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Daycare Trust has developed new online volunteering resources aimed at childcare and early years providers. The resources guide providers through different approaches to involving parents and developing structured volunteer programmes. There are case studies as examples of good practice and suggestions of resources to use, with examples and links to further resources.


The information is based on recommendations and research from Daycare Trust’s report, Better Serving our Children. This report forms the basis of a national action plan to increase sustainable volunteering opportunities in the early years and childcare sector.


These resources will continue to grow as Daycare Trust learns more about how childcare settings are using volunteers. Let us know what you are up to and how you are working with parents, grandparents and other volunteers in your setting.


New research by Daycare Trust, University of Oxford  and A+ Education compares different quality measures used in England to identify and improve the quality of early years provision. The project was funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

The research compares Ofsted inspections with other quality assessments such as ECERS (the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale) and ITERS (the Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale), as well as quality assurance schemes.

Key findings and conclusions include:

  • Ofsted grades are too broad to provide a detailed measure of quality in early years settings, and are best used alongside other quality measures
  • Some settings judged as ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ by Ofsted were rated as lower quality on the ECERS and ITERS rating scales.

Find out more about the research here:

Hear the latest on engaging with parents, free nursery education and preparing for Ofsted inspections under the new EYFS at this year’s NDNA essential nursery conference, taking place on 21-22 June at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham. Delegates will be inspired with updates from an exciting mix of expert speakers including Sarah Teather MP – Children’s Minister, Professor Tanya Byron – psychologist, author and broadcaster and Tim Gill – leading thinker on childhood and author of ‘No Fear: growing up in a risk averse society.’ Plus, special guest speaker, John Carnochan, head of Scotland’s National Violence Reduction Unit will move delegates with his real-life stories of how early intervention can help to lead children away from violence in their later years. Discounted prices are available for NDNA members and we are also running a special offer which means that for every two places booked you receive a third half price!  To find out more about the full agenda and to book your place now visit or call 01484 40 70 70.


4Children’s event, Children’s Centres – The future will bring together experts from across the Children’s Centres sector to discuss and debate ways in which Children’s Centres can survive in these challenging times and debate subjects including funding, targeted and universal services, and positive ways of improving effectiveness across children’s centres

As part of NCB and C4EO’s DfE-funded* Early Years Peer to Peer Support programme, local authorities and organisations delivering services for young children can now apply for a range of free tailored training days. These one-day events can be taken up separately from, or in addition to, a possible tailored package of further support. Courses on offer include: Parents, Early Years and Learning (PEAL), Listening as a Way of Life: an introduction, Embedding listening within the early years, and Listening to young children using the Mosaic approach.

For more information on any of the courses above, or to find out how to take up this offer, please email  [email protected] or call 0207 843 6064


* This work is supported by the DfE’s Improving Outcomes for Children, Young People and Families fund. Please visit DfE’s website for details.

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