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Category: Early Years Practitioners Support

Advertising your childcare vacancies

As you may be aware, FYi (Barnet’s families and young people’s information service) is the first point of contact for many people looking for childcare.

The service that FYi offers to promote your service is FREE.

Since 1 October 2013, Barnet has not been publishing data separately for early years and childcare job vacancies. If you are a registered childcare provider and you wish to advertise an early years/childcare job vacancy please contact or telephone 020 8359 4444 for further information.

Help us to help you, by keeping in touch. Please inform FYi of any changes to your opening times, cost, email addresses or contact details as and when they change.

If you have any queries, or would like further information please call our freephone number 0800 389 8312 or email us

Publication date: 3 September 2014

Update of childcare provider contact details

For the attention of all Childcare providers


Please be advised that we are contacting childcare providers to ask them to inform FYi of their current contact details. This is to ensure the council’s database and online Childcare Directory is up to date in accordance with Section 12 of the Childcare Act.   Thank you for your assistance. 

Publication date: 6 January 2014

Early Education Capital Grant funding

Early Education Capital Grant funding is now available for childcare providers within Barnet that offer early education and childcare .

The aim of the capital grant funding is to create and increase capacity to provide two year old scheme spaces. Higher priority will be given to applications that create the greatest number of new two year old scheme places.  

To apply for funding, you must:

  • be a Ofsted registered childcare provider in Barnet
  • registered or be willing to register for the Two Year Old Scheme
  • have received an Ofsted grade of Good or Outstanding (in the most recent inspection of your provision) or a satisfactory grade but already participating in the Two Year Old scheme.    

Please follow the link to apply:

Publication date: 1 August 2013

Early intervention and prevention services

Acting now, before problems occur or get worse, will help strengthen families, build confidence and skills and enable children and young people to achieve their full potential.

We have commissioned a number of providers to deliver early intervention and prevention support to children, young people and their families across the borough. We are also offering support and training to Barnet’s childcare providers and play settings.

Find out more on the dedicated web page.


Publication date: 30 July 2013

Nursery ratio changes being scrapped, Nick Clegg says

The BBC has reported that plans to allow nurseries and childminders in England to look after more children are being dropped, Nick Clegg has said.

The deputy prime minister telephoned leaders in the childcare sector last Wednesday morning and told them the plans were "dead in the water".

The government had previously said the changes would increase childcare places and quality and cut costs.

See BBC website for more.


Publication date: 11 June 2013

Childminder grant from early May

A new grant scheme has been developed by the Government equalities office for new childminders.

New childminders will be able to get grants of £250 to help towards training and registration costs and new nurseries will be able to get grants of £500.  

Further information about the scheme is shown in this briefing document


Publication date: 23 April 2013

Consultation on proposal changes to the role of the local authority in early education and childcare

The Government values local authorities’ important role as ‘champions’ of disadvantaged children and their families. We want local authorities to focus on ensuring that all two, three and four-year olds, particularly the most disadvantaged, take up their entitlement to funded high-quality early education.

This consultation seeks your views on the specific reforms to the role of local authorities in early education and childcare.

For further information visit DfE website.

Closing date for this consultation: Monday 6 May 2013

Publication date: 10 April 2013

Ensuring Excellence for Barnet's Early Years - Barnet's Early Years Strategy

We are pleased to publish the new 'Ensuring Excellence for Barnet's Early Years' document, which has been written by the Early Years Strategy Group in our Childrens Service.

Delivering Excellence in Barnet’s Early Years 2013 builds on the partnership priorities of the Barnet Children and Young People Plan (2013 - 2016), the Councils Education Strategy (2013 – 2016) and the NHS ‘Social and Emotional Wellbeing: Early Years’ guidance, setting a more detailed strategic direction of the council’s approach to early years over the next three years.

This strategy identifies our key priorities and objectives that will help us to deliver our vision. It outlines the national and local context within which early years services operate, identifies some key challenges and opportunities, and sets out our future direction of travel.

You can download a copy of Delivering Excellence in Barnet’s Early Years here.

Publication date: 25 March 2013

Stories Together

Supporting dialogic book talk in the EYFS

Developed by Suffolk County Council’s Early Years and Childcare Service these simple booklets are based on popular children's titles including All Join In, Bear under the stairs, Dear Zoo, The Gruffalo, Peace at Last, Rosie’s Walk, Shark in the Park, The Snail and the Whale, Toddle Waddle and Where the wild things are. Stories Together booklets support dialogic book talk and can be used by early years and children's centre practitioners, or by library staff working with families. The booklets can be used by practitioners on a one-to-one basis, with a number of children, or in a group activity where parents and children develop a shared understanding of the book through talk.

