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Childcare Works

Childcare Works is the DfE’s national support contract for 30 hours, delivered by Hempsall’s, Action for Children and Mott MacDonald.

This term has been a busy one with the team engaging with almost 10,000 providers all over the country, and working with all 152 local authorities.  As a result, Childcare Works has posted more resources on the website Providers can access briefings, business planning resources, workbooks, guidance and case study presentations.  Of particular note is the lunchtimes and charging briefing, out of school, and workbooks for PVI and school providers.

What’s coming up?  Look out of the next round of 30 hours Learn Explore Debate seminars with Action for Children.  We are planning lots of input and sharing from providers already delivering 30 hours in early implementation and early roll-out areas – all ready for full national roll-out in September 2017.  If you cannot manage to attend, all resources will be shared on the website.


Presentations from Childcare Works LED Events

Childcare Works recently held a number of special LED events, in March 2017, for providers focusing on the 30 hours childcare offer. The presentations from these events are now available here.


Communication Trust

Talking About A Generation

The Communication Trust have launched a new report entitled Talking About a Generation, which is now available to download from their website here. The report reviews recent developments in policy and practice affecting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), examining the impact of SLCN on health and wellbeing, educational progress and employability beyond school.

Written by Marie Gascoigne and Jean Gross, the report highlights research showing that by the age of five, 75% of children who experienced poverty persistently throughout the early years are below average in language development, compared to 35% of children who never experienced poverty. It also presents worrying evidence of under identification of SLCN across health and education services. Research tells us that 7.6% of children in the early primary years will have developmental language disorder – that is two children in every classroom. Analysis of the SEND data shows that only 2.6% of children are identified by the SEND system as having SLCN as a primary need.

The Communication Trust is calling for concerted action around identification of, and support for, speech, language and communication needs with 19 recommendations for government, commissioners, regulators and practitioners.


Pre-school Learning Alliance

The Pre-school Learning Alliance is launching an innovative approach to professional development. Individual practitioners and setting managers can benefit from a free consultation with a qualified training advisor to tailor a programme of support and development that meets their needs.

Three easy stages to SMARTpd:

  • Complete a short, online questionnaire providing information on areas identified for development in your SEF or at your last Ofsted inspection.
  • Have a telephone consolation with a qualified early years training advisor
  • A bespoke training programme combining free resources, on-line programmes, publications and workshop sessions is developed and emailed to you.

‘I contacted the Pre-school Learning alliance to speak to them about some training requirements and they came back to me with the most fantastic training plan that was catered specifically to our needs.  I received excellent personal service and the smart pd bespoke plan has already been utilised and used during staff meetings.’ Sarah Fletcher; Footprints Pre-school, Yateley, Hampshire

If you would like to benefit from the new tailored SMARTpd programme please register you interest by contacting [email protected]



Bercow: Ten Years On

We’re pleased to announce that the second phase of evidence gathering has opened, giving parents and carers an opportunity to share their views of information and provision for their child’s SLCN. Seeking the views of parents and carers of children with SLCN will help us to ensure the Bercow: Ten Years On review recommendations are firmly rooted in the reality of their experience.

We are encouraging parents and carers to share their views via a short online survey. We’re also hoping that settings will support those who may not normally complete a questionnaire or who may need extra help by assisting them to respond in a practical way via our activity packs.

Our parent and carer consultation will be open until 30th June 2017.


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 here


Launch of New Website

We are pleased to announce that we launched a new NPA website in March. To take a look visit:


Action for Children

School partnerships with Childminders and Childminder agencies – forming effective partnership models

Action for Children is pleased to announce the next round of roadshow events specifically for schools/maintained nursery schools and childminders/CMAS to offer an opportunity to look at effective and innovative ways to work in partnership with a particular focus on the 30 hours agenda.

These roadshow events will look at enabling partnerships to form and develop through effective systems and information sharing.

The audience for this event is schools, maintained nursery schools, Childminder Agencies and childminders who are looking at delivering the 30 hours through a partnership approach.


Dates and timings:

Tuesday 2nd May 4 – 5.30pm for schools and 6 – 7.30pm for childminders

The Oaks Community Infant School Gore Court Road, Sittingbourne ME10 1GL

To book your place at this event please email [email protected] FAO Charlotte Dinning


Monday 8th May 4 – 5.30pm for schools and 6 – 7.30pm for childminders

Tanglewood Nursery School, Melbourne Avenue, Chelmsford CM1 2DX

To book your place at this event please email [email protected] FAO Charlotte Dinning


Tuesday 9th May 4 – 5.30pm for schools and 6 – 7.30pm for childminders

St Margaret’s Nursery school, Margaret Road, Barnet EN4 9NT

To book your place at this event please email [email protected] FAO Charlotte Dinning


Contact a Family

Contact a Family are holding a series of welcoming and informative sessions for families who are concerned about their child’s development, and for those who have a disability or additional need. These free workshops are funded by the Department for Education, and are part of a grant to Contact a Family to help raise parent carers’ awareness about their Early Years entitlements.

