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In Touch SpringSummer 2005 - In


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									                                                                                                                       SPRING/SUMMER 2005

A N E W S L E T T E R F O R E A R LY Y E A R S E D U C A T O R S & C H I L D C A R E P R O V I D E R S I N C R O Y D O N
                                                                                                                                   FIRST                       EDITION

“To what extent are children central to our thinking and                                                                                            The
practice?” This was the question put to the audience by                                                                                    Foundation Stage
Key Notes Speaker Margaret Edgington at the Early Years                                                                                                                5 years on
Conference - “The Foundation Stage 5 Years On... What
Now?” - held at the Davidson Professional Centre on
Saturday 12th March 2005.

The extremely high turn out of delegates mirrored            Following the Key Note
the high level of dedication and motivation amongst          Speech delegates
Croydon’s Early Years practitioners - well done everyone!    attended motivating and
                                                             insightful workshops on
Margaret Edgington stressed the importance for all Early     areas of Foundation
Years practitioners to put children at the centre of their   Stage practice that have
thinking and place high value on flexible, spontaneous       become high focus during
planning based upon observations of the children.            the preceding 5 years.
She highlighted the need for learning through ‘real life’
experiences, play and collaborative communication -
and placed great emphasis on the need for sensitive
adult interaction.                                              Content s
The conference celebrated the achievements of the
Foundation Stage in recognising that young children             Regulars
need a distinctive curriculum delivered by knowledgeable        Children’s Information Service Update ............................. 2
practitioners; there is now greater focus on children from      Ask the Experts - Your Questions answered .......... 4
Birth to Six and on developmentally appropriate                 Did You Know? ........................................................................................................ 5
transitions between the stages; and through the on              Activity Corner - Rising Raisins .................................................... 6
going development of integrated services.                       Training Update ....................................................................................................... 8
There was however a note of caution in so far as: there
is continued top down pressure on many Early Years
practitioners; too many practitioners and managers              Foundation Stage Conference ......................................................... 1
have insufficient understanding of child development            Search For A Star ................................................................................................ 3
and how children learn; there remains unfamiliarity             Aiming For Quality - PLA ACC Federation ............... 3
with the Curriculum Guidance and there is a high                Childminder Support ...................................................................................... 5
turn over of staff.                                             Bags Of Emotion .................................................................................................. 7

Practitioners were urged to look in detail at their
own settings, prioritise their training needs and analyse
how consistent their practice is in line with the
Curriculum Guidance.
    Hello Readers
    Welcome to the first issue of In-touch – the newsletter for Croydon’s Early Years
    Educators and Childcare providers.
    This first edition is full of interesting news and activities for you to try in your settings.
    Our next issue is due out in Autumn Winter 2005/2006. We welcome provider’s contributions and hope
    you can use this newsletter to share your ideas and practices with each other.

                                                                                             Newsletter Team

             Croydon Children’s Information Service
    Since the opening of Croydon Children’s Information Service (CIS) to the public in
    August 2000, it has successfully provided childcare information to parents and carers
    but as the service grows, so does the diversity of it’s enquiries.
    More than just childcare
    The CIS now provides information on leisure activities,
    starting school and community services.

    Childcare Recruitment
    As well as the many services offered at the CIS it is also the
    contact point for the government and local campaign for
    recruitment into childcare. Providers can advertise their staff
    vacancies free of charge on and
    there are opportunities for jobs to be advertised in the
    Croydon Guardian at regular intervals.

    Childminder Vacancies
    The CIS also operates a childminder vacancy system so if you do
    have vacancies to fill, please let them know. Childminders can                Croydon Children’s Information Service Team - Left to right Laura McRoberts
                                                                                  (Manager), Sue Wilton, Chris Russell, Ann Cudmore - (Childcare Advisors)
    collect their portfolios from the centre and all are welcome to
    display publicity to promote your services in the centre.

