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.
The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and the heating is on! Autumn is well and truly here! WELCOME to all our new visitors, and a huge THANK YOU to those who have recently purchased resources or signed up for Membership. We hope MindingKids is continuing to help with the hard work that you do.
So what’s in the childcare news?…
HMRC Going Digital – New Requirements for the self-employed
To ensure that businesses have enough time to adapt to the changes, the government has amended the dates for the new Making Tax Digital scheme. The new scheme will require the majority of self-employed people to submit their income and expenses three times per year, rather than the current annual self-assessment. The revised date for the introduction of the scheme is now April 2019 for those below the VAT threshold. Those with a turnover (Net income before the deduction of expenses) less that £10, 000 are exempt. Further details about the changes can be found on the government website.
RSPB Bird Watch
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is encouraging childminders and nurseries to take part in the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch. As the biggest school’s wildlife survey in the UK, the birdwatch aims to increase children’s interest in nature whilst also collecting valuable information from all corners of the UK about the many species of birds we have here. The birdwatch takes place in January and February and all UK schools, nurseries and childcare providers can register for free. All participants will receive access to online activities and resources plus a personalised certificate, wildlife poster and Twirlywoos stickers when they submit their survey results. You can find further information and register your setting to take part here.
In the North (Care Inspectorate)….
Your Childminding Journey & My Childminding Experience
Two new resources have been launched to help prospective and practicing childminders:
Your Childminding Journey is an online resource which aims to support the learning and development of childminders in order to provide high quality care services that will promote positive outcomes for children and families. The resource compliments the new Complete Childminding Learning Pathway qualification which will enable all childminders to gain an SQA accredited work place award.
My Childminding Experience is an excellent tool for promoting childminding as a creditable childcare solution. It explores and shares good practice examples of how children across Scotland are experiencing positive outcomes in a childminding setting.
The Care Inspectorate, Scottish Childminding Association, Scottish Social Services Council, Education Scotland and the Care and Learning Alliance have worked alongside local authorities and childminders in the development of the resources as part of the Scottish Government’s plan to make Scotland the best place for children to grow up.
You can find further details about these new resources on the Care Inspectorate website.
New Health & Social Care Standards
If you have not received yours already, it will be on it’s way! The Scottish Government is sending out copies of the new Health & Social Care Standards to all childminders in Scotland. Published in June, the new standards will be implemented from April 2018 so it is extremely important that we make ourselves familiar with them and make changes where required.
We are currently working through our resource collection to identify any updates that will be required before April and will keep you informed of any changes on our news page.
You can read more about and download the New Health & Social Care Standards here.
New Early Years Food Resource
The Care Inspectorate is working alongside the Scottish Government and NHS Health Boards in order to create a new resource that will encourage and support healthy eating in early learning and childcare settings. They are inviting childminders to get in touch with their stories and share examples of how they provide healthy eating experiences and are particularly interested in ways in which we promote the use of Setting the Table and demonstrate an aspect of the SHANARRI wellbeing indicators. Think about how you help children to learn about food and healthy eating. Do you use messy play to explore food with children, grow your own vegetables or involve them in the planning and preparation of meals and snacks?
Find more information about the development of this resource and how to get involved here.
Continued Plea To Involve Childminders In ELC Expansion
The Care Inspectorate published their Early Learning and Childcare Report in September which confirms that “children across Scotland are benefiting from an expansion of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) places”, however, it also highlights that more could be done to deliver funded ELC places to younger children. The latest report published by the SCMA on the Current State of Childminding Services in Scotland to Deliver Funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) shows that many local authorities are still not commissioning childminders to deliver the funded entitlement or even offering them as an option to parents. The Care Inspectorate is backing the SCMA’s plea and has called for more local authorities to work in partnership with childminders.
You can read the Care Inspectorate’s Early Learning & Childcare Report here.
And read more about what the SCMA are doing to support childminders here.
In the South (Ofsted)…
Consultation On Local And National Safeguarding
A new consultation is currently underway to consider changes to the statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ and the new regulations required to bring them into line with the Children and Social Work Act 2017. The new arrangements for local safeguarding became law in April and involve three safeguarding ‘partners’ (local authorities, chief officers of police, and clinical commissioning groups). The consultation will look in detail as to how this multi-agency approach will work locally. You can read more about the consultation in this Nursery World article.
30 hours Childcare – Is it working?
