About Us


FSF newsletter February 2017

In Newsletters

Welcome to the February edition of the FSF newsletter


Hopefully you enjoyed a relaxing Christmas and this first half term has gone swimmingly well! This is always the term for inclement weather and we are sure you have been busy with wonderful ice activities and mud play! Don't forget that you can upload photographs to the Gallery if you have any fantastic experiences to share. Since our last newsletter, published before Christmas, we have been hard at work making sure you don't miss anything that is happening in early years - it certainly is a very very busy time for the sector! We have kept you up to date regarding the changes to safeguarding guidance, including clarifications of how this guidance affects current inspection practice. You can read about this on this thread: Ofsted clarification on changes to safeguarding requirements.

The ongoing developments regarding the 30 hours free childcare, due to be rolled out nationally in September this year, remain very much at the forefront of everyone's mind. There are several forum threads running which discuss the practical aspects of implementing the scheme. Each provides useful links to other related documents and ideas. This thread is currently lively! 30 hour funding and how to offer it

If you click to follow the 'Keeping up to date' thread and set your notification preferences (drop down box under your name on the FSF home page, choose 'settings') you can be sure to be told about all significant items that we put on the FSF site - and then you'll never miss a thing!

FSF news

We are very excited to be planning the design of our new FSF website, hopefully we will able to launch it later this year - all your favourites will remain in place but with a more modern look and feel! Once we have made some decisions we will be able to show some of the design pages and then you can join in with our excitement.

Tapestry news

After the successful completion of the move of all Tapestry Weavers to the new, updated version of Tapestry, we are now focusing our attention on improving the ‘Analysis’ section. We are always listening to the feedback from our Weavers and are working hard to keep developing Tapestry; to find out more about these changes to the ‘Analysis’ section you can read this article on the forum. We would love to hear your thoughts on these improvements in the comment section of the article.

Some of you might also find our recent Tapestry article, found here, regarding what devices we suggest using with Tapestry useful, as this is something we are frequently asked about by our Weavers.

You can keep track of, and contribute to, Tapestry conversations on the forum from our dedicated Tapestry discussions section.

LA Scheme

We'd like to welcome back members from the following authorities, which have renewed their LA subscription. Members from these authorities need do nothing; their individual accounts will automatically be re-subscribed:


For their sixth year - Slough

For their tenth year - London Borough of Barnet

For their eleventh year - East Sussex


Welcome back to you all!

New Content

We have published an inspiring article this month by June O'Sullivan who is the CEO of the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF). June was very recently listed on the Debrett's '500 people of influence 2017' list for her work with LEYF. June's article 'Have I got the power to make a difference?' should motivate us all to best the best we can for ourselves, for the children, for the families we work with and for the wider community. We have also heard from Robert Heath about how he studied for his degree whilst working in a nursery. Robert's passion for his subject is clear and he too motivates us to think about how we can get better at what we do. Robert's article 'The Musical Lives of Infants – a route to academic study' is well worth a read. We have reviewed a chapter of the leadership and management book 'Early Childhood Education Management: Insights into business practice and leadership' and found it to be a very useful tool for new managers and directors looking to recruit to management postitions. We have also posted our notes from the self-regulation masterclass, which took place at the Nursery World Show at the beginning of February. You can read them here and join in the thread as we talk about our own experiences and ideas.

From The Forum

When is the EYNFF due to begin?

I have been trying to find out exactly when this Early years National Funding Formula begins? I am sure I read somewhere it was from April?

Please could somebody point me in the right direction?

Also, I believe some settings in particular areas are not going to be offering the additional 15 hours due to the rates being too low. I can totally understand this, when I have worked out our new approx. funding rate reduction! Our problem is that we live in a "deprived" area and many parents can not afford to pay privately for childcare, so we kind of depend on the funding. sad.png - If this new rate is to come into force from April, we will lose money! How is that fairer?!

Chair/Manager Relationship


Brief intro. I am chair of a pre school. Committee run. Charity/Limites by guarantee company. Small setting with manager, deputy and four other part time staff.

Our manager (employed by the committee) has worked within the setting over 20 years (when it was first a playgroup) and I have great respect for her and what she knows. 

As a parent I am not entirely clued up on the EYFS framework but have been looking into it to gain a better understanding.

I'm just wondering really what my relationship should be like with the manager, obviously I see her every time I drop my children off and I always ask if all is ok, anything she needs from me. She usually says no all I hand but I'm wondering if we should be more formal? 

Should I also be speaking to the staff to check all is ok, I think not as I am a parent too so their line of contact would be the manager first??

Our committee meet every six weeks with the manager and staff in attendance so we do meet and discuss any matters. I know she holds monthly staff meetings with the Pre School staff. 

I guess I just worry that if she doesn't tel me something I could have problems on my hands.

How do your similar run settings manage the relationship between chair/committee and manager??

Staff meetings

What do you discuss at yours? I am currently devising a form that I can use to document these and to keep me a bit more focused!

I am also wondering what headings you have on supervision forms as I am not happy with our current ones.

Thanks for any help.

P.E. Ideas?

Anybody inspire me ,I am fed up with the same old P.E. games,what are your favourite to play with 2-4 year olds?

Funding information from netmums

netmums childcare scheme

I don't follow things as closely as I could/should, but I was under the impression the SFF would be rolled out and according to some sources some of us would be worse off. Is this extra funding just for the areas mentioned?

£4.30 would be manna from heaven!


I make playdough for Preschool but am disappointed about the colour. When I use food colouring it's a wish washy colour even when I use a lot of it.

Ages ago I used to make vibrant coloured dough using food colouring. I was wondering whether the colouring that I buy in little bottles have changed? Anyone come across this please?

Also ideas about how to make deep coloured dough please?

Thank you

Individual fairy cake recipe needed

Does anyone have a pictorial recipe for individual fairy cakes? I am making them tomorrow and would like to see if the older children can follow the instructions. Am bring very lazy and hoping someone can save me the time of making one! I will keep my fingers crossed. I would smile but do not know where my faces have gone!!

Ratio's help!

Please can someone clarify ratio's as it is very unclear in the EYFS we have three level 3 staff, one level 2 and two unqualified members of staff.

1st question: if all three level 3 staff, one level 2 and one unqualified is working how may 2, 3 and 4 year olds does that cover?

2nd question: two level 3 staff, one level 2 and two unqualified how many does that cover?

How many 2 year olds, 3 year olds and 4 year olds can level 3 and level 2 have and also how may for unqualified.

We are just about to go through the registration process so would like to have this clear as I'm finding the wording in the EYFS confusing.

We can have 32 in the setting but would only have 24 to begin with.

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.