    Drop in Demand for Childcare                                                      For further information please contact the CIS
    The demand for childcare has levelled off over the last 18
    months in Croydon and the CIS is continuously looking at                          Croydon Children’s Information Service
    new ways to promote registered childcare. During 2004,                            10 Katharine Street Croydon, CR9 1JU
    they have had 12,667 enquiries and of these 2,000 were                            ¤  0845 11 11 100
    visitors to the Centre.                                                           FAX. 020 8686 8567
    Up to Date Information                                                            E-MAIL.
    OFSTED provides the CIS with regular information about                  
    childcare settings; however the service relies on providers
    to ensure that the information held on their setting is                           Opening and Closure of Childcare Provisions in
    accurate. So do keep them informed of any changes. The                            Croydon 2004
    CIS can also provide OFSTED forms i.e. DC2’s, CM2’s etc.                          Childminders                 91 new           156 closed
                                                                                      Day nurseries                13 new           3 closed
    Future Plans
                                                                                      Out of school                9 new            5 closed
    The CIS will shortly be piloting a vacancy system for day
                                                                                      Holiday schemes              7 new            6 closed
    nurseries; the hope is that we will be able to provide a
                                                                                      Pre School                   6 new            3 closed
    more accurate picture to parents and carers in regards to
    the actual number of spaces available within a particular                         Source: Croydon Children’s Information Service March 2005
    day nursery.

         A   N E W S L E T T E R   F O R   E A R LY   Y E A R S   E D U C A T O R S    &   C H I L D C A R E     P R O V I D E R S       I N   C R OY D O N
                                  Search for a Star
                          Croydon Children’s Information Service has joined together with
                          Croydon Guardian to Search for Croydon’s Childcare Star 2005.

The Guardian newspaper will be running a six week                            * Inclusive Childcare Team of the Year
campaign in the quest to find Croydon’s Childcare stars                      * Inclusive Childminder of the Year
2005. The awards will be presented by Dr Tanya Bryant
from the Hit BBC Series “Little Angels”, during a                            Many families rely on the support and dedication of
presentation evening at the Croydon Hilton Hotel on                          Child-carers and this award will give Croydon parents
Thursday 16 June 2005. There are five categories up for                      the chance to recognise Croydon’s unsung heroes.
                                                                             We want your help to find these Childcare stars. If
* Early Years Childcarer of the Year                                         you are prepared to publicise the event in your setting
* Play Worker of the Year                                                    please contact Cecilia Clarke, Marketing officer
* Childminder of the Year                                                    ¤  020 8604 7568 for nomination forms.

The new Pre-School Learning Alliance Accreditation Scheme (PSLA)
This Investors in Children endorsed accreditation                        At Stage 2: “Parents’ skills and interests inform
scheme pack recently re-published, consists of 3 phases:                 decisions about particular activities”
                                                                         At Stage 3: “Parents take part in the annual
Phase 1: Portfolio building. This requires you to                        monitoring, evaluation and updating of the long term
collect evidence of good practice throughout your
                                                                         plan, ensuring the needs of the children, their families
setting. This is then sent to an assessor. Once assessed
                                                                         and the community are met”.
the document is returned to the setting, either
accepting it for Stage 1 or indicating areas requiring                   You will receive a certificate of completion at the end
further development. The requirements for Stage 1                        of each phase, but only the completion of phase 3 will
exceed the National Standards by a small margin.                         give you IiC status.
                                                                         Above all, accreditation is a rewarding and worthwhile
Phase 2: Assessor’s visit. Your setting is required to                   process for setting “aiming for quality”.
carry out a self-assessment, while adding further
evidences to the portfolio. The assessor is contacted to
come for a visit in order to check “that your portfolio is               “aiming for quality”
telling the truth!”. A report is sent to the PSLA
National Accreditation Panel. Stage 2 is then granted

or deferred if further evidence is required. Stage 2
represents a very good standard of care and education.

