Early Years Bulletin 04.02.2019

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Early years bulletin

04 February 2019


Advertise your vacancies with us for free!

Did you know you can advertise any job vacancies for free within the Early Years web pages? Go to www.portsmouth.gov.uk/childcarejobs to see the information about working in childcare, then click on 'Childcare Job Vacancies'.

At the top of the page you will find a link to a document template which you just fill in and email to us, then we will get your advert posted online. The advert template ensures that safer recruitment procedures are followed from this early stage. If you need advice on your own recruitment processes to ensure you are applying safe procedures throughout all stages of recruitment, you can have a look online here or contact us at eydelivery@portsmouthcc.gov.uk and we can support you.

Multi-agency drop in

The next multi-agency drop in will be on Thursday 21 March, 9.30am - 4.00pm at Buckland Family Hub, Turner Road, Portsmouth.

If you would like to book a 15 minute slot with any of the professionals below, please email into eyinclusion@portsmouthcc.gov.uk with the professional you would like to see and an approximate time. We will endeavour to match you with the professional in the time slot requested. You will receive an email to confirm your appointment. Please do not discuss any children with the professionals unless you have sought parental consent.

  • Educational Psychologist: 9.30am - 4.00pm   
  • Health Visitor: 9.30am - 11.30am  
  • Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS): 2.00pm - 3.00pm - to discuss any concerns or gather support for children with English as an additional language (EAL)
  • Diane Harrold, Portsmouth Special Educational Needs Support Partnership (PSENSP):  2.00pm - 3.00pm - to unpick any IEP/SEND support plans or gather support for children with SEND
  • Multi-Agency Behaviour Support Service (MABS): 1.00pm - 3.00pm - to discuss any concerns you may have regarding children's behaviour in your setting
  • Sue Bowler, Area SENCO: 9.30am - 12.00pm - to discuss any SEND concerns
  • Business Support Officer: 10.00am - 11.00am - to discuss funding queries
  • Quality Sufficiency Officer: 9.30am - 4.00pm - to discuss quality, business or safeguarding issues within your setting
  • Speech and Language Therapist: 11.00am - 2.30pm


Upcoming training

Autism Awareness,  5 February, 1.00pm - 3.30pm

Spring term EYFS Manager in Schools, 7 February, 4.00pm - 5.30pm

Talk, Talk, Talk (Year R only), 11 February, 1.00pm - 3.30pm

Spring term new or returning to Year R, 26 February, 4.00pm - 5.30pm

Believe in your Behaviour Strategies (Year R only), 27 February, 9.30am - 12.00pm  

Finders Keepers - recruiting and retaining practitioners, 5 March, 9.30am - 12.00pm

Amazing Adults - the role of adults in child-initiated learning, 7 March, 6.30pm - 9.00pm

SENCO Network Cluster Meeting, 11 March, 1.00pm - 3.00pm

Eager to Write (Year R Teachers only), 13 March, 1.00pm - 3.30pm

Spotlight on Good Practice, 14 March, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Over 5s Practitioners Meeting, 19 March, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Delving into Sustained Shared Thinking, 26 March, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Supporting Children Learning EAL in Your Early Years Setting, 27 March, 9.30am - 12.00pm

For all booking, please visit the Portsmouth Services Network website. Enquiries to eyworkforce@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Spring term seminar

Title: Structure, logic and meaning; a route to reading and spelling.

Presented by: Victoria Devonshire - University of Portsmouth

Date: Monday 25 March 2019

Time: 10.00am - 12.00pm

Venue: Conference Room A

Description: Did you know that only 56% of words can be spelt using phonic rules? How do we support children to spell the remaining words? This seminar will explore the elements of phonology, morphology, etymology and form rules to support our understanding of how children learn to read.

Price: £55 members. £60 non-members.

Early bird booking price: £35 members. £40 non-members available until 28 February 2019.

