30 hours free childcare

The government has this week introduced the Childcare Bill to bring in 30 hours of free childcare for employed families of 3 and 4 year olds. Plans are being drawn up to introduce the changes for some families a year earlier than planned, with pilots in some areas offering 30 hours worth of free places from September 2016.

The government has also announced that the DfE will begin a review of the average childcare funding rates paid to providers (the hourly funding provided for each free place). The review will be overseen by Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah.


Two year olds in school

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (2015) removed the requirement for schools to register their early years provision for two-year-olds (2YO) separately with Ofsted, so long as it meets certain requirements.  This change came into force on 26th May 2015 (so in time for the new school term in September 2015).  You can find further information and details on the implications for schools in a fact sheet which can be found on the TES Resources Website.


Childminder Agency (CMA) checks on childminders they are registering

CMAs will recruit childminders and be responsible for background safeguarding checks on them – in the same way that Ofsted is responsible for checking the childminders that they register. This involves contacting Local Authorities to check, primarily, local child protection records and whether the applicant – or those associated with them – are ‘known’ to social services. The DfE and ADCS agree that there are no data protection issues associated with these checks – or that they should necessarily result in more work for local authorities. LAs should therefore prepare themselves to receive check requests from CMAs and respond to these in a similar way as they do to Ofsted requests. LAs will be able to check with Ofsted on whether a CMA is registered with them, just as they would about a provider, before they run checks for a CMA.


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.


Guide for EYFS Profile returns

The DfE has published guidance that explains the purpose of the early years foundation stage profile return and how local authorities and schools should submit data for 2015.


Ofsted: Examples of good practice in the early years

Ofsted has made available a number of examples of good practice found during inspection of early years settings. The good practice areas include EYFS, art, reading, writing, communication and learning among many others.


Ofsted – Guidance: Inspecting early years

Ofsted has published guidance for inspecting early years providers that deliver the EYFS. It sets out what Ofsted inspectors must do and what early years providers can expect during the inspection. Note this is not the new Common Inspection Handbooks, which are due to be e published later this month.