Phase 3: The Reflective Practice Report. This is

verified by an assessor on an unannounced visit. Both the
reflective report and assessor feedback are presented to
the Accreditation Panel. Stage 3 shows a willingness to

“continue on a journey of quality”.
For example, evidences for the “Care, Learning
and Education” chapter include:
At Stage 1: “All plans ensure there is no racist or sexist
stereotyping and no child is denied opportunities due
to ethnic group, gender or disability”

A   N E W S L E T T E R   F O R   E A R LY   Y E A R S   E D U C A T O R S    &   C H I L D C A R E   P R O V I D E R S   I N   C R OY D O N
                ASK THE EXPERTS

    Q               As a childminder, how many children am
                    I allowed to care for before I need to seek
                    planning permission?                                                Q          After a recent Ofsted inspection, I was
                                                                                                   told that I need to make space for
                                                                                                   changing babies’ nappies. We have very
                                                                                         limited space and my staff team thinks this is
    A:    Under a normal registration through Ofsted, the
    number of children under 8 years old you may care for
    is usually a maximum of 6; however you may need to                                    A:     A possible solution to this may be to put a
    seek planning permission to care for this number,                                     screen in one area of the room. This would offer
    under Croydon Council.                                                                privacy to the child, and mean that it would only
                                                                                          require one member of staff to go to the changing
    According to the National Childminding Association                                    area. In the screened off area you will require;
    “Registered childminders may still require planning                                   • Lined bin
    permission, for example if they were building an                                      • Nappy sacks
    extension, offered an unusual service ( e.g. working                                  • Plastic gloves
    with co-childminders or working in unusual premises                                   • Disposable apron
    e.g. a listed building).”                                                             • Wipes, any required creams, in a clearly
    Julie Valubuena - Childminding Network Co-ordinator                                       labelled bag provided by the child’s parent.
                                                                                          Pauline Goldrick - Early Years Improvement Team Leader

    Q               What kind of activities can I provide for
                    older children?

                                                                                        Q              I’m having problems filling my spaces for
                                                                                                       2-5 years old. Do you have any suggestions
                                                                                                       as to how I can fill these spaces?
    A:     You need to ask the children what activities they
    would like to see offered (within reason!) You may wish
    to have a suggestion box or hold a children’s forum.
                                                                                          A:    Unfortunately the demand for this age group
                                                                                          has levelled off over the last 18 months; however you
    Out of School provision involves “ownership”; if the                                  may want to look at new ways of expanding your
    children are involved in the decision making process of                               service as there has been a significant demand for
    the club, they will feel that the club is theirs and that                             baby spaces within daycare.
    their ideas and suggestions are valued.
    Tracey Neale - Out of School Development Officer                                      If your provision is large enough to accommodate
                                                                                          expansion, incorporating a baby unit may be
                                                                                          something you could seriously consider. Before you
                                                                                          take steps to do this you must ask yourself the
                      E X P E R T                 P A N E L                               following questions:
                                                                                          1. Do you have enough staff? The normal ratio
                                                                                             for a baby unit is 1:3
                                                                                          2. Is there enough space in the property for
                                                                                             expansion? It is always preferable to have a
                                                                                             baby unit on the ground floor.
    Julie Valubuena      Tracey Neale        Pauline Goldrick         Elaine Green
                                                                                          3. Have you considered your resources for a baby
     Childminding        Out of School             Early Years         Registration
      Network            Development             Improvement         Support Officer
                                                                                             unit, e.g. changing facilities, equipment, cots etc?
     Co-ordinator           Officer               Team Leader                             Elaine Green - Registration Support Officer

     Questions & Answers
     Send all your questions relating to Early Years Education and Childcare to: Ask The Experts, star letter will
     receive a gift voucher to the value of £25

          A   N E W S L E T T E R        F O R    E A R LY       Y E A R S   E D U C A T O R S   &   C H I L D C A R E   P R O V I D E R S   I N   C R OY D O N
                                                                                                                                                   1. Answer: Smell 2. Answer: 150 Source:
Did you know?                                                      Did you know? Did you know?
In this part of the newsletter we share with you some little known facts about child
development. If you would like to tell us about any unusual facts, please send
them into Croydon Early Years Education and Childcare Section

                   1. What’s the first sense to develop fully in a child?
                   2. How many words does the average 2 year old know?
                       150              250                  350

