forms, invoicing, compliance audits and how claims are processed by KCC’s Management Information.
Whilst the training is specifically aimed at new settings or staff, anyone wishing to update their knowledge in these important areas is welcome to request support.
If you would like further information please contact your CSO directly (if you know who they are) or email sufficiency and sustainability inbox.
Childminders needing support with the Early Education Entitlements should email the childminding inbox.
Ofsted Welfare Requirements Notice – Notifying The Education People
A Welfare Requirements Notice (WRN) sets out the actions that a provider must take by a certain date to meet the Statutory Framework for the EYFS for childminders and other childcare providers.
Inspectors are likely to issue a WRN when a provider is failing to meet one or more of the safeguarding and welfare requirements that has a significant impact on children’s health, safety, and wellbeing. This is normally where one or more of the following apply:
- leaders and managers do not demonstrate their understanding of how to meet the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the EYFS
- there have been previous occasions of non-compliance in relation to the same or different requirement(s)
- actions relating to existing failures to meet safeguarding and welfare requirements have not been completed satisfactorily
- the failure to meet the requirement is so serious that the inspector judges that a WRN is appropriate.
A WRN can be served as a result of a breach identified during inspection or as a result of information gathered by an inspector at a regulatory visit or during a regulatory telephone call.
The Education People’s Early Years & Childcare Service can provide funded support to providers to help them to securely address a WRN. However, WRNs are timebound and we therefore need providers to alert us when they have received a WRN that is issued separately from inspection.
Kent Safeguarding Multi-agency Partnership (KSCMP) Update
You can sign up for regular communications, including the KSCMP newsletter, training updates and publication notifications for LCSPRs by completing our form.
We have also recently started an Education newsletter. This is designed to update education settings on the work of the Education Safeguarding Subgroup and other relevant information including multi-agency training and we aim to produce a newsletter quarterly after each meeting.
Claiming the Qualified Leadership Supplement and the Role of the Leader of Learning
If you are thinking about or are employing a member of your staff who has a teaching qualification, it is a good time to consider their role in supporting the teaching and learning in your setting and what additional responsibilities they might have. These additional responsibilities should be reflected in their job description and in the person specification for the role. In short, ideally you will recruit someone who can ‘walk the walk’ and ‘talk the talk’. The leaflet attached to the bulletin which was emailed will support you in understanding their role and will be useful in clarifying this for everyone in the setting.
Kent Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme
The Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) Programme nationally has been supporting children and families in the school holidays since 2018.
What is the Holiday Activity and Food Programme?
The HAF Programme offers healthy food and enriching activities to all children and young people on benefits-tested free school meals (not universal free school meals) aged 4 – 16 years. The funding is available to deliver a programme for one week at Easter, four weeks in the summer, and one week at Christmas. There is also a percentage of funding which can be used for vulnerable children and young people who are referred by Early Help Workers or Social Workers.
Inclusion is central to the HAF Programme, and all programme partners are expected to make reasonable adjustments to enable children and young people with SEND to attend.
The scheme is funded by the Government and The Education People is currently commissioned by KCC to deliver the programme in Kent. The programme has been run in Kent since 2021 and is now in its third year of operation.
Why Is It so Important?
School holidays can be a particularly difficult time for some families due to increased food and childcare costs and reduced incomes. The HAF Programme is becoming more necessary with inflation further increasing costs. It can mean that families struggle to provide food and activities for their children.
How Does the HAF Programme Work in Kent?
In Kent we use the Wonde EVoucher system to distribute HAF Programme vouchers to eligible families. They can then follow the links on the voucher to book a place for their child at a programme near them.
Kent has a small, dedicated team within the Early Years & Childcare Service that ensures the successful delivery of the HAF Programme. With over 55,000 eligible children and young people in Kent this is a big challenge. In summer 2023 we offered just under 5,000 places in the county within our programmes and further places were funded within KCC Youth Service and Short Breaks services. A lot of the programmes are very popular, and we envisage that the actual number of children and young people benefitting from the programme will increase further.
