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The Family Strategic Partnership – The Future of Family Services in an Age of Austerity
The Family Strategic Partnership is kicking off 2013 by offering you a chance to hear some of the leading voices in commissioning and share your experiences and perspectives. The Family Strategic Partnership will be hosting an event called The Future of Family Services in an Age of Austerity on Wednesday 16th January 2013 at Central Hall Westminster.

The aim of the event is to highlight the challenges and opportunities presented by the commissioning environment; raise the profile of leading VCSE children and families organisations and showcase outstanding commissioning.

Ofsted Consultation
Ofsted is revising the framework for the inspection of Sure Start Children’s Centres. They are seeking the widest possible range of views from those who have an interest in, or expertise relating to, children’s centres to ensure that the framework takes proper account of the needs and circumstances of all interested parties. Above all, the framework must assure the quality of services for all young children and families who use children’s centre provision and promote their continuing improvement.

Daycare Trust
Parent Champions are parents who have positive experience of using childcare and/or supporting their child’s early learning, who act as advocates and peer advisers to other parents in their community. Daycare Trust supports a number of Parent Champions projects across the country and recently conducted a Social Return on Investment analysis of a project in Liverpool. The research found that every pound invested brings in a return worth nearly £13. For more information please go to: http://www.daycaretrust.org.uk/pages/social-return-on-investment.html

Daycare Trust’s annual childcare and early education conference (4th December 2012) is the highlight of the childcare calendar, bringing together professionals from the sector to engage with experts from government and beyond in examining current childcare policy and practice. This year’s conference which is kindly sponsored by the Childcare Voucher Providers Association, is entitled ‘new approaches to childcare policy and practice’ and there will be an opportunity to hear directly from the Minister Elizabeth Truss MP. Visit http://www.daycare-trust-annual-conference2012.co.uk/ for more details and to book a place.

NCMA
NCMA Local will be launching networks in more than 40 Local Authority areas across England between November and December. The first of these launches have taken place already, providing childminders and nannies with an opportunity to meet their peers in a relaxed environment. These meetings are open to both NCMA members and non-members so keep an eye on ncmalocal.org.uk for the latest locations.

The third Facilitator networking day was held in London on Saturday 10th November, which gave Facilitators from across the country the opportunity to meet with one another to share ideas, approaches and success stories as well as contributing to their CPD. Facilitators are volunteer childminders who set up their local networks, bringing local childminders and nannies together and promote peer support and professional development.

The Communication Trust
The Communication Trust, has been chosen as a ‘recommended supplier’ for local authorities looking at boosting the skills of the children’s workforce in their early years’ settings to deliver the 2-year-old offer. The Trust was selected by management consultancy Mott MacDonald, commissioned to help local authorities make best use of the funding they receive from Government, to facilitate delivery of a new Level 3 Award in Supporting Children and Young People’s Speech, Language and Communication which the Trust developed with the support of City & Guilds.

Big Lottery Fund
Big Lottery Fund has announced a new funding initiative – called Fulfilling Lives: A Better Start. It will invest up to £165 million to improve the life chances of over 10,000 of England’s most vulnerable babies.A Better Start will stop harm to a child before it happens. It’s already known that some children who get a poor start in those crucial first three years of life often have reduced life chances. BIG wants to help parents – including expectant parents – give the best possible start in life to their babies. We also want A Better Start to prevent more entrenched, and costly, social problems later on.

Children’s Society
Thousands of families are struggling to give their children what they need because money is so tight – which is why it really matters that every child living in poverty gets free meals at school. The Children’s Society has launched a new online game to let people see if they could survive on our country’s lowest incomes.

The Institute of Health Visiting
The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) is a new organization whose purpose is to ensure that the support which health visitors offer families is consistent, and is based on best evidence. Although in its infancy the intention is that it will become a UK Centre of Excellence supporting the development of high-quality health visiting practices.

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