For all booking, please visit the Portsmouth Services Network website. Enquiries to eyworkforce@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Conference news

The Power of Play - Saturday 29 June 2019, Portsmouth Grammar School, 9.00am - 4.00pm

OFSTED will be delivering our afternoon keynote about the new inspection framework.

Remember to book your place as soon as possible to ensure you get your first choice of workshops.

For all booking, please visit the Portsmouth Services Network website. Enquiries to eyworkforce@portsmouthcc.gov.uk


Ofsted consultation - your chance to have your say to shape future Ofsted inspections

Ofsted are currently seeking feedback to help shape their inspections from September 2019 and have released their draft handbooks which set out how Ofsted propose to inspect schools and academies (including those with early years pupils on roll) and registered childcare settings such as child minders, nurseries and pre-schools.

The proposals include:

  • Putting the curriculum at the heart of the new framework
  • Putting more emphasis on the quality of education and care as a whole. It will ensure that Ofsted consider children’s experiences and how their learning is being developed
  • Reducing the focus on data, particularly internal progress data (to reduce unnecessary workload for childcare providers).    

There are two draft handbooks available here.

  • The draft ‘Early years handbook’ applies to providers registered on the Early Years Register.
  • The draft ‘Schools handbook’ applies to early years provision run and managed directly by the school’s governing body (2 – 5 years).

The consultation is open until 11.45pm on 5 April and a link for responses can be found here.

Ofsted focus - shared care

Since the introduction of the 30 hours funding, providers report they have seen a rise in the number of children sharing their care with other childcare settings. With this in mind, Ofsted are closely monitoring the effectiveness of arrangements for sharing information and working in partnership with other providers. Ofsted is keen for providers to work together to identify all children's needs and help them to make good progress. As a sector, we recognise that children can benefit from access to different experiences, environments, stimulation and early educators within a broad curriculum. However, there are also likely to be some challenges in ensuring that the child experiences the least disruption and maximum benefit from attending two or more settings:

The Family and Childcare Trust published an article in 2017 sharing tips for managing joint learning and development.

Things to consider…

  • While the EYFS standards are clear, they are not prescriptive and certain aspects are open to interpretation by the setting. For example, some settings may favour a formal approach to learning while others may favour a discovery based or child-led atmosphere; this could be confusing for the child.
  • There is a risk that the child may experience the same activities in different settings and become bored.
  • The child’s individual needs could be overlooked. For example, he/she will need opportunities to learn and be active as well as to relax and rest at times that suit them. This is especially important if he/she is accessing two settings in one day, but the timetable followed by the settings may not accommodate this.
  • The child could experience different approaches to behaviour management in each setting which could be confusing and unsettling.
  • There is a risk that each setting will want to assess the child’s progress and although this should always be achieved through careful observation by adults who know the child well, there is a chance that the child may experience assessment ‘overload’.

Most of these challenges could be overcome through staff committing to ensure the child has the best experience when attending their settings and by good joint planning and communication. Providers should aim to keep the child’s best interests at the heart of their decisions and imagine what it is like for a child access multiple settings.

Joint management of learning and development

  • Where children are accessing one or more settings, an arrangement could be made for key staff from each setting to share their planning, checking to ensure they are not providing too much of the same thing for those children.
  • It would be important to include the ‘key person’ for the child from each setting in any joint planning meetings. In this way the providers can set some agreed goals for the child that they will both work towards using a variety of activities and experiences.
  • The providers may consider appointing just one of the ‘key persons’ to carry out observations of the child and assess their progress which would be shared with the other setting(s) in joint progress meetings. This would help to reduce the risk of the child being ‘over assessed’.
  • These recommendations involve face-to-face meetings and, initially, this may be necessary in order to establish relationships and build trust between staff in different settings. However they could also be done by email, Skype or phone.
  • Many settings now use IT programmes specifically designed to capture data from observations and track children’s progress. Access can be extended to specific staff in another setting following the implementation of correct data sharing protocols (information from ‘Tapestry’ online Learning Journals).

If you have any queries regarding managing shared care in your setting please contact your linked Early Years and Quality Sufficiency Officer - eydelivery@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.


