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29 March 2023
By The Early Years & Childcare Service

Early Years & Childcare Bulletin - Term 4 2023

Welcome and Introduction from Alex Gamby

Hello everyone,

Well as I write this I suspect that you are all reeling a little, as we are in the Early Years & Childcare Service, at the Government’s announcement last week about its intention to invest £4billion in pursuit of free childcare for one and two-year-olds. We have been inundated today with calls and emails asking all kinds of questions, including about when Kent County Council (KCC) might announce what its actual rate for these newly funded hours might be. I trust that you received the email or saw my childminder Facebook post sent on the day of the announcement itself (Wednesday 15 March), but for the avoidance of doubt, please be reassured that we (as in KCC and The Education People) were informed concurrently to yourselves and in the same way and had no prior knowledge. The announcement includes that the new funding will start in September 2024, although with the expectation of some phasing with effect from April 2024. Please be also reassured that as soon as we have any information that we can share, we will do so in a timely way. If for any reason you have missed the announcement, please find a link to it here. Please also see further information integral to the announcement below under National News and Updates.

Usually in this Bulletin, the Kent Early Years and Childcare Provider Association (the Association) has any updates towards the end. In order to raise the profile of the Association and its work, at least for now we have repositioned it to directly follow my ‘Welcome and Introduction’.

I hope that you are all well. We do know how challenging it is ‘out there’ at the moment, in which context I also hope that, when we get to Easter, you are able to enjoy a well-earned and well-deserved break.

With my very best wishes and continued thanks for all that you do, often under difficult circumstances.

Alex Gamby
Head of Early Years & Childcare Service

Early Years and Childcare Provider Association

The Association had its most recent meeting earlier in March and was pleased to:

  • welcome Denise Howard, Rainbow Out Of School Clubs Ltd, as its new Out of School Rep, replacing of course Jennie Cattell, who recently resigned
  • appoint Nicola Hills, Senior Manager at Towers Tiny Tots Preschool and the Association’s Early Years Groups Representative for Ashford as its Vice Chair, also relacing Jennie Cattell who held this position previously.

The Early Years Groups Representative position for Tonbridge and Malling continues to be vacant, as it has been for some time now. If you are the leader/manager of a good or outstanding early years group provision in Tonbridge and Malling, please don’t hesitate to email either myself at [email protected] and/or Jenny Jarvis at [email protected]

As part of the agenda at its last meeting, the Association:

  • received an update on the progress of the Stronger Practice Hub (updates for the sector as a whole will be provided in regular, hub specific newsletters)
  • received an update on KCC’s Early Years Review (in which some of you will already have been engaged and for which updates will follow in due course)
  • received feedback from Association representatives who had been present at recent Briefing and Networking Sessions, about things raised therein, the main focus of these having been the Association’s Call to Action ‘Save our Sector’.

The Association next meets in June. In the meantime, further information on the Association can be found on The Education People’s website. Please note our membership list is being updated in line with the recent changes highlighted above.

National News and Updates

Government Announcements 15 March 2023

The Department for Education (DfE) is still working through the details and has promised to engage closely with the early years and childcare sector to ensure its announcements can be implemented as effectively as possible. In the meantime, integral to the announcements, the Government will do the following.

  • Provide £4.1 billion by 2027-28 to deliver 30 hours a week of free childcare for eligible working parents of children aged nine months up to three years in England, where eligibility will match the existing three- to four-year-old 30 hours offer. This aims to close the gap between parental leave finishing and the current free childcare offer. The rollout of this enhanced offer is intended to be iterative with different parts of the offer coming on at different points but it should be comprehensive by September 2025. To support delivery, the Government will also provide £204 million in 2023-24 from September, followed by increases each year, to uplift the funding rate for the existing childcare offers. It seems this will be a significant increase to the current two-year-old offer, with some increase to the rates for three and four-year-olds. Further information is awaited on this.
  • Proceed with changing staff-to-child ratios from 1:4 to 1:5 for two-year-olds to align with Scotland and comparable countries and consult on further measures to improve flexibility for providers.
  • Increase support for those parents on Universal Credit (UC) who face the highest childcare costs, by increasing the UC childcare cost maximum amounts to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two children.
  • Introduce a national pathfinder scheme for wraparound childcare in England, to stimulate supply in the wraparound market and support the ambition that all children should be able to access 8am - 6pm childcare provision in their local area.
  • Introduce start-up grants for childminders; £600 for those registering with Ofsted and £1200 for those registering with Childminding Agencies, seemingly to cover the costs of starting up, and therefore the differing amounts are reflective of that.