The team benefits from a bespoke and dedicated Childcare Sufficiency Officer who identifies where and how many HAF Programme places are needed, plus where children and young people use their vouchers, so that we can effectively map the planned provision in Kent.
Who Do We Work with, and How?
The Kent HAF Programme Team works with wider council teams, including Safeguarding, Early Help, Youth Services and Short Breaks. This has led to the development of a HAF Programme specific safeguarding training course and an increase of places for children with SEND and of secondary age.
The team has also partnered with the Early Years & Childcare Service’s Equality & Inclusion Team and developed an ‘All About Me’ form to enable partners to gather all the relevant information to support children with SEND to attend a programme, and a SEND Reflection Tool for them to upskill their staff working with children and young people with SEND.
Programmes are also offered a free membership to Emporium (the Early Years & Childcare Service’s Resource Loan Service), which offers a wide range of additional resources for their programmes.
In Kent we work with a range of programme partners, including sports companies, charities, Ofsted registered providers, leisure centres and schools. Schools represent a growing number of our partners as more primary and secondary schools are enquiring about running a programme for their children or opening up their sites to third party providers.
How Do We Work with HAF Programme Partners?
We offer HAF Programme partners considerable support in becoming part of the HAF Programme:
- there are webinars for new partners which explain all aspects of the HAF Programme
- checklists go with the application forms to help ensure that forms are completed well
- a toolkit of forms and documents supports programme partners to develop high-quality, fun and challenging programmes
- these are all accessed on the partner section of the website: Kent HAF Programme Partners information
- the team also facilitates three network meetings a year, one before each delivery, to support partners and to offer strategies for development.
What Are the Benefits of the HAF Programme?
Most children who took part in the HAF Programme during the summer of 2021 reported overwhelming benefits on their physical activity, higher levels of participation in activities and increased social interaction with their peers. More than three-quarters (77%) of children surveyed also said that attending clubs increased their confidence.
The families that are supported through the programme report that their children enjoy their time at the programmes, and are happy, more confident and have higher self-esteem because of attending the programmes. This supports children to reach their potential in school and beyond.
Anecdotally teachers report that children who have attended programmes come back to school ready to learn, and the DfE and the HAF Programme Team are working to capture more of the impact through case studies and evaluation. All partners complete an evaluation form which helps the HAF Programme Team to assess the quality of what is being delivered against the criteria set out by the DfE.
How Can We Take Part in the HAF Programme?
Please contact the HAF team for more information about the HAF Programme and how to become involved.
Understanding the World - Bringing “Life Below Water” to Your Setting!
As we return from the summer holidays, many children will have visited the seaside and probably have lots of experiences they want to share. Whilst we know children are fascinated by the wildlife they see around them daily, there is an opportunity to develop the same appreciation with creatures on the beach and in the sea.
As you may know, through the Global Goals Workshops, the Early Years & Childcare Service’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Team offers information, activities and sustainable resources to support settings to foster a love of nature. Enabling children to find out about the world around them while developing an awareness of how they can play a part in caring for animals and their habitats is essential for the world they will live in.
With many coastal and marine habitats under threat from pollution, there are some stark warnings about the need to act now if we want our youngest generation and those of the future to continue to enjoy exploring this vital environment.
Friends of the Earth has stated that, “As much as 12 million tonnes of plastic is poured into our oceans every year. Many animal species, including large mammals and tiny zooplankton, ingest plastic mistaking it for food, causing some to die as a result….and by 2050, there will be more plastic in our ocean than fish.”
Inspire your children to explore sealife through the next Global Goals Workshop, Life Below Water, offering fascinating presentations, displays, activities and resources. This two-hour face-to-face workshop is fully funded by KCC and therefore free for up to two practitioners per setting. Click your preferred venue to book your place.
17 October 2023 - 10am to 12midday
Aldington Eco Centre, Goldwell Lane, Aldington, TN25 7DX
19 October 2023 - 10am to 12midday
Kent Life, Lock Lane, Sandling, Maidstone ME14 3AU
Join the 98% of previous delegates that have rated the workshops as excellent with comments such as:
“This course highlights different ways of thinking about the Global Goals from the child’s perspective. I appreciate the knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of the personnel, brilliant ideas, beautiful presentation, informative with a strong message.”
Ofsted reports have also noted that,
“Children gain an incredibly in-depth knowledge about the world they live in, which encourages them to care deeply for the environment and their local community. For example, the nursery completes the 'Global Goals’, this focuses on teaching children to understand sustainability.”
We look forward to welcoming you!
Transitions in the Early Years
During their early years journey, children and their families typically move through different environments, for example:
- from home to a childminder or nursery
- from a childminder to a nursery or preschool
- from one room to another within a nursery
- from a nursery to a preschool or another nursery
- from a preschool to a reception class at school.
Such transitions are not single events. They are processes that need mindful information exchanges, and careful planning in order to support the emotional wellbeing, inclusion and learning of all children and their families. The Equality Act 2010 places an anticipatory duty on early years settings to make reasonable adjustments, remove barriers to learning and be ready and prepared for all children. These adjustments must be made in an ‘anticipatory’ manner which means before the child starts at a setting.
The Education People has created a new set of templates for early years group settings and childminders to be used in partnership with families to facilitate smooth, caring and supportive transitions for all children. All transition templates and guidance documents are available in the Transition section of the Equality and Inclusion pages on Kelsi.
My First Transition
All transitions throughout a child’s life are important but a child’s first transition into a group or childminder setting will pave the way for many more. Getting to know the children and their families is the first important step to understanding their needs and the best way for them to be supported at the setting.
My First Transition is designed to be completed before the child starts at the early years setting by the SENCO and key person or the childminder, to facilitate the conversation with parents/carers in order to fully understand the needs of the child and the family, and plan for any reasonable adjustments in advance. The document should be completed alongside existing admissions paperwork to ensure a smooth and supportive transition from home to setting.
Throughout the document, at the end of each section, there will be prompts for ‘things to consider’ that may be additional to existing admissions paperwork but will support the creation of My First Transition Action Plan. The Plan summarises any actions and reasonable adjustments that need to be addressed before the child starts at the setting.
- My First Transition A4 Template
- My First Transition Guidance.
- My Unique Transition
The My Unique Transition templates can be used by early years professionals in the current setting/childminder/room together with the family to support transitions from one childcare and education environment to another, including Reception. Completed from the child’s perspective, and involving all those who know them best, these documents provide a framework for sharing all relevant information, so as children move on, those who welcome them next have a clear picture of their interests and fascinations, their learning and development journey so far, and any additional information to ensure adjustments and support can be planned for, as required.
- My Unique Transition Leaflet
- My Unique Transition A4
- My Unique Transition Guidance.
For any support with transitions or using the Transition templates, please contact the Early Years & Childcare, Equality & Inclusion Team, using the Request for Support form.
National Poetry Day
October 5 is National Poetry Day. This is an annual event which takes place across the whole of the UK in celebration of poetry. The purpose of the day is to encourage everyone to find poems that they enjoy reading and to encourage everyone to write and share poems. Settings can use the day to open as many doors as possible to empower children to develop their love of reading through reading, writing and reciting poems.
There are lots of ways to celebrate National Poetry Day in your settings, including creating a big display of pictorial representation of children’s favourite poems, helping children read their favourite poems and repeating the rhymes in various poems.
Poetry in the EYFS
A key feature of poetry is its playfulness and this fosters children’s interest in poetry. Apart from children having fun with poetry, exploring poetry can be beneficial in various ways linked to the seven areas of learning. Aside from creating building blocks for language development, poetry helps with the development of mathematics and music skills. It helps nurture imagination and creativity and the development of social skills.
Here are some ideas on how your setting can explore the different aspects of poetry through:
Rhythm - this includes syllables, sequences, and patterns. Encourage children to clap to the rhythms of poems. All children enjoy clapping and dancing to a beat, even babies respond instinctively to clapping and drumming to beats. Engage children to move to rhythm and help them to recognise syllables, sequences, and patterns.