Let’s Share Pack - 12 booklets!
Offer price £27.50
(Normal price £33)

These packs of 12 x A6 12pp booklets are available from Essential Reading Plus Ltd (see attached order form for details):

Phone: 020 8444 3995
Order online at:

Publication date: 20 March 2013

Childcare costs scheme 'better for parents'

The government has promised to create a "better" childcare system for parents, by allowing them to claim back up to £1,200 a year in costs per child.

Children's minister Elizabeth Truss said the problem of affordability went "right up the income scale" and the new scheme would provide "choice".

The UK has some of the highest childcare costs in the world, with many people with two or more children saying it does not make financial sense for both parents to work.

Under the proposed scheme, which will undergo consultation, parents will be allowed to claim back 20% out of a total of around £6,000 - what the government says to be the average annual price of a childcare place.

To be introduced from 2015, it would cover children up to five years old, but will build up "over time" to include under-12s.

Unlike the current voucher system, which only operates where employers support it, the new scheme would be paid per child, instead of per household.

Parents earning up to £150,000 a year each - or a maximum of £300,000 per household - would be eligible.

How the new scheme will work

  • Parents will be able to open an online voucher account with a voucher provider and have their payments topped up by government.
  • For every 80p families pay in, the government will put in 20p up to the annual limit on costs for each child of £1,200.
  • Parents will be able to use the vouchers for any Ofsted regulated childcare in England and the equivalent bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • The scheme will initially only be open to pay for children under five
  • The scheme is expected to benefit 2.5 million families.
  • Parents using the existing childcare voucher system will be able to continue using that scheme instead
  • Full details of the new scheme will be proposed in a consultation before being finalised.

Read the full article on the BBC website.

Publication date: 19 March 2013

Free publications and resources from Early Education

Early Education - The British Association for Early Childhood Education.

Early Education is committed to supporting families and the professional development of all those working in early childhood education to ensure effective early childhood education experiences of the highest quality for all children across the United Kingdom.

They have a number of publications and resources that you can download for free on their website including: helping children with their behaviour, making their mark - children's early writing, making a noise for music and much more.

Visit the Early Education website to download these free publications. 

Publication date: 12 March 2013

Released today - the findings of the Annual Childcare costs survey

Today the Daycare Trust has released the findings of the 2013 Childcare Costs Survey.

The Daycare Trust and the Family and Parenting Institute’s Childcare Costs Survey 2013 is compiled from figures submitted by Family Information Services across the UK.

The report reveals childcare is the luxury that families have to afford as figures show that nursery, childminder and after-school club costs are all rising at more than double the rate of inflation.

This year, key findings from the survey include:

  • Average childcare costs increase by more than 6% (more than double rate of inflation)
  • The average nursery cost for a child under two has risen by 4.2% to £106.38 per week for a part-time place (25 hours). A full-time place costs £11,000 for a year. Costs for over-twos have gone up even more – by 6.6% to an average of £103.96 per week for a part-time place.
  • Childminder costs in Britain have increased by 5.9% for a child under two, to £98.15 and 5.2%, to £96.67 for a child aged two and over.
  • The steepest cost hikes are seen in childcare for older children – with 15 hours a week at an after-school club costing £49.67, a rise of 9%. For a family with two children, care in term time, before and after school, costs nearly £4,000 a year.
  • As well as having the fastest-rising costs, childcare around the school day is also the hardest to find, with under a third of local authorities (31%) reporting that they provide sufficient childcare for this group. 

The Childcare Costs Survey 2013 is sponsored by Computershare Voucher Services

Publication date: 6 March 2013

Childcare vouchers - what makes for a successful scheme?

Get the information you need to make an informed decision with a free childcare voucher guide

Childcare Vouchers are now widely accepted as one of the most practical, cost-effective ways an employer can support staff with family responsibilities.

Take-up for Childcare Vouchers continues to grow at a pace, as experience shows employers supporting staff with childcare responsibilities makes sound business sense.

The Childcare Vouchers free guide explores some of the issues around employer-supported childcare and explains in simple terms how Childcare Vouchers work.  It aims to identify exactly what makes for a successful Childcare Voucher scheme, and provides answers to some common questions.

Whether you are considering setting up a Childcare Vouchers scheme for the first time – or are reviewing your current provider – the Childcare Vouchers free guide will give you the background and information you need to make an informed decision.

Download the Childcare Vouchers free guide

Publication date: 25 February 2013

Early Years Developmental Journal

The new Early Years Developmental Journal is designed for families, practitioners and others to use as a way of recording, celebrating and supporting children's progress.

