Note: The company I normally send out the weekly newsletters with is having issues this week meaning I cannot send out this email the normal way. So that no-one misses out I am sharing it here instead. Please share this with anyone you know as they may also normally receive the newsletter and may be wondering where it is!
Childminding Best Practice Newsletter
11th of July 2023
Ofsted Change coming? Plus, New Funding Rates News
The Head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, is leaving at the end of this year. It is not yet known who will replace her but I suspect that more changes will accompany whoever takes her place as they will want to make their own mark.
Should childminders, worry about this? Those of you who, like me, have been involved in childcare or education for a long time will have seen trends come and go. (Does anyone remember the craze for having windmills in the garden?!) However the fundamentals of what children need to learn and grow, remain the same.
One of the things that are really important to understand are the Characteristics of Effective Learning, (also know as the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning.) It is a requirement of the EYFS to understand these and promote them with the children in your care.
Helping children develop the Characteristics of Effective Learning does not have to be complicated or expensive. Traditional activities such as completing jigsaws or building things with bricks are simple and effective and can be easy for parents to provide at home too. Practice observing children and see if you can work out how they are ‘planning and exploring,’ ‘actively learning,’ and ‘thinking creatively and critically.’
Start by having a go at this sample 10 minute CPD activity from a ‘Childminding Best Practice Club’ toolkit:
Don’t forget to involve parents. You can do this informally by talking about which characteristics their child has shown during the day, or on a more formal basis. If you use the ‘Super Summative Assessment and Gap Tracker Kit,’ you will notice that there is a section for your to report to parents about their child’s developing COEL. The ‘Progress Check at Age Two‘ pack also includes a template for reporting on the Characteristics so you may find it useful to sit down with the parent and talk about them as part of your review meeting. (If you find dealing with parents tricky I recommend the ‘Partnership with Parents’ Pack.If you would like a copy I’ll put a link at the end of this newsletter for you.)
You will find short guides to the COEL in both the ‘Birth to Five Matters,’ and the ‘Development Matters’ documents but for a easy to understand guide for childminders I recommend the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning Pack‘ which has activity ideas, templates and evaluation resources as well as practical guides to what the COEL actually mean for childminders.
To find links to these documents plus links to other essential documents bookmark the official documents links page from the Childminding Best Practice website:
In other news the Department of Education has now confirmed the new funding rates. From September, these will increase to an average of £5.62 for three and four-year-olds and £7.95 for two-year-olds.
If you are not yet registered to accept funded children it is a good time to start looking into it, rather than having to do it in a rush when (if!) the proposed changes to funding come into place. You do not necessarily have to do anything yet but having the correct information will help you make informed decisions. If you have not accepted funded children before you may not have realised that you get more money for two year olds. However it is really important to check rates with your local council as although we are used to seeing the ‘headline’ rate they can vary widely from area to area.
You may also like:
Check you have all the essentials in place, including the absolute nitty gritty of the Characteristics of Effective Learning with Ultimate Childminding Checklist.
Develop a professional relationship with parents with help from the ‘Partnership with Parents,’ pack.
Special offers and deals:
Save £10 and get inspection ready with the Ultimate Childminding Inspection Preparation Pack, containing full versions of the 3 in 1 Safeguarding Pack and the Ultimate Childminding Checklist as well as Focus point questions for the Guided Self Evaluation Pack (and some puzzles to unwind with!)
Save £6 with the Super Summative Assessment Bundle Deal. Containing full versions of both the Super Summative Assessment and Gap Tracker Kit and the Progress Check at Age 2 Pack.
I hope you found this newsletter useful. Apologies for the unusual way of getting it to you all. Hopefully normal service will resume next week!