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Action for Children

We are pleased to announce that a new Childminder Agency has been registered by Ofsted. Suffolk Childcare Agency has become the 9th childminder agency in the country and will cover Suffolk and the surrounding areas. I you would like more information about Suffolk Childcare Agency or about Childminder Agencies in general please contact [email protected] or take a look at the dedicated Childminder Agency page on the Foundation Years website


Bercow: Ten Years On – reviewing support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs: your views are needed

Bercow: Ten Years On is a review of support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) in England being conducted by I CAN and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).  The review has launched the first phase of evidence gathering, seeking evidence on the reality of SLCN support and information for children, young people and their families, and the impact of this on outcomes.

This phase of evidence gathering will run between 16th January and 16th March 2017, aimed mainly at people who work with children with SLCN, or who have responsibility for providing services. However anyone is welcome to contribute.

You can contribute in two ways: complete a short 10 minute online survey about the support children with SLCN are getting and the scale of the issue, and submit written information sharing your experiences of the reality of SLCN support and information for children, young people and their families through the more detailed inquiry.

Watch out for phase two when they will be seeking the views of parents, carers and young people. For more information e mail [email protected] or visit the Bercow: Ten Years On website.


Childcare Works Update

Further LED events have been announced by Action for Children for March 2017. These will be in Leeds, Birmingham, London, Taunton, Newcastle and Manchester. They will focus on the latest updates, partnership models, parents’ views, quality practice implications and things to do before September 2017.

The website is now up and running. This will be a great source of information and events for providers. Already here are briefings about eligibility, lunches and charges, and schools forum. There is the Childcare Works getting ready guide and the slides from last autumn’s LEDs too.


Communication Trust

Would you like some guidance on commissioning speech and language services for your school? The Communication Trust have developed a ‘One Stop Guide’ to take you through key steps to consider when you are planning to commission speech and language support . These include top tips on decision making around the service that you commission, practical steps to integrate your service into your school and how to assess if it’s actually working. We’ve collected some case studies from schools sharing experiences of commissioning too.

To access the ‘one stop guide’, an accompanying short video and some school case studies, click here.


Early Education

Outdoors and active resources

A joint project between London Borough of Newham, Early Education and Learning Through Landscapes has resulted in the publication of a free online resource.  Key findings and resources from the Outdoors and Active project can be found here and a book version of the resources is also available to pre-order here.


Early years pedagogy: blogs and resources

Have you seen our new blog series on aspects of early years pedagogy?  Read recent blogs here and follow @earlyed_cathy for more.  The blogs are available to all, with additional resources available to members only in the members’ area of our website.


Family Action

Learning Exchange

Take a look at the Learning Exchange website, where you can find information about Family Action’s recent grant award by the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver a pilot East Midlands Adoption Support Service (EMASS).

EMASS provides a wide range of attachment training, resources and support for schools, as well as supporting adoptive families. Keep an eye on our website for details of forthcoming EMASS events.

On the Learning Exchange, which is managed by Family Action and funded by the DfE, you can also find free resources produced as part of our previous DfE-funded projects. These will help you to:

  • develop more inclusive childcare practices for 0-5s with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • set up wraparound provision on a school site (e.g. after-school, breakfast and holiday clubs)

Training for early years and school staff

Family Action is also offering a range of open workshops across the country (e.g. aimed at early years, school and adoption/fostering professionals). These include:


Find out more about our training


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.


Childcare Works

30 Hours Special LED Events

Childcare Works has created a special programme of LED events for providers focusing on 30-hours. The events will be delivered in partnership with the Foundation Years Team at Action for Children.

The audience for these events is all types of early years and childcare providers including chains, children’s centres, schools, childminders and local authority officers working with providers, business support officers, and partner roles in other organisations.


  • Introduction and setting the scene
  • Childcare Works update
  • Partnership models
  • Parents’ point of view/experiences
  • Practice implications for children
  • Actions before 1 September
  • Evaluation and close


To book your place please follow the links:

8th March London (Morning)

8th March London (Afternoon)

21st March Birmingham (Morning)

21st March Birmingham (Afternoon)

22nd March Leeds (Morning)

22nd March Leeds (Afternoon)

23rd March Taunton

23rd March Manchester

27th March Newcastle



The Foundation for Infant Loss Training

National Conference in Child Safety

5 May – London

National conference for early years professionals with an interest in keeping children safe. The conference will cover the following topics:

  • Preventing accidents
  • Child burns prevention
  • Importance of paediatric first aid training in early years settings
  • Safe sleep education
  • Abuse
  • and many more

To book your place email [email protected]


Early Education Events

Leading excellence in the early years: a conference for primary headteachers and leaders

3 March – Tyne and Wear

Speakers: Anne O’Connor, Helen Moylett, Ruth Moore


Early Education Annual National Conference 2017 – Now there’s a thought: exploring the potential and power of children’s thinking

5-6 May – Sunderland

Speakers: Alison Gopnik, Iram Siraj, Kathy Ring, Elizabeth Carruthers


All our 2017 courses and events can be found online at


National Literacy Trust

Talk To Your Baby 2017: Early Language in a Connected World | 13 March 2017 | London Met University | £245

With expert speakers now confirmed including LuCiD Director Elena Lieven and Oxford Professor Kathy Sylva, the Talk To Your Baby conference will draw on new evidence into child to parent interaction, practice in settings and community-wide approaches to increasing language and literacy outcomes. Book now to develop your understanding of the latest research, practice and policy in early language acquisition. Hear from acclaimed speakers and collaborate with peers from a wide range of disciplines across the sector.


Sightlines Initiative

Networks Showcase Day

4 March 2017 – London

Sightlines Initiative Network members present experiences of early years centres and educators being inspired, finding new enthusiasms and abilities in supporting children’s deep learning; illustrations of children’s sociable, imaginative and deep learning.

The London & West Midlands Network groups, and others in the Sightlines Initiative Community Network will present and discuss recent and current experiences in their developing of creative pedagogy.

An introduction to the network, for educators interested in change and listening to children.


Reggio Study Week 2017

2-7 April – Loris Malaguzzi International Centre, Reggio Emilia, Italy

A one-week study visit to learn about and be inspired by the world-renowned educational approach of the preschools and infant-toddler centres of Reggio Emilia. This course will explore the key principles underpinning the Reggio approach to early childhood education. It will involve lectures, presentations, discussion groups, exhibitions, visits to preschools and infant-toddler centres.

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