It is also for people who would like to find out more about children's development in the early years. It supports key working by helping everyone involved with a child to share what they know and discuss how best to work together to support development and learning.

This Journal is particularly useful if you know or suspect that your child or a child who you are helping is unlikely to progress in the same way or at the same rate as other children - whether or not a particular factor or learning difficulty has been identified and given a name.

The Early Years Developmental Journal links closely with Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

For more information about the Early Years Developmental Journal download the flyer.

We suggest that before you start to use the Journal, you first read the 'How to Use' guide, which you can also download

Developmental journals for specific childhood conditions or disabilities

Publication date: 21 February 2013

Improving Enforcement in Childcare

In this review, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills are asking anyone involved in childcare to let them know their views and experiences.

This review aims to ensure children get the protection and support they need while giving providers greater clarity and guidance, so they can focus on giving high standards of care rather than being held back by unnecessary bureaucracy.

Childcare providers, nurseries and pre-schools for children in the early years group (0-5years), as well as users of childcare services are invited to provide examples of how current enforcement of regulation could be improved, driving up standards while removing confusing bureaucratic requirements that divert carers from meeting the needs of children.  

You are also asked to suggest how regulators could better help providers comply with the law and to highlight where regulation is working well, so that good practice can be extended and replicated across the sector. 

Share your experiences on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website.  

Publication date: 14 February 2013

Double Dutch: The case against deregulation and demand-led funding in childcare

The Institute for Public Policy Research have written a report that critically engages with the arguments and ideas put forward in childcare minister Liz Truss’ paper Affordable Quality.

Despite major advances over the last 15 years, childcare in the UK is more expensive and or more variable in quality than in many other European countries. This is especially problematic given the potential of good childcare to overcome early childhood disadvantage and enable parental employment.

The argument in Liz Truss’ paper is rooted in the claim that our childcare system delivers poor value for money, for both parents and taxpayers, and she suggest that British policymakers should take inspiration from the reforms that took place in the Dutch childcare system in 2005. These reforms focused on reducing regulation, especially on childminders, and on switching to a demand-led funding model for childcare services.

This report argues that the outcomes of the Dutch reforms are not universally positive, and concludes, more generally, that this two strategic directions – deregulation and demand-led funding – are likely to take the UK's childcare system down the wrong path. Specifically, it argues that:

  • reducing regulation of childminders (by loosening child-to-adult ratios or ending individual registration and inspection) would undermine quality and parental trust
  • a demand-led funding system would not reduce costs or increase quality: on the contrary, it would lead to increased costs for government and parents, and to lower quality and diminished parental choice.

As an alternative source of inspiration for British policymakers, the report surveys the Danish childcare system, which:

  • offers a universal national entitlement to childcare
  • prioritises spending on services over spending on benefits
  • fosters a high-quality workforce
  • decentralises governance
  • maintains relatively generous parental leave and workplace flexibility.

All this is premised on a broad political consensus and strong alliances, especially in the entrenched social partnership between employers and trade unions, and so would be difficult to import straightforwardly into the British context. However, there are a number of insights that we believe can be gained from looking elsewhere in Europe for inspiration in childcare reform.

Download the full Double Dutch Childcare Report here.

Publication date: 14 February 2013

Climate Week 2013 - 4 -10 March

Climate Week is a supercharged national occasion, celebrating the practical positive solutions to climate change.

Climate Week 2012 was a great success and is now the UK’s biggest climate change campaign - half a million people across every sector of society, attended over 3000 events. It is supported by some prominent individuals and organisations, such as The Prime Minister, The Met Office, The Department of Education and the National Association of Head Teachers to name a few. If you wanted to have a little look at a fun summary of Climate Week 2012, click here.

Climate Week 2013 is the 4 -10 March 2013 and there are already over 1,000 events registered on the Climate Week website.  

Climate Change have a number of suggested events and activities. The Climate Week Challenge is running again this year, which 145,000 people registered to take part in last year. This is a fun and easy way to engage young people with climate change. It is a national competition across all age groups and is free to take part in. There is also a Climate Week Picture Competition for children aged 3 - 5 so they can join in the campaign as well!

Climate Change also suggest a low-carbon food event or a Climate Week Swap, which is based on swapping clothes, books, toys and so on. Swapping items is great for the environment, a good way of meeting new people and bringing communities together, and can even be used as a fundraising event.

It would be fantastic if you could help Climate Change spread the word about the campaign. For more information and ideas on how to get involved, contact Sophia McNab on or  020 3397 2612 or visit

Publication date: 11 February 2013

Early Home Learning Matters - A Brief Guide

The Family and Parenting Institute have produced a brief guide that provides an overview of the key messages for practitioners contained in Early Home Learning Matters: A good practice guide.