Childminder Support
Government funding was made available
in April 2004 to all local authorities to
set up the Support Childminder Scheme.
Amanda Rushton the organiser of the scheme in
Croydon, “The first phase of recruitment has been
very successful. 11 enthusiastic childminders are
currently on the scheme.”
The scheme assists prospective and new childminders
throughout the process of setting up a business, from
registration to a year after registration. The role is
essentially one of providing information and support
rather than advice.                                                              having someone you can go to if you need information
Croydon intends to recruit about 30 Support                                      or help with something. When this opportunity came
Childminders to cover over 700 registered childminders                           up I thought it would be a good to be able to help
throughout the borough.                                                          some one. I’ve been there and know what it feels like.”
                                                                                 said an existing Volunteer Support Childminder, from
                                                                                 South London.
    The criteria for becoming a Childminder mentor include;
                                                                                 A bursary is available to support childminders to cover
    •     A minimum of 2 years childminding experience                           expenses. This is conditional on receiving monthly
    •     Quality Assurance                                                      paperwork and attending regular meetings and
    •     Local knowledge                                                        extra training.
    •     Listening skills                                                       Amanda Rushton, Support Childminding Co-ordinator
    •     Commitment to anti-discriminatory and equal                            said. “By the end of March we hope to have 20 support
          opportunities                                                          childminders fully trained. We will be acknowledging
                                                                                 all Support Childminders in the Croydon at the
    • The ability to role model good practice at all                             beginning of October 2005 to celebrate the Scheme
          times and promote quality childminding within                          at our Childminding Conference at the Hilton Hotel
          the London Borough of Croydon and to their                             in Croydon.”
          new childminders.
                                                                                 For more details about becoming a Support
                                                                                 Childminder contact Amanda Rushton on
“When I first started childminding I was out on a limb
for a long time. I joined groups but it isn’t the same as                        ¤ 020 8657 3300
A       N E W S L E T T E R   F O R   E A R LY   Y E A R S   E D U C A T O R S    &   C H I L D C A R E   P R O V I D E R S   I N   C R OY D O N
    NEWS in brief
                      New and Improved
                      Our website is
                      ready for a makeover. In the next few months
                                                                                 It makes sense
                      you will see some overdue improvements to
                      the website. These include: a dedicated area                 A well resourced sensory room is available at Sure Start,
                      for providers; ‘Have your Say’ a forum for                   Broadgreen and is available FREE to all Early Years and
                      parents; childcare search by postcode.                       Childcare Providers in Croydon. If you have never used
                                                                                   a sensory room before, staff will be happy to advise.
                                                                                   There is also a handy information booklet available.
                      Extended Schools
                      A steering group has been set up by                          For further information on
                      Croydon Council; the group is to be led                      how to use the sensory room,
                      by Linda Wright. The group is set to focus                   contact the Sure Start Centre’s
                      on providing more core services, such as                     Soft Play Zone,        ¤
                                                                                                      0208 649
                      childcare, health, and study skills.                         8441 Ext.3, Sure Start Broad
                                                                                   Green, 89 London Road, West
                                                                                   Croydon. Hourly bookings are
                      Transfer Week                                                available from 10am until 4pm.
                      Transfer week this year is from 11 -15 July
                      2005. Please make sure all your records are
                      prepared and ready to be transferred into
                      the child’s next setting.

