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Community Childcare and Early Learning Hubs Update

4Children’s webpage has now been updated to include case studies from three of the hubs in York, Newham and Northumberland. The case studies give an insight into the successes and challenges individual hubs have faced and include learning that will be useful to new hubs setting up around the country. The case studies can be found here.

The hubs project is expanding and new hubs are beginning to develop around the country. If you want to work more closely with other early years setting in your local area to help improve quality and increase the availability of high quality, flexible childcare to meet the needs of families in your area then contact Tamar Shaw to find out more about the hubs project and the benefits it brings.

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


The Communication Trust

Free resources from The Communication Trust – lesson plans and carpet session ideas

The Trust have developed a large range of free resources for Early Year practitioners as part of their No Pens Day Wednesday event. By registering here you’ll have access to 16 brand new lesson plans based on activities such as bubble wrap foot prints, fruit kebabs and sound hunt with natural objects. You’ll also be able to download a carpet session and an activity ideas pack that you can adapt and use to build in dynamic speaking and listening components to any lesson.

There are also lots more free resources so why not get involved!


Family Action

Supporting schools to develop childcare and holiday provision

Family Action’s Childcare in Schools team supports schools across England to develop childcare and holiday provision on their school site (e.g. mainstream schools, special schools, schools working in partnership with childcare providers).

Free training

Find out how to set up affordable and flexible school-based childcare at our free training workshops.

  • 5 November 2014: Bolton
  • 7 November 2014: Manchester
  • 3 December 2014: Exeter
  • 12 November 2014: Greenwich
  • 21 January 2015: Birmingham


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


Family and Childcare Trust

New ‘Interested in setting up a Parent Champions scheme?’ leaflet from Family and Childcare Trust

Family and Childcare Trust have just produced a new leaflet titled Interested in setting up a Parent Champion scheme? which gives a brief overview of the Parent Champions model, and what support is available for those wanting to set up a scheme.  Many schemes have used the peer-to-peer model to very successfully reach families eligible for the new two-year old early education places, as well as other target groups.  Family and Childcare Trust can provide free training, resources and monitoring tools.  For more information contact Deborah Brodie, Project Manager, or visit


National Literacy Trust

Benefits of Early Words Together for children and parents with Special Educational Needs or disabilities

Feedback from practitioners has demonstrated that Early Words Together is being used to enable all families, including those with complex needs, to access early learning support. This includes an example of incorporating Early Words Together into a sensory group, partnerships with speech and language therapy, and supporting parents with learning difficulties.

Speech and language delay is a common feature of many children targeted to attend Early Words Together. Both parents and practitioners report effective progress being made in children’s communication and language skills, following participation in this programme. Activities are planned around individual needs for sensory play, incorporating early literacy activities, plus gifting brightly coloured books with minimal text.

Centre managers reported benefits of Early Words Together for SEND families who are often isolated, where one-to-one support from their volunteers gave parents someone to talk to and encouraged uptake of services. The manager also felt that the programme was particularly beneficial for children aged two or three to support their readiness for school.

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



Are you interested in sharing your views about the staying put legislation?

The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) is carrying out an online survey looking at the initial impact and implementation of the staying put legislation.

We are interested in hearing from:

  • voluntary and community organisations who have an understanding of the impact of the legislation
  • foster carers
  • staying put carers
  • fostering services
  • Independent Reviewing officers
  • Leaving Care Managers.


To complete the survey, please click here

The questionnaire is confidential and findings will be reported anonymously to the Department for Education in January 2015.

We are keen to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to take part in this important research. We would very much appreciate if you could forward this information to any relevant networks, contacts or colleagues.

We appreciate you taking the time to share your views on the subject. If you have any queries regarding the survey or the study, please email Jo Lea or call at 020 7843 6336.



Level 2 Health & Safety in the Workplace training for Childcare Practitioners

NDNA has launched the first accredited online Level 2 health & safety training course specifically developed for childcare settings. In partnership with the Safer Food Group, the training covers your safety at work, the safety of the children in your care and the safety of visitors to your childcare premises.

All study takes place online, 24/7, and only takes around 6-8 hours to complete. The training comprises 16 practical chapters featuring videos of real life nursery situations. Training is accredited by Qualifi and recognised by OFQUAL.

Price: £11.99 for NDNA members, £14.40 for non-members.


Early Education

Enabling environments on a shoestring: a guide to developing and reviewing early years provision

This book focuses on the physical environment in early years settings: how furniture, equipment and objects can be organised and made available to children; how the layout of a space can change the way children behave within it; and how the environment can contribute to children’s learning and development.  The book includes:

  • Principles underlying the creation of an enabling environment
  • Practical tips
  • Case studies
  • Prompts for reviewing and reflecting on the effectiveness of the environment in supporting children’s learning

Link to purchase:


I CAN’s Chatterbox Challenge

I CAN’s annual Chatterbox Challenge is open for registrations from staff in nurseries, childminders and early years settings.

Chatterbox Challenge 2015: Garden Adventures with Ben & Holly, supported by children’s TV show, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, helps to develop children’s communication skills by learning songs based on children’s surroundings both inside and outside and completing activities to help strengthen their development. All activities are linked to the EYFS and other early years curricula. Children then perform the themed songs at a sponsored Chatterbox Challenge performance in front of parents and carers. If groups are able to fundraise, it goes towards I CAN’s work with children in the UK who struggle to communicate.

Chatterbox Challenge Week, when the majority of events will be held, is 9-15th February 2015 but groups can take part at any time of the year. Please encourage early years settings you know to register now at to receive their free activity pack.


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.


Pen Green

Pen Green SEND conference – Saturday 25th October:

Special Educational Needs in Early Years Conference

Keynote Speaker: Genevieve Jereb OTR

For information and how to register click here


Pen Green two year old focused conference – Saturday 22nd November:

Children’s Well-being & Involvement: The Emotional Roots of Learning

Keynote Speaker: Professor Ferre Laevers

For information and how to register click here


Activate Early Years Conference 2015

The Courtyard, Hereford

February 4th 2015

Early Years Activate are delighted to invite all Early Years and Year1 practitioners to attend our full day conference led by three world-wide speakers

Come along and be inspired



Montessori Centre International invites you to a Montessori Foundation Degree Open Day

Wednesday 29 October, 2pm – 4pm.

The Montessori Foundation Degree Open Day gives you first-hand experience of college life.

Hear more about the courses, talk to current students, and meet our enthusiastic tutors. Discover how Montessori can offer rewarding teaching careers.

Places strictly limited. To register call: 020 7493 8300 or email: [email protected]

We welcome everyone: students, parents, teachers, careers advisors……


NLH Partnership

Workshop: Effectively tracking Children’s Centre impacts – London

Tuesday 11th November 2014

Effectively tracking the impacts of Children’s Centre work for children and families is an increasingly important part of the assessment of Children’s Centres’ performance, and Ofsted requires Centres to provide high quality impact ‘tracking’ evidence in order to gain a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ grade. This workshop focuses on the various types of ‘tracking’ outlined in the latest Ofsted guidance, to provide attendees with a clear understanding of how to develop and implement effective systems and processes for tracking Children’s Centre impacts. Attendees leave the workshop with a thorough understanding of how to effectively meet key tracking requirements.

For more information, email [email protected], call 0207 7292206, or visit the website.