This is an essential resource for anyone working with parents of children from birth to five years of age, or developing early years services.

The link between social deprivation and poor outcomes for children is well established but, crucially, it is not set in stone. What the evidence also tells us is that when parents provide the experiences that children need for their early development, this has a huge and lasting impact on their future wellbeing and achievement, irrespective of their parents' material or educational background.

Involving and supporting parents by working in partnership is therefore an essential part of early years services. This brief guide will help you:

  • understand the evidence about brain development and the vital role of
  • parents, both fathers and mothers
  • reach and include vulnerable families
  • enable parents to gain the understanding, skills and confidence they need to help their children flourish.

Further information on a wide range of examples from practice, as well as the development and evaluation of services, the equipping of the workforce, and the location of key resources, can be found in Early Home Learning Matters: A good practice guide, available from:

Download the guide here.

Publication date: 5 February 2013

School census 2013

The DfE has added updates to its school census pages on spring COLLECT familiarisation and school funding arrangements.

Read the full report here.

Publication date: 4 February 2013

Manchester offers childcare providers a unique opportunity

Manchester City Council is committed to ensuring that its diverse population of young people get the best possible start in life, and are well supported throughout their early years.

They are therefore looking to accept bids from high-quality day care providers, whether large or small - private sector, third sector or community-based, to deliver high quality day care in Manchester.

Analysis of the market shows that there is a wealth of potential opportunity here, and if you would like to know more Manchester City Council are holding events across the country about the opportunities in our great city, who lives here and what facilities are already in place. In total, they hope to award contracts for 29 centres across the city, which will be available from late spring 2013 and early 2014. The events will outline details on each site (these are also available to organisations which comply with tendering framework) and we welcome interest for single and multiple sites.

With the first new centres opening their doors from September 2013, Manchester City Council look forward to working with providers to develop the future of childcare across the city.

Events will be held on the following dates in London:

Monday 11 February 2013 (3.30pm - 6pm)
Tuesday 26 February 2013 (3:30pm - 6pm)

To book online visit:

If you have any queries, contact Manchesters' Early Years Team on 0161 234 3319 or

Publication date: 30 January 2013

Delivering Free Pre-School Education: Extending the Offer to 2-year Olds

Westminister Briefing and the Daycare Trust are running training to look at the major delivery challenge for the early years sector of increasing the number of 2 year olds.

The key issues to be addressed at this Policy and Practice Briefing will include:

  • Examining the new proposals in detail: delivering sufficient provision & funding
  • The implications of the new staffing ratios
  • The role of the local authorities in securing provision 
  • The challenge to third sector and private providers
  • Changes to inspection and regulations
  • For full details please view the agenda

The event will be highly interactive with scenario planning and group discussions focusing on practical implications of the proposed arrangements.

For full details visit our events page.

Publication date: 30 January 2013

Elizabeth Truss speaks at the Policy Exchange on childcare

Speaker: Elizabeth Truss Speech date: 29 January 2013 Location: London


The DfE will shortly publish the report by their commission on childcare, looking at ways to tackle the high costs for parents and to get better value for money. The status-quo is neither fair to providers nor allows enough money to reach the front line.

Getting the funding right is a necessary condition of providing world-class childcare but it is not sufficient. It is not good enough to carry on with an unreformed system. A greater focus on quality and value for money matters enormously as well.

Some children enjoy more advantages than others, but all children are vulnerable. Of course parents want their child to have the very best start in life possible. 

The DfE wants every child to spend their early years learning, exploring, enjoying and growing – and for them to arrive at primary school well-prepared and confident. By driving up standards right across early education, parents can be given the sense of security they crave and every child the care and attention they need.

Read the full speach on the DfE website.

Publication date: 30 January 2013

Consultation: Early education and childcare staff deployment

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets out the current arrangements for how staff should be deployed in Early Years settings.

Start date: Tuesday 29 January 2013

End date: Monday 25 March 2013

This consultation seeks your views on how these arrangements could work more effectively. The proposals in this consultation emanate from the report 'More great childcare' which was published by the Department for Education on 29 January 2013.

You can download the consultation response Word form, and submit your completed response via the online form.

Publication date: 29 January 2013

More great childcare - Raising quality and giving parents more choice

More great childcare is vital to ensuring we can compete in the global race, by helping parents back to work and readying children for school and, eventually, employment.

And it can help build a stronger society, with more opportunities for women who want to work and raise children at the same time, and better life chances for children whatever their background.

