Newsletter 279 (Advanced warning of downtime; reminder - early years funding consultation; early years training)

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 16 August 2023

Newsletter 279 (Advanced warning of downtime; reminder - early years funding consultation; early years training)

Advanced warning of downtime 

Please be advised that the Online Provider Portal will be unavailable between Tuesday 22 and Thursday 24 August 2023 whilst we upgrade our technology. Please note that parents and carers will not be able to submit 2 year old Free Entitlement applications on Thursday 24 August 2023, and our Family Information Service website will also be unavailable to the public on that day.

Reminder - Early Years Funding Consultation - extension of the entitlements

In newsletter #276 we shared that the Department for Education (DfE) had 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.

In light of 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 Years Training

Domestic Abuse Risk Assessment and Management: DASH and MARAC (Webinar) is for professionals (including Designated Safeguarding Leads) who work with children, young people, adults, and families to identify risk and respond to victims of domestic abuse.

The aim of this webinar is to increase your use of the Domestic Abuse Stalking and Harassment (DASH) Risk Indicator Checklist, risk assessment tool and improve your ability to identify high risk victims of domestic abuse. You will also learn how to refer into the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) process. The webinar will explore the purpose of the DASH Risk Indicator Checklist and explain the MARAC process in detail. The webinar will also consider the Domestic Homicide Timeline and how this relates to risk assessment and risk management. The key word for this course is 'domestic' and it is free to attend.

  • Wednesday 20 September - 9.30am to 2.30pm

The Makaton Taster (Webinar) will support you in learning some useful signs and symbols to use within your settings. It will also provide you with an understanding of how Makaton can support communication to be more effective and meaningful. It is important to note this is not a certified course. The key word for this course is 'makaton' and costs £32 per person.  

  • Tuesday 19 September - 9.30am to 12.00pm
  • Thursday 29 February 2024 - 7.00pm to 9.30pm

Makaton Foundation Level 1 (Webinar) is a detailed introduction to Makaton Foundation Level 1 and combines a practical approach with theory and technical skills. It covers an experiential introduction to communication disability and signs and symbols from Stages 1 and 2. The course will also provide you with insight in to the additional stage of the Core Vocabulary. You can take this course as a stand-alone or book on Part 2 to complete the full Foundation Level. This course includes a high quality signs and symbols book to support your learning. The key word for this course is 'makaton' and costs £84 per person.  

  • Wednesday 27 September - 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Thursday 10 September - 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Thursday 25 January 2024 - 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Thursday 8 February 2024 - 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Saturday 16 March 2024 - 9.30am to 4.30pm

Makaton Foundation Level 2 (Webinar) is a continuation of the level 1 course, which you must have completed before attending. You will learn the Makaton signs and symbols from Stages 3 and 4, and the rest of the additional stage of the Core Vocabulary. This course includes a high quality signs and symbols book to support your learning. The key word for this course is 'makaton' and costs £84 per person.  

  • Wednesday 20 November - 9.30am to 4.30pm
  • Saturday 23 March 2023 - 9.30am to 4.30pm 

To book any of the above courses log on to the Learning and Development Gateway and search for the corresponding course key word.

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

  • #278 (Changes to the early years inspection handbook; Ofsted early years FAQs; support for childcare and the early years inquiry; reminder - changes to inspection complaints consultation; new vodcast - implementing evidence-informed practice in early years; safeguarding training - domestic abuse; online early years courses)
  • #277 (New vodcast on the Early Years Professional Development Programme (EYPDP); customise your early years child development training; reminder - working together to safeguard children consultation; early years training)
  • #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)
  • #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)