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Health Conference Resources

Thank you to everyone that attended the ‘Healthy Children, Bright Futures’ Conference on Thursday 16th June in London. The conference was a great success as 100 people from local government, early years, education and health all turned up to learn more about how to support children’s health. Delegates walked away with interesting and shocking statistics, inspiration from case studies and practical ideas from workshops.

PowerPoint presentations from each speaker can be downloaded from the conference web page.


The Communication Trust

Share your CPD experiences and enter a prize draw!

Are you interested in entering a prize draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher? The Communication Trust is seeking the views of those who work with children and young people about their experiences of professional development opportunities around speech, language and communication and speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

We’ve developed a short survey to gather the views of a wide range of professionals including early years practitioners, teachers, teaching assistants, school nurses and health visitors. We want to hear from everyone, whether you’ve never had any CPD or initial training around children and young people’s communication, or have accessed a number of development opportunities in this area, your views are vital to our work.

Please follow this link before 15th July to access the short survey and enter the £50 Amazon voucher prize draw –

Platform 3 for Childminders Independent Evaluation report is now available!

Platform 3 is an innovative, accessible and cost effective online learning route for delivering and undertaking the Level 3 accredited qualification: Supporting Children and Young People’s Speech, Language and Communication.

Following the success of the 2013-2015 pilot project, The Communication Trust was awarded further funding through the Department for Education VCS Grant Scheme for 2015-2016. We worked with PACEY to tailor the existing delivery mechanisms of the qualification to address the specific needs of childminders.

We are delighted to announce that the independent evaluation report for Platform 3 for Childminders is now available and can be accessed here. Some of the key findings from the report are highlighted below:

  • Almost all (94%) of the practitioners surveyed at the end of the qualification felt that the qualification had enabled them to feel more confident in supporting children’s speech, language and communication development.
  • The proportion of childminders who felt ‘quite confident’ or ‘very confident’ in their ability to discuss a child’s strengths, weaknesses and needs with their parent/carer increased from 62% before the qualification to 100% after the qualification.

Platform 3 is now available to all those who work with all children and young people from different sectors across the workforce.

To find out more about completing or delivering the Award, please visit us or email us at [email protected]


Contact a Family

Last week Contact a Family celebrated an enormous victory for their Stop the DLA Takeaway in Hospital campaign. The government has scrapped the rules that previously stopped payment of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) when a child (under 18) was in hospital. The new law came into force last week. Find out more on the Contact a Family website.

This is monumental law change and an incredible legacy for Cameron Mathieson. Hundreds of families with the most disabled and poorly children will no longer be denied financial support when they need it most. Download the factsheet here.


Centre for Research in Early Education

The Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) are very pleased to announce the launch of the High-achieving, White Working Class (HAWWC) Boys project report, produced to provide practical evidence based resources to tackle the challenge of white working class male underachievement.

Developed with support from Birmingham, Oxfordshire and North Yorkshire Councils, this DfE funded project addresses the policy question of how CREC might enhance the educational achievement of young, white working class boys (identified as boys growing up in low income households) in order to:

  • close the gap in their attainment on entry to compulsory schooling
  • improve access to the free early education offer
  • enable greater social mobility


Family Action

Increasing the provision of high-quality, inclusive school-based childcare for 0-5s with SEND

Are you looking to develop inclusive practices for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in your setting?  If so, take a look at the wide range of free resources on our Learning Exchange website.


National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)

Inspiring your little scientists

Inspire children to learn about the world through scientific experimentation with the National Day Nurseries Association’s brand new publication.

‘Inspiring your little scientists’ provides an abundance of ideas for scientific experimentation that will help young children to learn about the world around them.

Discover fun and playful experiments and generate scientific thinking from an early age including:

  • Fizzy rockets
  • Balloon powered cars
  • Magnetism
  • Cornflour gloop
  • And over 70 more!

Find out more


National Literacy Trust

New resources developed to support early digital learning

Technology is part of everyday life and many toddlers are using touchscreens almost before they can walk and talk. A new survey from the National Literacy Trust and Pearson shows almost all families (97%) own tablets or smartphones. Access to touchscreens in early years settings has increased too, from 41.4% in 2014 to 58.2% in 2015. However, our survey shows that that early years practitioners lack confidence in using technology.

Our third annual Early Years Literacy Survey: The Use of Technology to Support Literacy in the Early Years found fewer practitioners used touchscreens to share stories in 2015 (40.8%) than in 2014 (49.1%). Of these, only half (55.1%) are confident doing so, compared to 82.2% who are confident using books.

You can read more about the findings of the survey and access resources here.


National Portage Association (NPA)

Would you like to develop your skills, knowledge and confidence to support children with SEND and their families?

The NPA provide training and support to the early years workforce to develop Portage practice.

Portage Workshop – A Small Steps Approach to Learning for Children with SEND

Recently updated to support the implementation of Portage principles within early years settings.

If you are interested in accessing the training or developing Portage in your area please contact

[email protected] (South)

[email protected] (North & Midlands)

Further information can also be found here


The NPA Stamp of Approval Scheme

This award is available to early years settings (including childminders and foster carers) whose staff have completed the Portage Workshop 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


Early Education

Conference: Improving life chances: the role of the early years Friday 14 October 2016, London

What is the role of the early years sector in improving children’s life chances, and how can the sector respond to the government’s emerging life chances strategy?  This one-day conference will take a topical look at early years policy developments and research findings relating to the life chances strategy.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Helen Stephenson, Director, Early Years, Child Poverty and Children’s Services Strategy, Department for Education
  • Professor Kathy Sylva, University of Oxford
  • Naomi Eisenstadt, University of Oxford
  • Bernadette Duffy, Head, Thomas Coram Centre

More information and book – early bird booking rate available until the end of July.

Early Education national events

Confused about what next after the U-turn on baseline assessment?  Come to a half-day seminar:

08 Jul – Baseline Assessment: What do we do now? – with Nancy Stewart – Sheffield

Book now for courses in London in the autumn.  Dates for Cardiff and Tyne-and-Wear will be added shortly (see our website for the most up to date list):

Characteristics of effective learning series:

  • 19 Oct – Creative and Critical Thinking: challenging children’s ideas and understanding -with Julie Fisher
  • 08 Nov – The Power of Play – Ensuring challenge and progression through child initiated learning in the EYFS – with Kym Scott
  • 17 Nov – Active Learning – with Nancy Stewart

Leadership series:

  • 18 Oct – What kind of a leader do you aspire to be? Inspiration, motivation and the power of emotional intelligence in leading for quality in the early years – with Fiona Kemp
  • 08 Dec – Effective supervision and understanding others, including the practical development of coaching and mentoring skills -with Fiona Kemp

Other courses:

  • 10 Nov – Schemas and the 2-year-old – with Stella Louis
  • 24 Nov – Ready, Set, Read! Inspiring reading in the early years foundation stage – with Anne Harding
  • 29 Nov – Elemental Play and Learning Through Risk, Challenge And Adventure Outdoors – 2 Day Course – with Kathryn Solly

Further details and book


National Portage Association

Annual Conference

Dates: Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October, 2016

Venue: Hilton Hotel, Northampton

Our conference theme for 2016 is ‘Communication is Key’. 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:

Julie Revels – from Kate Cairns Associates, talking on ‘Five to Thrive’

Jo Birbeck (Educational Psychologist) will be talking about Video Interaction Guidance.

For more information:

For highlights from our 2015 Conference:

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