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Learn Explore Debate

Thank you to all who were able to attend the very successful round of LED events.

You can now view the powerpoint slides from the most recent round of LED events on the Foundations website.

We will be announcing the next round of dates for Learn Explore Debate in future newsletters.


The Communication Trust

Become a Local Champion for The Communication Trust!

The Trust relies on brilliant, local practitioners who are able to spread the word on the importance of speech, language and communication where it is needed most.  There is now the chance to continue this vital activity and become a ‘Local Champion’ for The Communication Trust.

What is the Local Champion role?
Local Champions are volunteers who will spread the word on the importance of speech, language and communication where it is needed most, by:

  • Awareness raising: Champion the cause where you live and work
  • Striving for best practice: Signpost to resources and training – there are many activities to support the children and young people’s workforce.
  • Local policy: Have your say and highlight issues of concern regarding speech, language and communication and speech language and communication needs (SLCN)
  • Feeding back: Is there brilliant work going on in your local area? Tell us about it!

What will I get out of being a Local Champion?

  • Access to a dedicated web page of information
  • Bespoke email updates with latest news from the Trust
  • Updates on the political landscape, including information on changes
  • A chance to showcase your good work nationally and share best practise with others
  • A chance to show off your good work – add your role to your signature and your CV!

For more information on the voluntary role, please click here or email [email protected]


Family Action

Supporting all schools in England

Take a look at the Learning Exchange, Family Action’s dedicated website for schools and childcare providers across England, and discover detailed guidance on all aspects of childcare – from identifying parents’ childcare needs, to marketing and evaluating your provision.

And if you are in the early stages of setting up your provision and are encountering some problems, don’t panic. The Learning Exchange can offer you practical tips for dealing with issues as diverse as finding staff, transporting children and costing provision.

Our case studies, for instance, clearly show how schools and other childcare providers have overcome a variety of challenges to offer successful childcare for 8 to 14 year olds.

So, what are you waiting for? Visit the Learning Exchange and:

  • browse our childcare in schools section, which takes you through the process of setting up childcare provision step by step (eg choosing a model, costing your provision)
  • download our free templates (covering venue hire, business planning, booking places, and much more)
  • find new funding opportunities (eg for breakfast, after-school and holiday clubs)
  • learn more about our forthcoming training sessions, to be held around the country.

And don’t forget … if you need advice or information on developing childcare in your school, and can’t find what you need on the Learning Exchange, drop us an email at: [email protected].


Free training

In 2014 Family Action will be delivering ‘Dismantling the Barriers’ seminars across the country. Schools and private childcare providers will have the opportunity to meet the Wraparound Childcare in Schools Team and learn how they too can deliver flexible, affordable childcare on a school site.

Keep an eye on our training and events section and our January e-bulletin for more information on how to apply for a place on one of our free seminars.

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Find out more
Learn more about the Wraparound Childcare in Schools programme by:


NCB has published a new essay series ‘Partnerships for a Better Start: perspectives on the role of children’s centres’ to encourage a wide-ranging debate on how children’s centres support children and families from conception to school entry. To inform the debate, NCB has launched a survey to find out what the public and early years sector value most about children’s centres and what they feel their future purpose should be. Please visit

The Early Childhood Unit are offering group training courses are now available with a 10% discount for children’s centres.  These courses include:

Quality provision for two-year-olds: a partnership approach – what is important for two-year-olds and how the evidence base can inform our practice to support children’s outcomes

Developing Early Years leadership – develops the ability of practitioners to lead in their early years settings

Parents, early years and learning (PEAL) – inspires and equips practitioners to increase families’ involvement in young children’s early learning


New Essential Guide to Policies & Procedures

NDNA has published new editions of ‘Your essential guide to policies & procedures’, now with specific publications for England, Scotland and Wales.

The Essential Guide to Policies & Procedures is invaluable for ensuring your nursery policies and procedures are up to date in line with current legislation and best practice.  It is ideal for both those starting a nursery and those already managing a setting.

Having appropriate policies and procedures in place will underpin your legal responsibility to ensure the welfare of children, staff and parents. All policies have been reviewed and reworded to provide a stronger reference to the EYFS and legal requirements throughout.

Buying the Essential Guide to Policies & Procedures also gives you access to individual word documents of policies and procedures which you can download and adapt for your nursery.

Price: £30 for NDNA members (£32 including postage), £80 for non-members (£82 including postage).

Order online:


The OXPIP Practioner Conference, will take place on Friday 28th February in Oxford, with keynote speaker Sue Gerhardt, author of Why Love Matters.

This event is ideal for health care professionals and childcare professionals in the early years settings.

Tickets are £50 from

View the flyer


Achieving Two Year Olds

Achieving Two Year Olds (A2YO) is the national DfE support programme for providers and local authorities, delivered by Hempsall’s and Mott MacDonald.  A2YO’s aim is to support the implementation of free early learning for the least advantaged two year olds.  They are running a second programme of FREE nation-wide roadshows for group providers, children’s centres, schools and childminders.  Over 60 roadshows will occur over the next few months across daytimes, evenings and weekends, and you are invited to come along to the next dates in the diary:

In this spring programme all locations will offer afternoon roadshows  (1.00pm registration-4.30pm) and  evening roadshows ( 6.30pm registration-9.30pm)

3rd February 2014 – Manchester

10th February 2014 – Bristol

13th February 2014 – Liverpool

28th February 2014 – London

3rd March 2014 – Exeter

4th March 2014 – Peterborough

11th March 2014 – Birmingham

James Hempsall, National Support Director says:

“The autumn term roadshows have been extremely popular, well attended and well received.  Providers, childminders and schools are eager to find out more about developments across the country, what to be considering, how to work with local authorities, and things that could or should be done.  There is significant interest in the business and funding opportunities provided by the extension to early learning for two year olds.  We are pleased to be extending the programme into the spring term, the new programme includes evening roadshows which will offer opportunities to providers and childminders who are who are unable to  attend during working hours.”

Don’t miss out on your FREE place.  To book contact [email protected] or download a booking form by visiting the A2YO page at


New Early Education publications

The following two new publications are now available from Early Education:

Emerging, expected and exceeding: understanding the revised Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

by Helen Moylett and Nancy Stewart 

This new publication from Early Education explores:

  • The revised Early Learning Goals
  • Observational assessment
  • Effective ongoing assessment processes, including evidence and documentation, supported by Development Matters
  • Recording children’s learning and development
  • Use of the EYFS Profile for transition to Year 1

Whether or not the EYFS Profile remains statutory after 2014, it remains an effective tool to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS in order to inform parents and teachers, enabling them to meet children’s needs and support their progress.  This guide will support practitioners in using the EYFSP effectively.

Price: £15.50

Buy now

Schemas and the characteristics of effective learning

by Stella Louis 

This new publication from Early Education explores Schemas and the characteristics of effective learning. Schemas are important because they make children’s thinking and ideas visible. They can also support children’s abstract thinking.

An awareness of schemas will help practitioners to describe, in more detail, the ways in which children are approaching their learning. This makes schemas a very useful learning tool, which will help practitioners to better describe the complexities and the connections in childrens play.

This engaging publication supports practitioners to understand:

  • what schemas are
  • where they come from
  • how they develop
  • why they matter
  • how practitioners can recognise them and use them to support childrens early learning

Price: £11.50

Buy now

For more details about Early Education publications, membership, events and other services, see


News from Montessori

The Montessori Community Manifesto (2012-2015) pledged the charity would extend the approach through support in the most disadvantaged communities around the country.

Montessori St Nicholas is delighted to announce the official launch of a new Teenage Pregnancy Community Project in Bristol with Witchywood and Hartcliffe Tenants Centre.

The project, funded and organised by the Montessori St. Nicholas Charity, gives young, teenage mums the opportunity to study for the Montessori Foundation Certificate while providing them with access to a creche.

18 of the regulars who use the services of the Teenage Pregnancy Project have started the course. Montessori activities are being gradually introduced in their creche.  The Montessori training provided will also allow the mums to explore future career options, working in childcare.

Charlotte, 25, who has been accessing the Centre since she had her first daughter, now 7, says, “I really enjoy the Montessori training. I am already involved in youth work and am now considering working in a school. Montessori has helped me introduce new techniques with my own children to gain independence and I have also noticed an improvement in their behaviour.”

Barbara Isaacs, Director of National Strategy at Montessori St Nicholas Charity says, “It’s very exciting to have this opportunity. In all my years working at Montessori, I have always been attracted to its original roots – reaching out to children and families in need, which is how it began in Italy. This is a wonderful opportunity for the Montessori St. Nicholas Charity to work in partnership with the Teenage Parent Project. Reaching out is one of the aims of our 2012-2015 Manifesto it is wonderful to see that young mums and their children are benefitting from it.”

Deana Stone, CEO of Teenage Parents Project says, “The teenage parents project started in Bristol in 2005 and helps young mums develop their parenting skills whilst training for a qualification. The Montessori Foundation Certificate has given Mums an understanding of the approach to benefit their own children, as well an opportunity to get involved in teaching.”

The Charity is currently exploring possibilities of extending the project beyond Bristol, using social media as an effective tool to engage teenage and young parents around the country.

