Just when we might have thought that the government would not announce proposals and consultations during the summer period, some important documents have been released. One, a letter to schools about the EYFS Profile for 2016-2017 was sent out by DfE in mid-August. Another, a consultation on “An early years national funding formula” seeks views on how the promise of 30 hours a week free entitlement might work – importantly including some indicative costings for local authorities. I shall be discussing this 64 page document along with the accompanying paper “Equality assessment” in a separate blog. However if one thing is clear, it is that confusions remain about the funding for early years. Back in March 2016 a survey by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission showed that of 1,000 parents of 0 to 3 year olds questioned in England, nearly 50% of first time mums did not know that the government offered help with childcare costs, or if they did know, were unclear as to how to get it or how much it would be worth. That’s hardly surprising when the pathway through funding is so convoluted.
After a fairly quiet period following the election last year, the DfE has begun to produce more proposals and changes which will affect us all. The latest update to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (www.gov.uk/government/publications) was published in May and contains both new requirements and a useful overview of the current guidance. It comes into effect in September and although it applies to schools and colleges, the principles are highly likely to apply in future to settings registered with Ofsted.
Albeit in a rather hesitant way, summer is nonetheless upon us, and we can all get more actively engaged with our gardens, parks and countryside. And as ever, there will be tings to learn from nature as part of our enjoyment of the outdoors.
Montessori was concerned with the health of the whole child, and early years settings would do well to follow a similar philosophy today, says Barbara Isaacs…
MSA’s response to the Department for Education consultation on ‘Amending the childcare disqualification arrangements in schools and non-domestic registered settings’
At the MEAB conference on 10 June, it was decided to ask attendees for their views on this latest government consultation so that MSA’s response would receive added weight. 125 delegates attended the conference and their views are summarised below. These views will be submitted to DfES by 1st July – the final date for responses.
Montessori St Nicholas Fifth Annual Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board School Leaders’ Conference
The fifth Annual Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board (MEAB) School Leaders’ Conference was hosted on Friday 10 June at the Institute of Education, University College, London, by Montessori St Nicholas, the leading charity for Montessori in the UK.