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The Foundation Stage Forum EYFS newsletter December 2018

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It seems only a few moments ago that we were discussing the difficulties we all face settling a new cohort to the Autumn term - so many new faces, routines and expectations to get to grips with (and that's just the teachers!) Now we find ourselves amidst Nativity and Christmas plays, the 'in-setting' Christmas card factory "You couldn't just get Bella to make another one for Granny could you?" and the inevitable 'melt-downs' that follow the Christmas party. Personally, I have one Nativity, one Christmas themed activity afternoon and a school Carol service to enjoy - all before mid-December! Nevertheless, nothing beats the joy and excitement of pre-school children in the run up to Christmas and this makes the tinsely trauma and the sheer enhaustion worthwhile.

So, what have FSF HQ been busy with since our last newsletter (just before October half term)? We recently represented our Forum members at the first inquiry session of the Childcare and Early Education APPG. The inquiry is focusing on the financial sustainability of the PVI early years sector. The facts and figures presented by providers, parents and membership organisations made for sobering listening. Reports published at the end of December by DfE and Save the Children do little to inspire confidence in the future of the sector. Ofsted released some updated documents in November, they were keen to explain that the although content had been made more user friendly the guidance had not changed. We continue to keep you abreast of important news for the early years sector; the return of the £600m tax-free childcare underspend to the the Treasury and the ongoing rises in Nursery fees did not go unreported!

We heard from the Chancellor this half term as he announced his Budget. The early years sector did not receive any good news and the announcement that the National Minimum Wage would rise in April 2019 caused concern amongst providers.

On a lighter note, in the run up to Christmas our forum has been buzzing with ideas for Christmas crafting and makes. Our members have some amazing ideas and lots of experience of things that work well with tired and excited under 5s. If you try any of the ideas on the thread, we'd love to see some photos!

All the team at FSF HQ would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Christmas. We hope your holiday season is peaceful and filled with love and the company of good friends. XX

LA Scheme

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

For their 12th year – Southampton

If you want to see if your authority participate in our local authority scheme then see here

New Content

At the beginning of November we published an inspiring article written for us by Julian Grenier. 'Supporting and Motivating your staff team' encourages those of us in management positions to involve and consider the staff around us and use their skills to the best advantage of our setting. This might mean recognising our own weaknesses as managers and looking amongst our staff team for complementary talent. We continue to upload resources that we think will be helpful for our members. This 'financial terms and conditions and privacy notice' is an example of something a member sent to us for sharing with our users. One of our FSF HQ colleagues Tim, has kindly agreed to be interviewed this month about his work as a childminder. This is the start of a series of articles for FSF to help you get to know the team a little better and help you understand their backgrounds and areas of expertise. 

We have also published a review of Beginning Teaching, Beginning Learning this month. Although some of the legislation has changed since first publication, the book remains relevant for those reflecting on their practice and considering how what they do affects the children in their care.

Tapestry News

For our FSF members who are also Tapestry users .... did you see the Tapestry newsletter this month? You'll see lots of news and details about our 'Register' feature which is with beta testers at the moment. You can also access past newsletters and catch up on anything you have missed. Team FSF and Team Tapestry are going on the road again in the new year ... if you are going to the Bett show, which focuses on educational technology, from the 23rd-26th January at the Excel Centre in London we will be there! To book your place and for more information, you can check out their website. Then, the weekend after we will be exhibiting at the Nursery World show in the Business Design Centre, London. This event specialises in the early years and childcare sector and will run on the 1st and 2nd February. We'd be delighted to meet any Tapestry or FSF friends!

From The Forum

'May contain nuts'

Hi all

We have a dilemma in the baby room, a parent wants their child to have a certain oat cereal. the cereal is healthy, has no junk, requires very little effort on the staffs part. But the ingedients (as always) says 'may contain nuts'

We also have a baby in that room with a nut allergy with an epi pen. That child is off so can't gauge his mum's reaction on the matter till next week.

If we were to eliminate this cereal then really we need an overhall of all foods bought or delivered to us as many packets do say that dreadded phrase. Or is that too exteme?

Any thoughts?


Well I know many of us are trying to find  elusive children to swell our ranks, I have just ordered a few posters and leaflets to get our name out there a bit more.

Do any of you have any ideas as to where best to put them?

What's worked best for you???

Any gems I might not have thought of????? 

Wearing aprons while nappy changing

I'm hoping all you wonderful people will be able to help.

What is the rule of thumb regarding staff wearing aprons while nappy changing?  Our policy says we wear them but we have a member of staff who cannot fit a standard apron.  Does anyone know where I can get extra large ones? 

Many thanks


Just to confirm, I cannot send the EY3 until all the DBS and EY2 are complete? Is this correct?

Date of birth on registers

An adviser from the local council has said we need to show the date of birth on the A4 sheet of paper that we use to collect the day's attendances. This information is transferred each day to computer where it can be reported on as necessary (including date of birth). However, I cannot believe it is actually an Ofsted requirement to show DOB on the paper used to collect the data. Is it?

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