The amendment task has been open since the 28th October and will be closing on the 13th November. As always, we do stress that you complete it as early as possible in case any issues arise. You can always go back in, make changes and resubmit should you need to. The amendment and initial payment for the following spring period will then be paid on the 18th December 2019.
Please ensure attendance patterns reflect claims made. If children only attending funded sessions are consistently being dropped off late/collected early, please reduce claims on the amendment task as money will be reclaimed.
We appreciate that stretching hours can be a little confusing. We are in the process of updating our guidance to make it as straightforward as possible for providers. If you are a provider that offers stretched hours, please ensure that your policies are as clear as possible for parents. You can view our current guidance here.
Councils across England will receive a funding boost to deliver free childcare places, enabling parents to work more flexibly and supporting children's early development.
Some of the additional investment will go to ensuring nurseries and childminders can support some of the most disadvantaged children, with an increase in hourly funding for all councils offering 15 hours free childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds. The vast majority of areas providing free 30 hours places for working parents of three and four-year olds will also receive an increase in the hourly rate.
It will also see an increase to the minimum hourly funding rate so that no authorities will see less than £4.38 per hour per child for three and four year olds.
Please be aware that 5% of allocated money goes towards the Local Authority to support the sector. We also have to take into account the deprivation supplement and the inclusion fund.
How much this will equate to, and when it will take effect will be communicated in due course.
Change of circumstance
If you have a change of circumstance relating to your business, it may affect your access to the funding, so it is important that you make the local authority aware as soon as possible. The types of things you need to let us know about are change of banking details/ownership etc. You can access the change of circumstance form online.
A polite reminder that Leicestershire has moved away from school terms to funding 'periods' as of Autumn 2018. This is in recognition that the constantly changing term dates can make planning difficult. This new way of working will provide consistency year after year, but also brings the funding in-line with eligibility deadline dates and birth-date criteria. The funding calendar can be downloaded here.
2-year-old funding codes
During the autumn headcount we had 97 two year claims our system didn't recognise. Please remember If parent/carers have an existing code from another Local Authority, we will require evidence of this before payment is issued for their 2-year-old. Please upload evidence via Any Comms+ prior to the submission of your headcount/amendment task.
The DWP is funding a reducing parental conflict programme, highlighting key issues around parental conflict and how support can be offered. Please see the RPC East Midlands Training Poster for more information and visit this webpage for dates, venues and booking information.
The Social Care Learning and Development Hub, together with the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Children Boards and the Social Work and Youth and Community Division at De Montfort University have the pleasure of inviting you to attend a one day conference on Children's voices in social care. The Voice Conference is going to be held at "the Venue" at De Montfort University on 28th November 2019.
Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which came into force in the UK in 1992, states that children have a right to an opinion and for that to be heard and taken seriously in all matters affecting them. This is widely reflected in national and local policy, and universally accepted as good practice across the UK. However, there is plenty of evidence that this doesn't always happen. So, what exactly are the barriers to hearing children's voices in frontline safeguarding services? What can we do better to include and consider the views and lived experiences of the children and young people we work with? This one-day conference will provide the opportunity to explore and discuss these issues, based on the lived experiences of children and young people in care, research in this area and the thoughts and experiences of practitioners with a keen interest in finding ways to improve practice around listening to children's voices.
You can find more information and sign up by clicking here!
Working together to make an effective Referral
There are two new "Working Together to Make an Effective Referral Training" dates at the Beaumanor Hall.
Know how to make good quality referrals when there is a concern about a child
Understand the Threshold for Services
Understand the parameters of sharing information
Understand how to use the Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF)
Understand the roles and responsibilities of those involved in a referral
Developing local threshold criteria is one of a Local Safeguarding Children Board's core functions. This revised threshold document brings together the threshold criteria across the three local authorities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland under the responsibilities of the Leicester Safeguarding Children Board and the Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Children Board. The revised statutory guidance Working Together (DfE, 2018) sets out the LSCBs' role in developing thresholds, policies and procedures for work under Section 17 and Section 47 of the Children Act 1989, and with children with additional needs. The threshold document is quite generic, as it provides a threshold framework across the 3 local authorities (Leicestershire, Leicester City, and Rutland). The document is aimed at staff working with families across the LLR with a focus on providing a framework around thresholds for partner agencies, most notably health workers, settings and schools. The 2 main changes are;
The introduction of 4 Tiers (rather than the previous 3 Tiers). The detail is outlined in the document but moving forward the plan will be to develop one early help assessment applicable to all agencies for Tier 2 cases.
The introduction of a number of descriptors between pages 16 and 21. The list is clearly not exhaustive but practitioners across agencies will be encouraged to refer to some of these descriptors when discussing thresholds and accessing appropriate services.
1 hour Multi-Agency Thresholds Information Sharing Event A 1 hour Multi-Agency Thresholds Information Sharing Event at the County Chambers will be taking place on 19th November at 4pm. Places can be booked by clicking here.
Did Not Attend (DNA) to Was Not Brought (WNB)
This recent update from our Local Safeguarding Team highlights the importance of maintaining the focus on the child and always keeping their needs as our priority.
In a number of SCRs nationally where the child died of a medical cause, there was evidence of poor parental engagement with health and social care services. Parents who do not engage present a challenge to professionals, but this challenge also provides an opportunity for protection When working with vulnerable families, health practitioners and services should maintain 'consistent support for the family' and curiosity and vigilance towards meeting children's needs and be persistent in pursuing non-engagement Non-compliance may be a parent's choice, but it is not the child's. Health service administrators and practitioners should treat repeated cancellations and rescheduling of appointments with curiosity and with the same degree of concern as repeated non- attendance. In doing so, it is essential to recognise families' vulnerabilities and be flexible in accommodating their needs. A shift away from the term DNA (did not attend) to WNB (was not brought) would help `maintain a focus on the child's ongoing vulnerability and dependence, and the carers' responsibilities to prioritise the child's needs' Please see this useful video resource, jointly commissioned by Nottingham City Council, NHS Nottingham City CCG and the NCSCB, which explains: Did Not Attend (DNA) to Was Not Brought (WNB)
To support you in reflecting on best safe guarding practice, here are some key issues arising from this update which may be discussed at staff meetings, support groups, with colleagues… • Keeping the voice of the child a priority in all our work • Maintaining professional curiosity and that culture of vigilance • The importance of parental partnerships, knowing the unique family and supporting them, especially our most vulnerable ones • Partnership working with other professionals For further safe guarding support, please see our website.
You should all now have either received, or will be receiving shortly, your copy of the 'Graduated Approach Booklet'. This handy guide will show you how best to use the booklet.
How to use it?
The booklet is split into 9 different categories of need. These are: Speech Language and Communication Needs, Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH), Learning Disability (LD), Physical Disability (Phy), Hearing Impairment (HI), Vision Impairment (VI), Medical Needs and Sensory Needs.
In each section there is a description of the type of SEND, what High Quality Teaching looks like in relation to this and next steps in terms of Universal Support and Targeted SEN Support. It is designed as a flow. So initially you may look at the description to check the child you have concerns about fits in to some of the descriptors. You would then initially read through the 'High Quality Teaching', ensuring everyone in your setting is following these. If concerns are still raised, you would then try some of the suggestions in the 'Universal Support' and then finally if concerns are still present, then you would then move to trying elements of 'Targeted SEN Support'.
When seeking further support from our service, we will be using this document as a reference guide to see what you have tried previously. It is a working document; we expect to see notes written in the back and any useful contacts jotted down.
Remember, children will not change overnight, it can take a very long time to see the smallest amount of progress.
Every setting has one copy, but further copies can be found here.
Men in Childcare
In England less than three per cent of the early years workforce is male (DFE Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers 2018). Is your early years provision 'male friendly', are you equipped and prepared to recruit and retain male practitioners? Working life can be very isolating for a lone male in an early years setting - how well do you as a fellow practitioner or manager support the men in your facility to ensure they are sufficiently protected to stay and continue in their role? When advertising for staff does your advert and marketing material appeal to both genders?
Consider the images and materials used in your provision, the uniform, staff attitudes to male practitioners and staff room conversations are these 'female-centric' or gender neutral? How would a male feel entering the environment? We need to assure all of these before we even start to consider the prejudice male practitioners may experience from parents.
Male early years practitioners are reporting that their employers are giving into parents' demand for them not to be involved in intimate caregiving, such as changing their child's nappy, because they are uncomfortable with the idea of a man doing it. MITEY's project lead, is quoted as saying 'All too often settings are agreeing to this, and we have to put a stop to this. Apart from it being completely impractical from a workload point of view, it's a terrible message to give to staff, parents and children, that men should be treated as "second class" caregivers.' Managers must support and defend their male practitioners against such views and confidently articulate to parents that staff duties cannot be assigned or limited due to the gender of staff and gender discrimination is not acceptable.
Managers who are successfully recruiting and retaining male practitioners state that images of their male practitioners are prominently displayed in the setting, prospective parents are informed that at this setting we are very lucky to employ male practitioners who undertake the same duties as the female practitioners.