Rhyme - identifying rhyming words is central to literacy skills and there are varieties of activities that practitioners can do to engage children in rhymes.
Alliteration - this is the repetition of initial consonant sounds of nearby words in a phrase or sentence. Exploring alliteration is a good way to help children learn how to identify and differentiate between sounds.
Descriptive words - children encounter new vocabularies while reading and learning about poems. This enhances their ability to express thoughts and emotions.
The different aspects are all linked in one way or another to the different areas of learning. For example, when children recite poems in groups, they build relationships, acting out poems boosts their confidence, and repetition supports their memory skills.
Specific activities to celebrate National Poetry Day and beyond in your settings:
- find good examples of poems written for children (examples from Michael Rosen’s Book of Very Silly Poems). Look at books that are written in rhyming verse, read them together and ask the children to call out the words at the end of each line, for example, Dr Seuss’ ‘The Cat in the Hat’ or ‘Fox in Socks’
- help children make up their own short poems from other poems that they know. Start by focusing on themes (describing objects, animals, mini beasts) or particular techniques such as vocal imitation of sounds, emphasis on initial letters or sounds that are similar
- ask families to record reading or acting out their child’s favourite nursery rhymes with them and send a picture or the recording to be shared with their friends in nursery
- extend activities on familiar or new nursery rhymes, for example, ask the children to act out the story using puppets or create props or draw pictures that are related to the nursery rhyme
- encourage children to play rhyming games, for example, a matching game, involving pairing up picture cards of objects that rhyme (eg block and clock), filling in the blanks with rhyming words
- counting poems and nursery rhymes that have numbers to practise mathematic skills. Nursery rhymes like ‘One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Once I Caught a Fish Alive’, ‘Five Little Ducks, ‘Ten in a Bed’
- choose some favourite nursery rhymes and provide various musical instruments for children to beat out the rhythm as they recite the rhymes. You can also use tapping and clapping to beat out the rhymes
- create a small world area based on a poem or a rhyme and let the children explore the world of animals and sounds, for example, Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz’s Rumble in the Jungle where children can be introduced to a wide variety of animals. Other opportunities for learning can emerge from this activity including animal homes, climate change and how they are being affected by climate change
- create a repertoire of poem cards or lolly sticks in your setting for children to choose their favourite during group time activity. This can then be left for children to access independently.
This is a great way to promote poetry reading across your setting.
These activities are not exhaustive. You can devise more activities to promote the love of sharing and reading poems in your setting. Remember, make all the activities as much fun as possible. The more enjoyable an activity is for the children, the greater their level of engagement. This will lead to better learning outcomes. They will lay strong foundations for the next stage of their education.
Reflection on Environments and the Role They Play to Enhance Children’s Wellbeing
There have been many approaches, theories and research about the importance of the environment and how it can aid or hinder children’s learning and development. Providers understand the benefit of having resources readily available for children to access and the use of defined spaces for children to interact in. However, the key factor to ensure the children get the most from these resources and the environment, is from those around them, whether this is a more knowledgeable child or an adult.
Let us consider the prime areas of learning and how the environment and those around the child support them.
Personal Social and Emotional Development
Most of us are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943) and how this sets out the importance of ensuring that a person’s physiological needs (food, water, warmth) are met first, with learning only taking place as more complex needs are addressed. Children coming into the setting tired, hungry or thirsty are able to engage in learning once these basic needs are met. It is only at this point they can look to those within the environment and observe how they are using it. Or they may be driven by past experience to a certain resource, person or area. What drives any human to a space is seeing others enjoying what or who they are engaging with.
Ben Kingston-Hughes talks about ‘Joy’ and how this has a positive impact on children’s lives and wellbeing, enabling them to thrive rather than just survive. Think back to your childhood memories and when you were allowed the time and space to explore and find your own answers.
Thoughts for Reflection
Do you role-model joy when exploring resources and the environment?
How do you ensure that children’s basic needs are met so they gain the most from the learning experiences on offer?
How do you ensure children have that sense of enjoyment in everything they do through the day?
Communication and Language
Communication is key to enable the voice of the child to be heard. Both verbal and non-verbal communications enable children to express themselves and allows for those around them to assess and support as and when needed. For children with limited language, it is essential to seek to identify how they communicate and explore ways to use strategies like visuals and signing to aid them. Through these mechanisms practitioners can support a child’s wellbeing as they know what is happening now and next. Most practitioners will have observed children become frustrated as their communications are not being understood and how upset they can become and this, as a result, affects their wellbeing.
Thoughts for Reflection
How does your environment support all children to communicate effectively?
Do practitioners use Every Child a Talker (ECAT) principles to support their interactions with children?
The importance of physical movement is linked to all elements of our development, including our wellbeing and our brain function; this link was never more evident than during the COVID-19 pandemic when, for many, our opportunities to be physically active were restricted.
It is obvious children need space to move as they gain so much from this freedom. It promotes children’s vestibular and proprioceptive development which are crucial so children can gain control over their bodies.
Active research conducted by Jabadao noted where practitioners decided to create more physical spaces into the indoor environments it met the needs of the children for spontaneous movement. It was a space where children could move freely and to their choosing. The practitioner reported the positive impact this had on their wellbeing.
‘The way we feel in, and about, our body hugely affects everything we do.
Physical development doesn't begin and end with motor control - building a confident and comfortable relationship with our body is every bit as important. Our curriculums need to reflect that.
Movement Play is a child's way to get to know how they feel in their body as well as what it can do’.
Points for Reflection
How do you promote physical play indoors and out?
How does your setting celebrate movement?
Do you allow children to take appropriate risk and challenge?
Is there an area which children could independently access to help them self-regulate when they have that urge to move?
Do staff role model or actively engage with physical play and or movement?
Reflecting on the quality within the provision, giving consideration to the environment, activities, resources and interactions and evaluating how they can be strengthened even further to influence outcomes for children is an essential task for every early years provider and practitioner.
Maslow, A.H. (1943). “A Theory of Human Motivation”. In Psychological Review, 50 (4), 430-437.
Information from KCC's Area Partnership Managers
The Local Children’s Partnership Groups (LCPGs) bring together partners with the aim of improving outcomes for children and young people in Kent by working collaboratively to understand and meet local needs. LCPGs have a strategic multi-agency collaborative member-led group, alongside two age-focused multi-agency operational groups, the Children’s Partnership Conversation (CPC) and the Young People’s Partnership Conversation (YPPC) who each meet three to four times per year.
The LCPGs have developed Area Service Directories to support partners to access information about local services and resources. They each also produce a regular Bulletin. You can find the Area Directories and the Area Bulletins on Kelsi.
Charity Regulator’s New Digital Service Goes Live
The Charity Commission digital service was made available from 31 July. The regulator has described the My Charity Commission Account as a charities’ ‘front door’ into the Commission through which they will submit any remaining annual returns for 2022, and all annual returns for 2023 onwards, and engage with the regulator’s wider digital services. We understand that following the launch, charities will no longer be able to file annual returns through the old system, as all online services will only be accessible with a My Charity Commission Account log in.
Charities who are yet to be invited to sign up for an account will hear from the Commission once the service is live. The Commission has prepared guidance to help contacts set up their My Charity Commission Account.
Focus on Out of School Providers
The new term has begun, and with that, the implementation of the updated EYFS Statutory Framework and the Ofsted Inspection Handbook, both of which came into effect on the 4 September. Some of the revisions may not affect out of school providers; however, the following information outlines the amendments made and how the out of school sector may be inspected.
The amendments to the Education Inspection Framework, Inspection Handbooks are as follows:
- expectations for conduct during inspections
- how Ofsted judges safeguarding, including a definition of an open and positive culture of safeguarding
- what inspectors should consider when deciding if a provider has the capacity to improve
- who the inspection outcome may be shared with
- who can be present during meetings that take place at inspection.
Most Ofsted registered out of school provisions are on the Early Years Register, Compulsory Childcare Register and the Voluntary Childcare Register. Those registered on all three must meet the requirements for the EYFS Statutory Framework and the requirements of the childcare register.
Out of school providers who care for children younger than reception age must adhere to the qualifications and ratios identified in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework.
Out of school providers are exempt from the learning and development requirements; however, footnote 5 of paragraph 1:1 states:
‘Providers offering care exclusively before and after school or during the school holidays for children younger than those in the reception class age range, should continue to be guided by, but do not have to meet, the learning and development requirements. All such providers should discuss with parents and/or carers (and other practitioners/providers as appropriate, including school staff/teachers) the support they intend to offer.’
The following EYFS update that may impact out of school inspections has been published and came into effect as of 4 September 2023.
3.29. Staffing arrangements must meet the needs of all children and ensure their safety. Providers must ensure that children are adequately supervised, including whilst eating, and decide how to deploy staff to ensure children’s needs are met.
Whilst eating, children must be within sight and hearing of a member of staff, page 28.
Focus on Childminders
Although some organisations refer to the benefits for children on trampolines as
- supporting their physical development through fun and aerobic activity
- strengthening coordination and core strength
- encouraging children to play outside
there are serious considerations for the use of trampolines in early years.
The advice from ROSPA is very clear and recommends that trampolining isn't suitable for children under the age of six because they are not sufficiently physically developed to control their bouncing.
The Child Accident Prevention Trust recommends that as a rule, only allow one person on a trampoline any one time. It refers to the large majority of accidents happening when two or more people are on a trampoline, and generally, it is the lighter person (such as a child) who will be injured as a result.
If you are using a trampoline, please carefully consider the points above as well as the questions below.
- Do you have a written risk assessment and does it refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific trampoline?
- Do you have written parental permission for children to use the trampoline?
- How are you teaching children to manage their own risk safely?
- What does your insurance company say about the use of trampolines – have you read the small print? Would you be covered if a child had an accident and the parents decided to put in a claim against you?
Join Us on Facebook
Over 560 of the Kent childminding community have now joined our ‘The Education People Kent Childminders’ closed group on Facebook. This is a great way for us to be able to engage with you regularly and for you to network with each other. Join us for support, discussions and ideas.
Update from UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on Measles
We recently published new modelling which suggests that unless MMR vaccination rates improve, London could see a measles outbreak with tens of thousands of cases.
We have created a variety of social media assets which encourage people to check they and their children are up to date on their MMR vaccines. UKHSA resources on immunisation can be found on our website.
The Big Ambition
The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, has launched The Big Ambition to hear directly from children, young people, and parents from across the country. They want to hear from children and young people about their schools, communities, family life, and the wider world. They will also be asked what they want for their future, their hopes, dreams, and aspirations.
This survey is for all children and young people aged six, up to eighteen. Alongside this, parents and other adults can complete the survey on behalf of children and young people aged zero, up to five, to ensure we also hear from early years settings. It is critical that the voice of children from all backgrounds, all settings, and every part of the country is heard by policy-makers. They are particularly committed to hearing from children who may be more vulnerable, including those in care.
Briefing and Networking Sessions
Our regular Early Years & Childcare 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.
Why not book a place on the next round of sessions and benefit from the opportunity to network and hear important updates?
In line with provider feedback and to maximise ability to attend, these sessions will continue to be held virtually via Zoom and you can access your place by clicking on the titles below:
EYC Briefing and Networking – North Tuesday 17 October 4pm to 6pm
EYC Briefing and Networking - South Thursday 19 October 4pm to 6pm
EYC Briefing and Networking - East Tuesday 31 October 4pm to 6pm
EYC Briefing and Networking - West Wednesday 1 November 4pm to 6pm
We are also running an additional evening Briefing and Networking Session specifically for eligible childminders and out of school settings who may find it difficult to attend the weekday afternoon sessions.
EYC Briefing and Networking – Childminders and Out of School Wednesday 18 October 7.30pm to 9.30pm