Infant & Toddler Forum

Infant & Toddler Forum launches “make mine active” Activity Advent Calendar for a healthy, happy toddler Christmas

Christmas is a hugely exciting time for toddlers, in anticipation of the big day. To help keep them occupied and active during the festive season, The Infant & Toddler Forum (ITF) has launched a free online advent calendar which gives parents a daily activity to do with their toddler throughout December. The ITF has also launched a factsheet – Physical Activity and Play for Toddlers – which gives practical advice for parents and carers about exercise and active play.

Christmas is a time for families to be together, to relax, and celebrate the season. But festive parties and extra food can mean that families lose sight of everyday routines. Nap times are essential but may be late or cut short, and toddlers may be travelling at unfamiliar times, which means meals and snacks may be rushed and regular activity may get forgotten. This can be detrimental to a toddler’s mood.

Help is at hand – the interactive online advent calendar allows parents and toddlers to open a different door in the calendar every day by visiting the ITF website. Behind each door is an activity to do together such as having a Christmas dance-a-thon or making a welcome sign for Santa Claus.

The ITF Activity Factsheet provides easy-to-follow tips to help families and carers of children under-5 to encourage physical activity and play as part of everyday life.

The UK is currently facing a health time bomb, with only 32% of boys and 24% of girls in England between the ages of two and 15 getting the recommended amount of exercise[i]. Given that over 20% of children entering school (age 4+ years) are already overweight or obese[ii], there is growing concern that a sedentary lifestyle with too much time in front of screens, or being strapped in car seats and push chairs, will  take its toll on children’s future health and wellbeing.

This sort of lifestyle can not only lead to a higher likelihood of later health problems such as being overweight or obese, it can also impact on children’s cognitive development.

Judy More, Paediatric Dietitian, and member of the Infant & Toddler Forum, said: ‘It’s so important we keep toddlers active for good health and wellbeing both now and in the future.  It doesn’t have to be complicated –   just taking your toddler out walking somewhere everyday even if it is raining – they like jumping in puddles. 20 minutes or so at a playground on the way home might be even more popular. For this Christmas we’ve created an Advent Activity Calendar to inspire Mums with different activity ideas for toddlers while having some family fun at the same time.’

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: ‘The Government is encouraging parents to get their young children physically active for at least 180 minutes a day in order to give them the best chance of a healthy start in life. This Activity Calendar and Factsheet has lots of fun and festive ideas for keeping your child active over Christmas.’

So to keep the toddler tantrums at bay this Christmas and have some fun, access the Activity Advent Calendar and the Activity Factsheet at and keep the whole family active.

The Infant & Toddler Forum is a partner of the Department of Health’s Public Health Responsibility Deal, with a pledge to take action to improve health.

These resources and more can be downloaded for free from

Institute of Health Visiting

“Happy Birthday iHV”

Next week iHV will publish their first annual report which demonstrates that the Institute has had a very successful first year so a very big thank you to all supporters.

To mark this anniversary the Trustees have decided to extend the opportunity to be one of our Foundation members until the end of December.  An amazing 10% of practicing health visitors already have.  See the website for more details:

Important survey launched today

What is it really like to be a health visitor today?  What matters most to health visitors?

Please help us find out by completing the survey today and forwarding it to your colleagues.
The results will be published, shared with policy makers and used to inform our future activities so will directly benefit your health visiting practice.

Free Training in Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA)

The iHV has been commissioned by the Department of Health to create local health visitor experts in DVA.  These senior health visitors and academics, e.g. SPTs and lecturers will become their organization’s local resource for DVA and be expected to cascade the training to colleagues/students supported by the iHV.

The training materials have been developed by health visitor academic and practice experts in the field supported by Women’s Aid and will have a similar format to those developed for the recent perinatal mental health champions training rolled out earlier in the year with a training pack and e-learning to support the training.

See the iHV website for further details and the training dates.  The first date is in London 19/20th December and is at risk of being oversubscribed so book early.

The next iHV Conference on Perinatal Mental Health will be held on 12 February 2014.

Early bird booking is available until 10th January, 2014.

The Children, Families and Maternity e-bulletin

You can sign up to the Children, Families and Maternity e-bulletin, published every two months.

The e-bulletin aims to pull together information on relevant health and social care policy developments that impact on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. It also accepts articles from third sector organisations that have an initiative or an event relevant to the client group.

As well as being distributed to children’s leads in the NHS it is also distributed to in excess of 3,000 further individual subscribers in health, social care and education plus others interested the health and wellbeing of children and young people. The latest copy includes information on public health outcome indicator – child development at 2-2½ years. Details about how to join the Distribution list are enclosed within the e-bulletin:

View the November edition here

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