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News from the Department for Education

New childcare and early years minister appointed

s216_Sam_Gyimah3Sam Gyimah was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Childcare and Education. He is the Conservative MP for East Surrey and has studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford. He is a Vice-President of the National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE), and has also served as a school governor of an inner London school.

The minister is responsible for:

  • early years funding and delivery of free entitlements
  • childcare availability and market
  • childcare workforce, quality and regulation
  • early years education and the early years foundation stage (EYFS)
  • wraparound childcare provision
  • DfE links to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
Early Years Implementation Guide to the new SEN Reforms published today – download here

Today the Department for Education has published a short guide to the 0-25 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice, for early years providers. This helpful guide to the new Code of Practice is intended to help managers and staff understand their statutory duties and responsibilities in relation to the reforms in the Children Act 2014 that came in to force on 1st September.

The new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms are the biggest educational reforms for children and young people with special educational needs in a generation.The code covers the 0-25 age group and sets out the statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures for  organisations who work with and support children and young people with special education needs and disabilities. Download the guide here

Early learning for two-year olds

The first few years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. Evidence shows that there are social and cognitive benefits for children who receive good high quality pre-school provision between the ages of two and 18 months compared with children who started at age three and over.

Since 1 September last year local authorities have had a statutory duty to secure early learning places for children aged two years living in households which meet the eligibility criteria for free school meals or are looked after by the local authority. On 1 September this year the entitlement was extended further to around 260,000 two-year-olds in England. This means that more two-year-olds are eligible for 570 hours per year of Government funded early learning hours term time, including some from low income working families. The Government has also launched a marketing campaign on 25 August 2014 to further promote the programme, encouraging parents/carers to access for further information about how they can access their child’s free place locally.

Early Years Foundation Stage Framework

A revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory framework comes into force on 1 September 2014.

The framework sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. This framework will replace the existing 2012 framework on 1 September 2014 and is available to view at–2. Supporting materials are available on the Foundation Years website

Childminder agencies

Legislation and regulations enabling the establishment of childminder agencies came into force from 1 September.  This means that organisations can apply to Ofsted to register as a childminder agency. The Department for Education has now published its advice for organisations looking to establish a childminder agency and this is available at:

Ofsted has produced application forms and guidance for potential agencies, and these can be found at:  Anyone interested in setting up an agency and who would like further advice and information should e-mail Sue Robb at 4Children (the Department for Education’s strategic partner).

Do you know someone who deserves an honour?

An honour is for those who have made a positive difference to the lives of children, adults and other people in the community. It recognises people who have made significant achievements in public life or committed themselves to serving their community. Awarding someone an honour is a really good way of publicly thanking them for going the extra mile whether in their paid job or as a volunteer in the community.

We want to boost recognition of the early years sector and want to see them being celebrated at a national level. With your help we want to see amazing people working for the good of children and families receive this form of recognition, and this is currently under represented for the early years sector.

We are particularly keen to attract nominations for early years practitioners and leaders (e.g. children’s centre staff, outreach workers, childminders, nursery staff etc), voluntary sector management committee members, parent champions and volunteers. We also want to encourage more nominations for women – especially people who have made a national impact – and people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

If you know someone that deserves this recognition please nominate them. For further information and to receive the nomination for please email: [email protected].

News from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

Early Years Educator Apprenticeship standard

Following the development of new Apprenticeship standards by trailblazers, BIS published standards for a range of sectors on 20 August 2014.  This includes a new Early Years Educator Apprenticeship standard. The requirements for apprenticeships for the early education and childcare sector are as follows:

  • The current Children & Young People’s Workforce advanced apprenticeship framework has been revised from 1 September 2014.  The framework will include the new Early Years Educator qualification and will require learners to achieve GCSEs English and maths at grade C or above on exit.
  • An Early Years Educator Apprenticeship standard will be available for delivery during 2015.  It will supersede the Children & Young People’s Workforce advanced apprenticeship framework.  This standard will also require GCSEs in English and maths at grade C or above on exit.

This is a transitional arrangement and from 1 August 2015 English and maths GCSEs at grade C or above will be required on entry for apprenticeships for the early education and childcare sector.


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