Webinar for childminders

At the most recent HMI meeting, Ofsted mentioned a webinar for Childminders on YouTube. 

The video covers a variety of subjects:

  • Changes to how Ofsted are organised (i.e. inspectors moving into Ofsted and not employed by Tribal)
  • How complaints are handled
  • Common areas for improvement identified during inspections
  • What does a good safeguarding culture look like
  • And lots of other useful info through myth busting & interactive Q&A sessions (recorded live at the time it took place).

View the webinar

LADO update - action required

Gill Burtwell has now finished her secondment covering the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) role. Her replacement is being recruited, with several senior members of the social care team covering the LADO role in the interim. Please check and amend your policies and flow charts if you had Gill Burtwell named in them, and for the interim transition period use the generic contact details of lado@portsmouthcc.gcsx.gov.uk. This is also the best way to contact the LADO if there are ever any allegations, complaints or concerns for any member of staff or adults that may affect their suitability to work with children (whether the concerns relate to practice within work or something that has happened outside of work/working hours). We will update you again once a permanent LADO has been recruited.


Portsmouth Early Language Plan on a Page

In Portsmouth we believe that every child deserves the very best start and that language development is at the heart of this. We know that, by age 4, a child from a disadvantaged background has heard 30 million fewer words compared to their more advantaged peers. We know that a child with a poor vocabulary when they are five is more than twice as likely to be unemployed in their thirties and one and a half times more likely to have mental health problems as a similar child with a good vocabulary.

Click here to see our Early Language Plan on a Page. The Early Years and Childcare Service have created this plan to show the responsibilities of key partners in supporting the early language development of all our children in the city.

The Early Language Plan on a Page was shared with providers at the recent termly briefing and there will be further opportunities to look at the plan on a page and unpick our collective responsibilities in the summer term briefing.

Top Tip for Talking


Please print and display February's Top Tip for Talking poster. This is available on the Services Network website under the 'resources tab'.





Download February's Top Tip 


New sugar reduction campaign launched for children

Change4Life has launched a new campaign that encourages families to cut back on sugar by making a few simple swaps to their everyday food and drinks. Children in England are having more than double the recommended amount of sugar each year, which can lead to various health problems. Resources have been created that can be used in an early years setting to teach children about healthy eating. You can find out more about the campaign and use a sugar calculator to see how much you're having each day here. It would be great if this could be included in any updates that you send parents or in the news section of your website.

Download resources here

Have you written and publicised your own Local Offer?

How do your parents know what you offer for children and families with SEND?

The SEN Code of Practice states that "Early years providers must provide information for parents on how they support children with SEN and disabilities, and should regularly review and evaluate the quality and breadth of the support they offer or can access for children with SEN or disabilities."

We will be sharing ideas and discussing Early Years Settings' Local Offer statements at the next SENCo clusters on the 11 March. Do you have a Local Offer that you are happy to share as an example of effective practice?

If so please email eyinclusion@portsmouthcc.gov.uk and we will be in touch. Many thanks in advance.


Exciting Opportunity for Portsmouth Early Years Settings- Accredited Early Years SENCO Award

Would you like to achieve an accredited Early Years SENCO Award? Do you work in a Private, Voluntary or Independent Early Years setting? Would you like to develop your confidence and knowledge about effective SEND provision for the children in your care?

We have been working hard over the last few months to bring this opportunity to Portsmouth settings and we have just had confirmation that we will be in the next roll out.

The Early Years SENCO Award (L3) is a 12.5 day course running locally over 13 weeks. This will be completely free to SENCos and interested practitioners who work in PVI settings. You will need to complete the required course tasks and evaluation and you must attend all the sessions to gain the award.

This is a national award funded by the Department for Education in partnership with the School Improvement Liverpool Service and NASEN.

Further details will follow but if you would like to express your interest then please email eyinclusion@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

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. Contact us on 023 9284 1974.

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Any questions about the content of this email? Get in touch