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4Children Business Support Hub

4Children has developed an online hub of business support information and advice. There are a number of webpages offering information and advice on different aspects of business planning and management as well as downloadable resources and links to other sources of support on the web. Information pages cover everything from business planning, finance and marketing, to managing employees and governance and legal structures.

4Children have also developed an online Business Health Check. This useful tool takes the user through a series of questions about business management and planning and offers a Health Check “score” based on responses, as well as giving some signposting to further advice on areas where more help may be needed. The tool is free and anonymous to use. It has been developed as an opportunity to encourage providers to ask themselves some key questions about how their business in run and think about ways in which they want to develop and improve their business skills and knowledge.

The Business Skills Support hub and the Business Health Check can be found at

If you have any information or resources that you would like included on the hub, or if you have suggestions for useful resources that we could signpost to, please contact Liz Green on [email protected]


Section 3.6 of the EYFS states: “Providers must train all staff to understand their safeguarding policies and procedures, and ensure staff have up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues.”

Training staff can be costly and time-consuming, particularly when staff are required to take time away from the nursery. NDNA’s new advanced safeguarding training can help with some of these pressures. As well providing a member of your team with the knowledge to be the safeguarding lead for your nursery, it also provides them with the skills and confidence to be able to deliver safeguarding training to all staff in your setting. The advanced safeguarding training programme is a combination of face-to-face, distance and online training. It has been approved by the Department for Education and has been developed by NDNA specifically to meet the needs of nurseries. The benefits of the advanced safeguarding programme are that it ensures you are meeting the safeguarding requirements of the EYFS and you have a designated safeguarding lead in place who can support staff with ongoing safeguarding issues. In the longer term, it can also save you time and money as your safeguarding lead will be able to deliver safeguarding training in-house for all staff, and it provides additional responsibilities and motivation for team member to help them develop.

Advanced safeguarding training costs £340 for members and £395 for non-members. Find out more by visiting or calling NDNA’s training team on 01484 40 70 70.

Early Support

The Early Childhood in Focus series of publications gives clear and accessible summaries of research, knowledge and practice in key areas of early childhood education and care. Produced by series editors John Oates and Martin Woodhead, of The Open University’s Child and Youth Studies Group, each volume contains contributions from acknowledged experts in their fields. The topics range from attachment and identity to the most recently published volumes on brain development and healthy environments. Electronic copies of each volume in the series are available free of charge from the website of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, which sponsors this series, and some volumes are available in print, also free of charge. Find out more here:


The Early Childhood Unit (ECU) works to sustain and improve the quality of services for young children through direct work with children’s services and settings, and through its national networks.

Book now to avoid disappointment as places are limited.

The focus of the event is Development Matters in the Early Years with keynote speaker: Nancy Stewart, Principal Consultant, Early Learning Consultancy

Workshops include:

 –   Extending the free entitlement to two-year-olds

–   Leadership to support the revised EYFS

–   Voluntary food and drink guidelines – Working in partnership to improve health outcomes for young children in Bristol

NCB has been running a series of regional events across the country and we are particularly keen to invite delegates from the South West and nearby to come to this event.  We have therefore increased the number of tickets available to Local Authorities nearby to enable more people to come along.

Visit our to book your place and choose your workshops, (detailed descriptions are available on the ECU website).

Please also circulate to other colleagues who may be interested. We look forward to seeing you there.

This new NCB training course will be of interest to local authority leaders, managers and Early Years Professionals wishing to develop the  quality of provision for two-year-olds.  It builds on key messages from other ECU training such as PEAL, especially the importance of working in partnership with parents, in order to really know each child well, and meet their unique needs.

The course aims to support practitioners, managers and leaders to raise the quality of provision for two- year-olds, to improve children’s outcomes.


The course will cover:

  • tools and techniques to encourage reflective practice amongst setting leaders and practitioners
  • the policy context and inspection framework concerning provision for two year olds
  • evidence-based information around improving outcomes for young children
  • self-audit and action planning
  • signposting to further supporting materials

This training is suitable for 12-20 participants and the cost is £2500, inclusive of resources, with the local authority or organization providing a suitable venue and any catering. To apply, please email [email protected]  to request a booking form and further details.

Daycare Trust

A new way of helping Children Centres bring together people from all parts of South Westminster to build up a network of volunteers has been launched at London Early Years Foundation. An exciting partnership of organisations have come together to launch a time bank with the support of the local community. The London Early Years Foundation with the Department for Education, Daycare Trust and local organisation South Westminster Action Network celebrated the launch of the South Westminster Time Bank on Wednesday 26th September 2012. The South Westminster Time Bank is an innovative and creative way for people to come together to help others and themselves by sharing their skills and building up time credits. Helping each other and being rewarded for it – in time. For every hour of time people give helping someone, they receive one time credit. Members can then ‘spend’ their time credits when they need help from someone else. While there are time banks all over the country, having one as a key focus of the Children’s Centre has not been done before.

According to June O’Sullivan, CEO of London Early Years Foundation: “we need to be constantly looking at ways of connecting people and weaving a network that helps people get to know each other, make friends across generations and cultures. We want to find ways to reduce loneliness and increase neighbourliness. The response has been positive and we are very excited”.

Cliff Wilton, South Westminster Action Network said:

“This is an exciting project and the first time these organisations have come together in such a way to connect local people and strengthen the community”.

Anand Shukla, Chief Executive of Daycare Trust, said:

“We’re delighted to be supporting this time bank project. Finding ways to support parents, carers, members of the community and local services to work together can only have benefits for children and families”.

The time bank will help to improve residents’ living environments and sense of well-being, as individuals can benefit from a range of help including: Being escorted to appointments; Shopping and errands; Form filling, letter writing and budgeting; Literacy and translation, assistance with reading; Simple DIY and decorating; Ironing and occasional housework; Babysitting and child supervision; Visiting people and companionship.”

National Portage Association

The National Portage Association is running a programme of training events across the country, throughout this academic year.  The programme consists of Portage Basic Workshops for those interested in incorpoarting Portage principles into their work with young children with disability; Post –Portage Basic Workshop training covering a variety of topics for those who have a working knowledge of the Portage Principles; Networking days for Early Years practitioners to support each other in their work with young children with disability and training events on various topics related to supporting families who have a young child with disability.  Details of all these events are posted on the N.P.A. website  and many of those funded by the DfE are open to non-members of the N.P.A.  Interested Early Years practitioners should visit the web-site for details and contact the named presenter for further information about content and how to apply.

The N.P.A. now offers a BTEC-3 Advanced Award in Portage Skills and a BTEC-4 Professional Certificate in Portage Practice and details can be found on the website.

The N.P.A. office supplies various materials giving information about Portage service delivery and has recently updated its guide to developing a Portage service  ~ Paths to Portage~ and developed a guidance document on the topic of involving volunteers in the delivery of Portage.  Details of available publications can be found on the website.

Contact a Family

Relationships, whether they’re with a partner, siblings of a disabled child, grandparents or friends, are a vital source of support and protection against life’s stresses and strains.

We understand families with disabled children are under practical, physical and emotional pressures, not only caring for your child, but battling for support for them.

Our Family Life project has developed free sessions for parent support groups that feature topics affecting family relationships including managing and coping with stress and supporting siblings.

Holding a workshop is a great way to help families involved in your centre.

Parents say:

‘Lots of brilliant ways to de-stress.’


‘Lovely to meet people in a similar situation who understand what you’re going through’


‘I am not alone – laughter and caring’


‘Learnt to forgive myself for not being able to do it all’


Our training sessions are free and available across England. To book a workshop or find out more contact Karin Beeler today – on 020 7608 8726 or email [email protected]. For more information on our Family Life project see our website


I CAN, the children’s communication charity, have released a new resource this month to coincide with the revised EYFS focus on Communication and Language as a prime area. Chatting with Children is the third activity pack in the Early Talkers series, compiled by I CAN speech and language therapist Kate Freeman, for parents or practitioners to use to develop children’s communication skills from birth to 5 years. Many people still think that learning to talk happens naturally for children, however children need adult interaction from birth to ensure that they learn this vital skill. With more than half of children starting primary school in socially deprived areas of England with delayed language, communication skills are critical to children’s life chances and future achievement. Vocabulary at age 5 has been found to be the best predictor of whether children who experienced social deprivation in childhood were able to ‘buck the trend’ and escape poverty in later adult life[1]. Chatting with Children and Early Talkers are specifically geared to enabling success in this new key prime area and will help parents and practitioners to support children at all stages of development to improve the vital communication skills which will help them to make friends and learn throughout their formative early years. The resources form part of I CAN’s updated and expanded Early Talk 0-5 years communication and language programme which offers training, accreditation and support for the early years workforce in partnership with parents.


In order to continue the growth of NCMA Local in areas where we have yet to find a Facilitator, we’ve decided to take on the organisation of the first network meetings ourselves. Working with a third-party events management company, NCMA Local will be organising invitations, venues and meeting content (to be delivered by staff or NCMA-affiliated trainers) for the first three meetings in anticipation that these areas will become self-sustaining with their own Facilitator over time. These launches will be staggered over the coming months, with organisation for the first of them underway already – keep an eye out in your local area or contact us at [email protected] to find out when we’re launching near you.

6 Readers Commented

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  1. Adam on October 18, 2012
    Please can somebody change the font or the background colour on this page.
  2. Luana Girling on October 18, 2012
    This website has organge text on a dark blue page making it practically un readable. See this page particularly please. Any chance you could change your background colour or use black text or both? Thank you.
  3. June Atkinson Povey on October 18, 2012
    This page is extremely difficult to read as when you open it it has a dark blue background.
  4. cherylmx5 on November 22, 2012
    I am looking to start my own nursery. Am i correct in i have to have so many children where the parents do not pay but the government do?