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					Sure Start News 10
7 October 2003
Contents
News
   Every Child Matters: the Green Paper and Sure Start
   New Children's Centres Designated
   First National Director of the Foundation Stage
   Childcare Places Update
   New Tax Credits Helping More Families
   Childcare Recruitment Campaign Update
Resources
   Fathers in Sure Start Local Programmes
   Sure Start Out of School Programme Guidance
   Working Together: Introducing Jobcentre Plus

News
Every Child Matters: the Green Paper and Sure Start
The Government’s Green Paper Every Child Matters was published on 8
September. Its overall aims are to ensure that no child falls through the net
and to help every child to achieve their potential; to shift the balance towards
prevention through tackling child poverty, to improve early years education
and childcare, raise school standards and support parents; and to ensure
earlier intervention, before children reach crisis point.
Those involved with Sure Start will be pleased to see in the Green Paper a
statement that the Government "aims to extend the principles developed in
Sure Start local programmes across other services". It is also clear that many
of the proposals in the Green Paper have implications for Sure Start, in terms
of national policy but particularly in terms of local delivery. Great emphasis is
placed on the importance of integrating frontline services, with multi-
disciplinary teams, joint working and information sharing.
The consultation period ends on 1 December 2003.
Download Every Child Matters.

New Children's Centres Designated
The Children’s Centres programme continues to gather momentum: a further
29 examples of joined up early year’s services have taken on Children’s
Centre status, following an announcement on 24 September. The programme
is all about building on existing practice, not reinventing the wheel. This is
reflected in the diverse range of provision among the 61 centres that have
now been identified as models for a network that will spread across the
country. They include Sure Start local programmes, Early Excellence Centres,
Neighbourhood Nurseries, nursery schools and voluntary sector providers.
Local authorities are due to submit their strategic Children's Centre plans by
15 October 2003; by March 2006 local partners will have developed centres


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that will give at least 650,000 pre-school children and their families the
opportunity to access childcare integrated with early education, health and
family support services and help into employment.
The press release and a list of the new centres are available here.

First National Director of the Foundation Stage
Lesley Staggs has been appointed as the first ever National Director of the
Foundation Stage. She took up her job on 1st October 2003. The creation of
this new post highlights the importance placed on the Foundation Stage,
which sets out early learning goals for three, four and five year olds and is the
first stage of the National Curriculum.
Lesley’s background and experience mean that she is ideally placed to take
on this important and challenging new role. She led the QCA (Qualifications
and Curriculum Authority) early years team and so was instrumental in
creating the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage. She has also
worked for many years as a nursery teacher and a nursery head.
Announcing her delight at the appointment, Children, Young People and
Families Minister, Margaret Hodge said: "Lesley Staggs commands enormous
respect across all stakeholders and will be able to lead the work on ensuring
that the quality of play and learning for young children is of a consistently high
standard. "
Lesley will also be a Senior Director of the Primary Strategy working
alongside National Directors of Literacy and Numeracy, as well as with the
Sure Start Unit to ensure that children make a smooth transition into their first
years at school.
Later in the year Lesley will be joined by Ruth Pimentel as Co-ordinating
Director, followed by a team of regional directors.
Lesley is looking forward to working with early years practitioners: "Together
we can take early years education to new heights, ensuring that every child
receives the very best start to their education. A challenging task, but we can
settle for no less."

Childcare Places Update
Between April 1997 and June 2003, 745, 000 new childcare places have been
created, serving 1,356,000 children. Taking into account turnover, this has
added 410,000 places serving 767,000 children to the stock of places
available across England. We are on schedule to marginally exceed the target
to create childcare places for 1.6 million children by March 2004.
During the quarter ending June 2003, local authorities reported the creation of
45,200 gross new places. 19,400 places closed, so 25,800 net places were
added to the stock of childcare places.

