Newsletter 281 (Advanced notice of planned downtime; final reminder - submission of sufficiency information; cash flow management; Tiny Happy People Champion training; childhood immunisations campaign - back to nursery resources; new Foundation Years vodcast - EYFS changes from September; 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 30 August 2023

Newsletter 281 (Advanced notice of planned downtime; final reminder - submission of sufficiency information; cash flow management; Tiny Happy People Champion training; childhood immunisations campaign - back to nursery resources; new Foundation Years vodcast - EYFS changes from September; early years training)

Advance notice of planned downtime

Please be advised that the Online Provider Portal will be unavailable between 6.00pm and 10.00pm on Wednesday 30 August whilst we undertake planned maintenance. Please note that parents and carers will not be able to submit 2 year old Free Entitlement applications during this time, and our Family Information Service website will also be unavailable to the public on that day.

Final reminder - submission of sufficiency information  

This is a final reminder to submit sufficiency information for your setting for Summer 2023, you will have previously received emails from us reminding you to submit. The deadline is tomorrow, Thursday 31 August 2023 and the portal will close for submissions at 11.59pm.

Sufficiency information is required from all day nurseries, pre-schools, childminders, out of school care provision, breakfast clubs and holiday playschemes once per term. Step by step guidance on submitting your Sufficiency information on the Online Provider Portal can be found on our website. In response to setting feedback around the completion of this form, we have also created a guidance video. Please view this if you require further help on how to submit.

Failure to submit before the deadline could lead to your setting being removed from the Family Information Service website. In addition, termly submission is a condition of offering Free Entitlement as per the Provider Declaration 1 April 2023 – 31 March 2024, item 4.2.

Cash Flow Management  

The autumn term, for many settings, is when income is lowest as many children have left to start school and new starters begin to take up their sessions. It is vitally important that your business planning takes this into account so you can manage your cashflow effectively and remain sustainable.

Your time is precious and the tasks you have to carry out are vast. With this in mind, it can be helpful to review and consider what information you are recording and why. This can support you to make evidence based business decisions and ensure your time is used as effectively as possible.

Some tips to consider:

  • Only collect and monitor information that helps your business to make decisions and to meet statutory requirements.
  • Carry out regular reviews of relevant information to help provide a simple summary of the current state of your business. This will allow you to easily see any problems that you are encountering and allow you to mitigate issues before they arise.
  • Ensure you are making any predictions based on previous trends and information from parents and other stakeholders such as landlords, suppliers and staff. It is also important to consider any future changes to legislation. Focusing on the current state of your business will not allow you to plan for any potential future changes and how you operate. This may lead to you feeling you are just firefighting issues rather than planning proactive decisions ahead of time.

The information you should be reviewing regularly can include, but is not limited to:

  • Occupancy levels - current and future
  • Income - including understanding the different streams such as EYPP, DAF, Deprivation, Inclusion Funding, Free Entitlement and fees
  • Staffing - current and future needs
  • Debt - including any unpaid fees
  • Expenditure

From these reviews you will be able to set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART) targets to support your business and mitigate any concerns or issues. How regularly you do this will of course be up to you, but best practice would be monthly.

More help and guidance is available on our business support webpages.

Tiny Happy People Champion training

In newsletter #259 we let you know about the information and resources Tiny Happy People (THP) have developed for parents and professionals.

The Local Government Association are working with THP to deliver champion training to anyone who works with families and children under 5. This training will enable professionals to find out more about THP resources and how they can use them in practice. The first training event for the South East is being held this October.

This free, virtual, one hour training session will reveal everything you need to know about THP and support you confidence in utilising and recommending this service to families you work with. The session will explain the approach, show you easily shareable content on the website, highlight key language techniques and resources to share.

  • Wednesday 25 October - 2.00pm to 3.00pm - online

You can book your place for this event via eventbrite.

Childhood Immunisations campaign - back to nursery resources  

In newsletter #267 we shared West Sussex County Council's Childhood Immunisation campaign with you. This campaign is supported by the NHS and has continued throughout the summer. As the beginning of the autumn term approaches we wanted to share some new resources that you may find useful to share with families who are joining your setting. The information may still be useful for families who currently attend your setting.


Useful Links:

Campaign Social Media Accounts:

Reminder - Working Together to Safeguard Children: changes to statutory guidance consultation

We wanted to remind you of the consultation from the Department of Education (DfE) who are seeking views on revisions to Working Together to Safeguard Children. This was first announced in our weekly newsletter #272 back in June.  

The consultation closes on 6 September and you can respond to the consultation via the online survey.  

New Foundation Years Vodcast - Early Years Foundation Stage changes from September  

In this new vodcast, Jade Gilks (Head of the Early Years Qualifications Unit at the Department for Education) sets out the three changes being made to the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework from 4 September 2023. She is joined by Wendy Ratcliff (His Majesty's Inspectors, Principal Officer for Early Years Education at Ofsted). They both answer some frequently asked questions about what the changes mean in practice for early years settings. You can watch the vodcast on Youtube.

Early Years Training

Domestic Abuse in Young People’s relationships (webinar) is aimed at front line practitioners, working with young people, who may have or may be experiencing domestic abuse within their intimate relationships. It is also aimed at Designated Safeguarding Leads who may support students, apprentices and young people within their settings.

The aim of this course is to provide you with an awareness of the prevalence, nature and effects of teenage relationship abuse and assist you in learning how to support those affected. Its purpose is to further your knowledge and understanding of how young people experience abuse in their own intimate relationships. We will look at how the ‘teenage brain’ impacts decision making, understand the impact of social media and consider use of language when supporting young people in relationships. The key word for this course is "domestic" and is free to attend.

  • Wednesday 27 September - 9.30am to 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 4 October - 9.30am to 1.00pm

Demystifying Cultural Capital (Webinar) - aims to support you to understand and be able to confidently identify cultural capital moments in your setting and how it is linked to Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework and the Early Years Foundation Stage. This taster is suitable for all levels of practitioner. The key word for this course is "phonics" and costs £17 per person.

  • Wednesday 27 September - 9.30am to 11.00am

EYFS Essentials (webinar) - is aimed at new staff and staff who are returning to work in early years. The aim of this course is to familiarise yourself with key elements of the EYFS and to support your ability to meet the learning and development needs of young children. The key word for this course is "EYFS" and costs £27 per person.

  • Wednesday 4 October - 9.30am to 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 31 January - 9.30am to 12.30pm 

To book log on to the Learning and Development Gateway and search for the relevant course using the corresponding keyword. If you experience any issues when booking your course, please email

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

  • #280 (Warning - Online Provider Portal downtime; Early Talk Boost programme from Kent Stronger Practice Hub; Foundation Years online event; East Sussex early years conference; early years safeguarding training)
  • #279 (Advanced warning of downtime; reminder - early years funding consultation; early years training)
  • #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)