Download the full 'More great childcare - Raising quality and giving parents more choice report' from the DfE website.

The plans in this document are the first step to encourage all providers to learn from the best, and learn from effective practice in other countries. They set out our proposals to build a stronger and more professional early years workforce, and to drive quality through everything it does.

This report sets out a plan of action for how the Government will achieve its vision of a dynamic childcare market, delivering high quality early education. It incorporates the Government’s response to Professor Cathy Nutbrown’s independent review ‘Foundations for Quality’.


  • A vision for early education and childcare
  • The case for change
  • A plan of action
  • Raising the status and quality of the workforce
  • Freeing high quality providers to offer more places
  • Improving the regulatory regime
  • Giving more choice to parents
  • Appendix.

Publication date: 29 January 2013

C4EO has produced a paper highlighting three recently published pieces of Research

C4EO has produced a paper which identifies three important recently published pieces of research.

The three pieces covered are:

1. Implementing evidence-based programmes in children’s services – key issues for success (DfE) September 2012

2. Silent voices: Children living with parental alcohol misuse (Children’s Commissioner Office) September 2012

3. Therapeutic services for sex-abused children (NSPCC) April 2012.

View the full report here.

Publication date: 21 January 2013

Nick Clegg promises to 'fill the gap' left by childcare support cuts

The government proposes to provide extra help to the working poor and those “crucified by high childcare costs” by the introduction of a childcare package that has been agreed and is to be announced soon.

The objective for such a package is to provide help to families who are not receiving enough help with their child care costs and to provide them with an incentive to work. The government are looking to offer assistance to:

  • Families that will in the future be on the Universal Credit, but will not get enough from the Universal Credit to cover their childcare costs and provide an incentive to work.
  • Families who are “better off” and don’t receive Universal Credit but still need help with child care costs.

To view the full story view here.

Publication date: 21 January 2013

Barnardo’s report ‘paying to work: childcare and child poverty’

Barnardo’s report ‘paying to work: childcare and child poverty’ has shown that lone parents face loosing a substantial amount of their pay to meeting childcare costs.

The Universal Credit System which is to be launched this year will provide parents with up to 70% in financial support for their childcare costs and free childcare entitlement remains at 15 hours.

To view the full report click here ‘paying to work: childcare and child poverty’ 

Publication date: 21 January 2013

Welfare reforms will penalise working families warns Barnado’s

Increased childcare costs has meant the poorest parents will be forced to pay most of what they earn towards childcare costs.

The extent of cost varies across the country and London shows the highest rates of costs in terms of Child care costs in comparison to other areas outside of the capital.

To read more view here

Publication date: 21 January 2013

Careers Fair

The London Borough of Barnet and its partners invite you to join us at this year’s working with children and young people careers fair.

Pop-in anytime between 10am and 3.30pm and speak to a range of employers about local opportunities for volunteering, training, apprenticeships and jobs.

We look forward to welcoming you there.

  • Venue: Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum, Grahame Park Way, London, NW9 5LL
  • Date: Thursday 14 March 2013
  • Time: 10am – 3.30pm
  • How to get there: There is plenty of parking available at the RAF Museum and it is accessible via tube(Colindale Station) and bus 303, which stops outside the gate.

For more information contact Gail Williamson:  Tel: 020 8359 6389 or or visit us at:

You can download the promotional flyer from below:

Publication date: 18 January 2013

Parkfield Children's Centre

Management responsibility for Parkfield Children’s Centre has passed over to the Local Authority as of 1 January 2013. The Centre Manager and staff are now directly line managed by Sue Hillsden, Early Years Services Manager, Early Intervention and Prevention Team.

All contact details for the Children’s Centre will at present remain the same. The day to day services provided by the Children’s Centre also remain the same.

For general information about the Parkfield Children’s Centre Services (or any of the Barnet Children’s Centres), please contact FYi on 0800 389 8312 or refer to the Children’s Centre web pages

Should you require any further information relating t o the management changes please contact Sue Hillsden on 020 8359 7614 or email:

Publication date: 15 January 2013

ACAS Model Workplace

ACAS have produced a free online tool that reviews an organisations people management.

Free and easy to use, the ACAS Model Workplace helps you to review processes from recruitment to performance management.

Presented in short modules, you can complete as few or as many sections as you want to. And after completing a module, you'll be a given a rating for how effective your current practices are, along with useful advice and links to resources.

To access the tool go to

Publication date: 15 January 2013

4Children Business Support Hub

4Children has developed an online hub of business support information and advice.

There are a number of webpages offering information and advice on different aspects of business planning and management as well as downloadable resources and links to other sources of support on the web.

Information pages cover everything from business planning, finance and marketing, to managing employees and governance and legal structures.

4Childeren have also developed an online Business Health Check. This useful tool takes the user through a series of questions about business management and planning and offers a Health Check “score” based on responses, as well as giving some signposting to further advice on areas where more help may be needed. The tool is free and anonymous to use. It has been developed as an opportunity to encourage providers to ask themselves some key questions about how their business is run and think about ways in which they want to develop and improve their business skills and knowledge.

To access a range of free resources, sample documents and useful  information go to

Publication date: 15 January 2013

Childcare audit 2013

Every year we complete an audit of all registered childcare providers in Barnet to ensure that we have up-to-date and relevant information stored on our database.

Audit forms will be sent to all registered childcare providers by email week commencing Monday 14 January 2013.

The links to the forms will also be available from

Where an email address is not obtainable, hard copies of the form will be sent by post.

Publication date: 14 January 2013

Free information leaflets and resources

FYi (Barnet's families and young people's information service) hold a range of leaflets and literature that may be useful for you and families that you work with.

This includes information on:

  • childcare
  • financial support
  • healthy eating - including sample menu plans for children
  • health information
  • Free Entitlement to Early Education
  • domestic violence 
  • Children's Centres
  • and much more!

If you would like a pack of leaflets sent to you please contact FYi on 0800 389 8312 or

Publication date: 11 January 2013

Information on the New Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Formally known as CRB

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged on 1 December to form the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

As a result 'CRB checks' are now called 'DBS checks'.
Volunteering England has produced a user-friendly guide to the new DBS/CRB checking system which we think you might find useful here.

Publication date: 10 December 2012

Daycare Trust and Family and Parenting Institute to merge

The Daycare Trust and the Family and Parenting Institute are to merge under a new name from next year, the charities have announced.

Chief executive of the Daycare Trust, Anand Shukla, will lead the organisation from January 2013, when a new name and brand for the charity will be launched.

Katherine Rake, currently chief executive of the Family and Parenting Institute, is stepping down to become the first director of Healthwatch England.

Shukla, who has led the Daycare Trust since 2010, said the new organisation would work with government and employers to promote the needs of families with a particular focus on childcare.

“I am very excited by the opportunity of leading the combined work of two organisations which have such a significant track record in campaigning for childcare and families, and which have both succeeded in securing concrete improvements in policy and service delivery,” he said.

Publication date: 5 December 2012

NHS Information Service for Parents

The NHS Information Service for Parents will give new parents information and advice they can trust covering a wide range of issues related to staying healthy in pregnancy, preparing for birth and looking after their baby.

To read further view the website

Publication date: 27 November 2012

From training to teaching early language and literacy

Ofsted have recently prepared a survey that set out to evaluate how well new early years and primary teachers are trained to teach language and literacy, including phonics, in primary schools.

It sought to identify the common elements of effective training and induction as well as the most common factors that prevent new teachers from gaining the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills for teaching language and literacy well.

The survey's suite of documents consists of:

Publication date: 22 November 2012

Find an early years and childcare inspection report

Publication of childcare provider on domestic premises names and addresses.

Ofsted is currently writing to all childcare providers on domestic premises to ask them whether they would like their name, address and telephone number published on their website.

At present Ofsted display all childcare providers on domestic premises reports anonymously. If Ofsted publish your details parents will be able to find your inspection reports more easily.

What providers need to do:

If you have any questions, have not received your letter or have lost it, please email Ofsted at or call 0300 123 1231.

Oftsed hope to publish details of those who have consented from April 2013.

Publication date: 22 November 2012

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Attainment by Pupil Characteristics in England, 2011/12

An overview of the national and Barnet data profile for 2012.

National data by groups, including free school meals will be published on 21 November 2012 on the DfE website.

Publication date: 14 November 2012

Inspection of Sure Start Children’s Centres

There have been a number of changes in the government’s vision for Sure Start Children’s Centres and the way in which local authorities have chosen to commission and deliver services from them. Ofsted is therefore consulting on a revised framework for the inspection of children’s centres.

The closing date for comments is 11 January 2013.

View website for more information.

Publication date: 9 November 2012

Social and emotional wellbeing: early years: Public health guidance, PH40

This NICE guidance aims to define how the social and emotional wellbeing of vulnerable children aged under 5 years can be supported through home visiting, childcare and early education.

The term ‘vulnerable’ is used to describe children who are at risk of, or who are already experiencing, social and emotional problems and need additional support. The guidance  is for all those responsible for planning and commissioning children's services in local authorities (including education), the NHS and the community, voluntary and private sectors. It is also for: GPs, health visitors, midwives, psychologists and other health practitioners, social workers, teachers and those working in all early years settings (including childminders and those working in children’s centres and nurseries).

View article

Publication date: 9 November 2012

Counting the costs of childcare

This Resolution Foundation briefing assesses how changes in support for childcare since 2008 have altered the costs of childcare for families, looks at the burden of childcare costs for families across the income distribution and analyses how the costs of childcare affects work incentives

It found that high childcare costs mean that a woman working full-time could bring home as little as £4 a week in extra pay. In the most extreme case, a second earner working full-time at the minimum wage in a family where her partner is already working full-time at the same wage, would be left with just £211 (£4 a week) from her annual wage of £11,900 after the costs of caring for two children and the loss of tax credits which would be gradually withdrawn as the family’s income rose.

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Publication date: 9 November 2012

VSC funding of £60m is 'great news for the sector'

Despite fears that the Government would not continue with the Voluntary and Community Sector grant beyond 2013, it has now launched a new grant programme worth £60m over two years.

 Read the full article: VSC funding of £60m is 'great news for the sector'

Publication date: 9 November 2012

Qualified staff improve learning of nursery children, report says

Being taught by highly qualified staff makes a difference to the education of nursery school children in Scotland, a report has concluded.

Read the full article: Qualified staff improve learning of nursery children, report says

Publication date: 9 November 2012

Affordable childcare is one of my key goals, says Clegg after fury over spiralling costs

Nick Clegg has vowed to make affordable childcare one of his top priorities.

  • Deputy PM announced that cutting childcare costs is vital
  • Parents having little cash after paying for nursery is 'absurd'

Read the full article: Affordable childcare is one of my key goals, says Clegg after fury over spiralling costs

Publication date: 9 November 2012

Graduate leaders in Early Years: Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) explained

Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) is a professional accreditation endorsed by the government for graduate practitioners who can demonstrate a set of professional standards. It is the only accreditation of its kind in the Early Years sector.

Be part of a growing family of graduate leaders
Over 10,400 people with the status are already working across England, making a positive difference to children's learning and development every day. Whether you are a current or potential candidate, or a qualified early years professional, you hold a unique and valued position in the workforce and are part of a growing professional network of highly effective graduate leaders.

More than just a title
Recent national research published by the Department reinforced the importance of investing in graduate leadership across the Early Years workforce and highlighted the unique and pivotal role Early Years professionals play.

Contact details
Teaching Agency



Publication date: 9 November 2012

Sensory Equipment Library

Fair Play Barnet have lots of sensory equipment like bubble tubes, light boxes and big cushions that families can borrow for use at home, or for anyone who works with disabled children aged 0-18.

This is a FREE service for Barnet residents that is available all year round.

Loan periods are from one day up to three months. FREE!!!

Equipment can be deliver to you or you can pick up from the Fair Play Office.

For more details or to reserve equipment contact Andrew Baker on 020 8203 1257 or

Publication date: 8 November 2012

Transforming Childcare, Changing Lives: Making sure that work pays

How to maximise Universal Credit by reforming childcare. A position paper by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).

Childcare has two key objectives: to support child development, and to support parents into employment thereby raising household incomes and building self-reliance. This report focusses on the latter of these two priorities.

In this paper, the CSJ makes recommendations as to how policy makers could improve the affordability and flexibility of childcare, how they should help families find work in ways and at times that keep childcare costs low, and how they can support parents to find the economic balance between employment and childcare.

You can read the full report on the Centre for Social Justice's website.

Publication date: 15 October 2012

Children’s social mobility improved by educated early years staff

The degree to which early years professionals are educated has a bigger impact on improving social mobility than the ratio of staff to children in pre-school settings, a report by The Sutton Trust has claimed.

News Article: Children’s social mobility improved by educated early years staff


Publication date: 5 October 2012

£100m Capital Investment for two year-old entitlement

The Deputy Prime Minister has announced councils across England will receive £100m of capital funding to help nurseries and childminders increase the number of places they offer.

News artice: £100m Capital Investment for two year-old entitlement

Publication date: 5 October 2012

Increase in free childcare places for two-year-olds

The Two Year Old Scheme has been successful in increasing the number of places available for two year old children that are eligible for a free childcare place.

Places will increase to 500 by March 2014 with a staggered approach over six academic terms.

  • Summer term 2012 - 200 places
  • Autumn term 2012 - 300 places
  • Spring term 2013 - 350 places
  • Summer term 2013 - 400 places
  • Autumn term 2013 - 450 places
  • Spring term 2014 - 500 places.

To qualify for a place, families must meet a set of criteria based on their financial circumstances and a range of characteristics based on the family or the children. You can find the critera and the referral form on the Free Entitlement to Early Education for two, three and four year olds page.

Publication date: 5 October 2012

Children's Service now on Facebook and Twitter!

As part of Barnet Council's policy to build on it's existing corporate presence and to make greater use of social media, the Children's Service now has the following accounts on Facebook and Twitter: and

The service also has the following accounts for communicating information to young people (primarily positive activities): and

In addition to the above, it is planned that the service will be launching Twitter and Facebook accounts aimed at all practitioners who work with children and young people.

The more extensive use of social media gives us the opportunity to interact with partners and service users in a very direct way. Both Twitter and Facebook are perfect for quick and rapid sharing and exchange of information in real time. So for instance a single tweet about an event could potentially be seen by thousands in a matter of seconds/minutes. The use of social media also allows users to share opinions, information, knowledge and interests which encourages participation and engagement.

We will be regularly uploading information onto the above sites and to get regular updates 'follow' us on Twitter or 'like' us on Facebook. We will also welcome any contributions you would like to make to our social media pages. Any items, such as an event you would like to publicise, can be sent to and we will consider them for uploading. 

Publication date: 18 September 2012

Childcare vouchers and provider tax breaks among proposals to childcare commission

The government should broaden access to childcare vouchers to ease financial pressures on families and offer tax breaks to early years providers, according to leading childcare groups.

The Daycare Trust, Family and Parenting Institute and National Childminding Association (NCMA) have all called on the government’s childcare commission to do more to help parents.

In a joint statement the Daycare Trust and Family and Parenting Institute, which announced their intention to merge last month, said the commission must urgently explore how all parents can access childcare vouchers regardless of whether or not their employer offers them.

The charities also want the voucher scheme to extend to the self-employed, warning that 95 per cent of parents do not currently access vouchers, despite it being the most popular form of childcare support offered by employers.

You can read the full article on the Children & Young People Now website

Publication date: 5 September 2012

Consultation on the proposed allocation of funding for Barnet Children’s Centres

Consultation on the proposed allocation of funding for Barnet Children’s Centres

We asked:
We asked your views on proposed changes to the allocation of funding for Children’s Centres in Barnet.

We currently fund 13 Children’s Centres and 8 linked outreach venues with a budget of £4.3m. This budget will remain the same for the financial year 2012/13.

The proposal was to redistribute the budget among Children’s Centres and to target the funding in order to benefit the needs of the most vulnerable families and communities in Barnet.

You said:
A total of 579 people responded to this consultation. 197 respondents agreed with the proposal, 29 neither agreed nor disagreed, 347 disagreed, and 6 did not know.

Stakeholders that agreed with the proposals commented that it was a fairer way to distribute the allocations and agreed that it focussed on targeting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged families. Many respondents supported the proposal and recognised the need to take into account the level of deprivation and the number of children under five years old.

Stakeholders that disagreed with the proposals tended to disagree with the removal of the subsidy for childcare provision in Children’s Centres. Respondents queried the potential impact on childcare provision and how the local authority can ensure adequate provision of childcare.

More information on the proposals and responses is available in the Cabinet Resource Committee Paper.

We did:
After lengthy consideration of the consultation responses alongside the proposed changes and the positive outcomes they could deliver, the new funding allocation was agreed by Cabinet Resources Committee on 17 July 2012. The new funding allocation will be implemented on 1 September 2012 and will be phased in until the financial year 2014/15.

Your views were taken into consideration and we are committed to addressing the queries raised by respondents. We have been working closely with those Children’s Centres which will see a decrease in funding to minimise any impact to families. Only two Children’s Centres have proposed changes to childcare delivery from September 2012. The families which might be affected by the changes to childcare delivery will be supported by Barnet Council in finding alternative childcare. All other Children’s Centres with childcare provision will continue to offer the same childcare service.

Removing the childcare subsidy will enable us to identify and reach more vulnerable families early, through community based activities. Children’s Centres which will receive an increase in their allocations will use this additional money to employ extra outreach staff offering tailored services for vulnerable families in their communities.

Specific services will include:

  • physical literacy project – enabling children to use the outdoor environment as a classroom
  • setting up new stay and play sessions for younger children (12 to 18 months) in a primary school
  • running Sensory sessions for children with additional needs in partnership with Fairplay Barnet
  • running English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses at Children’s Centre venues.

Children’s Centres which will see a reduction in funding will continue to run the same level of community based activities including Play and Stay sessions, family support, midwifery services, breastfeeding support, parenting programmes and speech and language therapy.

Publication date: 10 August 2012

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