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FSF Newsletter June 2017

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Welcome to the June edition of the FSF newsletter


As reported in our last newsletter. The new Statutory Framework for Early Years came into effect during last ½ term, on April 3rd. The documents were published at the beginning of March leaving providers one month to get things in place. There were few changes, mostly to the requirements for first aid qualifications and to the designated safeguarding role. You can download a copy of the new framework and also a handy guide to the changes from this thread: New Statutory Framework published!

The General Election has taken the headlines this month with the different political parties setting out their stalls as far as early years education is concerned. If you would like to be reminded of what the different parties are saying there is a useful breakdown here. The 30 hours free childcare continues to be at the top of the early years agenda for providers and parents. Now that providers know what their hourly rates are going to be, they are busily trying to work out how they can offer the 30 hours in their settings. Some providers have decided that they will not be able to make the new system work for them and are withdrawing from the offer, others will be offering limited places and limited times. Feedback from the Childcare Works events gives providers the confidence to make the system work for them, although there have been conflicting messages from Local Authorities. You can read some of the issues in this thread - Fee increases and 30 hours. The website for parents to sign up to which helps them navigate the 30 hours eligibility criteria has also been recently launched – although there have been some teething problems with it. Parents access the site here. Parents use the same site to sign themselves up to the tax-free childcare scheme.

FSF and Tapestry news

At the beginning of May, the Foundation Stage Forum headed north and went to the Nursery World show in Liverpool. We proudly showcased our Tapestry product and met lots of our satisfied customers. Tapestry has launched our new functionality for KS1 and KS2 which will help schools assess, track and analyse children’s attainment across the full Primary age range. If you know of a school that might be interested in trialling our new, improved Tapestry for schools they can have a look at it here https://tapestry.info/primary. On the Foundation Stage Forum we have improved and updated our ‘courses and events’ page. We are now advertising courses open to all members from our subscribing local authorities and from other providers if they cost no more than £50 to the setting. We are currently advertising courses run by Kent, Southampton and Brighton and Hove local authorities and also courses by Early Education and NDNA. See what is available follow this link: Courses and Events.

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 tenth year - Derbyshire
For their twelfth year - Hampshire

If you work for any of these authorities and do not currently have an LA membership scheme in place please click here for more information

New Content

Since our last newsletter we have published two articles to help you reflect on your practise. In her article, Teacher Choices: Visible and open to question, Jill McLachlan asks us to consider how we can work most effectively with colleagues, complementing and contrasting our differing teaching and learning styles. Jane Evans’ article looks at how we can use our adult understanding to support children struggling with their behaviour in the early years. Our ability to recognise and empathise with others is a skill that needs to be learnt and Jane suggests ways in which we can help children learn this essential life skill. You can discuss all our published articles in this forum area. We have also kept you up to date with important health and safety announcements: NSPCC #Share aware campaign and Disney travel mug. We continue to liaise with Ofsted via Twitter asking questions and ‘busting myths’ that are of concern to members: Ofsted Inspection timelines

From The Forum

Home visits and settling for new nursery

Hello all,

We have a new nursery opening in September so I will have home visits for 40+ children to organise as well as settling children, some of which will be staying all day. Have been a reception teacher up until now.

Any practical solutions very welcome.

When should I do home visits? What do you take? 'General' timing for settling?

Thank you.


Child who eats everything

Hi all,

We currently have a child who eats everything she sees. She is two and a half years old. When I say everything, I mean everything and anything. As soon as she enters nursery, the first thing she sees goes straight in her mouth. She is not exploring the items with her mouth as a younger child would, she literally tries to chomp down and eat it. She eats everything from crayons and chalk, wood, the bristles on the sweeping brush and also picked mud off someone else's shoe and tried to eat that. As soon as we take tell her to take something out of her mouth, she just either puts it straight back in or picks something else up and eats that instead. I've not come across this behaviour before and not sure how to handle it apart from watching her like a hawk and keep trying to stop her and explain why. Although I don't think she understands us very well, she is showing as slightly behind in communication and language and has been referred to speech and language. Mum says she does the same at home but she just laughs about it when we tell her about it.

Has anyone experienced something like this before?


Bad day

So we've had a little love join us that is a real firecracker. He's two years nine months, has English as an additional language and in my humble opinion a sensory processing issue. He's like a pinball bouncing off the walls and other children. Pushing, screaming and constantly falling over although he rarely cries or appears hurt. We also have a very quiet little boy who was premature and appears to have a global delay. He was a precious baby and we have worked hard to gain Mum's trust and get the child settled. Anyway child A has taken to harassing child B and after I gave Mum another accident form today she lost the plot completely and is withdrawing him. I understand why she's cheesed off (she's vowed to 'have' the parent of the child concerned) she feels it's not fair and she's not sending him to preschool to get bullied. I tried to explain things from a developmental point of view but she just wasn't interested. I've also offered her a morning place. Not sure there was anything else I could have done but I feel like poo now. Sorry, just wanted to offload. 

Changing age range

Thinking of ways to increase numbers for September what would I need to do if I wanted to change age range from 2 down to 18 months. We are a packaway setting.

Ofsted tribunal


Has anyone ever been to tribunal with Ofsted regarding them refusing registration?

I have the telephone discussion coming up today to arrange the date for the tribunal hearing and was wondering if anyone can advise what to expect?


Apprentices? Yes or No


We are investigating taking on an apprentice. Have heard mixed reviews from employers in other sectors. Does any one have experience good or bad that could help us with the decision.


Changes to Policies and Procedures

Hello All

We have updated a couple of our polices, some are related to staff and some parents (fee policy).

How do your settings notify both regarding changes to policies. We update the polices on our website and I was going to put a notice on our noticeboard for parents directing them to our website should they wish to view any of our policies?

A hard copy is kept at the setting also.

Is this enough notification, one committee member suggested printing multiple copies but I am not sure that is necessary?




Staff ratios

I'm having a problem in my nursery as I am feeling as though we are under staffed in our afternoons and struggling to provide proper care for children as a result. I am getting quite stressed e.g. When I turn my back and am unable to properly supervise children who hurt themselves plus the fact we are all leaving late (unpaid) every day because we can't get everything done in the shift.

As an example of a typical afternoon (though today we had less!) ; we had 9 children aged 3-5 and 6 children aged 2 all playing under the supervision of 2 level 3 staff.

The problem is that two members of staff have to be left with the children whilst one deals with things like preparing snacks, tidying the classroom etc. So we actually had 3 staff members.

I have spoken to my manager that I feel we are under staffed who argued that this is the correct ratio of staff on shift but she isn't considering the duties a member of staff must do away from the rest of the children. Never mind if a child needs their nappies changing or assistance going to the loo. Especially with the 2 year olds, I just feel that more attention on the children is needed and my plights are ignored because the nursery wants to save money.

I wonder how others would deal with this situation? If there is a way to dispute my manager about ratios or if she could be right about ratios and it is just me worrying? Would appreciate any advice. Thanks.

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