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Resources and information on this page are provided by the Department for Education, and although the platform is hosted by the FSF, the FSF is an independent organisation

DfE Resources

  • Early Years Qualification List
    May 28 2013 02:25 PM
    The Early Years Qualifications list is a searchable tool designed to help those delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage to identify which qualifications are considered full and relevant.
  • Families in the foundation years
    May 28 2013 02:26 PM
    Information and video about the Government’s offer to parents from pregnancy until their child reaches the age of five.
  • Phonics screening check materials
    May 25 2012 03:27 PM
    Here on the DfE website are some useful materials and resources to support teachers who will be administering phonics checks. Includes a screening check video, an article on developing a screening check and some FAQs.

Department for Education Q & As

If you would like to ask an early years related question of the Department please email us at 'ku.vog.isg.noitacude@efd.ksa'. We aim to respond within one working week, and our answer may be posted to the list below

  • Q: "Can you also explain why no notice inspections have been withdrawn as an idea for the maintained sector, yet remain for PVI's given that in both the maintained and PVI sector, the manager will be required to have an interview with the inspector at the start of the inspection. Can you also explain why this interview is only to be held with manager, and not other leading proessionals in the setting, such as EYP's ?"

    A: "Inspections are a matter for Ofsted. The DfE is unable to answer this question. Please contact them directly: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/contact-us "

  • Q: "Can you please explain why the vision for a Graduate led Sector from 2015 has been withdrawn, and appears in no form in the revised EYFS?"

    A: "The 2015 target linked was an ambition set out by the previous Government in the 'Next Steps for Early Learning and Childcare: Building on the 10-year Strategy', to ensure that all full daycare settings had at least one graduate by 2015. This Government has set no such target. However, the Government and the sector share a high level ambition to see a highly qualified, graduate-led, skilled workforce which can give the children in their care the best start in life. That is why the Government continues to invest in and encourage the development of the early education and childcare workforce, including by supporting graduate training at the national level for the Early Years Professional Status and New Leaders in Early Years programmes; and the National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership.

    Professor Cathy Nutbrown has now published Foundations for Quality, the final report of her independent review of early education and childcare qualifications. In her report she acknowledges the importance of a graduate led workforce, and is keen to build on progress made to date. She made three recommendations on graduate leadership, including a proposal for a new early years specialist training route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), covering ages birth to seven. She also recommended that Government should consider the best way to maintain and increase graduate pedagogical leadership in all years settings. The Government warmly welcomed Professor Nutbrown’s report, but will need to consider the recommendations carefully. We expect a Government response to be published in the autumn. "

  • Q: "Why are PVI and maintained settings still inspected by different arms of OFSTED and with different criteria, when they are now expected to provide the same level of care and education? This causes, in particular, a feeling of unfairness within the PVI sector when they see maintained settings receiving notice, rather than a no notice inspection. In the same way, maintained settings see some PVI setting receiving 'outstanding' when in fact a maintained setting would not receive an 'outstanding' because their inspection process is more rigorous in its demands for them to be graded as such.Surely these days there should be a level playing field?"

    A: "Anspection of PVI and maintained settings is an operational practice which is carried out by Ofsted. As Ofsted is an independent non-Ministerial government department they are best placed to answer this question. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/contact-us "

  • Q: "MP Elizabeth Truss in her report Affordable quality: new approaches to childcare stated “Ofsted spent £21.1m inspecting childminders.” I personally am pleased that Ofsted have spent this money inspecting childminders because every childminding setting is different, run by self employed people in their own homes. For that reason I believe it is vital that they can all be assessed and monitored individually to ensure they continue to reach a required standard whilst maintaining their individuality. The intention is apparently to change the regulations to cut the cost; please can you explain how (as MP Elizabeth Truss indicates in her report) this "could enable the provision of more childminding places improving affordability and availability?" Particularly as MP Elizabeth Truss’s suggested plan is that an agency would inspect and “agencies would deduct a percentage of the childminders fee to cover the cost of these services,” and therefore logically to continue to make the business viable the childminder would have to pass this cost on to parents"

    A: "There's no doubt that families are finding it hard to pay for childcare costs. That's why we're strengthening and investing in free early education more than before. Parents of three and four year-olds can now claim 15 hours of free early education a week- and we're expanding it to 260,000 disadvantaged two-year olds by 2014, meaning total annual investment will have increased by over £1billion a year. We are of course looking at learning from other countries and welcome this report's contribution to the debate."

  • Q: "Every child is unique. Every childcare setting is unique. Parents have the choice to choose the setting that is right for their child. For this to be a fair choice every setting is regulated and has to legally follow the EYFS so in theory a parent can choose the setting that suits their needs with the re-assurance that the quality is high and measured. If, as has been reported in the press recently, Childminders were to become deregulated how would the government ensure that every setting was still of a high standard and parents could comfortably compare a nursery with a childminder if they were being assessed and inspected in different ways?"

    A: "This Government wants to free up time for childminders and others to focus on children and to promote, rather than restrict, professional judgement. That is why we have taken action to slim down the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. The new framework will strike a better balance; keeping children safe and supporting their development while reducing burdens on professionals and reducing paperwork. In publishing the new framework we have made clear that we wanted to go further and look more widely at whether the current system of regulation of childcare and early education is really driving the kind of outcomes. The Department for Education and Ofsted are currently considering a range of questions, including whether the current registration and inspection arrangements for childminders are as proportionate and effective as they could be."

  • Q: "Please submit any queries you have by emailing to the above DfE email address."

    A: "...and we'll attempt to find an appropriate person to give an informed response as soon as possible."

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