Early Years: Will we get our £770,000,000 back?

So, on reading this article in Nursery World which informs us that there is a massive 93% underspend on the Tax Free Childcare Accounts - which ultimately forms part of the £6 billion investment in early years funding for education & childcare I can't help but ask:  Will we see this money come back into the sector through increased funding rates?  I suspect I know the answer will be NO, but perhaps we should be asking those that advocate our … [Read more...]

Ofsted Big Conversation West Midlands Open Meeting

We've had a great time at the Coventry Childcare Expo but there's no time to stand still as we're proud to be supporting & exhibiting once again at the Ofsted Big Conversation in Wolverhampton on 13th October. Have you ever wanted to just ask Ofsted a question, but not had the opportunity outside of the inspection process? Perhaps you've heard differing interpretations over aspects of the Statutory Guidance and want something clarified? - … [Read more...]

Being School Ready Training for Practitioners

Following on from my Assessment Measures Blog in July where I mentioned that we were involved in doing some research with schools about their expectations for children I am glad to report that we have moved the project forward in supporting parents and practitioners in Being School Ready. Our project has involved talking to schools directly, working with parents and providing training for practitioners. We have also created a brand new resource … [Read more...]

Assessment Measures

We have recently become involved in a project to support parents and children in preparing for the journey to school. We initially thought this was all about the children, but having spoken to several schools it seems it’s as much about the parents as it is the children – who knew! So the project has taken a turn in that direction. The other side of the project though, is considering moderation between schools and settings. This has … [Read more...]

What’s new in the updated Operational Guidance?

I’ve been catching up with recent publications related to the early years over the last few days. So on 17th July, just 5 days before the end of term, the DfE decided that they should publish a revised and updated Operational Guidance.  The Pre-school learning alliance has published A guide to the key changes and so here I will be looking at the implications of some of these for parents and providers. The document has had quite a shake up in … [Read more...]

30 hour countdown – Plan, Prepare, Perform

Just like the rest of the country those of us in early years are left in a state of uncertainty as to the future of the current, or indeed any of the proposed policies that have been presented by various parties during the recent election campaign! One thing seems sure though, 30 hours isn’t going away and it may be more of 'out of the frying pan into the fire' looking at some of the ideas that have been muted. However, here we are, left … [Read more...]

Little Rascals Professionals Day

I was proud to attend Little Rascals day Nursery Professionals afternoon this week where all those involved with the company's training and development were invited to meet up, view the latest expansion of their Darlaston site - which has grown to now take 82 children - and have some afternoon tea. It was a lovely warm afternoon and the children were enjoying their play both inside and out. Hannin, Manager of Darlastan was a congenial host and … [Read more...]

Have you got your new Ofsted Logo yet?

Ofsted announced today that they have introduced a logo for GOOD providers alongside the existing one for Outstanding providers. About time I say and what a great idea! As a GOOD provider myself I have often felt a bit of 'logo envy' for those setting that are Outstanding - that is not to take anything away from them as it's a great achievement - but I still want to shout about being GOOD, as that means that I'm better than satisfactory (a grade … [Read more...]

Are You Ready – for the EYFS 2017?

We’ve had a month to prepare and make changes for the new EYFS 2017 – so you can expect any inspection from today to incorporate those changes and expect them to be in place. Have you had a chance to read the new document and adapt your policies accordingly? If not then there has been some useful analysis done by the Pre-school Learning Alliance and the NDNA both of which inform you of what has changed. There has also been a Newsletter from … [Read more...]

LA Statutory Guidance for Early Education & Childcare – Where did our Funded Places go?

Well I’m not sure quite who, how or what happened but it seems as a sector we have made one step forward and been knocked several steps back. The LA Statutory Guidance for Early Education and Childcare  was released alongside the Model Agreement: Early years provision free of charge and free childcare at the end of last week. Notice THAT word there?  The four letter word I refuse to use in my literature – ‘it’s not free for me’ as those of you … [Read more...]