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30 Hours Childcare Early Implementers Announcement

Early Implementers for the 30 hours free childcare offer for 3 and 4 year olds can now register their interest with the DfE. While the free childcare expansion will be rolled out nationally in 2017, trials in some areas will begin in September 2016.

Organisations who would like to register their interest can do so by emailing DfE at [email protected] by Monday 28th September.  All you have to do now is to email saying ‘I’d like to be an early implementer’ and they will email you details on how to apply shortly.


SEED Childminder Report Published

The latest report from the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED), a major government longitudinal study evaluating early education in England has been published. The report has been written by Professor Edward Melhuish, University of Birkbeck and 4Children, following a study of the quality of childminder provision in England.

The report identifies three key factors distinguishing the quality of care provided by childminders.

Key factors influencing quality include:

  • Participation in a quality improvement network: This had a positive influence on the quality of the childminder’s provision, particularly in distinguishing between those with a ‘good’ rating or higher from those with a lower rating.
  • Years of experience as a childminder: This factor distinguished outstanding settings from the rest.
  • A setting with a lower adult-to-child ratio (fewer children per adult) was more likely to have an adequate or above quality score, rather than a poor rating. Adult-to-child ratio did not appear to distinguish between the quality delivered at the higher end (adequate to good / outstanding).


Childcare measures: Small Business, Enterprise & Employment Act

Following measures included in the Small Business, Enterprise & Employment Act 2015, from 1st January 2016, childminders will be able to operate from suitable non-domestic premises for up to half their time whilst still registered as a childminder. Childminders will still be required to meet the standards and requirements set out in the EYFS while operating from a non-domestic premises.

Further, from 1st January 2016, childcare providers and childminders wishing to operate from multiple premises will only need to make a single registration application to Ofsted or their childminder agency in respect of those settings, and will be able to add additional premises to an existing registration without completing a separate registration application each time they open or acquire a new site.


Ban on smoking in vehicles with under 18 present

From 1st October 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a vehicle with anyone under 18 present. The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of second-hand smoke. Both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50.


SEND pathfinder programme: final report

The final report from the evaluation of the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) pathfinder programme has been published. The report covers the second 18 months of the pathfinder programme, ending in September 2014, and looks at its effect on:

  • families’ satisfaction with the systems and processes in place to obtain support for their child
  • families’ views about the amount and quality of support available to them
  • families’ views about their own and their child’s health and well being
  • the cost of the assessment and planning processes for obtaining SEND support


Early Years Inspection Update Newsletter

Ofsted has published the first edition of the ‘Early Years Inspection Update’ newsletter. The newsletter is used to keep Ofsted inspectors informed about key messages, relevant publications and updates to inspection documentation.

This edition has:

  • a message from Gill Jones, Deputy Director, Early Education about the new inspection arrangements for September 2015
  • information about our new initiative to recognise exceptional leaders


Changes in Ofsted’s early education directorate from September 2015

Nick Hudson had written a letter to the early years sector covering organisational changes in Ofsted for early education inspection policy and reminds that early years inspection will change from September 2015.


HMCI Letter to Early Years Providers

Sir Michael Wilshaw has written a letter outlining the changes the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework will bring for Early Years settings from 1st September.


Level 3 Childcare Changes

Certain changes have recently been made by the DfE to Level 3 standalone entry requirements. Following discussions, and advice provided to the Minister, the DfE has announced that the GCSE entry requirements for standalone L3 Early Years Educator courses will be removed.


Career in Teaching

A career in early years teaching is very rewarding. There is still time to apply for an early years teacher training place starting in September 2015. To find out about the training routes and funding still available please visit

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