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Early Years Educator ‘Full and Relevant’ Criteria Consultation

The Government’s publication ‘More great childcare’ (January 2013) sets out the vision for quality in early education and childcare. It includes the Government’s response to Professor Cathy Nutbrown’s report ‘Foundations for Quality’ published in June 2012.

The Government wants to make sure there is more great childcare available for parents and children.  The introduction of Early Years Teachers (Graduate) and Early Years Educators (Level 3) will support early years providers to ensure those who work with babies and young children become increasingly skilled and professional.

The Teaching Agency has been asked to consult on new, tougher ‘full and relevant’ criteria to underpin new Early Years Educator qualifications from September 2014.

The Teaching Agency would like to hear your views on the draft criteria.  You can do this by taking part in the consultation, which is open until 22 April 2013 at http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/departmentalinformation/consultations

 

Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents

Childcare should be safe, of high quality and affordable, so it best promotes children’s development as the foundation for their future success at school and in later life, and supports families by enabling parents to work as they choose, and with confidence. Despite the significant improvements in the quality and professionalism of childcare in the last few years, the Government recognises there are persistent concerns over the suitability, cost and availability of provision, with too few parents having the choice of a good provider, particularly in the most deprived areas, and UK families facing some of the highest fees in OECD countries.

The new 2011 edition of Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents was published by the Department for Education on January 31st. It was carried out for the Department for Education by Ipsos MORI, and offers a detailed statistical  portrait of the sector. It includes a wealth of information on: parents’ childcare arrangements, their views of particular providers and provision in general. Nearly four-fifths (78%) of all families in England with children aged under 15 used some form of childcare in 2011 and the survey report describes in detail: what childcare is used by different types of families; parents’ reasons for using, or not using, childcare, and for choosing particular providers; and the influence of childcare arrangements on mothers’ decisions about whether to go out to work.

 

New Good Level of Development measure

Following trials of the new EYFSP assessment over the summer, the Government has now set out how the new Good Level of Development measure will be defined.  From 2013, children will be defined as having reached a good level of development at the end of the EYFS if they achieve at least the expected level in:

  • the early learning goals in the prime areas of learning (personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language) and;
  • the early learning goals in the specific areas of mathematics and literacy.

As Dame Clare Tickell’s review of the EYFS made clear, the prime areas of learning are essential for children’s healthy development.  The Government also believes that a good foundation in mathematics and literacy is crucial for later success, particularly in terms of children’s readiness for school. We want to encourage schools to strengthen children’s knowledge and understanding in all these important areas.

However, all areas of learning within the EYFS are important and the GLD measure will be supported by a measure of the average of the cohort’s total point score across all the early learning goals in order to also help to promote the attainment of all children across all the early learning goals.

CANparent Update

The CANparent Team has just delivered a sustained period of marketing to raise awareness of the offer of classes with parents. This saw bus adverts, Facebook adverts, refreshed posters, and five road shows in each of the Trial areas. The road shows provided a great opportunity to tell parents about CANparent and answer their questions about parenting classes. Initial feedback suggests that this face-to-face engagement has been a success. This highlights yet again the important role that all those working with families in the Foundation Years can have in making sure that mothers and fathers are aware of the benefits of the CANparent offer of classes.

Developments in Bristol continue with a number of providers now offering classes. The classes are not directly subsidised by £100 vouchers in Bristol but providers are using a range of different funding approaches which may include some charges to parents. A launch is planned for March which will showcase what providers are offering. You can keep up to date at www.canparent.org.uk/bristol.

The first interim report from the trial evaluation is nearly ready for publication and we’ll be sharing the findings at an event in mid-March. If you would like to receive a summary of the interim report, email parentingclasses.enquiries@education.gsi.gov.uk.

The CANparent Trial is one year old in April and the team are already looking back at the lessons from the first year’s activity. The findings from this review will help inform plans for the CANparent Trial in 2013/14.

You can keep in touch with CANparent via Twitter at #CANparent and at the DfE Facebook page, or you can join our stakeholder list for updates by emailing parentingclasses.enquiries@education.gsi.gov.uk.

Payment by Results

The Department’s current Payment by Results in Sure Start Children’s Centres trials will end, as originally planned, on 31st March this year. A good deal of valuable learning is emerging from the trials and DfE will ensure that this is captured and disseminated widely. An evaluation of the trials will be published this summer.

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