Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Foundation Years Team

Following on from the success of last year’s events the Department for Education’s Early Years and Childcare’s strategic partnership is running a further round of FREE events focused on:

  • The Childcare Commission
  • Parenting Support
  • Implementation of the EYFS and update on EYFS assessment including the profile
  • Early Years data
  • Children Centres  – parental involvement

These events are aimed at organisations, local authorities and leaders and mangers of all schools and settings. The sessions will give the opportunity for learning and sharing together as well as giving the latest information in relation to the Foundation Years.

The dates for the events are:

  • Tuesday 18 September, Manchester
  • Thursday 27 September, Nottingham
  • Tuesday 25 September, Taunton
  • Wednesday 3 October, London
  • Thursday 4 October, Leeds 

After feedback from website and newsletter users the foundation years team are keen to develop the resource library to make sure that it has everything practitioners might need. If you have a suggestion for resources that you would like to see uploaded please email the foundation years team here.


The Journey to Outstanding will offer local authorities, Children’s Centres, nurseries and out of school clubs a unique opportunity to find out more about the new Ofsted inspection framework for early years settings and children’s centres. It will also offer the opportunity to look in more detail at delivering the revised EYFS framework and ways to improve quality. With the new Ofsted inspection framework for Children’s Centres due to be finalised in the Autumn Wendy Ripley, the Principal Ofsted Officer who is drafting the new framework, will be speaking.

As part of 4Children’s Give Me Strength campaign there are currently running an online survey with Netmums about substance misuses. The survey can be found here.


With the reformed Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in effect Ofsted have produced common questions and answers Ofsted’s regulation and inspection of providers on the Early Years Register from September 2012.


National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has launched a new safeguarding training programme which enables nurseries to carry out their own safeguarding training and inductions in-house – saving time and money!

This training enables nurseries to meet section 3.6 of the EYFS; “Providers must train all staff to understand their safeguarding policies and procedures, and ensure all staff have up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues.”

The first part of the training equips learners with the enhanced skills and knowledge to become the designated safeguarding lead for their nursery. The second phase of the training focuses on providing the learner with the ‘train the trainer’ skills and knowledge which will enable them to confidently and effectively deliver safeguarding training and inductions to all staff in their setting(s).

To find out more about the advanced safeguarding training visit or call 01484 40 70 70.


National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has launched a new online system Nursery Calcul8, it has been developed to give nursery owners and managers control of their business, helping them understand how operational changes can affect profitability.

Nursery Calcul8 enables nurseries to:

  • Develop and manage budgets and forecast to help plan for the future
  • Carry out detailed operational scenario planning quickly and easily (with no accounting knowledge required)
  • Make business decisions with confidence
  • Creates profit and cash flow projections for you, your bank manager, local authority and even your accountant!

Nursery Calcul8 is available to buy monthly by Direct Debit or for one annual payment.

  • NDNA members – £24* per month or £264 per year
  • Non-members – £36* per month or £396 per year.

If you would like to find out more visit or call 01484 40 70 70.

Daycare Trust

Despite the greater availability and affordability of formal childcare since the 1990s, research shows that the number of parents using informal childcare – typically from friends and family – remains high. Although informal childcare is important to many families, little was known about this practice. To fill this knowledge gap, Daycare Trust undertook a two-year research project on informal childcare, supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which ran between 2010 and 2012. 

The overall aim of the research was to map informal childcare use and achieve a greater understanding of this form of childcare and, where applicable, its interplay with formal childcare. We were interested in who uses informal childcare, to what extent and for what purpose. We also aimed to profile informal carers and analyse their experiences.

The research has led to Daycare Trust to develop a number of policy recommendations that are summarised in the final report, ‘Informal childcare: Choice or Chance? Project Summary Report’. The outputs from the project are free to download from Daycare Trust’s website.

Daycare Trust offers an extensive range of training courses designed to meet your needs. We are able to deliver courses in-house and can now offer delivery on a regional basis.

Recently launched courses include:

  • Early Intervention and the 2-year-old offer
  • Introduction to working in a FIS
  • The revised EYFS
  • Preparing for the new Ofsted regulations

For further information on any Daycare Trust training courses please contact Collette Prince at [email protected].

Daycare Trust and Westminster Briefing are running a joint programme of early years conferences. These include:

  • Improving Early Years Provision: Preparing for the New Inspection & Regulation Arrangements
  • Early Years Foundation Stage: Implementing the Revised Framework
  • Delivering Free Pre-School Education: Preparing to Extend the Offer to Two-Year-Olds

For further information visit or contact Collette Prince at [email protected].

Fatherhood Institute

Fatherhood: Parenting Programmes and Policies – A Critical Review of Best Practice is a new report from the Fatherhood Institute. It reviews policies and programmes that promote or facilitate the involvement of fathers and father-figures from the pre-natal period through the first eight years of their children’s lives.

