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Contact a Family has been awarded the Department for Education contract to establish a new country-wide service for families of children with special educational needs. The Special Education Needs (SEN) National Advice Service will offer comprehensive advice and information to parents in England who have a child with SEN, additional needs or disabilities, on any aspect of their child’s education. The service will also provide advice on general education issues affecting children with SEN such as transport to school; bullying; exclusion; medical needs in school and school attendance. The service forms part of Contact a Family’s integrated helpline and online service for families of disabled children.

NDNA’s Nursery Awards 2012 have been launched. The awards, the only ones to be voted for exclusively by parents, provide a fantastic opportunity for nurseries and practitioners to be recognised for the great work they do in supporting children and families throughout the UK.
Supported by Christie + Co, the awards will take place on 21 June 2012. To enter the awards, simply download the registration and nomination forms from the NDNA website and ask the mums and dads who use your setting to complete the nomination form and return to you. The awards are open to all nurseries across the country and the deadline for entries is Friday 30 March 2012.

Contact a Family’s Family Life project (funded by the DfE) is supporting family relationships by delivering workshops for parents of disabled children that will increase their confidence and resilience. Two recent workshops covered siblings and managing stress have already been delivered. Families with disabled children often don’t find out about support it until they’re at crisis point. The foundation years workforce can help by signposting them to the correct information and places of support such as Contact a Family.

Contact a Family is helping families with disabled children understand the changes to the welfare system. This is particularly important at the moment when family incomes are being squeezed and many are fearful of how they will cope. To help prepare families Contact a Family has put together a leaflet which details what the changes to the welfare system may mean for parents with a disabled child.

The School Food Trust are developing new voluntary food and drink guidelines for early years settings in England. As part of this they are carrying out research into current food and drink practices in early years settings. They will be carrying out the research in three local authorities in England and will be inviting eligible settings in each area to help them with their work. If you would like further information please contact Jo Nicholas.

The School Food Trust have today launched the ‘Eat Better, Start Better’ project which aims to help young children to eat well by working closely with families and all those involved in the early years health or education. Read more about the project here or read the positive reaction from 4Children here.

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  1. Deborah Murray on January 24, 2012
    Please can you confirm if Hardings Pre-School's parents can nominate their Pre-School for your Nursery 2012 award. Thank you Deborah Murray Hardings Pre-School Leader
    • 4Children Early Years Team on January 24, 2012
      Hi Deborah - it's probably best to get in contact with NDNA directly on this one. You can find their contact details here: