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SEN and Disability in the Early Years Toolkit

4Children and the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) have produced a toolkit for SEN and disability in the early years. Each section of the toolkit provides a briefing on a particular aspect of the SEN and disability reforms as they apply to early years providers. Each section is based on the statutory requirements and the guidance from the early years, the SEN and the disability frameworks, and draws on a range of relevant practice guidance and other materials to provide an accessible guide to SEN and disability in the early years.

2015 Children’s Centre Census – survey closes on Friday 10th July

4Children is currently running the 2015 edition of its annual “Children’s Centre Census” survey, which is due to close on Friday 10th July.

The Census is used by politicians, policy-makers and the media to understand what is going on in Children’s Centres nationally. Centre managers and leaders should already have been contacted about the Census, but if you have not yet received any emails about this and would like to take part please contact John Davies on [email protected] or 07823 321639.

This year, 4Children are also running a Parents Survey alongside the main Children’s Centre Census, which we would be grateful if you could promote this to parents who use a local Children’s Centre. The Parents Survey, which has 12 questions and only takes a few minutes to complete, is available at:


Early Education

Early Years Pupil Premium project

You can still sign up for free bulletins on making best use of EYPP funding via Early Education’s Learning Together About Learning project and complete our survey to help shape the project.  The website includes a growing number of hints, tips and useful resources to support practitioners and more details will be added throughout the year.  Find out more from the Early Education website


Family Action

Family Action’s Childcare in Schools team is being funded by the Department for Education (DfE) to support schools to develop high-quality, inclusive childcare for 0-5s with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Developing inclusive school-based childcare practices for 0-5s

Family Action will be running a series of free training sessions in the autumn aimed at school-based childcare providers across England (e.g. children’s centres, nurseries, schools, PVIs). These events will support settings to develop a more inclusive childcare environment for 0-5s with SEND. [link to

The first session to be confirmed will take place on 17 November 2015 in the Midlands. Email [email protected] for more information and to book your place.

Don’t forget, if you are looking for support to develop inclusive childcare provision on a school site:

  • Visit Family Action’s Learning Exchange website, where you will find a wide range of information and resources.
  • Contact the ehelpdesk and a member of the team will get back to you.
  • Visit our Learning Exchange Facebook page for links to training opportunities, services, events and other information related to school-based childcare for children under 5 with SEND
  • Sign up to our half-termly e-bulletin.

Would you like to share the work you are doing to develop inclusive school-based childcare through a case study? If so, please send us an email.


Family and Childcare Trust

C4EO/Public Health England validation for Parent Champions

Parent Champions has just been awarded full validation by Public Health England and C4EO as an evidenced model for helping local authorities also deliver on health duties.  This was following a request for practice examples from the Early Years Voluntary and Community Sector that help improve outcomes from pre-conception to school age children and their families.  This development reflects both emerging health elements in existing Parent Champion schemes and increasing national interest by the health sector.  The model will now be promoted within the Public Health England and C4EO networks and put on the C4EO website.  You can find more information on Parent Champions on our website.



Children’s Centre Leader: The Future of Children’s Centres

We’ve published our first issue of the FREE quarterly journal for everyone working in or around children’s centres and early help.  We like to think it is an excellent mix of academic, strategic, policy and practice led articles highly relevant to everyone delivering in the sector.

It’s a first for Hempsall’s, building on the solid foundations established by creators, Sue Webster and Vicki Lant and their team.  This issue is all about the future of children’s centres; embracing change, and making the most of windows of opportunity.  There is also an emphasis on strong partnership working across health, early years and social care.  Please join our community of over 2,000 professionals on our free mailing list.

You can find the website and PDF version here or read online at medium. You can subscribe for FREE by emailing us at [email protected] or visiting the website.

You Tube clips

DfE has produced these short clips on You Tube from our A2YO DVDs and are useful for emailing to partners, providers, parents and professionals.  You could Facebook or tweet them.  Alternatively watch the full films on


National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)

Be a Champion!

Are you passionate about developing children’s literacy? Committed to continuous professional development? Would you like access to over 200 literacy resources for children and staff development?

If the answer is yes, then sign up today for our FREE Literacy Champion project 2015. As part of our ongoing commitment to support nurseries and practitioners to deliver high-quality services, NDNA delivers a Literacy Champions project supported by the DfE. We support our Literacy Champions with a range of resources including free online training modules to provide their team with the skills they need to improve outcomes for children through literacy. Register by JUNE 30th to secure a place on this year’s programme.

