Our seasonal news updates summarise the latest childcare news plus which MindingKids resources have been added or revised so you can easily keep on track and up to date.
So it is Spring…I think! After a scorching Easter my heating has been back on and I can never really decide on which coat I need. 🤔
Hello and Welcome to all our new visitors, and a BIG THANK YOU to those who have recently purchased resources or signed up for Gold or Platinum Membership. We hope MindingKids is helping with the amazing work that you do.
So what is in the childcare news?…
New Tax Year
We are now into the 2019/2020 Tax year. If you are a self-employed childminder there are some changes you should be aware of:
- Personal Allowance is increasing from £11850 to £12500. You must pay tax on any profits made over this threshold. The basic rate is 20% of profit over the threshold however this varies slightly if you live in Scotland.
- The Class 2 National Insurance threshold is increasing to £6365 and the flat rate is increasing from £2.95 per week to £3.00 per week.
- The Class 4 National Insurance threshold is increasing to £8632 and will remain at a rate of 9% over the threshold.
In addition to this, if you employ staff or assistants, the National Living Wage has also increased. You can check the new rates here or the Check Your Pay website contains lots of information for employees and employers.
It is now law that all employees receive a pay slip so that it is easier for employees and workers to check that the legal minimum is being paid.
Find a Pay Slip Template along with other helpful resources when employing staff or assistants in our Childminder Assistant Employment Pack.
Plus more resources to help you manage your childcare business accounts in the Accounts Pack.
NSPCC – Let Children Know You Are Listening campaign
Would you know how to react if a child disclosed to you that they had experienced abuse? Research indicates that many adults would lack confidence in this situation and would not know what to say or how to respond. Our initial reactions are so important so as to ensure a child feels that we are listening and taking them seriously. The NSPCC’s Let Children Know You Are Listening resource aims to help adults respond appropriately to children disclosing abuse.
Find out more information and Download the poster here.
A brilliant resource to display in your setting and to share with parents!
New Pre-School Online Safety Resource
Following on from our Online Safety section in our Winter Newsletter, a new educational resource aimed at children as young as four has been developed by the National Crime Agency. In the form of a three-episode animation named Jessie & Friends, the new resource aims to help raise children’s awareness of the risks and dangers they may come across online.
You can read more about the new resource in this Nursery World article
And you can access the Jessie & Friends educational resource on the NCA’s Thinkuknow website.
In the North (Care Inspectorate)….
Makeover for The Hub
If you have not yet had the chance, it is well worth taking a look at the Care Inspectorate’s Hub website. The improvement website has been redesigned making it far easier to find resources and guidance relevant to each care sector. There is also a new My Library feature which allows you to save relevant documents to an online library so as you can refer back to them easily or create a set of resources relevant to your setting. If you employ staff or assistants this could be very useful as part of their induction.
Find the new and improved Hub here.
Early Learning and Childcare Review
In March the Care Inspectorate published their review of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) from 2014 to 2017. The key findings of the report confirm that whilst the number of Early Learning and Childcare settings has fallen across Scotland, the number of childcare places available has risen. Additional spaces are being offered in school-aged childcare settings and nurseries whilst the total number of registered childminders continues to fall.
The report also highlights that the quality of childcare is improving across Scotland and recognises childminders as continuing to perform well with 91.8% receiving an evaluation of good or above in 2016.
You can read the full report here
And the SCMA’s response here.
Childminders remain a more affordable option for high-quality childcare
Following on from the findings of the Early Learning and Childcare Review that Childminders are performing exceptionally well in their evaluations, a report by Coram Family and Childcare has found that childminders are also the most affordable option for families in Scotland. The ‘Childcare Survey 2019’ report compares the cost of nursery provision against childminder provision and reveals that childminders remain the most affordable option for high-quality childcare.
Read more in this SCMA article here
And find the full Childcare Survey 2019 report here.
Something to shout about I think! Childminders should be recognised for their consistent delivery of high quality care!
The Care Inspectorate also launched their new Food Matters resource in March as part of their commitment to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up. Intended to be used alongside NHS Health Scotland’s Setting the Table nutritional guidance, the new Food Matters document features lots of good practice examples of how to support children and families to develop a positive relationship with healthy eating.
Find Food Matters here.
We have also added this useful resource to our recently updated Free Scottish Childminder Legislation & Guidance list
For more ways to promote Healthy Eating in your setting or for resources to help with managing allergens or intolerances, please refer to our Healthy Eating Pack.
Out to Play
New guidance to assist and inspire childcare professionals in accessing more outdoor play experiences for children has been released. Developed in partnership with the Scottish Government, The Care Inspectorate and Inspiring Scotland, Out to Play takes into account Scotland’s new Health and Social Care Standards and aims to assist providers in enhancing outdoor experiences for children. The guide offers practical advice on how to access local outdoor spaces including land or forest areas owned by local authorities, private landowners or national bodies (such as the Forestry Commission and Scottish Natural Heritage).
Find the Out to Play guidance here.
In the South (Ofsted)….
Revised Ofsted Inspection Framework – Consultation Ended
The Ofsted consultation on the Education Inspection Framework and Early Years Inspection handbooks closed on 5th April. Many Early Years organisations responded with one of the main concerns being that there are significant differences in the way that the EYFS is referenced in the draft Early Years and Schools Inspection Handbooks. The school handbook refers to the EYFS as a phase rather than a curriculum which many organisations fear would create a two-tier early years system with different requirements based on the type of setting.
There is also concern that the proposed changes would see the curriculum narrowed for early years children with too much emphasis being placed on maths and reading rather than focusing learning opportunities around the needs and interests of each individual child. The Association for Professional Development of Early Years, (TACTYC) responded that there is ‘a worrying lack of understanding of how young children learn, as explained in the Characteristics of Effective Learning.’ We will need to wait and see what happens next.
Find the Draft Early Years Inspection Handbook here
Read more about responses to the consultation in this Nursey World article
Or find Pacey’s summary of the proposed changes here
Action Week for fairer funding
A week of action has been announced by the Early Years Alliance as part of their Fair Future Funding campaign. Providers are being asked to sign up for the Action Week starting on 10th June, in which they will engage with their MP’s about the Early Years funding crisis. It is hoped that in the build up to this year’s Spending Review, increased interest and pressure from MPs will ensure that the Chancellor is forced to listen and review funding rates.
Read more about the Action Week here
And sign up to take part here.
Parents can also sign up as Fair Future Funding parent supporter’s here so be sure to pass this link on to all of your parents and families…
Health Protection Guidance Updated
The Public Health England guidance Health protection in schools and other childcare facilities has been updated to include new guidelines on Rubella (German Measles). The exclusion period is 5 days from the onset of rash and settings are being asked to promote the MMR vaccine for all pupils and staff.
Find the updated guidance here
Read about the signs, symptoms and risks associated with Rubella on the NHS website here.
Public Health England is also encouraging parents to be aware of the symptoms of Scarlet Fever which can be prevalent during the months of spring. Scarlet Fever is a contagious bacterial illness which usually starts with flu-like symptoms followed by a characteristic rosy rash.
‘Safeguarding Partnerships’ to replace Local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs)
From June 2019 local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) are changing their names to Safeguarding Partnerships. If you have not done so already, you will need to check and update your Safeguarding / Child Protection policies to reflect the name of your local Safeguarding Partnership. You should also double check any contact information or website links within your policies and service information to ensure everything is up to date.
For a template Child Protection / Safeguarding policy please refer to our Policies & Procedures Pack. (Includes section on FGM, Prevent Duty and Peer On Peer Abuse)
New Small Talk Website
A new website to assist parents in supporting language development skills of under fives has been launched by The National Literacy Trust. The pilot project aims to assist and encourage parents to chat, play and read with their child as much as possible. The website features videos, advice and information to help and inspire parents on how they can best support their child and help build on language skills. Broken down into age categories the website is an excellent reference tool for childcare providers too.
Small Talk events will also take place in shopping centres and other family spaces as part of a wider National Literacy Trust initiative to demonstrate fun, interactive activities.
And at MindingKids…
The New Website is Looking Smart
We were delighted to announce the launch of our new and improved website in February. We hope that you are enjoying the brighter design and improved navigation. To find resources you can now type what you are looking for into the main search bar on the home page, click on the resource category icons, or browse through the shop pages using the filter options if desired.
We have also introduced some quick links pages with direct buttons to our Scottish / GIRFEC, English / EYFS and Value Packs of resources. In addition, there is now a page dedicated to assisting New Childminders or those who are looking to start-up PLUS a fantastic HOT TOPICS section which will be gradually added to over time featuring various childcare subjects and linking to further resources and guidance.
Working alongside our amazing team of developers we hope to continue to add to the website and make further improvements over time. If you have any feedback or suggestions for future developments, please let us know.
Our Request List is BURSTING at the seams!
We have been absolutely overwhelmed recently with positive feedback regarding our resources and how they have helped so many of you achieve brilliant results in recent inspections. This is brilliant to hear. Since the launch of the new site we have also seen an increase in engagement from our customers with requests and suggestions for new packs and resources flooding in. We add each and every one of these requests to our to do list and try our best to work through them all. Lately we have received a lot of queries for further assistance with Next Steps and linking these to activities. We are on it! We are working on a full set of next step example notes for each and every Early Years Outcome…which is taking a while 🙈 but we promise will be well worth the wait!
We also have at the top of our to do list…more resources to assist Welsh providers, a Funded Criteria check-list for Scottish providers and Growth Mindset resources.
Keep a look out for all of these coming soon!
Future Focus on the APP!
Now that the new website is up and running smoothly, we intend to focus time with our developers on the MindingKids App. We still have plans to introduce a function to assist with managing expenses and accounts and have received requests for further features which are being considered. We also hope to boost promotion of the app through improved advertisement and demonstrations. As always we will announce any updates on the News page.
If you are a current user of the MindingKids App and wish to pass on any feedback or suggestions for improvement, please feel free to contact us.
OR if you had a trial a little while ago but fancy another go…contact us and we can grant you with a 2nd trial absolutely FREE!
Since our Winter News Update the following resources have been added, updated or improved…
Updates / Amendments
Our FREE DOCUMENT AND LEGISLATION CHECKLISTS have been reviewed and refreshed to help you ensure you have EVERYTHING ORGANISED ready for REGISTRATION or INSPECTION.
USE THEM TO REGULARLY REVIEW AND UPDATE YOUR EXISTING PAPERWORK TO ENSURE YOU CAN CONTINUE TO DELIVER AN OUTSTANDING SERVICE!
AND Coming Soon…
👣Next Step Example Notes!👣
Never struggle on planning for next steps again!
Thank you to all for your continued support! Keep a look out for more MindingKids News soon!