These managers do not stereotype male practitioners into undertaking specific activities such as football, instead they deploy staff according to their skill set as they would female practitioners, they are acutely aware of the importance of children seeing and experiencing both genders in all types of role; caring, nurturing and the outdoors. These managers encourage conversation about gender and immediately address any negativity from parents and female colleagues it is crucial for managers to support and protect their male workers as full and inclusive team members.
MITEY (Men In The Early Years) are running a 'Network' and 'Campaign', they have also created a useful Mythbuster where they challenge 10 beliefs and myths around the role and suitability of men delivering childcare.
How a setting in Leicestershire is making a difference to the lives of a whole community
Cadeby Lane, Stepping Stones an early years setting in Hinckley and Bosworth has been working with Bosworth Court Residential Home to improve outcomes for children and make a positive difference to the lives of the elderly residents.
The work started through the Food for Life programme's intergenerational work. Working with West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Food for Life introduced Bosworth Court Care Home to Cadeby Lane Stepping Stones Preschool. The care home is home to residents with advanced levels of dementia.
The managers from both provisions put together a programme of activities and initially the pre-school children visited the residential home every two weeks. The young children and elderly residents have enjoyed an array of cooking activities including making butter and fruit salads. Activities have since developed to include gardening, painting, singing and tea parties which all help to recreate memories for the elderly residents and opportunities for the children to develop close relationships.
The benefits to the children and elderly residents were soon recognised and now visits are weekly. The children's confidence, language, personal, social and emotional development has accelerated, and the elderly residents are eating and drinking more, they are also engaged, and staff have seen a significant improvement in their health and well-being especially on days when the children visit.
Parents of the children have also become involved and are amazed at the benefits to the children. This has led to one family sharing a dinner with an elderly resident and parents and children have visited the residential home over the summer holidays. One child asked her mum to stop & say hello to a resident who was being taken for a walk in the village, thus building strong links within the community. One family had a grandparent with dementia and the mum shared with the pre-school how her daughter's empathy and understanding have grown, so having a positive impact on home life too.
The project continues to develop with some of the elderly residents now visiting the pre-school. It is something that the pre-school is very proud of and enjoy, they have been able to showcase the project at recent conferences and on TV.
During October 2019 parents/carers of children due to start school in Autumn 2020 will be receiving a letter from Public Health about applying for a school place. Our leaflet, 'Ready for school?', will accompany this letter and we hope that early years providers and schools will promote the leaflet to parents/carers during this time.
We are also encouraging early years providers and schools to use our school readiness social media graphics/messages to raise awareness of Leicestershire's shared view of school readiness and how parents and carers can support children. The messages have been developed to help maintain consistency across all communications activity.
Consider using the social media graphics from the below selection on whichever social media platforms your setting use.
Share and promote via electronic newsletters
Please also follow and promote our social media campaigns and re-tweet or share via Twitter @LeicsCountyHall and Facebook/leicscountyhall
Leicestershire's Consultation on School Admissions Policy and arrangements for entry Autumn 2021 onwards:
We would greatly appreciate it if settings could forward the information below to parents: The Leicestershire County Council is consulting on proposed changes to its School Admissions Policy and arrangements to take effect from Autumn 2021. You are invited to make comment on the proposed changes to policy, briefly they comprise of:
Do you agree with the removal of the current criterion 7 in Leicestershire's Oversubscription Criteria, which will no longer prioritise applications of grounds of 'belief'?
Do you agree with the revised Leicestershire School Admissions Policy and associated co-ordinated schemes for entry Autumn 2021?
Do you agree with the amended catchment boundary changes for Primary Schools in Leicestershire for entry Autumn 2021?
Once the consultation is closed recommendations will be provided to the County Council's Cabinet for a decision.Your views are important to us. Please be assured that no change will be made until everyone has had the opportunity to have their say. For more information please contact Head of School Admissions and Pupil Services Gurjit Singh Bahra tel: 0116 305 6324, Gurjit.Bahra@Leics.gov.uk
Early Years Consultation The DfE are consulting on reforms to the EYFS. The aim of this consultation is to seek views from interested parties on proposed changes to the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage. This consultation seeks views on:
proposed revisions to the educational programmes
proposed revisions to the early learning goals
proposed changes to the assessment and moderation process for the early years foundation stage profile
a proposed change to the safeguarding and welfare requirements to promote good oral health
See below for the latest advice from the HMRC: The government has said that the UK will be leaving the EU. When the UK leaves there will be immediate changes to the way UK businesses trade with the EU that may impact your business.