Early Years Bulletin 18.03.2019

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Early years bulletin

18 March 2019

Multi-agency Drop in

Don’t forget to book to see a professional at the next multi-agency drop in taking place on Thursday 21 March at Buckland Family Hub, Turner Road.

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 and Sufficiency Officer: 9.30am - 4.00pm - to discuss quality, business or safeguarding issues within your setting
  • Speech and Language Therapist: 11.00am - 2.30pm

Early Language


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.

There are free resources to support parents available through the Bookstart programme, see below for more information. There are also children's activities in the local libraries in the city that parents and carers can attend with their children.

About Bookstart

Bookstart is the world’s first national book gifting programme – established in 1992 and run by the reading charity BookTrust.

Bookstart provides free books and resources to every local authority in England and Wales, which are delivered in person to families by health, library and early years professionals, and practitioners who support parents and carers, ensuring that every child receives their Bookstart packs.

Bookstart gift free books to all children at two key ages before school to help families read together every day and inspire children to develop a love of books and reading.

Bookstart Baby pack

Bookstart baby bags are given out at the Portsmouth Registry Office when parents register their newborn's birth. These help parents share stories, rhymes and songs with their  babies.

Bookstart Treasure pack

In Portsmouth, pre-schoolers will receive their special gift envelope when they are 3-4 years old from their childcare provider. Inside is a picture book to share, plus a friendly booklet with tips and ideas for reading together.

For tips, guidance and ideas for practitioners delivering Bookstart treasure packs within early years settings please see here.

The Bookstart treasure packs are delivered to childcare settings the term before the children are due to start school. The Bookstart coordinator will contact each setting to find out how many packs are required, they will also ask if any dual language and additional needs packs are needed.


Childminders who care for children due to start school can collect the Bookstart treasure packs from their local library, you should not need to show any evidence to receive a pack for each pre-school child in your care. View addresses and opening times for libraries here.

Further information

For more information please contact Jacqueline Garrard, Access and Learning Librarian and Bookstart Coordinator on 023 9268 8049.


                         Bookstart baby pack                                     Bookstart treasure pack



National living and minimum wage

For those settings who employ staff/assistants, please note that the national living wages and minimum wages rates were set at the last budget and from 1 April 2019 the rates will rise from the current rate as follows:



25 and over

21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice

April 2018

(current rate)
£7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70
April 2019 £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90


Further information about the current rates and guidance around who these apply to can be found here

These minimum pay rates will come into force from the beginning of April, so you will need to check that the equivalent hourly rate for any staff you employ is equal to or above these rates and will need to be taken into account when setting or reviewing your setting's budget.   

March Workshops


Spring term seminar - structure, logic and meaning; a route to reading and spelling (delivered by The University of Portsmouth)

Date: Monday 25 March

Time: 10.00am - 12.00pm 

Venue: Conference Room A, Floor 2, Core 2, Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, PO1 2AE

Outline: A major factor in the acquisition of literacy in the UK is the complexity of the English writing system; it is the most irregular writing system in the world in terms of letter to sound mappings.

Description: Only 56% of English words can be spelled using phonic rules, so people often do not know what method to use for the remaining words. The good news is that the English writing system consists of more than the sound or ‘phonic’ element. It consists of four elements (phonology, morphology, etymology and form rules).

Understanding these elements renders the English writing system logical and consistent. Research (e.g. Devonshire & Fluck, 2010; Devonshire, Morris & Fluck, 2013) and the growing body of research from around the world, demonstrates that learning about these four elements substantially increases reading and spelling accuracy and skill whether an already proficient reader and speller or someone with difficulties.

Outcomes: This talk will explain how to teach these elements. This talk is suitable for parents, teachers or anyone with an interest in improving spelling and reading for themselves or children.

Audience: Experienced Early Years Practitioners and Year R and Year 1 Teachers.

Book your place here

Delving into sustained shared thinking

Date: Tuesday 26 March 2019

Time: 6.30pm - 9.00pm

Venue: The Training and Learning Centre, Portsmouth Academy, St Mary's Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 5PF

Book your place here

Supporting children learning English as an additional language (EAL) in your early years setting

Date: Wednesday 27 March 2019

Time: 9.30am - 12.00pm

Venue: Conference Room A, Floor 2, Core 2, Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, PO1 2AE

Book your place here

New workshop dates


Over 5's practitioners meeting - Spring term 2019

Join us for this term's over 5's practitioners meeting.

Date: Wednesday 3 April 2019

Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Venue: The Training and Learning Centre, Portsmouth Academy, St Mary's Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 5PF

The first half of the session will provide local and national updates. The second half will focus on exploring gender stereotypes and diversity in your out of school club setting.

Book your place here


Spotlight on good practice - Spring term 2019

Date: Thursday 4 April 2019

Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Venue: Brambles Nursery, Bramble Road, Southsea, PO4 0DT

Theme: Continuous provision. Delegates will have a chance to look around the setting as well as having some input from the setting about their approach to continuous provision and how it works for them in practice. 

Book your place here

Identifying and supporting children with sensory processing difficulties

Date: Wednesday 10 July 2019

Time: 1.00pm - 3.30pm

Venue: Civic Offices, Ground Floor Meeting Room 5, Guildhall Square, PO1 2AE

Book your place here

Enquiries to eyworkforce@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or 023 9284 1974.

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Domestic abuse

View the Adverse Childhood Experiences video here which explains about the short and long term impact of domestic abuse, physical and emotional abuse and neglect on the child.

View a list of local agencies who can offer free counselling and support for Portsmouth residents experiencing domestic abuse here

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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