Newsletter 276 (Safeguarding Focus: keeping your safeguarding knowledge up to date; new consultation - early years funding formula; early education toolkit to support refugee or migrant children; Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers 2023 - Beech Tree Childcare)

Early Years and Childcare broadcast

The West Sussex approach puts the child first. We work with children, families, communities, our partners and schools in a restorative, strength based way. Strong relationships are at the heart of what we do.

Newsletter for Early Years and childcare providers in West Sussex from West Sussex County Council

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Wednesday 26 July 2023

Newsletter 276 (Safeguarding Focus: keeping your safeguarding knowledge up to date; new consultation - early years funding formula; early education toolkit to support refugee or migrant children; Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers 2023 - Beech Tree Childcare)

Safeguarding Focus

Keeping your safeguarding knowledge up to date

As well as attending 'formal training' (set courses either online or face to face), it is important for practitioners to keep their safeguarding knowledge up to date in between courses. This ensures you are aware of any updates, changes to legislation, or information about practice review cases. 

You can keep up to date in the following ways:

  • Reading reports.
  • Accessing websites.
  • Signing up to safeguarding newsletters.
  • Sharing information in supervisions or team meetings.
  • Watching PowerPoint slides about new topics.
  • Discussing cases with your manager/colleagues to gain different perspectives and practice your professional curiosity/challenging skills.
  • Listening to safeguarding podcasts.

The following links may be of interest to keep your safeguarding knowledge up to date. Please click on the links to access and find out more.

New consultation on early years funding - extension of the entitlements

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a new consultation seeking views on proposals regarding the approach to funding for early years entitlements for 2 year olds and under from April 2024.

After the introduction of the new entitlements for working parents of children aged 9 months to 2 years, this consultation focuses on the way entitlements funding for children 2 years old and under will be distributed from the DfE to local authorities from April 2024.

The consultation closes on 8 September 2023 and you can respond to the consultation via the Citizen Space platform.  

Early education toolkit to support refugee or migrant children  

The European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Special Interest Group has devised a new toolkit to help practitioners care for and educate refugee or migrant children in a trauma-informed and unbiased way.

The education toolkit is a global play based resource for children aged 2 to 7 years that aims to approach and mitigate the challenges that refugee or migrant children may face in their new country. It aims to support early years educators by introducing ideas and concepts about refugee and migration experiences in a trauma informed way.

You can access the toolkit via the EECERA Special Interest Group website.

Top 50 SME AE Ranking

Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers 2023 - Beech Tree Childcare  

Beech Tree Childcare has been awarded a top 50 place for small and medium-size apprenticeship employers across all of the UK, placing at number 39 across all industries and first amongst the Early Years Sector for 2023.

The Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers celebrates England’s outstanding small and medium-sized apprenticeship employers in 2023, recognising their commitment to creating new apprenticeships, the diversity of their apprentices, and the number of apprentices who successfully achieve their apprenticeships. The rankings are produced annually by the Department for Education, in partnership with Highfliers Research, who independently assess and rank the nation’s top apprenticeship employers.

Nick Squire, business director at Beech Tree Childcare, said: “Apprenticeships are such an asset not only to the business, but as an opportunity for young and old to gain true practical experience whilst earning and learning on the job. We are very clear with our apprentices that the work input creates career opportunities output, as a few of our early apprentices are now also doing education degrees and have progressed into management for the business at our second setting.”

Nick added "It is fantastic to be recognised for the work we do, working closely with The Angmering School running career days and taking pupils on for work experience, with some of them going on to do full apprenticeships with us, we started this journey with our first apprentice in 2012 and since then have gone from strength to strength."

Congratulations to Beech Tree Childcare on the recognition they have received for their hard work and commitment to supporting the development of the Early Years Workforce.   You can see the full list of rankings for 2023 in the official league tables. This is a great way of demonstrating how apprenticeships can help encourage recruitment into the sector so why not find out more about employing an apprentice.

Upcoming key dates

  • 31 Aug - Summer term Sufficiency deadline (all providers)
  • 04 Sep - Portal opens for Autumn term Actuals
  • 29 Sep - Portal closes for Autumn term Actuals
  • W/C 23 Oct - Autumn term Actuals payments due

Information, guidance and support

To allow our Early Years and Childcare Advisors to focus their support to where it is most needed, we ask that you check for information online before you contact us.

COVID-19 guidance

Other information and guidance (WSCC)

For help to access information

To request additional support for your setting

What to do if your setting needs to close

Please inform the Family Information Service if your setting needs to close or is re-opening. Email and include your setting name, Ofsted URN, the date you intend to close/open, and any changes to your operating hours. If you inform us of re-opening, you will be reinstated on the public list and appear on our website

If closing due to COVID-19, please consult the guidance to check when to inform Ofsted.

In the event of your setting having a confirmed COVID-19 case, if Public Health or the Department for Education have stated you must close for any period of time you must inform the Family Information Service. However, if Public Heath have not explicitly stated in correspondence to you that the setting must close, we would expect you to make contact with your Early Years and Childcare Adviser (EYCA) to talk through your circumstances, where possible, before making the decision to close the setting. If you are not able to make immediate contact with your EYCA then please email your nearest Early Help Hub using the following email addresses:

Where there are not clearly evidenced reasons why the setting had no option to close, there could be implications for funding received as per the government guidance. 

Links to our most recent setting updates

  • #275 (FE - Autumn Term estimate payments; final reminder - EYFS consultation; revised EYFS from September 2023; Virtual School - free support groups; summer oral health; paediatric first aid)                                                                  
  • #274 (Contingency fund calculations; consultation from UK Health Agency - education setting guidance pack; final reminder - starting school questionnaire consultation; reminder - childminder mentor programme; Ofsted blog; summer network presentations; SEND and inclusion newsletter)
  • #273 (neglect questionnaire; reminder - EYFS consultation; National Professional Qualification in Early Years Leadership; supporting children's mental health and well-being in the early years; early years and childcare online courses; portable appliance testing)
  • #272 (Safeguarding focus: sharing safeguarding information to support transitions; possible business opportunity in Adversane; Foundation Years online event; new consultation - working together to safeguard children; Vodcast on the EYFS consultation; West Sussex Safeguarding Children Partnership training; budgeting tips for the summer holidays; new guide from Health and Safety Executive)
  • #271 (Free entitlement autumn term estimates open; 30 hour codes summer autumn deadline; childminder networks; reminder to submit - termly childcare provider update form; Screen in the early years - digital devices and online safety webinar; starting school questionnaire consultation; updated government guidance; transitions to school - transition summary template; retention of staff)