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Minister Sam Gyimah’s open letter to the early years sector

Minister for childcare and education, Sam Gyimah, has written an open letter about the achievements in the early years sector during the current Parliament. The letter can be read here.   


Minister Edward Timpson’s open letter to local authorities on SEND reforms

Minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson has written an open letter to lead members, chief executives and directors of children’s services, which sets out details of developments about the SEND reforms. The letter can be read here.


Extension to the Children’s Strategic Partnership

The Children’s Partnership, led by 4Children and NCB, has been extended by another year with further funding from the DfE. 4Children, through their Foundation Years work, will continue to work across the early years sector while NCB will continue their work on adoption and children in care.

£2.2 million funding for local authorities to implement Integrated Review

Funding totaling £2.2 million is being made available for local authorities to implement their Integrated Review, bringing together assessments given by the Department for Education and the Department of Health.

Currently, health and early years reviews of young children are carried out separately. By integrating them, parents will get a more complete picture of their child, drawing on the expertise of health visitors and early years practitioners.

It has also been announced that reviews will also be available for 2-year-olds not in settings for the first time thanks to pilots exploring how they can be offered to all children.


Integrated Review at age two to two-and-a-half

From September 2015, local authorities, health visiting services and early years providers will be expected to bring together health and early education reviews for young children at the age of two to two-and-a-half.

ECU has been commissioned by the Department of Health to provide supporting materials for health and early years practitioners carrying out integrated reviews for children aged two to two-and-a-half. The materials are based on the work of the DH and DfE joint Integrated Review Development Group and can be accessed here.


Health Visiting programme

The Health Visiting Programme has been one of the most rapid and successful workforce expansions in NHS history. It has been made possible through the hard work and dedication of a range of individuals and organisations.

This week, Director of Nursing Viv Bennett has published an open letter on her blog page thanking the profession, partners and parents for their support during the health visiting programme. The letter can be read here.


First aid training to be made compulsory for new nursery recruits

New nursery and pre-school staff will be legally required to undertake paediatric first aid for the first time, thanks to new government proposals unveiled today. The new proposals will mean newly qualified staff with a childcare Level 2 and 3 qualification must have an emergency paediatric first aid or full paediatric first certificate in order to count in the EYFS ratios. Find out more details here.


New e-learning to improve information sharing

A free new e-learning resource which breaks down communication barriers and encourages information sharing between early years and health professionals has been launched.

Developed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and 4 Children, the ‘Information Sharing Matters’ programme aims to improve knowledge, skills and understanding of the benefits of effectively sharing information between families and a range of professionals including paediatricians, health visitors, GPs, Therapists, child minders and pre-school and nursery teachers.

The e-learning, which is accessible via the RCPCH website, will help build trust between professionals leading to better sharing of information and improved outcomes for young children and their families.


National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership (NPQICL) – release of training materials

The National College for Teaching and Leadership have released the NPQICL programme materials to enable leaders, settings and organisations to use, update and adapt for their learning, training and development needs. The materials are available here.

Funding available for Early Years Teacher training for September 2015 start

Do you have a graduate working in your setting? National College for Teaching and Leadership are offering £14,000 to train and support a graduate employed in your setting to become an Early Years Teacher. Funding covers training course fees of up to £7,000, the remaining £7,000 is a contribution for the employer and can be used for supply cover for the trainee and other support costs such as salary enhancement. Graduates can apply for this funding through accredited ITT providers who deliver Early Years Teacher training across England.   Graduates who successfully complete the training will be awarded Early Years Teacher Status. Further information on all routes to become an Early Years Teacher, including entry requirements can be found here.


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.

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. Find out more here about nominating someone for an honour.