There are 4 workshops focusing on:

Support and Information

  • Know about support services for you and your family
  • Know how to find support in your local area
  • Understand how to get support


Get what you need for your child

  • Develop better communication skills
  • Feel more confident to make decisions about your child
  • Prepare for meetings with professionals


Encouraging positive behaviour

  • Understand the reasons for behaviour
  • Working with others to encourage positive behaviour
  • Top tips to help


Money Matters

  • Know how to improve your finances
  • Understand what you’re entitled to
  • Know where to get support


South West

Venue: Staple Hill Children’s Centre, Page Road, Bristol, BS16 4NE

To book email: [email protected]

Support and Information – 5th May

Getting what you need – 12th May

Encouraging Positive Behaviour – 9th June

Money Matters – 23rd June


North East

Venue: Riverbank Children’s Centre, Gilmour Street, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 6PF

To book email: [email protected]

Encouraging Positive Behaviour – 5th June

Support and Information – 12th June

Getting what you need – 19th June

Money Matters – 3rd July


East of England

Venue: Kirkley Children’s Centre – South Lowestoft, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0LU

To book email: [email protected]

Support and Information – 3rd May

Getting what you need – 16th May

Encouraging Positive Behaviour – 30th May

Money Matters – 13th June


East Midlands

Venue: Austin Sunnyhill Children’s Centre, Homelands, Browning Street, Austin Estate, Derby, DE23 8DN

To book email: [email protected]

Support and Information – 5th June

Getting what you need – 12th June

Encouraging Positive Behaviour – 19th June

Money Matters – 26th June


Family Action

East Midlands Adoption Support Service

Our DfE-funded East Midlands Adoption Support Service (EMASS)  is working in partnership with a number of local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to ensure adopted children and those with attachment-based difficulties and their families in the East Midlands receive the support they need when they need it.

Following on from our successful Safebase conference’, held earlier in 2017, we will soon be taking bookings for our free EMASS practice-sharing sessions, which will take place across Lincolnshire and the East Midlands.

These sessions will take place between June 2017 and January 2018:

23 June 2017: Introduction to Adoption and Special Guardianship (am); Transitions (pm)

18 September 2017: Attachment in the Classroom (am); Separation and Loss (pm)

16 October 2017: Promoting Pro-social Behaviour (am); Managing Anger and Aggression (pm)

6 November 2017: Presenting a Sensitive Curriculum (am); Managing ASD and ADHD (pm)

22 January 2018: Adolescent Mental Health and Identity Issues for Adopted Children and those Subject to SGOs (am); Communicating with Children (pm).


Visit our practice-sharing webpage for details about these sessions.

If your setting would be interested in hosting a session, please:


Lincolnshire Behaviour Outreach Support Service (BOSS)

Family Action’s Lincolnshire Behaviour Outreach Support Service (BOSS) is offering two free one-day training events in May 2017 to support Lincolnshire schools and academies to address issues that may be contributing to pupils’ challenging behaviour. Download our booking form


Better Together!

Family Action’s Warwickshire SENDIAS Service is running its one-day Better Together! Conference in Rugby on Saturday, 13 May. The conference is for parents, carers and professionals who would like to find out more about supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Warwickshire. The event will offer the opportunity to:

  • hear from guest speakers including
    – British Paralympic Swimmer, Fran Williamson
    – Pate Tate, Head of Service, Vulnerable Learners, Warwickshire County Council
    – David Holmes CBE, Family Action’s Chief Executive
  • take part in a range of interactive workshops
  • get practical ideas for supporting a child with SEND
  • browse an exhibition of resources and support organisations
  • network with other parents, carers and professionals.

Book your place via our Eventbrite page.


Training for early years and school staff

Family Action offers a range of workshops across the country (e.g. aimed at early years, school and adoption/fostering professionals). These include: Mental Health First Aid Youth; The Emotional Wellbeing of Foster Carers & Adopters; Direct Work & Communicating with Children; Panel Chairs and Advisers; Panel Administrators; Assessing Prospective Foster Carers; Strengthening Special Guardianship Assessments.

Find out more:

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