2024 Spring News UPDATE!

2024 Spring News UPDATE

A summary of recent childcare news plus resources, updates and behind the scenes at Minding Kids!


Wow! Half-way through May already! A busy month for many as we think about the changing seasons, end-of-year school activities, and the exciting possibilities of summer just around the corner.

As the weather finally warms up, things are also heating up here at Minding Kids! We are making the final checks in preparation for unveiling the new platform and cannot wait to share it with you!

Hello and Welcome to all our new visitors, and a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all of our loyal members, customers and followers for your ongoing support!

If you are just starting out in the world of childcare or have years of experience, we hope that Minding Kids can offer something to help you on your journey.

In the News

Whooping Cough Cases on the Rise

There has been a recent surge in whooping cough cases in the UK, prompting calls for urgent action from the government. We must be alert for whooping cough (pertussis) in young children! Early symptoms mimic a cold (runny nose, mild cough), but worsen after 1-2 weeks with severe coughing fits, especially at night. Young children may not whoop, but watch for pauses in breathing or turning blue. Whooping cough can be serious and medical assistance should be sought straight away if suspected.

Be sure to check your illness policy and keep children who are unwell at home to prevent the spread of this serious illness.

Download our editable Illness Policy template from the Policies and Procedures Pack and free printable “Please KEEP your child at HOME if” Poster to remind parents of the importance of keeping their child at home when unwell.

 

Supporting Children’s Emotional Wellbeing

The Education Endowment Foundation has released new guidance on supporting children’s self-regulation skills. This free resource provides five key approaches to integrate into your practice, including creating challenges, teaching self-awareness, and promoting collaboration. You’ll also find specific strategies like summarising group goals and using hypothetical scenarios to help young children develop these important skills. This is a valuable tool to boost children’s emotional intelligence and overall development.

Find the guidance in the EEFs Early Years Evidence Store, an online library of evidence-informed guidance to support practitioners.

Spark emotional learning! Download our Feelings & Emotions Activity Pack for playful ways to explore emotions.

Feelings & Emotions Activity Pack

 

它Prioritising Healthy Food for Children

Parents are calling for politicians to prioritise healthy food options for children. A new manifesto outlines five key areas for change, including ensuring access to healthy and affordable food, protecting children from unhealthy marketing, and promoting clear food labelling.

Read more about the Our Children, Our Future parents manifesto here.

Nursery leaders in England have also urged the government to implement stricter and clearer food standards within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. Their goal is to combat childhood obesity and promote healthier eating habits in young children. The proposed changes include a more specific definition of “nutritious meals” and a review of the Eat Better Start Better program to encourage prioritising high-quality, healthy food options for children.

Find further details in this Nursery World article.

As childcare providers we must consider how we can support these goals and follow the latest nutritional guidance to promote healthy eating habits and foster positive relationships with food.

Our Healthy Eating Pack has a feast of ideas to help promote healthy choices, manage allergens and special dietary requirements, follow food safety guidance and involve children with fun healthy eating activities!

Healthy Eating Pack

 


For providers registered in Scotland (Care Inspectorate).

ELC Shared Framework Infographic

The Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland have released an infographic update on the development of the shared inspection framework for Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) services. This follows the November 2023 draft consultation, where they received valuable feedback from providers like you.

The infographic summarises the consultation responses and highlights areas where they are making revisions based on your input. While two-thirds of initial responses were positive about the draft framework, they acknowledge there’s still work to be done before the September 2024 launch.

View the infographic here and stay informed about the development of the shared inspection framework.

 

Pay Commitment for Funded ELC Providers

In March the Scottish Government and COSLA published guidance on funding for delivering the 瞿12 per hour pay commitment. In 2024-25, private, third sector and childminders delivering funded ELC will receive a minimum uplift of 7.6% to their 2023-24 rates. This is a positive step towards supporting both childcare workers and the delivery of high-quality ELC services. Be sure to review the guidance if you are an ELC provider or are considering offering funded placements in the future.

In order to deliver funded entitlement, providers are required to meet criteria as set out in The National Standard for Early Learning and Childcare Providers and successfully complete their local authoritys application process.

Download our FREE Approved ELC Provider Childminder Checklist to help you prepare and gather all the evidence you require to support your application.

ELC-Approved-Provider-Checklist

Raising Awareness of the SIMOA Campaign

The Care Inspectorate is again reminding everyone about the importance of keeping children safe. Their “Simoa” campaign (Safety, Inspect, Monitor, Observe, Act) offers resources and guidance to help you prevent incidents of children leaving your setting unsupervised. This includes reviewing physical environments, supervision practices, and fostering strong relationships with the children in your care.

Find resources and learn more about the SIMOA campaign in the Care Inspectorate Hub.

Download our FREE SAFEGUARDING / Child Protection Check Chart to ensure you always have important Safeguarding Information to hand

And use our Risk Assessments Pack to regularly evaluate the risks in and around your childcare setting.

Risk Assessments Pack

 


For providers registered in England (Ofsted).

㏕fsted – New Complaints Procedure

Ofsted’s new complaints procedure is now in effect. The revised process allows you to request a review of your inspection report, including the inspector’s conduct and judgements, when you receive the draft version. Additionally, you can escalate your complaint directly to the Independent Complaints Adjudication Service (ICASO) if you’re dissatisfied with Ofsted’s formal response.

Find more information and navigate the new process here.