                      Childminders Galore
                   Autumn2004/ 2005 saw the biggest take                           Rising Raisins
                   up of training by Croydon Childminders in
                   recorded history. This enthusiasm has                           This easy science experiment will interest children.
                   catalysed a pilot scheme to provide training                    All you need are everyday resources.
                   on tour at the numerous childminder
                                                                                                           1.   Take a lemonade bottle (or any clear
                   support groups throughout the borough.                                                       carbonated drink)
                   Remember if you haven’t yet picked up
       your Childminder portfolio, get one while stocks last.                                              2.   Add a few raisins and orange peels.
                                                                                                                The raisins will sink to the bottom,
       For more information on Childminder training and
                                                                                                                then slowly rise with the bubbles
       portfolios call   020 8726 Ext 7424                                                                      of air. Each time you unscrew the
                                                                                                                bottle lid, the raisins will go up and
       National SureStart month                                                                                 down inside the bottle: a simplified
                                                                                                                version of the lava lamp.
       June sees the beginning of National Surestart month.
                                                                                   Get the children thinking?
       What events will you be doing during this month?
       Surestart month is the time of year to celebrate and                        Here are some questions you can ask the children to help
                                                                                   them to understand the experiment;
       raise awareness about the many childcare facilities in
       Croydon. Let us know about your events. We’d like                           •      Do you think the raisins go up?
       to help you publicise them.                                                 •      What will happen when I open the bottle top again?
                                                                                   •      What will happen when all the bubbles have gone?
       Forward your details to                       •      Why do the raisins rises but orange peels stay
       or ¤ 020 8604 7568                                                                 at the bottom?
                                                                                   Why not develop some more questions of your own.
       For more information and to register your event visit
                                                                                       INTERESTING FACT
                                                                                       After a couple of days, the raisins will have re-hydrated
       Get Trained                                                                     and will once again look like grapes. This is another
                                                                                       interesting point as most children will have no idea that
       A recruitment working party has been set up to
                                                                                       raisins are dried grapes!
       help to identify ways of creating a more qualified
       childcare workforce in Croydon. The group includes
       representatives from; Job Centre Plus, Croydon Training                         Send your ideas for activities to
       providers, local colleges, Connexions and a cross section                       Activities Corner. Printed activities
       of Croydon Early Years and Childcare providers. If you                          will recieve a Spectrum Educational
       would like to contribute to this working party contact                          Magnetic Shape Box worth £20.
       Cecilia Clarke   ¤ 020 8604 7568

             A   N E W S L E T T E R   F O R   E A R LY   Y E A R S   E D U C A T O R S    &   C H I L D C A R E    P R O V I D E R S   I N   C R OY D O N
The Behaviour Support Team has recently developed loan bags of resources.
The bags are brimming with wonderful, resources, equipment and materials related
to specific themes. Current themes include feelings, starting school, visiting the
doctors or hospital and new baby.

                       The bags are available for loan to                    their own materials in
                         Private and Voluntary settings                      preparation for returning
                          within Croydon. Bags typically                     the loan bag.
                            contain a balance of free
                             and found items as well as                      Private & Voluntary
                            bought materials such as                         settings in Croydon are
                            books, posters and                               eligible to apply for an
                            photographs. Resources in                        inclusion grant – this is a
                           each bag have been carefully                      one off payment,
                          chosen to support children in                      maximum £1000 per
                          dealing with specific situations                   setting. Settings can
                       such as the arrival of a new                          receive written
                baby, and to extend children’s learning                      information from the
within the social, emotional and behavioural                                 Croydon Early Years and Childcare Providers on how to
curriculum. Each bag contains two small laminated                            apply, terms & conditions of grant etc. Application
books, one provides suggestions on how the materials                         information will be sent out twice a year to all settings.
can be used and the other is there for childcare
practitioners, parents and children to give their                            All applications will be considered by a panel
comments, suggestions and ideas.                                             consisting of:

Loans for the Home                                                           •       PLA Manager
                                                                             •       Head of Early Years
A smaller selection of resources can be taken from the
main loan bag by the setting, to loan for individual
                                                                             •       Private Day Care Provider
children to use in their own home. Carla Granville                           •       Inclusion & SEN Team Leader
behaviour support worker says “Providers have received
positive feedback from parents who have                                      Priority will be given to those settings who did not
taken the bags home. One parent                                                                 receive a grant in the last round of
particularly found the new baby loan                                                               applications. The inclusion grant can
bag effective when she was feeding                                                                     be used in a variety of ways, for
her new baby.” This can be a                                                                              example to fund training or
particularly intimate time as an older                                                                      specific support, to
sibling may feel ‘pushed out’. These                                                                         purchase new resources or
resources allow children to still feel                                                                        to make physical changes
that they are involved and are                                                                                to the setting etc.
part of the new routine.                                                                                      The overall aim of the
                                                                                                               inclusion grant is to
Lullaby’s Day Nursery in South                                                                                   promote the
Norwood have been using                                                                                           development of
one of the ‘new baby’ loan                                                                                         inclusive provision for
bags with their under 3’s.                                                                                          all children.
Successfully staff have seen
a noticeable development                                                                                         To find out more about
of the children’s caring and                                                                                     applying contact The SEN
nurturing skills. The team at                                                                                    and Inclusion Team.
Lullaby’s have now started                                                                                       ¤ 020 8604 7578
to build up a collection of