For further details contact [email protected]


National Portage Association (NPA)

Providing training and support to the early years workforce to develop Portage practice and support children with SEND and their families.

Having run a successful 2 year contract to ‘sustain and develop the Portage workforce’ the NPA are building on this work with a new project funded by the DfE VSC grant (2015-16).

The NPA Project offers 3 levels of Portage training:

  • Portage Awareness Workshops*
  • Portage Workshops* – training delivered by NPA accredited trainers and parent trainers.
  • Training for Trainers Workshop

*FREE in areas with little or no access to Portage

If you are interested in accessing the training and/or developing Portage in your area please contact [email protected] (South) [email protected] (North & Midlands)

The NPA and Project Team also offer ongoing support for the Early Years Workforce:

  • Follow up study days; available post-Portage training through the project.
  • NPA Stamp of Approval scheme; available to settings whose staff have completed Portage training and demonstrate that they deliver high quality, inclusive early years education, based on the Portage model and Portage principles.

For criteria and application information visit:

  • Access to new online Portage support Hub; provides new opportunities for Portage Home Visitors, early years practitioners and parents to share information, knowledge and good practice.
  • Peer to peer & service to service mentoring; developed to provide opportunities for the Portage and Early Years workforce to interact and support each other online.


Read On. Get On.

The Read On. Get On. coalition this week published a new report – ‘Ready to Read: Closing the gap in early language skills so that every child in England can read well’.

Ready to Read explains that getting all children reading well by the age of 11 can only be achieved if we commit to boosting the early language skills of our poorest children. Firm foundations in early language skills are critical to breaking the cycle of educational inequality – and to improving the wider life chances of the poorest children.

The report sets out how high-quality services and support for families can help overcome the impact of poverty, highlighting the potential for services – including early education, health visiting, libraries and children’s centres – to support young children’s language development.

The report argues for a decisive shift towards early action and investment. It sets out the priorities for government, including investing further in the early education workforce and strengthening support for parents, especially in public health services and children’s centres.



Information Sharing seminars – Preparing for the Integrated Review

15 September Manchester, 17 September London

‘The Integrated Review at Age Two’, due to come in by September 2015, is designed to bring together the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Progress Check at age two with the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) 2 – 2 ½ year health and development review, into an integrated process.

We all know that a child’s early years are essential in laying the foundations for health and well-being throughout their lives, which highlights why the HCP and the EYFS progress checks are so important.

With September fast approaching, these important seminars ask the question ‘How can we prepare for the Integrated Review?’

These seminars will demonstrate the new information sharing tools available and also explore;

  • Updates regarding the Integrated Review and Information Sharing
  • Why integration is so crucial
  • The Integrated Review – experiences and evidence so far

Don’t miss the unique opportunity to hear first-hand the work other local authorities are doing and the systems they are developing to share information, to engage not just the work force, but also parents – inviting, identifying and involving them all in a holistic process.


Early Education

Achieving Excellence Conference – Sheffield – 5th October 2015

The introduction of the separate Early Years Ofsted judgement in primary schools has focused attention on how headteachers and leaders can support and develop outstanding provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

This event will focus on key issues for primary heads and leaders in relation to nursery and reception classes in primary schools including:

  • identifying and encouraging outstanding practice in the EYFS
  • what good teaching looks like in the early years
  • how reception classes can most effectively support children’s learning in developmentally appropriate ways and provide a sound foundation for future learning
  • effective transition into the Foundation Stage, and from Reception to Year 1, including appropriate transition of pedagogy
  • effective assessment and the new baseline assessment schemes
  • the evidence base and principles underlying high quality early years practice
  • key aspects of leading and managing a successful Foundation Stage, including balancing the competing pressures on Reception classes

You can find more information about this event and book online on our website.


National Portage Association

Annual Conference – Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd October, 2015

Venue: Hilton Hotel, Northampton

Our conference theme for 2015 is ‘Moving Forward with Portage’. The Conference is an opportunity for children, parents and practitioners to share ideas and practice, to explore the future of early years and the opportunities this presents for Portage and the NPA.

Delegates will have the opportunity to attend two stimulating seminar sessions each day, network, visit exhibition stands and hear keynote speakers.

This year’s keynote speakers:

Hayley Goleniowska – parent blogger and campaigner, founder of Downs Side Up

Wendy Joy (MCSP) and Jane Reynolds (MCSP) (Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapists) will look at skill acquisition and how to move children forward physically.

For more information: