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The Communication Trust

Beyond Measure

Beyond Measure is a new piece of guidance and will help those carrying out the assessment in schools to use it as an opportunity for identifying children who may have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), helping to ensure that appropriate support is put into place for these children as quickly as possible. The guidance provides advice on how to look out for difficulties with speech, language and communication across the different EYFS areas of learning during the assessment process, and next steps if you have concerns about a child.

Early Years Pupil Premium

The Communication Trust is seeking examples of how early years settings are using the Early Years Pupil Premium to support children’s speech, language and communication, in order to provide guidance to the early years workforce around good practice in this area. If you’d be happy to speak with the Trust about this, they are keen to hear from you – please contact [email protected].

This is part of the Trust’s ongoing work to support the early years workforce; the Trust provides a number of resources and tools specifically for the early years and you can find all of these here.


Early Education

Making best use of Early Years Pupil Premium 

The first newsletter from the DfE funded Learning Together About Learning project is now available to download for free with helpful ideas about making best use of Early Years Pupil Premium.  To download the newsletter and sign up for future issues click here.

Every child a mover

A practical guide to providing young children with the physical opportunities they need by Jan White is a new book to help practitioners develop their understanding of the prime area of physical development.  It will be available in August and can be ordered from here.

Training and Events

New for 2016, we are offering a series of linked courses and sessions allowing you several opportunities to increase your knowledge in specific subject areas. Sessions can be booked individually, but we recommend attending the complete series for maximum benefit.  This also allows you to qualify for the multi-buy discount with the code EEDISCOUNT3. You can commission these as training for your setting or within your local authority too. We currently offer:

  • Developing early writing: a series of three linked sessions with Jasmine Pasch, Anni McTavish and Julie Cigman
  • Leadership: a series of three linked sessions with Jane Cook

You can see course outlines for these linked sessions on our website. For our full list of courses, including outlines and booking information, please visit here.



Talking Matters

Elklan CIC is being funded through a DfE VCS grant (2015-16) to implement and embed changes in practice which will support children’s speech and language development, and to evaluate this work.

A training cascade, building on learning from Every Child a Talker and the Early Language Development Programme, will reach early years practitioners in 6 areas, across England, working with 4,500 children; specially trained local staff will then support settings to embed changes in practice and undertake an audit with the aim of achieving Communication Friendly Setting status.


Family Action

Family Action is supporting a variety of school-based childcare settings to develop more inclusive provision for 0-5s with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Find out more about our project.

  • Training events: Family Action will be running three FREE training events in the autumn, aimed at school-based childcare providers working with children aged 0-5.
  • Case studies: Take a look at our most recent case studies page, where you’ll find hints and tips from other childcare providers on developing a more inclusive childcare environment.
  • Learning Exchange Bulletins: Sign up to our free Learning Exchange Bulletin or browse previous issues.
  • Facebook page: Take a look at our Facebook page, where you will find recent links to useful products, services, organisations …. and much more!


National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)

Ahead of expansion of free childcare, the Department for Education is reviewing levels of funding that nurseries receive for delivering this provision. The National Living Wage will have a huge impact on nurseries’ pay rolls and NDNA will emphasise this issue with the Government as part of its response to its call for evidence.  But first we want to better understand how NLW will affect nurseries. Could you spare a few minutes to complete this short survey to help NDNA represent you on this important subject? All information will be kept strictly confidential and you can respond anonymously if you prefer.


National Portage Association (NPA)

The NPA Stamp of Approval Scheme

The award is available to early years settings (including childminders and foster carers) 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 the Portage Support Hub.



Barnardo’s has published a report outlining how Children’s Centres can further support parents and children, by providing the mandatory birth registration service directly within local communities, with a particular focus on reaching the most disadvantaged families. During the course of this research, parents, Children’s Centre staff and registrars had the opportunity to set out the advantages, disadvantages and practical ways forward needed to establish this practice more widely.


Book Trust

Bookstart Corner is one of Book Trust’s targeted reading programmes aimed at families with children aged 12-24 months, who need extra support to develop a love of stories and rhymes. This evidence-based free programme allows Children’s Centres to offer intensive support for parents and carers. You will receive free online training and high quality resources including books, rhymes and puppets to help you build on the work you already carry out with families.

To receive more information or to register your Children’s Centre please email [email protected] or visit our website.



Montessori Centre International has offered professional development courses, workshops and seminars over the past twenty years. Some of the courses are designed to support existing students, whilst others are aimed at Montessori educators wishing to keep in touch with current Montessori training and practice.

We also run courses for qualified early years practitioners wishing to find out about Montessori practice and its relevance to children today.

  • We offer in-house seminars for Montessori settings that are members of the Montessori Schools Association
  • Training for Montessori practitioners who want to work with parents
  • Training for childminders who want to include Montessori principles into their daily work with children

We invite you to see what MCI offers. We consider this aspect of our training as an essential part of the continued preparation of Montessori teachers. Why not sample a short course, workshop or seminar? All professional development courses are listed in the MCI Training Directory published every August.



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.


Supporting SEND in the Early Years

Birmingham – 13 October, Leeds – 15 October & London – 21 October

Following the successful release of the 4Children and the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) toolkit for SEN and disability in the early years, we are delighted to announce a series of seminars this October. These events will introduce you to this unique resource and give you the opportunity to hear from those who have used the tool in practice. Together, we will learn how it can be used to support children and settings who are affected by the new SEND reforms.   What is the SEN and Disability in the Early Years Toolkit? 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. Towards the end of most of the sections of the toolkit is a useful tool, an activity or a reflective task to support practitioners in applying the particular topic to their own setting. These seminars will provide settings with support to roll out the new SEND changes and offer opportunities to share good practice from those delivering services to children and families. Please note the programme is currently being finalised for these timely seminars – speakers and full programme coming soon. Book your place today


National Portage Association

Annual Conference

Dates: 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 go here

Conference Costs:

£98 + VAT for day delegates (includes refreshments and lunch)

Accommodation at special rates for those wishing to attend 2 days (limited places).

Different rates offered for parents/families, attending either as day delegates or residential. Please follow link above and see application form for details. Children attend free.

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