 

賂Single-Word Judgements to Stay

The government has decided to maintain the current system of single-word inspection judgements (“outstanding,” “good,” “requires improvement,” or “inadequate”). This decision comes despite calls from teaching unions and childcare campaigners for a more nuanced evaluation system. The Department for Education (DfE) believes the current system offers significant benefits, while critics argue it doesn’t fully capture the complexities of a childcare setting.

Read more in this Nursery World article.

Strengthening Safeguarding Consultation

The Department for Education (DfE) is seeking your feedback on proposed changes to strengthen safeguarding rules within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. These revisions aim to ensure all children in your care are safe and well-protected. Some key areas under consideration include mandatory reference checks for all staff and stricter procedures for following up on children who experience prolonged absences. You can find more details and participate in the consultation on the DfE website. Submit your views by Monday 17th June to ensure they are considered.

Strengthen your child protection procedures with these Safeguarding Resources:

Safeguarding Pocket Cards Advert

 


For providers registered in Wales (Care Inspectorate Wales).

九arly Childhood Play, Learning and Care Plan

The Welsh Government has published the Early Childhood Play, Learning and Care (ECPLC) Plan, outlining a comprehensive approach to nurturing, learning, and development for young children aged 0-5. This plan focuses on three key themes: quality of provision, access to provision, and supporting the workforce. By prioritising these areas, the ECPLC aims to ensure all children in Wales have the opportunity to thrive in high-quality, inclusive, play-based childcare and education settings.

Read the Early Childhood Play, Learning and Care Plan here

New Health Protection Guidance

Public Health Wales has released new Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guidance for childcare, preschool and educational settings and a helpful audit tool. This update provides best practices for maintaining a healthy environment and preventing the spread of illness in your childcare setting. The accompanying audit tool can help you assess your current practices and ensure you’re following the latest recommendations. Prioritising hygiene and infection control is crucial for keeping children safe and healthy. Download the new resources and utilise the audit tool to keep your setting on top of best practices!

Download our Monthly Cleaning Schedule to stay on top of hygiene procedures.

Monthly Cleaning Schedule

 


Exciting News Brewing at Minding Kids!

且ehind the Scenes:

We’re thrilled to announce we’re almost ready to unveil the all-new Minding Kids platform! Remember that first launch? While it was a tough decision to hit pause, your valuable feedback helped us build an even stronger foundation. The new platform is shaping up to be a game-changer, and we can’t wait for you to experience it!

Be an App Insider!

Want early access? We’re seeking a select group of users to test the new platform and provide feedback. This helps us ensure a smooth transition for everyone and identify areas where additional support might be helpful (think tutorials and demo clips!). Interested? Get in touch! Briefly mention your experience of Minding Kids and why you’d like to be a tester.

Your Voice Matters!

Do our resources make your life easier? Is the app saving you time? We love hearing your feedback and suggestions for improvement. Whether it’s new resources, app features, or simply sharing your experience, let us know! Reach out via the website contact form or our Facebook page.

奎確ogether, we can make Minding Kids even better!

 


Since our Winter Newsletter we have added and updated the following resources

NEW Funded Care Provision Revised Fee Structure Letter template! – Provide parents with important information regarding Help with childcare costs and how funded care sessions are delivered in your setting

Revised Fees Notification Letters

FREE Ramadan Activity Ideas Sheet – A month of Fun, Food and Friendship! Explore the scents, sounds and symbols of Ramadan with this FREE Activity Ideas Sheet!

Ramadan Activity Ideas

NEW Setting Poster Pack – Welcome Families, Share Essential Information and Showcase your Learning Approach!

Setting Poster Pack ADVERT

NEW Sensory Support Sheets – Help children with sensory processing thrive with downloadable sheets offering practical strategies for sight, sound, touch, and more!

Sensory Support Sheets ADVERT

NEW Sensory Rainbows – Help kids explore their 8 senses, create a sensory-friendly space, and identify potential processing difficulties. This vibrant resource includes: Engaging posters, personalised learning tools, and a support strategy planner.

Sensory Rainbow ADVERT

FREE Rainy Day Activity Ideas Sheet – Dont let the pitter-patter get you down!Transform a rainy day into an unforgettable learning experience!

Rainy Day Activity Ideas

We have also helped you to:

㏎HARE and SHOUT about the OUTSTANDING service you provide!

Service Information & Marketing Pack_AD

Empower Healthy Habits in Your Childcare Setting!

World Health Day

Engage Children in Spring Cleaning Fun!

Spring Cleaning Fun!

Understand Why Record Keeping is Essential for YOUR Childcare Business

Record Keeping

PLUS shared:

FREE March MADness Learning Fun!

March Madness!

Water Play Inspiration

Water Play for World Water Day

Egg-cellent Easter Activities (and More Spring Fun!)

Easter Activity Ideas

幌ssential New Tax Year Tips for Childminders!

New Tax Year!

AND Inspired you to Go Green in Your Setting with FREE Activities for Earth Day!

Earth Day Inspiration!


Remember Minding Kids Members have unlimited access to all Minding Kids resources immediately as they are added or updated!

Find details of our Membership Packages here!


Coming Soon

0 to 3 Development Pathways (Wales) Resources

丕ND the NEW Minding Kids Experience!

Thank you to all for your continued support!

Cheryl & The Minding Kids Team! xxx

Avatar - Cheryl