Tax-Free Childcare
Many settings are now registered to accept Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) payments from parents.
In these very difficult financial times for both parents and providers, now is an ideal time for providers to promote the benefits of TFC, particularly if parents are considering reducing the number of hours their child attends a setting for financial reasons.

Example of Savings:

TFC is a Government scheme designed to help working families with their childcare costs. Parents and carers who are eligible can open an online childcare account to pay their registered childcare providers directly, and the Government will contribute to the account to help towards childcare costs and save money.

For every £8 a parent or carer pays in, the Government will add an extra £2. Families can receive up to £2,000 per child, per year, towards their childcare costs, or £4,000 for a child with a disability.

Tax-free childcare can be used to pay for:

  • registered childminders, nurseries, and nannies
  • registered after-school clubs and play schemes
  • home care workers employed with a registered home care agency.

Providers will need to register for TFC to allow parents and carers to make childcare payments to the setting from their account, and they must also be registered with the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).

Further Information for Providers

Sign up to Tax-free Childcare
Childcare Choices

Who Can Sign Up?
You must be an approved or registered childcare provider to sign up for a childcare provider account. This will allow you to set up your bank account details to receive payments from parents and carers who use TFC.

Are There Any Promotional Materials?
Yes, please visit Childcare Choices.

Recruitment and Qualifications – Are the Qualifications Your Team Hold Full and Relevant?
To enable progression for learners who were unable to access a work placement due to the Covid restrictions, NCFE CACHE worked together with Ofqual, the Department for Education (DfE), the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and UCAS to agree how learners can progress through a ‘knowledge only’ version of Early Years Educator level 3 or Early Years Practitioner level 2 qualifications. These qualifications are not on the DfE full and relevant qualification list as they do not cover any skills-based criteria and learners completing them did not complete any work experience placement.

Therefore, when recruiting staff who qualified from 2020 onwards, certificates need to be carefully checked as the ‘knowledge only pathway’ does not allow the holder to practice as an Early Years Educator or Early Years Practitioner. Certificates of the knowledge only will state ‘knowledge only pathway’ on them following the title of the qualification, and are on the list of qualifications that are not full and relevant published by the DfE.

Staff holding knowledge only qualifications can progress to the next level of study or have the option to top-up to the full qualification.

Message from DfE: Home Learning Environment - New Online Resources and Communications Campaign
In October, we launched our new online resources to encourage parents to chat, play and read more with their children, since we know that the home learning environment is crucial in boosting children’s language and social and emotional development in the early years. These resources expand the NHS’s Better Health Start for Life website with a full range of evidence-based, detailed – yet accessible – materials for parents on fun learning activities they can do with children at every stage between birth and five years old, and a search facility to connect them to local support.

It is supported by materials designed for stakeholders such as childcare providers, local authorities, libraries, early years practitioners and charities to promote the campaign to local parents and use in their everyday interactions with families that might benefit from support. These include posters to put up in health and other early years settings, and flyers to signpost parents to our resources, as well as a social media toolkit for tips on how to get the message out.

If you would like to get involved in the campaign, please contact [email protected].

Kent News and Updates

Financial Help for Kent Families
You may be aware of Kent families who are not eligible for free school meals that are struggling financially currently. Help is available to non-FSM households until the end of March 2023 via a professional’s referral process. A Word document "Application form completion guide for professionals use" was attached to the email through which the Bulletin was sent out which details how to make a referral. If you have not referred into the scheme previously, please click here to register

This information is for professionals only to support them in making applications, details are not to be shared wider.

Allegations Against Staff and the Role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
As part of Ofsted’s inspection procedures an inspector will secure evidence that ensures leaders and managers have put in place effective arrangements to manage allegations, and all staff and carers have access to and understand the written procedures for managing safeguarding allegations/concerns about members of staff and other adults working in the setting. Staff must know how to make a complaint and understand policies on whistleblowing and how to manage other concerns about the practice of adults in respect of the safety and protection of children and learners.

Settings have a duty to inform Ofsted of any allegations of serious harm or abuse by any person living, working, or looking after children at the premises (whether the allegations relate to harm or abuse committed on the premises or elsewhere). Ofsted must also be notified of the action taken in respect of the allegations. Notifications must be made as soon as is reasonably practicable, but at the latest within 14 days of the allegations being made; to not do so would be an offence.

