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Foundation Years Parents’ Guide
Following on from the publication of the Parents’ Guide there has been feedback from settings about the guide. We have made a number of changes including a new tearaway page on at the back of the document so settings can include as much information as they wish. This will be available from the EYFS framework and guidance page on the Foundation Years Website from midday Monday.

User Guide to the Parent’s Guide
The Foundation Years Team has produced a user guide for the Parent’s Guide that helps settings edit the text boxes and insert their setting logo. This can be found on the EYFS framework and guidance page on the Foundation Years Website from midday Monday.

4Children launch Children’s Centre Census 2012
Exclusive research by the national family charity, 4Children, reveals that despite significant cuts within local authority budgets, and the removal of the dedicated Sure Start grant, a picture of resilience and creativity has been found among children’s centres. Over 500 Sure Start Children’s Centres responded to a census conducted to gauge their financial viability, their service delivery, their role in delivering childcare, their staffing and their views of the future demands and challenges.

An Equal Start: Improving outcomes in children’s centres
The Institute of Health Equity was commissioned by 4Children to identify the most important outcomes Children’s Centres should be striving for in order to give all children positive early-years experiences. The IHE have published both an executive summary (which includes the outcomes framework), and a full evidence review, which call for a renewed focus on supporting good parenting and the environment in which parents live and work.

NCB and C4EO Free Early Years Peer to Peer Support for Quality Improvement
The Peer to Peer Support programme delivered by NCB with C4EO aims to provide managers and practitioners with knowledge of what works to improve children’s outcomes and life chances. This DfE funded programme offers free tailored consultancy support and training to local authorities and organisations.

NCB Free one-day training events
If your organisation is delivering services for young children you can apply for one of a range of training events which will support your staff to meet the requirements of the revised EYFS.  Training can be tailored to meet the needs of various groups, from children’s centre practitioners to health visitors, childminders, and reception staff. Full details are available here.

Now available Family Foundations: Working with Parents: course
For all those wanting to examine and improve their work families, this course helps develop parent’s confidence in supporting their young children’s development, learning, health and wellbeing. The programme addresses recent national policy developments on the need for increased support for child development; putting parents and families at the heart of services; the importance of intervening early and the role of services working together to ensure that families receive early help where and when needed. This course is based on 3 units at Level 3 and can lead to assessment for the City and Guilds Work with Parents Award.  An integrated 5-day programme, it can be delivered in a flexible way of a number of weeks, to meet the needs of a variety of professionals including children’s centre staff, home visitors, outreach workers and health visitors. For further information please email ECUadmin@ncb.org.uk

National Childcare Week
Childcare providers around the country celebrated this year’s National Childcare Week from 2-9 July. This year’s theme was ‘Families in Focus’, which aimed to increase childcare volunteering and involvement amongst grandparents and dads. Daycare Trust’s research shows that four million grandparent carers in the UK provide an average 10 hours of childcare each per week. Whilst there is little demand among grandparents for financial reward for providing childcare, many expressed a wish for greater involvement at their local children’s centre. Meanwhile Bounty’s Word of Mum Volunteering Survey showed just 1% of dads volunteering in a nursery, children’s centre or school, compared to four times as many mums. For more information on National Childcare Week, click here.

2012 London Childcare report
Daycare Trust’s latest report, 2012 London childcare report published earlier this month shows that Parents in London face a harder time than families anywhere else in the country when it comes to finding and paying for childcare. The report gives an in-depth analysis of the childcare picture in London. It reveals, for the first time, the particular factors which together are causing a growing childcare crisis in the capital – from, lack of childcare available outside of 9am-5pm hours, the higher cost of childcare in the capital, and the fact that parents in London are least likely to be able to rely on family to help with childcare. To download a free copy of the report click here.

