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4Children – Early Learning Hubs

The Community and Childcare and Early Learning hubs project is working to improve the availability, flexibility and quality of childcare in a local area. 4Children are looking to engage new providers or early years settings who would like to become a Hub.  More information about the Hubs project can be found at:

4Children will be holding six FREE events in November which will be looking at how the hubs project fits in with the direction of travel for the early years sector and showcasing the work of the hubs.

  • 18th November – London
  • 19th November – Birmingham
  • 20th November – Manchester
  • 24th November – Newcastle
  • 25th November – Leeds
  • 27th November – Taunton

If you are interested in finding out more about the Early Learning and Childcare Hubs project please contact [email protected].

The Communication Trust

On Wednesday 10th September, The Communication Trust will be launching all the free resources they have developed for their No Pens Day Wednesday event.

No Pens Day Wednesday encourages early years settings, schools and specialist provisions to put down their pens and to run a day of speaking and listening activities. This year The Communication Trust are suggesting No Pens Wednesday Day is run on Wednesday 15th October, but you can run it any day that suits you best.

This years’ resources include new lesson plans, top tips for parents on how to encourage the development of their child’s communication skills and lots of activity ideas. Please click here to register and you’ll receive an e-mail on the 10th to let you know everything is ready for you!

Family Action – Childcare in Schools

Developing childcare and holiday provisions on a school site

Family Action’s Childcare in Schools team provides a wide range of support to schools across England that wish to set up or develop childcare and holiday provision on their school site (e.g. mainstream schools, special schools, schools working in partnership with childcare providers).

Free training

If you are interested in learning how to overcome barriers to offer school-based childcare and holiday provision, there’s still time to register for one of our free training workshops being held between September and December 2014 at venues across England.

For more information and to book yourself a place, please email the Childcare in Schools team.

Advice and support


    • Visit the Learning Exchange website for numerous free templates, top tips, news articles and useful links to help you develop flexible and affordable school-based provision.
    • Find out how other schools approach school-based childcare.



Literacy Trust – Early Words Together

Importance of early years support essential, says new report

The Centre for Social Justice has published a report suggesting ways to break the link between poverty and educational underachievement.

The report emphasises the importance of early year’s intervention in a child’s development and references the National Literacy Trust’s Early Words Together programme as an example of successful communication intervention.

Early Words Together brings together local authority multi-agency teams and partners to support families to improve their home learning environment, for children aged two to five.  Health and education professionals refer families who would benefit from accessing Early Words Together 6-week programme of support, delivered by a national team of trained community volunteers, working within Children’s Centres, schools and community settings.

One parent involved in the programme said: ‘It has made a lot of difference because I now have a better understanding of how to support my child at home – I can be like his teacher! It has made a huge difference because I have learnt new skills. It has helped my child to understand new things.’

Such structured support ensures a child is ‘school ready’ when they begin primary school, and they have all the skills necessary to start learning effectively, as children who start school behind expected levels are less likely to catch up.

To read the full report, click here.

To learn more about our Early Words Together programme, click here.


NDNA – Support on implementing the SEND code of practice from NDNA

Copies of the SEND code of practice are available to buy from NDNA, priced at £9.50 (including postage). An easy to read factsheet on the new SEND code of practice is free for members to download and for non-members to buy from NDNA.


Contact a family

Contact a Family have produced a range of factsheets to help you understand the changes to the SEND reforms, including:



I CAN’s annual Chatterbox Challenge is launching on 15th September! The Chatterbox Challenge, now in its 14th year, encourages children under five years to develop their communication skills through learning songs and completing linked activities. The children are sponsored for their sing-along Chatterbox Challenge event that can be held with families. Please help I CAN by spreading the word to your contacts for all nurseries and other early years settings to register at and get involved.




Montessori Centre International is on track to be able to put Montessori training on the National Qualifications Framework for the first time.

The EYE qualification has been approved by the National College for Teaching and Leadership as meeting the full and relevant criteria required for those wishing to enter the workforce as Early Years Educators.

The qualification will be offered at Level 3 and Level 4 either part-time or via distance learning and will be attractive to those who are combining study with work or family commitments.

The Early Years Educator qualification will be supported by a new Montessori online Virtual Learning Environment, which aims to introduce a more blended approach to learning for all students, wherever they are studying in the world.  Students across six continents will be able to learn and communicate together online.

From the outset, students are encouraged to develop self-awareness and focus on personal development with an emphasis on reflective practice.

Limited places still available on courses this September. Email [email protected] or telephone: 020 7529 1305 as soon as possible.

PACEY Resources

PACEY (the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) has published a new suite of resources to help parents support their children in preparing for school – and also cope with the first few weeks of school. This activity builds on the results of PACEY’s research report ‘What does school ready really mean?’ published last year which found that parents felt they needed better guidance on how to prepare their children for school. The resources, including a ‘Preparing your child for school’ guide, factsheets, activity sheets for children and videos are available at


4Children – Getting ready for the Early Years Pupil Premium

Maximising the potential of the Early Years Pupil Premium to improve children’s outcomes

National Conference – Central London – 23rd October

It is time to close the gap. Recent studies show that there is a 19 month gap in school readiness between the most and least advantaged children. The Early Years Pupil Premium has the potential to greatly reduce this inequality. The conference will give detailed information on how the Early Years Pupil Premium will work and give the attendees opportunities to reflect on how the additional money can be used to narrow the gap.  The day will offer a valuable opportunity to explore evidence and strategies to support children to flourish.    The conference will address and debate:

  • The why and how of the Early Years Pupil Premium – in detail policy
  • The importance of the Early Years Pupil Premium and the opportunity to increase outcomes for children
  • High quality intervention to improve children’s outcomes

This conference will help early year’s providers and Local Authorities to gain detailed information on this important new fund.  The conference will bring together key leading experts in the world of early years, along with key senior Government figures offering an excellent opportunity to network, share learning, explore strategies and solutions.
Confirmed speakers:

  • Rt Hon David Laws MP, Minister of State for Schools
  • Kevan Collins, Chief Executive, Education Endowment Foundation
  • Professor Edward Melhuish, Institute for the Study of Children
  • Di Chilvers, Early Years Consultant
  • A senior representative from the Department of Education
  • Gill Jones, Deputy Director for Early Education, Ofsted
  • Ed Vainker, Principal, Reach Academy Feltham
  • Jacqui Hardie, Early Years Independent Consultant
  • Kim Porter, Early Years Consultant
  • Nancy Stewart, Early Years Consultant
  • Anne Longfield, Chief Executive, 4Children
  • Sue Robb, Head of Early Years, 4Children

To book on to this conference please either click here to book online or alternatively call the Events team on 020 7522 6970.

National Literacy Trust: DfE National Grants Programme

News from Early Words Together

Born to Learn: The keys to success, Talk To Your Baby conference – 6th October 2014, London

The National Literacy Trust’s Talk To Your Baby conference, Born to Learn: The keys to success, is a critical update for reflective Early Years professionals, featuring initial evaluation results of the DfE funded Early Words Together Programme.

This annual conference is uniquely designed to bring together speakers from academia, policy perspectives and practice, reflecting the very latest research and cutting-edge grass roots activity, in relation to early language development.

The carefully crafted programme reflects the keys to success, essential for developing children’s early language and literacy skills, including use of digital technology, partnerships with families, local library and cultural services, as well as providing high quality speech and language services.

Confirmed speakers are:

  • Gill Jones, HMI, Deputy Director of Early Childhood
  • Professor Christine Stephen, University of Sterling
  • Professor Caroline Rowland, Liverpool University
  • Professor Clare Wood, Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement, Coventry University (Evaluator, Early Words Together)
  • Nabiah Sohail, Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
  • Helen Fidler, Programme Manager, Every Sheffield Child is Articulate and Literate
  • Ronan Brindley, Culturebabies, Head of Learning at Manchester Art Gallery
  • Sarah Mears, Children’s Service Development Manager, Essex Libraries
  • A speaker from Warwickshire’s Time to Talk programme
  • Sue Denning, Early Words Together, National Literacy Trust

The National Literacy Trust is offering a 20% discount to 4 Children partners. To find out more and to book, please visit

Please quote the discount code: TTYB14EB

NCB – Making it REAL (Raising Early Achievement in Literacy) group training event – London, Saturday 22nd November 2014

Making it REAL training is designed to enable practitioners to use the REAL evidence-based approach that reaches out to parents and families, building confidence and knowledge to support the early home learning environment. This has a powerful impact on children’s outcomes and on family literacy practice. The training includes information about using the REAL approach to support work with two to five-year-olds.

This is a free one day training session open to individuals. Lunch will be provided. Please click here to book via our eventbrite page.


1 Readers Commented

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  1. Alison Forsyth on September 5, 2014
    It would be great to see some specific events aimed at Early Years Workforce students, do you have any plans to do this in the future?