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Childcare minister Sam Gyimah’s open letter about childcare

“In the next few months, I want to see more children, particularly two-year-olds from poor backgrounds, accessing high-quality early education. Giving all children at every age and stage the best opportunities is part of the government’s plan for education and something I know the Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan, also feels very strongly about. I am committed to pushing that work forward.” Sam Gyimah, childcare and early years minister, writes an open letter about the DfE childcare priorities.


Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary (EPPSE)

A child has more chance of getting better exam results and ultimately earning higher wages by receiving pre-school education, a study published 9 September 2014 has shown.

The Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary (EPPSE) research shows children who go to pre-school are projected to earn £27,000 more during their career than those who don’t. They are also more likely to get better GCSE results – the equivalent of getting 7 Bs compared to 7 Cs.

The research also found that early education helped young people to specifically do better in GCSE English and maths. The effects were better if the pre-school was of high quality, and pre-school is particularly valuable for children from less advantaged backgrounds.

The EPPSE project launched in 1997 and has followed 3,000 children from early childhood to the age of 16. The research was carried out by leading academics at the Institute of Education, University of Oxford, and Birkbeck, University of London.

The EPPSE report ‘Students’ educational and developmental outcomes at age 16’ is available online.


Childcare Business Grant scheme

The Government has announced that the Childcare Business Grant scheme – which provides financial support for new childminders and other childcare providers – is being extended to new childminders who register with childminder agencies, as well as those new childminders who register with Ofsted.  Further information on the scheme can be found at:


Two-year-old early learning entitlement

In September the Government extended eligibility criteria for the entitlement to funded early learning for two-year-olds. The extension was accompanied by a targeted marketing campaign that ran in a number of areas including London and Greater Manchester which was designed to raise awareness of the entitlement alongside local authority led marketing activity.


ASQ-3TM and reviews for children aged 2-2 ½

From 2015, health visiting teams will be using an evidence-based questionnaire called the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ-3™) as part of Healthy Child Programme (HCP) reviews at age two, in order to generate data for a public health outcome measure of child development at age 2-2½. The concept of an integrated review at age 2, bringing together the EYFS progress check with the HCP health review is currently being explored jointly by DH and DfE. ASQ-3 TM is part of the health element of this work. ASQ-3TM has been adapted from US English to British English and will be made available direct to health visiting teams over the coming weeks. E-learning materials have been developed to support health professionals using ASQ-3TM as part of the two year review. These will shortly be available and accessible to all practitioners working with young children via the e-Learning for Healthcare website: Further information on ASQ-3 TM can be found at


Ofsted Inspection Changes

Ofsted has announced some changes to its inspection of early years settings. Newly registered settings will now have more time for post-registration inspections. Rather than an inspection within seven months of registration, the settings will be inspected within 30 months. If there is a safeguarding concern, however, then an early inspection may take place.

Secondly, nurseries judged to require improvement will now be inspected by Ofsted inspectors rather than contractors. Ofsted inspectors will also complete all re-inspections of providers judged as inadequate where enforcement action is being taken.


Institute of Health Visiting

Toilet training is one of those child developmental stages parents can find frustrating and complex. Making the transition from nappy to toilet can certainly be a challenge, particularly if you feel pressurised to start the process before your child is ready. iHV have produced a factsheet on toilet training that can be accessed here.


CANparent – Quality Marked Parenting Classes

Making parenting classes an accessible, normal part of family life continues to be a high priority for ministers. CANparent is a consortium supporting the delivery of quality mark approved universal parenting classes to help parents and parents to-be prepare for the everyday challenges of family life, supporting positive outcomes for families and children.  CANparent offers online and group classes across the country, while continuing to do focused work in the trial areas of High Peak, Camden, Bristol and Middlesbrough.

To consider commissioning parenting classes from CANparent providers or to raise awareness of CANparent with expectant and or new parents, visit or call 0808 800 1102.