Working Together to Safeguard Children (2022) defines an allegation in the following way.

An allegation may relate to a person who works with children who has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children
  • behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.

Kent’s Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Service deals with allegations against staff who work with children either in education or the wider children's workforce. LADO referrals will need to be made via the Kent Integrated Children's Services portal (same portal for submitting requests for support to the Kent Front Door Service).

Your own procedures for managing allegations against staff must be included as part of your safeguarding policies and include the action to be taken in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff, student, or volunteer.

Allegations should be referred immediately to the setting’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) who will contact the LADO to agree further action to be taken in respect of the child and staff member. In the event of allegations of abuse being made against the DSL, staff are advised that allegations should be reported to the next member of senior management who will contact the LADO.

Where managers are unsure as to how to respond to a concern about a member of staff, advice will be sought via the LADO Enquiry Line and/or the Education Safeguarding Service.

The Education Safeguarding Service Child Protection Newsletter
The latest edition of The Education People’s CP Newsletter March 2023 is now available.

Are You Part of a Collaboration?
Collaborations offer group providers and childminders the opportunity to link with others in their area and create a professional support network.

Working collaboratively provides an opportunity for settings to share good practice and work together towards common goals to improve outcomes for children. Recent feedback from collaborations has reported opportunities to share training and the numerous benefits to setting leaders, supporting each other with activities such as visiting settings for learning walks, moderation exercises, completion of audits and collaborative SENCO meetings. Leaders' Events are held three times a year and provide valuable networking opportunities and continuous professional development.

To find out more please contact [email protected] We will be happy to support you in connecting with other local providers through joining an existing collaboration or starting a new one.

Have You Updated Your Kent Directory Record Recently?
If the answer is ‘no’, you may have received an email from the Local Directory Team at the beginning of March, prompting you to do so. Please take some time to review your record regularly by logging into your account. The Kent Directory is an ideal place in which to promote your childcare business. You can provide a variety of information about your setting for families looking for childcare, such as your opening hours, costs, vacancies and much more. Don’t forget to also update your permissions to choose how visible you wish to be on the directory in terms of location details.

Those providers signed up to deliver the Free Entitlement are required to update their records three times a year (point 4.6 of the Provider Agreement). If you are experiencing any difficulties in accessing your directory record, please contact the Kent CFIS Team by emailing [email protected]

Management Information Update
If you choose to use an administration tool to complete your claims, you must ensure you review all the claims and that they are correct on the Synergy FIS Provider Portal before the headcount deadline date. Things to look out for are the following.

  • The funded hours have been converted correctly into either a 48 week or 38 week pattern if you offer funding up to 51 weeks per year
  • No duplicate records have been created. Check the names in the portal and look to see if two records exist for the same child. This could occur if the name previously submitted on the portal does not match the name stored on the provider’s in-house system. Make sure the original record is kept, update legal name if required and delete the new duplicated record, this will ensure MI do not double fund children and request funding back.
  • If a child is stretching their entitlement and the system has capped the hours, make sure it is capped from both the universal and extended hours if appropriate; this will avoid MI also capping the child’s entitlement.
  • When submitting applications for DAF please ensure that you include a fully completed application and an up-to-date Disability Living Allowance award notice. Failure to provide correct information may result in payment being delayed. Guidance and information can be found on Kelsi Claiming EYPP and DAF - KELSI

Early Education Funding Reminders
There is one remaining opportunity to submit a Free for Two (FF2) claim this term:

  • 31 March 2023 for payments week commencing 17 April 2023.

Headcount for three- and four-year-old funding in the summer term is Monday 24 April to Friday 28 April 2023.
Interim payments, if an estimate was submitted in March, will be made during the week commencing 17 April 2023 and a balancing payment will be made during the week commencing 12 June 2023.

The PVI Calendar on the Kelsi website provides further dates for next term as well as the next academic year.

The Kent Children & Families Information Service continues to receive numerous enquiries from families at the start of every term, wishing to access 30 Hours funding who have either not applied by the deadline or have not reconfirmed their details in time. The Kelsi website has a variety of promotional materials that can be used as reminders for families or why not share our posts on our bespoke Facebook page?

Opening the Doors to Welcoming Families into Your Setting

Many months have passed since the pandemic where families have not been able to enter early years premises due to the need to adhere to COVID-19 safety practices. Now as lockdown precautions have ceased, there is no reason why families cannot now enter these premises if relevant health and safety precautions are followed. This is practice that The Education People would strongly advocate.

