Report from West Midlands Open Meeting 17th September

A brief report from the West Midlands Open Meeting can be downloaded here. A copy of the slides used by West Midlands Regional Director can be downloaded here. Next Steering Group Meeting 21st October 2016 at The Axis Birmingham 10.30am ...
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Petition by Top Day Nurseries – Join us to stop the underfunding of our nurseries

Childcare providers across the UK have been left in an unsustainable position as recent rates for 3 and 4 year old funding were announced just days before the new financial year. In the majority of cases the rates announced, which already did not cover the cost of funded places, have not been increased and in some cases have even decreased, leaving nurseries struggling to provide quality childcare for their children. This comes after the introduction of the National Living Wage, minimum wage increases as well increases in business rates and pensions, meaning nurseries are having to pay more while receiving less support. We need your help to have our voice heard; join us at Tops Day Nurseries in our petition to ask the Government to pass more funding to the local authorities, who can in turn increase the amount of funding nurseries receive for their funded positions. Nurseries are closing because of the underfunding of the “free” nursery hours; we can’t allow this to happen and have the future of our children placed at risk. Sign here ...
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Champagne Nurseries – Lemonade Funding

<a href="https://youtu.be/0Zm-mYA6XpQ">Watch on YouTube</a> ...
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Deadline 29th April 2016!!! – Delivering 30 hours of free childcare – call for expressions of interest (EOI) from local authorities

Just in case anyone missed this - a very rushed EOI from Education Funding Agency for LAs to bid for funds to support providers in developing 30 hour capacity - ludicrous timescales! LAs need to put forward ideas based on initial disucssions with providers, if EOI is missed LAs can't bid for the funds in the full application round Read more ...
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Ofsted to directly manage early years inspections

Hello OBC’s, We are delighted with the news that Ofsted is bringing early years inspections back in-house.  This is great news for the sector, children and parents. It was the inspections by Tribal and Prospects since 2010 that created a need for Ofsted Big Conversation. The history is well known! Inspections of early years provision, both in schools and standalone, have been contracted out to Tribal and Prospects since 2010, but Ofsted has confirmed their contracts will not be renewed from April next year. Instead, visits to early years providers will be managed directly by Ofsted, by directly employed inspectors. Ofsted will be responsible for their training and have complete oversight over the quality of inspections. We want to congratulate Ofsted on their decision and for their willingness to work with the sector to create a fairer inspection system. Catriona Nason Press release Ofsted to directly manage early years inspections From: Ofsted First published: 1 March 2016 Part of: Childcare and early education Ofsted will have full control over the selection, training and management of early years inspectors from April 2017. Ofsted’s early years inspections and regulatory work will be managed directly from April 2017, when the current contracts end. At present 2 companies, Tribal and Prospects, undertake early years inspections on Ofsted’s behalf. These contracts run until 31 March 2017. Bringing early years inspection under direct management means that Ofsted will have full control over the selection, training and management of inspectors, and complete oversight of the quality of inspection. Nick Jackson, Ofsted Director of Corporate Services, said: Since 2010, our two early years inspection service providers have successfully delivered inspection work for Ofsted. As these contracts come to an end this is the right time to consider carefully what our next steps should be. We have decided that early years inspection should be brought in line with schools and further education and skills, with Ofsted directly managing all inspections. With our experience of bringing schools and further education inspections under our control, we are confident that we can manage this transition smoothly. Ofsted’s early years inspections and regulatory work will be managed directly from April 2017, when the current contracts end. At present 2 companies, Tribal and Prospects, undertake early years inspections on Ofsted’s behalf. These contracts run until 31 March 2017. Bringing early years inspection under direct management means that Ofsted will have full control over the selection, training and management ...
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Minutes of West Midlands Steering Meeting (04/02/16)

Minutes of the Meeting 4th February 2016 The West Midlands Regional Group consists of the following 14 regions. Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Telford & Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire. If you have something you would like your local representative to bring to the OBC table then please contact them via their email as shown in this list.  Contact Representatives for each area ...
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Nick Hudson – Regional Director, North East, Yorkshire and Humber