The report presents 20 case studies primarily from the Global North with some from the Global South, plus a catalogue of additional projects and discussion of key issues. It makes recommendations for future research, policy and programme design and evaluation – and draws attention to ways in which best practice in programme areas in the Global South, which have successfully addressed men and fathers (e.g. HIV prevention, women’s economic empowerment and maternal and child health), may be transferred to interventions more directly related to parenting.

The Fatherhood Institute is developing an online version of its Raising Happy Babies workshop, to be made available to first-time mothers and fathers as part of the Department for Education’s ‘The 3 Of Us’ relationship support trial.

The online workshop, available to parents in six pilot areas from October, will feature videos and interactive content designed to help parents communicate and think about how they work together as a parenting team.

For more details about the trial, visit:

The Fatherhood Institute has produced a 2-page guide for everyone involved in the Department for Education’s CAN Parent trial of free parenting courses, on how to get dads involved.

The FI is an approved provider in all three CAN Parent areas, offering three different face-to-face courses – Raising Happy Babies (from birth to age 1); Raising Happy Toddlers (from age 1 to 3); and Raising Happy Children – for separated families (birth to age 4).

To download the free guide, visit:


NCMA Local Foundation Years – September Newsletter Currently set up across 50 Local Authority (LA) areas, more and more NCMA Local’s Peer Support Networks (Networks) are being set up across England.

The Networks are a tool for promoting Professional Standards, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Quality improvement. They are typically run by volunteer childminders and nannies (Facilitators), recruited and supported by the NCMA Local team – networking via regular face to face meetings and communicating online using the new and dedicated NCMA Local community website<

NCMA Local users are coming to see the site as a valuable resource for all their professional needs – with daily conversation covering everything from the best activities for a rainy day to the deregulation of the early years sector.

On the face to face side, several local areas have shared meeting success stories recently; a Drop-in and Play session organised in Warrington saw a record 17 childminders and nannies and 64 children in attendance, while several areas are regularly reporting average meeting attendance of over 25 people.

Childminders and nannies across the country are being encouraged to start their local Network with support from the NCMA Local team. For further information please email [email protected]<mailto:[email protected].

Bright Horizons

Leading nursery group Bright Horizons has developed an app for parents of pre-school children.

The app is a one-stop-shop of fun themed activities which fit into everyday family life – out and about or at home – and which help parents support their child’s transition towards school-readiness. Ideas are available at the touch of a screen – helping parents to develop their child’s confidence and love of learning – all while having fun!   

There are questions to prompt discussions, suggestions for how to develop children’s counting skills and simple games for the family to enjoy together. There will be regular launches of new activity packs making the most of children’s favourite interests and seasonal events.


Ready for School is endorsed by author and education consultant Penny Tassoni:

“What is wonderful about this app is that it is not a babysitting device designed to replace parents, but instead gives parents everything they need to be wonderful educators.  The mini activities have been cleverly designed to help parents maximise teaching opportunities in everyday situations such as shopping, weather or even getting stuck in a queue.  It is in effect a store cupboard of ideas that fits neatly into your hand.”

You can read more about the app’s development, from Nicola Amies, Director of Early Years at Bright Horizons, here at the workingmums website.

The Ready for School app is now available for free download on the Apple App Store; it is hoped to follow up with an Android version soon.

Here are some of the 5 Star reviews for the app:

“Love the content in this app. Inspiring ideas to help my son learn new things.”
“A fantastic resource full of fun learning ideas.Easy to do and all at the touch of a fingertip. Inspiring.”
“Inspirational content, excellent design and intuitive to use.Great App.”

To try the app out for yourself, visit the app store, search for “Ready for School” and download your free app, which can be used on iPad, iPod or iPhone. If you like it, please spread the word!

10 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Mrs B on September 14, 2012
    How do I book onto the free events being offered? Where do I find out where they are held etc?
  2. Anne Walters on September 14, 2012
    How do you book a place on the course?
  3. Karen Hole on September 14, 2012
    As the above - want to book a place on the Taunton course on 25th September but don't know how. No obvious link.....?!
    • 4Children Early Years Team on September 14, 2012
      Hi everyone - sorry for the confusion, this page: lets you book into the events you want.
      • Nicky Road on September 15, 2012
        I would like to book for the London event on 3 October please.
        • 4Children Early Years Team on September 16, 2012
          Hi Nicky - you'll need to book yourself on by clicking on the date you want here:
      • Anne Walters on September 15, 2012
        Tried this- page comes up '404 error the page you are looking for does not seem to exist'. Please can you help. I also want to book for the Taunton course. I notice the Manchester one for the 18th is over subsribed and don't want to miss out! Thanks in anticipation!
        • 4Children Early Years Team on September 16, 2012
          Hi Anne, this link should be working: let us know if you have any trouble accessing it.
  4. Sophie Wheeler on September 14, 2012
    I'm having the same issue, I cannot find how to book on to the course. Please can you give some details.