Choking hazards of raw jelly
We have been asked, through an official request from a London Coroner to raise awareness in early years settings about the potential choking hazard of raw jelly – which means packet jelly cubes that have not been dissolved in water – being used in play sessions. This followed the inquest of a 22 month old child who choked to death on a cube of jelly that was being used in a play session. We would advise against using raw jelly cubes in play sessions and would like to highlight the importance of thorough risk assessments of potential choking hazards for young children in early years settings.
Children’s Centres Consultation
The Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah has said that the Government will launch a consultation on the future of Children’s Centres this autumn. The aim of the consultation is to determine if the Government is maximising the impact of Children’s Centres and whether they are helping families most in need. The government will also work with Ofsted to reform the way Children’s Centres are inspected, reflecting changes to how the provision is delivered across the country.
SEED baseline survey report
The DfE has published a Baseline survey of families taking part in the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED) project. The study is being carried out by NatCen Social Research in partnership with the University of Oxford, 4Children and Frontier Economics. The baseline survey report provides descriptive findings from the first wave of the longitudinal survey of parents. Over 5,600 families (six cohorts of children) took part in the baseline survey over the period from October 2013 to November 2014. Most children in the study were two years old at the time of the baseline interview. The report by NatCen Social Research shows that free Government-funded childcare provision for two-year-olds has closed the gap in take up of early years education between the most disadvantaged two-year-olds and children from wealthier backgrounds. The study also highlights differences in language skills and behavioural development according to disadvantage:
- The most disadvantaged children had less developed language skills and were reported to show lower levels of social and behavioural development than children who were not disadvantaged.
- Parents from the most disadvantaged families were less likely to engage in home learning activities with their child.
Ofsted – Early Years Annual Report
Osted has published its annual report for the early years. Accompanying the report is a detailed survey exploring teaching and play in the early years which includes links to videos of good practice and detailed exemplification.
The annual report highlights that 85 per cent of early years settings are now judged good or outstanding, with:
- 84 per cent of childminders good or outstanding
- 87 per cent of private, voluntary and independent nurseries good or outstanding
- Overall, 72 per cent of all early years settings judged good while 13 per cent were outstanding
In addition, the quality of early years provision in 86 per cent of primary schools inspected during the last two terms was good or outstanding.
The report also pointed out that although poorer children’s development is continuing to rise in line with their classmates, the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers has not narrowed.
Childcare Provider’s Statistics
Ofsted has published statistics on Childcare inspections and outcomes covering childcare in England. The report show that:
- There has been an overall decrease in the number of childcare providers on the Ofsted register since last year (down by 3,134 to 89,117)
- There has been an improvement in inspection outcomes over the last year, with 85% of active providers on the register rated good or outstanding at their last inspection, compared to 78% last year – an acceleration of an ongoing trend.