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Children’s Centre Census 2012

4Children have launched their Children’s Centre Census 2012. The census will ask centres questions about the number and type of staff they employ, the number of childcare places they provide, the mix between universal and targeted services and their experiences of providing services in a recession. The results will help provide a picture of the services that are available across the country, and how those services have changed over the past year.  You can complete the survey here.


4in10 are running a campaign to get parents and practitioners involved in delivering quality, affordable childcare across London. They are asking for people to take two minutes to tell the next mayor to make sure the capital’s parents can get affordable childcare when they need it. You can complete the form here.

Closure of CWDC

The CWDC will be closing on 31 March. The CWDC and Department for Education websites will be full of information about the on-going work supporting the early years workforce as CWDC closes. Past the end of CWDC the DfE Teaching Agency will continue our work with early years and educational psychologists. CWDC social work reform programme will transfer to DfE, alongside sector-led development across all other sections of the workforce.

4Children Annual Conference

The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Louise Casey, Head of the Troubled Families Team at the Department for Communities and Local Government, and Sarah Teather MP, Minister for Children and Families, are two of many high calibre speakers lined up for 4Children’s 2012 Annual Conference. With public expenditure under increased pressure it is crucial to ensure that children and family services are at the forefront of government policy. Building sustainable family futures will explore and debate how local and national agencies are responding to the needs of the most vulnerable children and families within the current economic climate. For more information or to book, call the Events Team on 0207 5226970, email [email protected] or visit

Understand how the revised EYFS will affect your nursery with support from NDNA

To help you understand and prepare for changes brought about by the revised EYFS framework in September 2012, NDNA has developed a range of resources for nursery managers and staff. These resources include a series of factsheets, new publications and training courses, designed to update you on the revised EYFS and what this means in practice for your nursery business. The training courses will include sessions on understanding the statutory requirements of the EYFS, learning and development requirements and the two to three year old checks linked to the EYFS. More details will be available soon but you can find out more

To find out more call us on 01484 40 70 70 or visit

Two Year Old Offer Support

Social Enterprise UK are offering a number of free, one to one business support consultation sessions for VCSE organisations looking to provide Two Year Old Offer places. This follows from the Chancellor’s announcement of further investment in free childcare for two year olds resulting in an additional £380 million of early investment a year by 2014/15 to cover a further 130,000 free childcare places. To find out more about these bespoke sessions please contact Holly Brereton

Daycare Trust’s 2012 Childcare Cost Survey

Daycare Trust’s 2012 Childcare costs survey showed above-inflation increases in the price of nursery care in Britain with the hourly rate for a child aged under two up 5.8%. The increase for a child aged two and over is 3.9%. In the same period wages have remained stagnant, only increasing by 0.3%.  

New HMRC figures have also revealed the impact of the Government’s cut to the childcare element of Working Tax Credit in April 2011.  The average claim has fallen by over £10 per week, costing the low-income working families that receive it more than £500 per year.  Furthermore, 44,000 fewer families are receiving this help with childcare costs. This is bad news for both families and providers as many parents may consider giving up work and dropping out of the childcare market. Learn more by visiting Daycare Trust’s website.

Improving Outcomes Magazine Launches

The first edition of Improving Outcomes, a new monthly newsletter with the latest information about the Department for Education’s Overarching Strategic Partnership has just been published. The newsletter sets out the aims, ambitions and membership of the Partnership and includes information about our performance so far as well as details of upcoming events. You can click here to download the first edition.

Toddler Development

New research has shown that Toddlers at the age of two who have a vocabulary of less than 50 words are at risk of developmental problems that can persist into later life according to scientists who have devised a speech test for young children. You can find out more information here.

The Childminding Café

The Childminding Café is a new website created by a former Ofsted registered and Outstanding graded childminder. The Childminding Café helps childminders to manage their business with downloadable resources, coaching and business inspiration. There is a small annual membership fee, however non-members can access free resources and newsletters. With the revised EYFS approaching, The Childminding Café is publishing a series of blogs to help members understand what the new regulations means for their childminding setting. In addition, new revised EYFS-friendly childminding resources are being created and added to the website.  You can find out more here.

Free high-quality training for thousands of early years settings

Thousands of day nurseries and pre-schools across England are to benefit from free high-quality training for all their staff, courtesy of the Pre-school Learning Alliance. The Alliance is providing the training free of charge to all its 14,000 members and new members in a partnership deal with the award-winning training provider EduCare. All member settings will be eligible for the distance learning training courses, worth up to £5,000 to a setting with 20 staff.

The initiative, which is worth millions of pounds to the early years and childcare sector, is being rolled out from May. It is by far the biggest-ever free training initiative for the early years sector undertaken by a representative organisation and is approved by the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certification Service.

The free courses are Child Protection Awareness in Education, Safer Recruitment, Children’s Rights and Child Neglect. In addition, further free training programmes are being developed by the Alliance and EduCare to support the requirements of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage, on managing the Ofsted inspection process, and carrying out effective self-evaluation.

Access to the distance learning courses will be available online to all setting managers, their staff and volunteers who are registered Alliance members. Once a setting has taken its free allocation it can purchase other courses for a greatly-discounted cost.

Initially, the EduCare courses covered by the free training offer are:

  • Child Protection Awareness in Education
  • Safer Recruitment
  • Children’s Rights
  • Child Neglect

In addition to the free courses, Alliance members can purchase the following EduCare courses for a greatly-discounted cost:

  • An Introduction to Equality and Diversity
  • An Introduction to Finance: Budgeting
  • An Introduction to Risk Assessment
  • An Introduction to Staff Training
  • An Introduction to Motivation
  • Basic Food Hygiene

Other courses will be added in due course.

Details on how to register for the free training will be available from 1 May on the Alliance website at

NHS Atlas of variation

The NHS Atlas of variation in healthcare for children and young people was launched last Thursday at Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. The Atlas identifies unwarranted variation in children’s services, highlighting opportunities for commissioners and clinicians to improve health outcomes and minimise inequalities. The full publication can be found page which also contains a link to the Child heath profiles which cover every PCT and local authority in England and are key data sources to support commissioning and planning of services.

Children’s Centre Leader Reader March/April Edition

Children’s Centre Leaders are creative in the face of challenge.  The present context sees us face unparallelled change and multiple challenges.  In the March/April edition of Children’s Centre Leader Reader we’ll be exploring change with Naomi Eisenstadt, Jude Holby, Jane Morgan and Liz Applin.  Come and join us at

Montessori Launch first parenting book

Montessori St Nicholas, the UK’s Montessori charity, is delighted to announce the publication of its first parenting book. The book takes a fresh look at family life to help parents put the child at the heart of the home and unlock their amazing potential. Packed with ideas and advice, it is relevant to parents of young children from birth upwards.

Better parenting starts from birth and is central to the life chances of every child. The book starts out exploring the first year of a baby’s life as a time of extraordinary growth and development. It stresses the key roles played by attachment, movement and communication.

The book explains what the Montessori philosophy of “follow the child” means and discusses key elements of the approach which embraces child-led, natural and favourable learning environments.

There are lovely personal insights from parents on how to promote a child’s independence through the daily routines of everyday family life: from getting dressed, personal hygiene, eating, and packing a bag to ideas on how to adapt a living space around the needs of the child.

The book includes personal voices of parents from a range of different perspectives talking about parenting and encouraging a child’s independence.

Author, Kathi Hughes attended Montessori schools in the US building a foundation that has stuck with her throughout her life. She trained as a Montessori teacher at Montessori Centre International.

To order the book, email: [email protected], tel: 020 7493 8300 or go to

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