Sadly Nick Hudson stepped down as director of early education from 1st September. Thankfully he will remain in his post as regional director, North East, Yorkshire and Humber. As we know there are major changes to the way Ofsted inspects under the new common inspection framework. Early years is being aligned with the inspection frameworks of schools and further education. Hence one senior director – a national director for education. The overall responsibility for early education inspection policy will be led by Sean Harford as national director for education, supported by Gill Jones, deputy director, early education. Losing Nick Hudson as director of early education is a retrogressive step. The move to a single directorate with early years included within education is anticipated to dilute the priority that has been placed on our sector – particularly at a time when the Government views pre-school education as a priority for reform and expansion. Nick Hudson was the catalyst for change, opening up the lines of communication between the early years sector and Ofsted, particularly through Ofsted Big Conversation, founded by Dr June O’Sullivan MBE and Catriona Nason NEyTCO CEO, in response to the rise in complaints-driven inspections. The work of #OBC, (each one of you) has led to reforming the way complaints are dealt with and a number of other important changes, however the work goes on... The recent Ofsted Big Conversation - Regional Meeting – North West attracted 600 attendees!  Let’s keep that momentum going! Mr Hudson listened, understood the issues facing the sector and he took action.  A sad loss indeed! Catriona Nason Biography Nick was appointed Director, Early Years in April 2014. Prior to this his roles included: National Director, Early Education, Ofsted, January 2014 Corporate Director, Children’s and Adults’ Services, Wigan Council Service Director, Learning, Development and Localities, Oldham Council Service Director, Children, Young People and Families, Oldham Council Director, Excellence in Cities, Oldham Council, 2001 Nick has also held positions with Blackburn and Darwen LEA and was a teacher at schools in London, Newcastle and Rochdale. He has also been Regional Director, North East, Yorkshire and Humber since January 2014 ...
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Childcare funding review

Responding to the DfE funding review call for evidence - a Pre-school Learning Alliance guide for practitioners The government is currently undertaking a review of the costs of providing childcare and early education in England. As part of this review, the Department for Education has launched a call for evidence aimed at early years providers, asking for information on the cost of providing childcare.The call for evidence, which closes at 5pm on Monday 10 August, can be accessed here. The Alliance has produced two alternative guides to support early years practitioners in responding to the call for evidence. 1) Calculating the hourly cost of delivery The first - ‘Guide to calculating the cost of delivering childcare’ - provides information on how to calculate the hourly cost of delivering childcare. If you are able to do so, and then compare this figure to the hourly rate of funding you receive from your local authority, this would be very useful information to provide. It is important that if you are doing so, you are confident that you will have included all your costs, otherwise you might underestimate your hourly delivery costs. 2) Identifying the various costs of childcare delivery The second - ‘Guide to identifying delivery costs’ - is a simplified version of the first guidance which supports you in identifying your childcare delivery costs, without calculating the exact hourly cost of delivery. This may be preferable if you do not feel confident that you will be able to identify all your costs, or if you are pressed for time. Click here to download the comprehensive ‘Guide to calculating the cost of delivering childcare’ Click here to download the simpler ‘Guide to identifying delivery costs’ NB: Both guides are intended to support all providers. However, there may be some sections which only apply to some types of provision (for example, day nurseries), and not others (such as childminders). You only need to fill out the sections applicable to your provision. Please include any costs not highlighted in the main sections of the guide in ‘Other additional costs’ at the end of the guide. If you have any questions, please email feedback@pre-school.org.uk ...
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Ofsted extends third-party early years inspection contracts

Ofsted will continue to outsource the vast majority of its early years inspection work despite opposition from providers, it has emerged. Ofsted has announced it will extend third-party contracts for early years inspections. Picture: David McCullough Ofsted's annual report for 2014/15, published yesterday, reveals that existing contracts with third-party providers Tribal Group, Prospects Services and Serco Education, have been extended by a period of 18 months. “We have extended our current contracts with our early years inspection service providers to March 2017," the document states. The announcement comes despite early years providers calling for the contracts, which were due to expire in September 2015, to be brought back in-house. Providers have previously raised concerns about the consistency and quality of inspections carried out by third-party providers, which account for more than 90 per cent of Ofsted’s early years inspections. - See more at cypnou.co.uk ...
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Free webinar with Laura Henry, UK-based award-winning Early Childhood trainer and consultant, will focus on what ECE program quality means.

ECE Program Quality: Your Leadership Role in Pushing the Boundaries Presented by: Laura Henry Date: June 10, 2015 Time: 2:00 Eastern Time Cost: FREE Early Childhood programs face so many challenges, it can be difficult for you, as the leader, to define, maintain and enhance quality. Unpacking what quality looks and feels like within an Early Childhood setting should be central to day-to-day practice. In this session, Laura Henry, UK-based award-winning Early Childhood trainer and consultant, will focus on what quality means, and how quality impacts children, parents and educators. She will help you explore the issues and determine what your program’s values state about quality. Laura will help you evaluate your program’s systems for communicating, implementing and measuring quality programs. Learn more... Register here... You can’t participate in our webinars at the appointed time? Never fear! All of the webinars are recorded. To view the recordings, simply register now and you will receive an email with a link to the recording when it is ready to be viewed. You can still download the certificate by watching the recording to the end when the certificate link is announced and displayed on the screen. *Please be advised that you will only be eligible for the great door prizes if you participate in the live session ...
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