When this recommendation was raised at Briefing and Networking sessions last year there was some resistance voiced by practitioners to having parents and carers entering the setting, particularly at drop-off times. The Education People felt it was important to explore this further and invited early years settings to partake in a survey to gain clarity on what the concerns were to welcoming parents and carers into the settings. The survey involved the completion of online questionnaires sent to both practitioners and families. Unfortunately, there were only four settings who volunteered to be involved – three preschools and one childminder resulting in a total of 37 parents/carers and 14 practitioners. This clearly is not a sufficient number of participants to be able to draw a countywide conclusion. However, what can be gleaned from this small scale survey is that there are varying opinions from both practitioners and parents/carers on whether families should enter settings. Whilst some families were happy to drop their children off at the entrance because their children appeared content with this arrangement, some parents/carers expressed concern at not entering the settings and not being proactive in the settling in process within the environment. Again, there were similar diverse responses from practitioners, with some strongly feeling that the presence of parents and carers within the setting hindered the settling in process and other practitioners who relished the return of families into the setting and fostering more meaningful relationships with the families.

Interestingly, post-pandemic, Ofsted has noticed the trend for settings to continue greeting families at the gate or entrance. Ofsted has raised 14 concerns that they outlined in their ‘Education recovery in early years providers: summer 2022’ document, summarised below:-

It is not a statutory requirement that families enter premises but the concerns above speak volumes about the potential inappropriateness of not welcoming parents/carers into settings. Ofsted inspection reports are highlighting the lack of robust key person approaches, poor partnerships with families often citing limited shared dialogues about children’s learning and joint planning for the setting and home learning environment.

Ofsted’s concerns listed above carry a clear message that settings should review their arrival and departure practices with the aim of families being readily welcomed into their premises as part of their procedure. It may feel irritatingly chaotic at arrival and departure times but managed well, and with a robust key person approach, children and their families can settle and separate within a warm, welcoming, learning environment allowing openness, transparency and partnerships to flourish to the long-term benefit of young children.

Six Consecutive Outstanding Ofsted Gradings - the First Nursery in Kent to Achieve This
"Dimples Day Nursery were awarded their 6th consecutive outstanding grading by Ofsted in November 2022. What a year 2022 was for the Dimples family, we turned 20 years old in the summer and finished the year on an incredible high with our 6th outstanding. We are a family owned and run day nursery based in Darenth, Kent. I am so incredibly proud of what Dimples Day Nursery has become. It all started with a scribble on a napkin and here we are 21 years later. Here is a little about Dimples and an insight on how we have managed to maintain our outstanding grading.

We always remind our team that ‘outstanding’ is a continuum; some days you may be at the bottom of the scale and you work harder so that you don’t slip below it and other days you celebrate as you are at the top of your game and everything is exceptionally outstanding. We believe that there is no magic wand that creates an outstanding nursery. It is hard work, a desire to deliver the best for the children, families and practitioners within your nursery family, lots of reflective practice and recognising when you get something wrong and learning from it.

Having the right team is incredibly important. I can’t do it all myself. I need likeminded, creative, compassionate, dedicated, skilful, knowledgeable and reliable practitioners who sing from the same song sheet but bring their own joie de vivre to every day at nursery.

2022 was a very special year for us. We celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee, our 20th birthday and in November we were graded outstanding by Ofsted for the 6th time.

The inspection was unannounced as it was a concern led inspection. Ofsted was concerned that we were ‘over reporting’ but I explained that we are much larger than most nurseries with 150 children a day and rather than not report, we always err on the side of caution and if in doubt, report. Two inspectors arrived on one of our ‘ordinary days’. We are a forest school, set in eight acres. It was wet and dreary. The new extension that was near to completion was almost finished but not quite and there was a skip in the car park, mud in the ‘out of bound garden’ where the building work was taking place and we didn’t shine like we normally do. Lots of lovely activities were going on but I felt that we were just outstanding!

After a very stressful day being quizzed by two inspectors (the first time we have ever had two, but we needed two as we are so large), the team, myself and my two deputy managers (one who is my daughter and the other who is like my daughter and has worked for me for 20 years) were exhausted. Some of the team were nervous wrecks after speaking with the inspectors (I’m not sure why as the feedback from the inspectors about their knowledge was excellent) and my management team and I felt a little disappointed as we are usually more ‘wow!’

Consultation between the inspectors was quick and they announced that we were to retain our outstanding and praised us for so many things. We all jumped for joy and felt heartfelt pride for our team.

So how did we get there?

I don’t really know where to start so I will start at the beginning. When I first trained and researched opening a nursery, I visited many nurseries. Two that stand out. One owner said ‘staff come and go so work them hard and get the most out of them’. Another owner said ‘your staff team are your most important asset. Treat them well and they will stay. You can’t do it without them’. Guess which one I listened to?

I love my staff. I look after them as much as I can, pay them as well as I can, have high ratios of staff to children (preschool is 1:6 and we have lunch covers), train them well, mentor them well, pull them up when things aren’t as good as expected and praise them when they are wow! We have high expectations of each other and we also have high expectations of the little people that we care for, teach and nurture.

We are a forest school and we make the best use of our eight acres, the local woods and local community. Not only is this great for real life experiences for children but staff’s wellbeing is great too. Our motto ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’ rings true every day.

We believe that we are proactive rather than reactive. We scrapped written planning and observations many years ago as we recognised that practitioners need to be engaging with children, not writing about them. This helps reduce staff workload and our team never take anything home with them.

Our expectations for our children are always very high and they have an enormous array of resources and activities to choose from. We have a large basement so even when the weather is too dangerous for outdoor play, our little people are active and exploratory. Parents often don’t believe how far they can trek and how capable they are. We truly value the importance of risk-taking. No soft pour play surfaces in our gardens! We believe children learn from a tumble and grazed knee and that they are more careful next time.

Each of our 10 rooms run as a mini nursery with a team leader, deputy and nursery practitioners. Each room must follow the nursery ethos but each team can plan as they wish, providing it has been risk assessed and we can afford it. This means that they usually roll up to our office with a plan and budget in place so that they know we can’t say no!!
Our families are very important to us and we include them whenever we can. Many settings report that they struggle to involve and engage their dads. We never have trouble; maybe it is our forest school ethos? They always come along to sparklers night in November, a trek to ‘dinosaur hill’ in our local woods (the children named this many years ago) and many other events.

Maintaining our outstanding isn’t easy. We reflect, learn, plan and improve on a daily basis. We believe that each and every little person who we care for has the right to the very best early years’ experience and we strive to deliver this. You don’t get a second chance. 90% of their brain develops under our watch! What a responsibility. However, nothing worth having in this world comes easy.

I’d like to finish this article with a big fat thank you to my team. They are simply the best!!"

Sandra Roles
Owner and Manager
Dimples Day Nursery

Charity News

‘Here to Help’: Commission Launches New Push on Trustee Guides as Sector Faces Challenging Year
On 2 February 2023, the Charity Commission launched the next stage of its campaign to raise awareness of core trustee duties and the guidance which is available to charities.

The Commission has developed a collection of short and engaging guidance, on issues ranging from safeguarding people to managing conflicts of interest. Dubbed the ‘5-Minute Guides’, the collection serves as a basic toolkit for trustees who are managing the many demands of running a charity.

The Charity Commission Annual Return 2023
The Charity Commission has published an updated set of questions which charities will have to complete as part of their 2023 Annual Return.

The Annual Return is an online form, and all charities with a yearly income of £10,000 or more must complete this form within 10 months of the end of their financial reporting period. The Annual Return must also be completed by all those registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

From 1 January 2023, all charities will have to use the newly revamped online Annual Return form. The changes and improvements were made following a full consultation, launched by the regulator in 2022. This is a key step to improving the data reported by charities, not only by enabling the Commission to better identify risks and problems in the sector, but also by helping the public to support charities with confidence, so that charities can thrive and inspire trust.

A new guide was released in January 2023 to support the charities as they began compiling the new information required. The number of questions asked of all charities in the Annual Return 2023 will increase slightly to 26. However, this is four less than what was proposed in the consultation. A further six questions will be removed from 2024 onwards, once further data has been captured by the Annual Return of 2023.

In spring 2023, The Commission will expand enrolment onto the My Charity Commission Account. Trustees and nominated contacts will, if they have not already done so, be invited to create an account on this platform.

In early summer 2023, the Annual Return filing portal will open via the My Charity Commission Account platform. Trustees will be expected to submit their Annual Return for 2023, and any future Annual Returns, through the regulator’s improved digital service.

Currently, the changes do not apply to the Annual Return 2022 and charities should therefore continue to submit these as before.

More information can be found here.