According to the latest 30 hours statistics, more than 195 thousand eligibility codes have been validated by local authorities during the autumn term. Although these statistics look positive, many childcare providers are still reluctant to offer the funded hours and fear the sustainability of their business. A survey carried out by PACEY revealed that the majority of childminders offering the 30 hours are doing so ‘reluctantly’ and ‘under duress’. There is continued concern that current funding rates will not cover the cost of delivering a 30 hours place, however many fear the loss of business if they do not offer the entitlement. PACEY’s policy and research manager, Susanna Kalitowski commented that the findings of the survey were ‘more positive than we expected’ and that ‘childminders are doing what they can to make it work’. A recent survey by the Pre-school Learning Alliance indicates that more than half of those delivering the 30 hours have introduced or increased charges for additional goods and services in an attempt to make up the shortfall in income.
You can follow and keep up to date with the latest news on the 30 hours funded childcare on the Nursery World website here.
DBS Check Update Service
Some changes have been made to the way Ofsted manages the DBS update service for childminders and have announced that although they still ‘strongly recommend it’, childminders no longer need to pay for the annual update service on their own DBS, their staff’s or any family member’s. Step 4 of the DBS page has been updated with this new information. This change only affects new sign ups to the DBS service, everything else remains the same.
Childminder Ratio Rules
Ofsted and the Department For Education have confirmed some changes to ratio rules:
- Childminders may count a child as 5 for their ratios as soon as they start school. 4 and 5 year olds who attend a childminder before and/or after a normal school day and/or during school holidays, may therefore be cared for at the same time as three other young children.
- Where a childminder is providing wrap around care (before / after school or during school holidays) for 3 and 4 year olds who take their 30 hours funded place at a maintained school, academy school or independent school, then an additional child may also be cared for.
In all circumstances, childminders must be able to demonstrate that the individual needs of all children are being met and the total number of children being cared for at any one time must never exceed six.
New SEND Resources
Do you care for children with additional support needs? The National Association of Special Educational Needs (NASEN) now have a range of Early Years SEND resources available on their website.
You can also find a useful list of SEND resources and links on the Foundation Years website here.
New Public Health Guidance
Public Health England have released some new guidance on infectious diseases: Health protection in schools and other childcare facilities. The guidance provides advice on preventing the spread of infections, vaccinations, how to manage infectious diseases, cleaning and hygiene and the recommended absence period for children.
Children’s Food Trust programmes to continue
Following news in July that the Children’s Food Trust was due to close, the charity and trade union have announced that the Eat Better, Start Better programme is to continue and will be led by Action For Children who has also become guardian of the ‘Voluntary Food and Drink Guidelines for Early Years Settings in England’. The updated resources will be available soon from the Foundations Years website but for now, the current versions can still be accessed via the Children’s Food Trust website.
And behind the scenes at MindingKids…
Positive Feedback from Web App users
Following the enhancement of the Web App’s observation recording capabilities and the introduction of Observation Outcome reports, we are thrilled to welcome many more Platinum Members. We are continuing to receive positive feedback about the app and are always delighted to hear our members’ stories of how they are enjoying using it.
“The daily activity reports have been a hit with parents.”
“I save so much time now, It is much easier for me to input data on my phone during the day rather than trying to do it after the children have left.”
Improved Access For MindingKids Members
We are delighted to have now made some improvements to the website to make downloading resources a much smoother process for our members. In addition to the existing list of resource links that can be accessed via the Downloads tab of the Account page, members can also download from each product description page.
Requests and Upcoming Resources
Our request list is bursting at the seams which is great news as there is never a lack of ideas for new helpful resources. We keep a list of any ideas we receive and work through them around our planned resources and updates. Recent requests include a next steps display, posters pack and learning to tell the time resources. If there is anything you would like us to create, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Since our Summer News Update the following resources have been added, updated or improved…
Remember MindingKids Members have unlimited access to all MindingKids resources immediately as they are added or updated! Click here for further details!
Updates / Amendments
Childminder Assistant Employment Pack, updated to include:
- Staff Disciplinary Procedure
- Staff Sickness Policy
- Staff Profile Form
Record Of Work / Time Sheet also updated.
AND Coming Soon…
The 2018 MindingKids Multicultural Calendar!
With an exciting new design, the MindingKids 2018 Multicultural Calendar is almost ready! Perfect for displaying in your setting and for helping children learn about different festivals and cultures from all over the world, the calendar is bursting with even more special dates and festivals this year! Keep a look out for the launch of the new calendar very soon!
Remember all of our resources can be purchased separately or become a MindingKids member for UNLIMITED ACCESS to EVERYTHING!
Thank you to all for your continued support! Keep a look out for more MindingKids News soon!
Many thanks! Cheryl & The MindingKids Team! xxx