New Tax Credits Helping More Families
The number of families receiving help with their childcare costs is almost 50%
higher than the peak of 180,000 under Working Families' Tax Credit and
Disabled Person's Tax Credit, according to statistics published by the Inland
Revenue.



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There are now over 264, 000 families benefiting from the help with childcare
costs within the Working Tax Credit. The average award has also increased
from £40.61 a week a year ago to £49.61 a week in July 2003, a rise of 22%.

Childcare Recruitment Campaign Update
The Sure Start Unit has appointed Harrison Cowley as Campaign Support
Office for the national recruitment campaign. The Campaign Support Office
will keep sector partners informed of national campaign activity, as well as
providing the necessary resources to help publicise the campaign and
generate interest in working in the sector. The Campaign Support Office will
also be available to give tips and advice on PR activity, and will produce
newsletter updates to forewarn you of forthcoming activity.
A new phase of advertising started on 6 October. The existing "Be their
inspiration" TV ad runs on ITV, Channel 4 and satellite channels until 26
October; radio ads will also run until 2 November. These broadcast ads will be
followed by a press campaign in women’s magazines from 17 November.
You can contact the Campaign Office on 020 7430 9746 or email them here.
Download the spot times for the TV campaign.

Resources
Fathers in Sure Start local programmes
The National Evaluation of Sure Start has published a report looking at how
far fathers and male carers have been involved in Sure Start local
programmes. The study - conducted in 2002 when many programmes were
just starting to deliver their full offer of services - found that involving fathers
had been a difficult and challenging task for many programmes. However,
there were some programmes that had been successful in encouraging
fathers to take up services for them and their families. The characteristics and
approaches of these programmes are outlined in the report.
The study found that in the majority of Sure Start local programmes there was
a low level of father involvement in programme activities. Where fathers took
part it was most likely to be in outdoor, active fun-type activities, although
many fathers did have ‘arm’s length’ contact with programmes through their
partners. Fathers were inclined to attend activities designed specifically for
them, although events for fathers and children together can be a stepping-
stone for further involvement.
Although on the whole, fathers felt welcomed at services, being in a
conspicuous minority among large numbers of women could be daunting.
However, mothers did support the idea of fathers using Sure Start local
programme services and of male staff working in them.
Where programmes had high levels of father involvement, they had decided
at the early planning stages that fathers would be central to their work and of
every aspect of the programme – essentially that there was a ‘joined-up’
approach to involving fathers. Another important encouragement was the
presence of a staff member dedicated to involving them.
For a copy of the full report or a summary of the findings, please email Andy
Lee or call him on 020 727 35329; alternatively, download the report.



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Sure Start Out of School Programme Guidance
For the first time, exchequer funding is available to develop an out of school
hours childcare programme. The new programme builds on the success of the
New Opportunities Fund (NOF) Out of School Hours Childcare Initiative.
It will give local authorities and partnerships a great deal of freedom to plan
and develop out of school childcare in their areas, according to local needs
and priorities. However, it is clear that the key to successful delivery of the
new programme will be ensuring that suitable, specific guidance and support
is available from the outset.
Working with Kids’ Clubs Network, the Unit has been developing full
guidance for the new programme which will include key changes from the
NOF initiative, frequently asked questions, practical ways forward and models
of good practice.
This guidance will be available from mid-October, and will be followed by a
series of surgeries where any issues not covered by the guidance can be
discussed and any queries answered by a team of out of school experts.
For further information, please email Una Summerson at Kids' Clubs Network
or call her on 020 7522 6902.

Working Together: Introducing Jobcentre Plus
The Sure Start Unit has updated the Working Together: Introducing Jobcentre
Plus booklet. This booklet aims to raise awareness of the services, work and
products of Jobcentre Plus. It highlights common aims and objectives,
includes examples of good practice and shows how working together can help
to meet common targets.
To order free copies of Working Together: Introducing Jobcentre Plus please
email Prolog or call them on 01787 370 272, quoting reference WTJCP
07/03.




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