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What's New

For the latest news from Hertfordshire County Council's Childhood Support Services visit:


Evaluate the effectiveness of your early years provision - new Herts for Learning Early Years Team service launching in September 2016

Help your school or setting to effectively evaluate their practice and provision to inform continuous improvement. Highly experienced early years advisers from Herts for Learning will undertake a comprehensive evaluation on all areas of practice including:

  • self-evaluation
  • planning systems
  • assessment processes
  • staff interactions with children
  • quality of teaching
  • quality of leadership

Download the booklet from the Herts for Learning website:

For further information about this service email:

Early Years Handbook for Inspections 2015

Guidance for inspecting early years providers under the common inspection framework from September 2015.

Inspecting Early Years Providers: Framework

This document is an overview of Ofsted's regulation and inspection of early years providers.

Childcare Sufficiency Report April 2015

Hertfordshire County Council is required to report annually to elected council members on how it is meeting its duty under the Childcare Act 2006 and to make this report available and accessible for parents and other stakeholders in the early years sector . This document summarises the key priorities for Hertfordshire, an overview of the local childcare market and the demand for childcare in Hertfordshire. Please follow this link to the new report:

Integrated health and early years reviews for 2 to 2½ yr olds to be rolled out next year

From September 2015, health and early years practitioners will work side by side to improve outcomes for young children. Integrated reviews will mean bringing together the healthy child programme review at 2 to 2-and-a-half and the early years progress check at age 2 years.

EYFSP attainment by pupil characteristics: 2013 to 2014

This statistical first release provides academic year 2013 to 2014 information on attainment for the early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) by pupil characteristics, specifically gender, ethnicity, eligibility for free school meals, special educational needs, English as a first language and month of birth at national and local authority level.

New funding will help most disadvantaged 3- and 4-year-olds

The early years pupil premium is worth up to 300 per child. Schools, nurseries and childminders will be given up to 300 for every 3- and 4-year-old from a low-income family to help prevent them falling behind before they have even started school.

Ofsted: Getting Them Reading Early

This publication focuses on early reading, including systematic phonics, literacy and inspection methodology. It is an online distance learning training module for inspectors and has been written to support the inspection of literacy in schools. The publication will be of interest to teachers, and providers of initial and in-service teacher education, as well as inspectors.

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile: Handbook (Oct 2014)

This DfE handbook supports practitioners in making accurate judgements about each child's attainment.


Early Learning and Childcare:Guidance for Providers (Sept 2014)

Information on running early years settings and Sure Start centres, including guidance on the EYFS, on SEN and on staff training.


Early Years Foundation Stage: Assessment and Reporting Arrangements (ARA)

Statutory guidance for headteachers and local authority assessment co-ordinators assessing and reporting the early years foundation stage (EYFS) during the 2014 to 2015 academic year..


SEND: Guide for Early Years Settings

A guide for early years settings on the support system for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.


Early Years Foundation Stage Profile: Handbook 2014

This handbook has been developed to support practitioners in making accurate judgements about each child's attainment.


Early Years Foundation Stage Framework Updated

A revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory framework comes into force on 1 September 2014. The framework sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. This framework will replace the existing 2012 framework on 1 September 2014 and is available to view.


Free factsheets for parents with children under five years of age

The Institute of Health Visiting, together with Hertfordshire University, has just launched a new series of free factsheets for parents with children under five years of age. These have been developed and tested with parents and are available from the links below.

For parents:

·         nutrition
·         breastfeeding
·         bonding and behaviour
·         child safety
·         common illnesses and conditions e.g. colic and crying, eczema, scarlet fever
·         immunisations
·         sleep and safer sleep
·         fathers
·         childhood conditions that need specialist support e.g. deafness and hearing difficulties, nystagmus

Fact sheets for professionals:

A series of specialist fact sheets for professionals is also available for each of these themes:

·         homeless families
·         prisoners’ families
·         gypsy and traveller families
·         Sikh families
·         Chinese families
·         bereaved families
·         families living with a child with special needs
·         families living with a child with autism
·         working with domestic violence

A resource on working with minority groups is also available.

Health visitors are an important public health service. They focus on prevention and on giving children and families vital help and support in the early years of a child’s life. Every family with a child under five has a named health visitor, who works to promote the health of the whole family including advising on all aspects of children’s growth and development; sleep, healthy eating, immunisation, parental wellbeing and adjusting to becoming parents. The County Council expects to have responsibility for commissioning Health Visitors transferred to it from NHS England in 2015.
The new resources cover key priority health themes for parents and professionals, with a series of fact sheets available for each of these themes.