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Call for submissions for Under 2s Interest Group

The Department for Education has established a special interest group to consider the support for children under the age of 2 and their families, building upon the work and government commitments set out in the Families in the Foundation Years policy statement. The group is composed of sector representatives and early years specialists, including 4Children.

The special interest group will consider the implications of the current raft of changes for under-2s and their families, including the revised EYFS, the Nutbrown Review, and the expansion of the two year old offer, as well as any additional steps which could improve provision during pregnancy.

To help ensure that we deliver the best for families with young children, the group are asking the question below in order to understand your views on issues relating to the under-2s:

“What are the biggest challenges, apart from any staff shortages, that face you as a practitioner/professional working to support children and families from pre-birth through to 2 years of age?”

“What change(s) in policies or practice in relation to children from pre-birth to age 2, or their families, would make the greatest difference to long-term outcomes for children’s health and wellbeing? How would the difference take place?” (Please limit your answer to 2 suggestions.)

“Have you an example of local good practice that addresses any of these challenges that you would be willing to share with us?”

For example, any feedback you can provide on existing services or policies, suggestions for how services could be improved, or areas where you feel further support is needed would be very helpful. The group is also especially keen to receive examples of where things are working well or innovative ideas to help support those who work with 0-2 years olds and their families.

Submissions to the group can be sent to the 4Children e-mail address below:

[email protected]

The group will be meeting until April 2012. Therefore, in order to ensure that any submissions can best inform the group’s work, responses by 10th February 2012 would be especially helpful.

Consultation on Two Year Old Entitlement

The Department for Education is gathering responses to its current consultation dealing with the two-year-old entitlement and other Foundation Years. Further details and how you can respond can be found on the Department’s website.

There are several further events planned to be held around the country starting on 22 February which aim to inform and take views from the sector particularly concerning the two-year-olds. The Department hopes to see a good mix of local authority people and early years providers applying to attend these events. They will be in a position to discuss
• the results of the consultation,
• the learning from the eighteen ‘2YO Trial’ local authorities who have tested new delivery systems
• and finally, the new eligibility criteria for the 40% of two-year-olds due to become entitled to their free places in 2014.

The Department will be publicising these events shortly and you will be able to apply in the normal way through their Early Years Mailbox.

Ofsted Consultation

Ofsted have published a new consultation which seeks views on proposals for a revised framework for the regulation of registered early years provision. The closing date for the consultation is 6th April 2012. Details on how to respond can be found on Ofsted’s website. Following this consultation Ofsted will publish a revised framework for the regulation of registered early years provision, taking full account of responses, which will also be published.

Consultation on revised Early Learning Goals

Between July and September 2011, the Government consulted on a revised Early Years Foundation Stage framework, responding to the recommendations of an independent review by Dame Clare Tickell. This consultation provides a further opportunity to comment on the Government’s proposed changes to the early learning goals. The closing date for the consultation is Thursday 19 January. Details on how to respond can be found on the Department’s website.

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  1. ann.burke on February 3, 2012
    Infant massage is an essential and valuable programme that benefits the infant and maternal mood. Infant massage and the benefits are well researched and docummented . Due to the current service demands trained health visiting team members are unable to provide this service on an individual basis or within a group. I feel that in my professional opinion this needs to be incorporated within any discussion and planning for babies under 2 years.
    • Susan Nichol on February 3, 2012
      I wholeheartedly agree about the benefits of infant massage in the early years.
  2. Julie French on February 4, 2012
    I agree and as a community nursery nurse want to train in baby massage but do not at present have the capacity to engage with training as the level of skill mix within my area should be 2 com nursery nurses and 2 community Health nurses, as it stands I am the skill mix.
  3. Alison Morton on February 6, 2012
    Health visiting teams need to focus on interventions to improve attachment, particularly for women with post natal depression. The funding streams for collaborative working with Children Cenres need to be made easier with a financial commitment from both sectors to fund innovation. Health Visitors have lots of underused skills which are hampered by PCT's focussing on a one size fits all approach to commissioning- this stifles innovation and locally sensitive collaborative working. Too much time is spent by all agencies assessing need and too little time developing evidene based, user friendly initiatives to support those with the greatest need
  4. Claire Langford on February 13, 2012
    Agree about the infant massage. In our area it is accessed by mothers who can afford to pay for private provision. As HV's we should be using cues based massage to support parents who need to help to develop essential attunment with their infants. Effect diagnostic tools Crittenden Care Index Tool could abe effectively used by HV's to target attachment deficiencies for relatively little cost. I agree with earlier comments we are spread thinly assessing need in all but then not properley resourced to intervene when real need is identified.
    • 4Children Early Years Team on February 13, 2012
      Hi guys - I've started a forum topic on this over at the foundation years forum site: since you all seem to be in agreement that this is an important issue. It would be great to ehar anything more you all have to share!
  5. Karen Foye on February 28, 2012
    Awareness of baby brain development and attachment should be shared with parents at antenatal classes,Postnatal depression should be destigmatised ( as many new Mums are afraid to admit how they really feel) and the support availible if problems arise eg Sure Start, should be presented either verbally or in leaflet form BEFORE THE BABY IS BORN.
  6. Pingback: “A Better Start can transform lives” « The Big Lottery Fund Blog 16 Jan, 2013

    […] earned me the privilege (and work!) of co-chairing the Under 2s Special Interest Group – to fill the gap. This was a special study, which has been running for the past 12 months. My […]