Early Years Digest

19th January, 2024


Little Moments Together Campaign

The Department for Education and Department for Health and Social Care's Start for Life ‘Little Moments Together’ campaign aims to educate parents and carers about the importance of brain development in the first five years of a child’s life, and the crucial role they play. A suite of digital resources is available for partners to download and support their work, as well as tips and advice on the Start for Life website.

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Big Issue - Tax-free childcare: How does it work, how much can you save and how can you apply?

All you need to know about the government’s tax-free childcare scheme, including how to apply and who is eligible

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reception children classroom

The Guardian - Pandemic babies are arriving at school still wearing nappies. Where’s the plan to help them?

The Covid years have left some of Britain’s children in crisis. Yet early years education is not equipped to close the gap.

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nursery kindergarten teacher

The Independent - Free childcare plan in chaos as funding for Tories’ key pledge unravels

Parents face missing out on free support at eleventh hour due to funding disarray. Jeremy Hunt is under fire as it emerged that his key Budget promise to expand free childcare in 2024 is fast unravelling amid “chaos” over funding arrangements.

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The Big Issue - 30 hours free childcare: Who is eligible and how do I apply in 2024?

The government is expanding its 30 hours free childcare scheme, but who is eligible? And how do parents get it in 2024?

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Student doing maths on abacus at elementary school

BBC News - Childcare costs: Parents share struggles of 'broken' system

The UK has some of the highest childcare costs in the world. Parents are finding it hard to get nursery places and report quitting full-time work to care for their children. Nurseries are closing faster than new ones are opening and educators say staff are leaving for better paid jobs in supermarkets. The BBC has been speaking to those hit by a system which some say is not "fit for purpose".

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Close up of a businesswoman using a calculator.

Children and Young People Now - Recruit ‘parent champions’ to design child poverty busting measures, report urges

Parents should be more involved in the design and delivery of services aimed at tackling ‘systemic’ child poverty in communities across the UK, a report is urging.

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couple work on laptop computer at modern living room indoor home

The Guardian - Pupils to get unique ID number linking service records under Labour

ID number would connect children in England’s school, health and council information.

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reception children classroom teacher

BBC News - Leaving London: Pressure on outer boroughs as families move in

London's suburbs are being placed under a huge amount of strain as an increasing number of families move out of the capital. Nurseries are bursting to the point where babies who have not even been born are being registered with them while schools and care homes are struggling to cope with demand. Council budgets are under pressure.

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Cute baby brinking from a bottle

The Guardian - Britain has suffered terribly under these Tories, especially our children. The only word for it is neglect

Keir Starmer states Labour’s child health plan will repair the damage caused by years of chaos and austerity, declaring it an important part of our manifesto of hope

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Student doing maths on abacus at elementary school

BBC News - Aptamil baby milk: Big supermarkets cut price of formula

Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons have joined Iceland in cutting the cost of Aptamil baby formula.

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happy little child play game and have fun, education lessons in colorful kinder garden playground indoors

Big Issue - How UK’s two-child benefit cap is trapping kids in poverty and pushing families to ‘breaking point’

An estimated 250,000 children could be lifted out of poverty if the government scrapped the “unfair” two-child limit on benefits.

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happy child kids group have fun and play at kindergarden indoor preschool education concept with  teacher-1

Politics Home - Childcare Sector Warns Of "Postcode Lottery" For Availability Of Free Hours

Parents and carers could be faced with a “postcode lottery” when the government expands free childcare hours this year, a sector leader has warned.

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Father with children working on laptop computer at home

The Times - Two million children need speech and language therapy

The unprecedented jump in demand for NHS services has been blamed on the pandemic, but also on the increasing use of tablets and television for entertainment.

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Early Years Educator - EYFS changes for childminders

A summary of changes to the childminders EYFS framework has been issued by the Department for Education.

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Reception classroom teacher

Nursery World - Time is running out to grow the workforce to accommodate the expanded hours, warns nursery group

YMCA, the largest voluntary childcare provider in the country, has warned that time is running out to establish the size of the workforce needed to deliver the expansion of the funded hours.

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portrait stressed sad young woman outdoors. City urban life style stress

The Guardian - Rapid help needed for Covid babies who fell behind, says former Ofsted chief

Labour highlights data showing children born in England during crisis were slower in developing communication and other skills.

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Early Years Educator - Sector criticises Ofsted decision not to pause inspections in early years settings

The new chief inspector of Ofsted has paused school inspections for mental health training for inspectors, but early years inspections will continue.

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Teacher reading her pupils a story at the elementary school

Planet Radio - Third of children in West Midlands start school without basic skills

Data has revealed a whopping 85% of parents in the West Midlands are unaware that 90% of a child’s brain growth is developed up to the age of 5, when most are due to start school.

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BBC Wales News - Childcare putting Welsh parents in debt, Senedd told

Parents are going into debt - especially single mothers - because of the high cost of childcare, Senedd members have been told.

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Newborn baby first days with his father

Early Education - Researchful practice: a “breath of fresh air” for early educators in challenging times

Early Education share findings from the project and suggest the potential of “researchful practice” to empower teachers, enhance their skills, confidence and shape their professional identities.

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Arabic Muslim mother playing and taking care of her baby-1

Nursery World- Physical development: Strategies to deliver the best range of experiences for young children

Good physical development practice starts in the setting, says Dr Lala Manners in this first part of a new series exploring how staff can increase knowledge and balance in-house activities with those outsourced.

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happy child kids group have fun and play at kindergarden indoor preschool education concept with  teacher-1

Upworthy - 10 ways kids appear to be acting naughty but actually aren't

Many of kids' so-called 'bad' behaviours are actually normal developmental acts of growing up.

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Nursery World - Interview: Meet Dr Gillian West, and find out about the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) programme

Dr Gillian West, co-author of NELI Preschool, the Nuffield Early Language Intervention’s nursery programme, talks to Nicole Weinstein about how the evidence-based programme is helping to improve children’s oral language development and how settings can get on board.

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EEF blog: Stepping up physical development in the early years

Sinead McMahon, EEF's Early Years Content Specialist, draws to attention the importance of physical development in the Early Years.

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NDNA - Survey into early years providers' costs and staffing pressures

Early years providers are being invited to take part in a survey analysing the impact of rising costs and funding challenges on the sector.

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Middle Eastern Muslim mother playing with her little baby in green park and holding him in arms

Department for Education & Department of Health and Social Care - Family hubs now open in 75 areas

Family hubs now open in local authorities across half the country as new Little Moments Together campaign launches.

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NPC ETHOS Foundation - Closing the gap Building better child poverty prevention systems

Ethos Foundation commissioned an evidence review and convened policy experts, researchers, organisation leaders, charity professionals, and funders from a range of relevant fields to identify where the current system was failing and what an effective system of child poverty prevention might look like.

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Kindred Website

Department for Education & Censuswide – Parents attitudinal insights to support the launch of the Better Health Start for Life ‘Little Moments Together’ campaign.

The DfE have conducted a poll of 200 parents with children aged 0-5 years old in England looking at the early years.

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Small group of children eating apples together, shallow DOF

Nature - Prenatal exposure to maternal psychological stress is associated with increased risk for adverse birth and child health outcomes.

A newly published paper suggests that maternal exposure to psychosocial stressors during pregnancy as well as the mother’s childhood may disrupt placental function, which may ultimately contribute to adverse pregnancy, birth, and child health outcomes.

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Close-up image of doctors hand pointing at x-ray results-1

BMC – New research shows childhood adversity is associated with a greater degree of engagement in adolescent cancer risk behaviours

This study aimed to determine the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and adolescent cancer risk behaviours and found that all adolescent cancer risk behaviours increased in prevalence as the adolescents grew older, except for obesity.

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Businesswoman sitting at her desk navigating the internet on a laptop computer using the trackpad, over the shoulder view of the blank screen

Department for Education - Press release: Major national drive to improve school attendance

Attendance hubs to more than double to support 1,000 more schools and £15 million investment to expand the attendance mentor pilot programme.

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Student doing maths on abacus at elementary school

London Assembly - Early years childcare in London report

The London Assembly Economy Committee is calling on the Government to review funding rates for early education entitlements in London, amid concerns that the sector will be unable to cope with the increase in demand when free childcare is expanded to children under three.

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Rear View of Young Office Workers in Casual Outfits Listening to a Top Manager Explaining Something Using Illustrations.

Institute of Health Visiting - SEND Conference: A Different Journey – The best life from the start

iHV are delivering their first national SEND conference: ‘A Different Journey – The best life from the start’. This conference takes place on Thursday 14 March 2024 at Hertfordshire Development Centre in Stevenage

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