News for Early Years Providers
An update on the new Energy Bill Relief Scheme from the Department for Education

As announced this morning, all early years settings, schools and colleges will benefit from a new government Energy Bill Relief Scheme, providing a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers. This support will be equivalent to the Energy Price Guarantee put in place for households. Equivalent support will also be provided for non-domestic consumers who use heating oil or alternative fuels instead of gas. Further detail on this will be announced shortly.
The scheme will run for all businesses and non-domestic customers, including public sector organisations, and apply to energy usage from Saturday 1 October 2022 to Friday 31 March 2023.
The Energy Bill Relief Scheme will set a Support Wholesale Price for the wholesale cost of energy, limiting the amount customers can be charged for gas and electricity. This is expected to be £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas, less than half the wholesale prices anticipated this winter. The level of price reduction for each customer will vary depending on their contract type and circumstances.
As with the Energy Price Guarantee for households, customers do not need to take action or apply to the scheme to access the support. Support (in the form of a p/kWh discount) will automatically be applied to bills. The savings will be first seen in October bills, which are typically received in November.
After three months, there will be a review into the operation of the scheme, to inform decisions on further support after March 2023. This will focus on identifying the most vulnerable non-domestic customers and how the government will continue assisting them with energy costs.
Further details of the support and how it will benefit customers can be found in the press notice and GOV.UK explainer.
We continue to work with colleagues across government to ensure that all elements of the childcare market are supported. We will share specific details around these arrangements shortly.

As pandemic restrictions have been lifted, there is greater desire from DfE staff to visit providers in the early years sector. Their staff would like to learn more about what it’s like ‘on the ground’ in different settings, and hear direct from early years educators of their experiences, to help inform DfE’s delivery and policymaking. They hope these visits will also provide the sector the opportunity to speak directly to the DfE.

The DfE are asking for help in the initial stages of implementing the DfE Immersion Programme. In order to get the most out of this opportunity, both for the sector and DfE staff, they're hoping some providers in the area would be happy to host DfE staff for these visits. They are looking to engage with settings that are:

• Rated by Ofsted as Good/Outstanding
• Not actively under an LA intervention
• Preferably not a national chain
• From a range of setting types, e.g. MNS, preschool, packaway etc.
• Either rural or urban (but it is likely visits will take place at urban settings due to the location of DfE offices).

This will enable the DfE staff to arrange visits independently, and agree directly with the provider the details of the visit, e.g. length, timings, content etc. based on what activities the setting is happy to offer, and what policy area the DfE staff member is involved in.

The DfE understand that settings may have questions about these visits, and they’d like to stress that this is not about DfE inspecting or checking-up on providers, but rather an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences.
If you would like to take part in the DfE Immersion Programme, please could you e-mail FISH with an expression of interest Friday 22nd September.

Invitation for providers to Stronger Practice Hubs webinars – 17 August & 9 September

The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) is delighted to invite colleagues from Early Years Settings to attend a webinar about the Early Years Stronger Practice Hubs programme on either:

• Wednesday 17th August 2022, 3.00pm – 4.30pm

Click here to book your place

• Friday 9th September 2022, 10.00am – 11.30am

Click here to book your place

The content will be the same at each event, and you only need to attend one webinar.

Along with NCB, the webinars will also be attended by the Department of Education and the Education Endowment Foundation, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

The webinars are designed to support settings with their applications and are aimed at those involved in the application at senior level, including setting owners, setting managers, Early Years teachers, EYFS leads, Heads of Early Years as well as Headteachers and Governors.

Webinars will be held on Microsoft Teams. A maximum of 2 places should be booked per setting and are available on a first come, first served basis, to attendees in England only.

The webinars will be recorded and the recording will be available on the Foundation Years website shortly after the session.

Information on the Stronger Practice Hubs programme

The Stronger Practice Hubs Programme launches in November 2022 and is part of the Department for Education’s Early Years Education COVID-19 Recovery Package.

The programme aims to support settings to address the impact of the pandemic on young children, by sharing effective practice and building lasting local networks.

The application process for Stronger Practice Hubs opens on 15th August 2022 (details will be shared via Foundation Years and on NCB’s website).

Applications to become a Stronger Practice Hub are welcome from individual settings or a partnership of up to 5 settings. Childminders can be part of a partnership application but cannot apply to lead a hub.

More information regarding the role of Stronger Practice Hubs and the eligibility criteria can be found HERE.

We look forward to working with the sector to deliver this transformative programme

Hempsall's Conference

Hempsall's are delighted to tell you booking for their FREE online conference has gone live today!

EYFS Reform: One year on, lessons learned and future directions.
Thursday 6th October 2022 9.30-12.30
What have we learned?
How do we consolidate and embed effective and impactful practice?
Impact on practice and provision
Where do we go next? From there to here and beyond, EYFS and shaping a new future
Julian Grenier (Headteacher Sheringham Nursery School & Children's Centre, Director East London Research School)
Jan Dubiel (ECEC adviser, consultant, trainer, writer & thinker)
Gill Jones (Ofsted)
Alison Hughes (Primary Director, Inspiration Trust MAT)
Louisa Archer Hill, Lorna Davies (Warrington Council)
DfE (invited)
Who is the conference for?
LA EY and childcare teams
Early years and childcare providers of all types
Stakeholder, partner and membership organisations
Book your FREE place now:

Water Safety during the heatwave

As the heatwave continues, many people are heading to the East Riding coast, ponds and waterways to keep cool. The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is urging people to ensure enjoying the water is fun and not fatal. Please help keep children and young people safe by circulating the advice and links on water safety to practitioners and families across the East Riding Summer Water Safety.
Open Water Safety
Parents and Carers advise for Water Safety

Early Years Funding Formulae

On July 4th 2022 the Department for Education (DfE) launched a government consultation seeking views on proposed updates to the early years funding formulae and maintained nursery school supplementary funding. Consultation closes on 16 Sept. 
Read More

Progress check at age 2

Updated guidance to provide support for Early Years Practitioners when completing the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) progress check at age 2.

Click HERE for guidance

Childminders hosting people from Ukraine

The Department for Education has produced guidance for childminders in England that are keen to join the many others who have signed-up to host people from Ukraine under the Homes for Ukraine scheme and Ukraine Family Scheme. Please find a link below which provides guidance for childminders who may have signed up to support the Ukraine schemes: