Early Years Bulletin 24.12.2018

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Early years bulletin

24 December 2018

NEW Portsmouth Early Years Professionals Facebook page!


'Like' our new Portsmouth Early Years Professionals page. Find information, advice, updates, training and development opportunities and general information for our Early Years Workforce in Portsmouth and beyond. 

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Spring Early Education Funding - census


This year we are collecting the annual census data through a headcount task and simple online survey as feedback received last year suggested this was a much simpler way for you to get the information to us.

The data collected is used to inform the Department for Education, which secures your early education funding and helps us analyse the childcare provision across the city.

All providers who accept children with 2, 3 or 4 year funding entitlements must submit a headcount and census survey.

Task 1: Submit a Headcount Task through the Provider Portal for funded children attending the setting during the Spring Term.

The task will be available from Monday 14 January to Friday 25 January and you will receive an email from eyfunding@portsmouthcc.gov.uk alerting you when it is available.

Task 2: Submit the Early Years Census 2019 online survey.

The survey will be available from 8.00am on Monday 14 January 2019 until 8.00pm on Friday 25 January 2019 and relates to children registered/attending during the census week (14 - 18 January 2019).

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and must be done in one sitting so please ensure you have the following information available:

  • Number of staff and qualifications
  • Number and ages of children accessing 2, 3, 4 year funded places

Guides to completing the tasks can be found here. If you have any queries please email us at eyfunding@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

An officer will be attending the childminder led groups to offer support on:

Tuesday 15 January 2019, 9.30am - 11.00am

Buckland Family Hub, Turner Road, Buckland, PO1 4PN

Thursday 17 January 2019, 10.00am - 11.30am

Landport Family Hub, 221 Arundel Street, Portsmouth, PO1 1NF

School application support


We are taking this opportunity to remind you that some parents of children with EAL are unaware of the process they must follow for their children to start school in September 2019. As you know the admission forms must be received at Portsmouth City Council by Tuesday 15 January 2019 otherwise they will be classed as a late application. If you haven’t already done so, could you please be pro-active in encouraging all parents to complete school application forms as soon as possible, and in addition, support parents with EAL either by explaining the process and signposting them to the admissions office or by helping them to complete the forms if necessary.

If you already have a Bilingual Learning Assistant (BLA) working in partnership with your setting, please ask them to support this process in the parents’ home language. If you haven’t got bilingual support but would need help in communicating with parents, please do not hesitate to contact the EMAS service general.emas@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or 023 9273 3130. 

Also if you have children with EAL at your setting and would like bilingual support please complete and return the referral form:   

Any parent can be signposted to the City Helpdesk or Family Information Service for support in completing their school place admission form: 023 9268 8830 or fis@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

Nuffield Foundation research trial


Do you know a toddler who is struggling to talk? Group learning sessions for parents and children could help and a team are recruiting families in Portsmouth now to trial these. These sessions, for pre-schoolers, aim to enhance language skills before school to give all children the best possible start in life. It's free and will be a friendly, supportive environment. We'd appreciate you promoting this to any relevant families.

Find out more

Barnardo's Development Project - Complex Abuse Risk Approach

As we know, child exploitation is not an issue that just affects young people in Portsmouth. As such, the PSCB is committed to addressing this issue with our colleagues in agencies across Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight.  

Part of this commitment is to consolidate the range of strategies and tools that have been developed, and agree a shared approach to help us work better together to support children at risk of exploitation.

In order to develop a tool that works across all four local authority areas and effectively identifies children at risk of all forms of exploitation; your views and experiences will be vital in helping Barnardo's to do this.

Currently agencies in Hampshire, Southampton and IoW use the SERAF, which was developed by Barnardo's. Whereas in Portsmouth  we use our own locally developed Risk Assessment Tool.

This development project is called CARA – Complex Abuse Risk Approach. We are sending you this questionnaire as it is very important that this work is informed by your experience as a professional working with children, young people and families. Barnardo's want to capture what you find is working well and not working so well when completing risk assessments and screening tools with children and young people. 

The information gained will enable Barnardo's to understand what works from your experience as a professional when they are designing their new framework/approach. There is further information in the introduction to the survey that explains who will have access to the information you input into the survey and how it will be used.

Please find the link below to complete the questionnaire. It is anticipated that this survey will take around 11 minutes to complete. The survey will be due to close on Friday 11 January 2019.

Access the survey

EHC Assessments and Early Help Assessments (EHA)


There will be a requirement from January 2019 for a request for an EHC assessment to be accompanied by an Early Help Assessment.

This will ensure that the "care" needs are adequately covered in the EHC assessment.

If you are in the process of initiating or completing a request for an EHC assessment, please discuss the need for an Early Help Assessment with the parent and also the Health Visitor. It may be that one has already been completed. If not, you will need to agree who is the most appropriate person to do this. You may feel that some questions in the EHA may feel intrusive, but they provide an opportunity to increase understanding of the range of issues a family may be facing which impact on education.

Once completed, Early Help Assessments need to be sent to Portsmouth MASH.

You may find this One Minute guide to explaining 'Early Help' consent to families useful.

More information and the EHA paperwork can be found in the Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board website.

Please contact your Area SENCo - Sue or Ella EYinclusion@portsmouthcc.gov.uk for more information.

Free Early Years SEND Training - Accredited SENCo Award Level 3

Nasen has secured funding to provide significant support on SEND to early years PVI settings.

In partnership with School Improvement Liverpool, Nasen will be delivering this completely free, Level 3 SENCo Award. This accredited training lasts for 12.5 days and runs over 13 weeks and will develop attendees' confidence and knowledge regarding effective SEND provision for the children in their care. 

The Early Years SENCo Award is fully accredited by CACHE and includes free access to the course venue, lunch and printed course materials.

For taking part, you will also receive a Nasen individual Gold Membership FREE for 1 year! This alone is worth £149.00!

Nasen ask that you complete the required course tasks and evaluation and that you attend all session dates.

Please note that course content, dates and venues are yet to be confirmed, but applicants are invited to register an interest to receive more information as it becomes available.

Register now!

New features in online childcare search - don't forget to update your details!


This is free to all Portsmouth Providers and is receiving over 500 searches a month, so a vital way to let families know about your business!  

It's really important that every provider logs in and updates their information as this will be the system used next year to collect the annual sufficiency data. If you haven't logged in yet, it's quick and easy to set up an account via this link.

Thanks to all of you that have updated your details in the Portsmouth online childcare search so far - available at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/childcare (click on 'Finding Childcare').

We have listened to feedback and made some improvements to the system so please log in and you can:

  • Enter 'Additional Information' up to 500 characters (including spaces) to let families know about your specialisms, fees, etc.
  • See clearly which fields will show on the public search (highlighted red when you log in)
  • See which fields you can update (indicated with a $ after the field name) - all the others can be updated by Early Years so just email us with any requests at eydelivery@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Look out for future updates including details of out of school & holiday provision and local family groups and services!

Contact us...


The Early Years and Childcare Service have a dedicated telephone number to be used if you need to speak to a member of the team. 

The number is 023 9284 1974

Find us online!

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