Focus on Out of School Providers

Monday 20 March saw the beginning of spring. There are many celebrations and activities to introduce to children attending our out of school provision, thus enhancing their knowledge, understanding and enjoyment in participating in a broad range of play opportunities. It is a busy time of year, full of potential. In spring, flora and fauna burst into life, making us appreciate the natural world around us; however, to sustain our natural world, environmental issues must be tackled at a global and local level. There are many facts and links to amazing things that can be made from recycled goods. The children attending may produce some exciting environmental and green practices of their own which can be embedded into your routines. This could be using recycled containers for planting, growing your own food, creating a wildlife area (this can be done in a window box) or finding straightforward ways to collect and dispose of your recycling effectively. Read more information on Global Recycling Day which was on 18 March.

Remember to share your activities, play opportunities, special events and celebrations on our Facebook page. This is a great place to showcase the wonderful things that are happening in your setting and share ideas with other settings.

The Out of School Team continues to offer support for settings through Annual Conversations; dates are still being offered and appointments made until the end of November. The principle aim of these visits is to reduce the risk of falling below a ‘met’ judgement. During these visits there is the opportunity to explore and understand the setting’s approach to the monitoring of the quality of provision, the safeguarding and welfare requirements and its place within the self-evaluation and setting improvement process. In addition to the Annual Conversations, the Out of School Team supports newly registered out of school settings until their first Ofsted inspection. If you have any questions about our visits, please email the Improvement and Standards mailbox [email protected]

Focus on Childminders

Childminder SEND Forum - Tuesday 28 March, 7pm – 9pm
The Education People’s Childminding Team is holding the next SEND Forum specifically for Kent based childminders later this month. This will be a virtual event via Zoom.
Those attending the forum will have the opportunity to participate in a FREE SEND processes workshop facilitated by the Kent County Council SENIF Team, receive updates on SEND services and practice and have the chance to network with other childminders in Kent.

Places are limited for the forum, so to avoid disappointment, please book by emailing the Childminding Team at [email protected].

Recent Ofsted recommendations have shown the following trend:

  • Supporting under twos’ development.

The EYFS Statutory Framework 2021 states that ‘Practitioners must stimulate children’s interests, responding to each child’s emerging needs and guiding their development through warm, positive interactions coupled with secure routines for play and learning’ (1.14).

The BBC’s Tiny Happy People has lots of useful information for early years professional to enable you to provide an enriching environment for the babies in your care that supports their development.

Ofsted Webinar for Childminders
Have you seen the Ofsted webinar for Childminders: changes, updates and common misconceptions? In this webinar, representatives from Ofsted discuss the changes to the early years inspection handbook in September 2022 and the impact of the pandemic on children’s learning and development.

Join Us on Facebook!
Over 560 of the Kent Childminding community have now joined our ‘The Education People Kent Childminders’ page on Facebook. This is a great way for us to be able to engage with you on a day-to-day basis and for you to network with each other.
This month we have focussed posts on Health and Safety, and Tips for Under Twos to support your childminding practice. Join us for support, discussions and ideas.

Stay in Contact!
Alongside our support with childminders and our Facebook page, the Childminding Team from The Education People also send a childminder specific monthly email to all childminders in Kent. This email contains updates and information to support your practice. If you are not currently receiving these emails please contact us at [email protected] and update us with your contact details to ensure that you are kept in the loop with Kent childminding news.

Information to Share with Families

AMPARO Kent and Medway Support Service for People Bereaved by Suicide
Amparo provides practical and emotional support to families and individuals who have been bereaved by suicide. They are particularly strong in supporting the families during these most tragic of times guiding them through the minefield of their grief as well as practical help with the media/coroners/police etc.
CHUMS offers specialist bereavement support to children and young people from three-and-a-half up until their 26th birthday in Kent and Medway.
Specialist support is needed when a child or young person is experiencing complex grief or traumatic bereavement. This might mean that it is extra hard for them to manage the death and so it is having an enduring negative impact on everyday life.

There is 24 hour emotional support available for every child in Kent via the text support line – just text Kent to 85258.

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 course codes below:

EYC 23/006 Group settings and schools (West) Tuesday 6 June 4pm to 6pm
EYC 23/007 Group settings and schools (North) Wednesday 7 June 4pm to 6pm
EYC 23/009 Group settings and schools (East) Tuesday 13 June 4pm to 6pm
EYC 23/010 Group settings and schools (South) Wednesday 14 June 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 23/008 Childminders and out of school settings Thursday 8 June 7.30pm to 9.30pm

Please note that any type of provider is welcome at any Briefing and Networking Session.

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