National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) launches new accident book
National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has launched a new accident book to help nurseries keep an accurate record of any accidents. This booklet contains 50 accident forms, checked by Ofsted, and is suitable for nurseries in England, Scotland and Wales. The form can be completed in the event of an accident involving a child, parent, staff member or visitor. The booklet includes carbon copies so only one form has to be completed and a copy can be given to parents. To out more information visit: www.ndna.org.uk/publications.

NDNA helps nurseries prepare for the new EYFS online

National Day Nurseries Association has launched three new online courses to help nursery and childcare professionals to integrate the new Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) into their day-to-day work when it comes into practice from September.The courses are entitled ‘Supporting 0 – 2 year olds in the EYFS’, ‘Supporting 2 year olds in the EYFS’, and ‘Supporting 3 – 5 year olds in the EYFS’ and are available on the NDNA Early Years Development Zone. More information about the NDNA Early Years Development Zone can be found here.

NCMA Local’s peer support networks
NCMA Local’s peer support networks for childminders and nannies continue to grow – we are now active in almost 45 local authority areas across the country, with more than 1200 active members of our website. They recently completed their first membership survey which has highlighted the wealth of knowledge and activities taking place among their local networks – over half of members are attending organised meetings on a monthly basis while 68% are happy that the online services being offered are meeting their needs. They are adding new areas to NCMA Local all the time and are always on the lookout for people to Facilitate networks. If you know anybody who is active online and keen to support their peers, please direct them to ncmalocal.com.

Contact a Family’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) Advice Service deals with parents’ top worry and proves its worth in first six months
Nearly 2,600 people who care for children with SEN or additional needs got in touch with Contact a Family’s new SEN National Advice Servicein its first six months (November 2011 – May 2012) to get advice and information about their child’s education. Nearly half (46 per cent) of the enquiries handled by the charity’s expert SEN advisors were from parents worried about lack of support in school for their child’s additional needs, and wanting to know more about the procedures for getting extra help in school, including the statementing process. Nearly a third of people (28 per cent) contacting the SEN National Advice Service wanted more information about the appeals process and almost one in five people (29 per cent) wanted advice and help about either official or unofficial exclusions of their child from school. Further information can be found here

Contact a Family resources for settings supporting a child with a rare condition
Contact a Family offer relevant, up-to-date and validated information on hundreds of disabilities and rare conditions. Find out information on the causes, symptoms, treatment and the support available in your local area. Contact a Family also runs a free family linking site called MakingContact.org. Being a mum, dad, sibling or grandparent of a child with a rare condition can be very isolating. MakingContact.org gives families the opportunity to get in touch with one another without having to give out personal contact details, share experiences with others and get support too.

The Children’s Society’s project on barriers disadvantaged families face to engaging with children’s centres
The Children’s Society’s policy team is working on a project looking into the barriers disadvantaged families face to engaging with children’s centres. They would really like to hear from you! What is your experience of working with disadvantaged families and helping them to engage with children’s centres services. They have a short survey which will take 10 minutes to complete and can be found here.

Join The Learning Exchange
The Learning Exchange is funded by the Department for Education and aims to provide people who are responsible for running extra-curricular activities and clubs with ideas and support to help broaden the range and increase the quality of the activities offered.Membership is free and benefits include free training and resources, access to the VCS Hub, a new databasewhich holds the profiles of quality-checked voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations offering extra-curricular activities, networking opportunities and up-to-date news and information. You can to register to become a free member here.

National Association for Forest School Launched
Through its commitment toward encouraging and inspiring individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences, The National Association for Forest School was recently launched on 7th July as a national governing body for Forest Schools, the main contact and a membership association for organisations and individuals across the UK. The Association will also oversee Forest School qualifications.

Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC)
CREC has recently been involved in the construction of a white paper about preschools in 45 different countries. The four index categories are: the ‘Availability’, ‘Affordability’ and ‘Quality’ of their preschool environments, as well as the broad ‘Social context’, which examines how healthy and ready for school children are. Across all categories the UK came out 4th overall and Singapore came 29th. The full report can be found here.

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