A   N E W S L E T T E R   F O R   E A R LY   Y E A R S   E D U C A T O R S       &   C H I L D C A R E   P R O V I D E R S   I N   C R OY D O N
                                                                                           Training UPDATE
                                                                                           First Aid for early years providers                            • Health & safety
                                                                                           Just a reminder that you now need a full 12 hour course
                                                                                                                                                          • Food Hygiene
                                                                                           in Paediatric First Aid to be considered as a first aider in
                                                                                                                                                          • Training on Tour (a limited programme)
                                                                                           an early years setting. St John’s ambulance organises
                                                                                                                                                          All other courses are to be advised. We value your
                                                                                           regular training. The 12 hour training can be spread over
                                                                                                                                                          patience during this unsettled time.
                                                                                           4 evenings or 2 Saturdays and needs to be renewed
                                                                                           every three years with a short 3 hours refresher every
                                                                                                                                                          For further information on training call Julie Wheeler
                                                                                           year. The certificate will only remain valid if you attend
                                                                                           the refresher course within 1 year 1 month of the first        ¤  020 8726 7424, or visit
                                                                                           training. These training sessions get booked up very
                                                                                           quickly so plan staff training well in advance!                           A   D    V   E    R   T   I   S   M    E   N    T

                                                                                           Business 4 Childcare                                                Business Advice for the
                                                                                           Last term Business Success for Childcare, came to us at
                                                                                           the Davidson and ran a successful series of workshops
                                                                                                                                                                  Childcare Sector
                                                                                           that gave providers practical help and tools needed to run            Croydon Early Years Education and Childcare Section
                                                                                           a small business. The courses were well received and fully          offers a range of specialist business advice and support
                                                                                           attended. Workshops included; Team Steps to Success,                for the Childcare sector, which includes: Childminders,
                                                                                           Advanced Marketing, Childminders, Mind Your Business,                  Nurseries, Extended school clubs, and Play groups.
                                                                                           Relationship Management. One of the participants in                We can offer impartial advice on all aspect of business such as:
                                                                                           the workshop, Denise Nwako of ‘Top Kids’ said “Fantastic
                                                                                                                                                                     Business Planning - Developing business plans.
                                                                                           workshops. If you are a new provider these workshops                           Business and corporate plan reviews.
                                                                                           are exactly what you need. As an existing out of school
                                                                                           provider, it has made me rethink my plans and areas for              Financial Planning - Budgets, cash flows, financial reviews.
                                                                                           improvement.”                                                            Marketing - Market research, planning, promotion,
                                                                                                                                                                                publicity, customer focus.
                                                                                                                                                                  We are also able to provide Business and Management
                                                                                           Essential Training                                                     workshops across the above areas subject to demand.
                                                                                           Due to the Early Years and Childcare Section relocation
                                                                                                                                                              For further information or a general discussion please contact:
                                                                                           in April, we are unable to provide our usual full
                                                                                                                                                                       Everald Brown - Business Finance Officer
                                                                                           programme of training for the summer term. However                      Croydon Early Years Education and Childcare Section
                                                                                           we will be providing all essential training in:                       7th Floor Davis House Robert Street Croydon CR0 1QQ
                                                                                           • First Aid                                                                Phone: 0208 604 7565 Mobile: 07881 852 983
                                                                                           • Child protection                                                              E-mail:

                                                                                                           Early Years and Childcare Team Contacts
croydondesign the in-house business within Croydon Council •

                                                                                             Business Finance Officer ¤ 020 8604 7565                     Out of School Development Officer ¤ 020 8604 7580
                                                                                             Childminding Network Development                             Pre-School Learning Alliance ¤ 020 8726 7782
                                                                                             Team ¤ 020 8604 7586                                         Registration Support Officer ¤ 020 8604 7574
                                                                                                                                  ¤ 0845 11 11 100
                                                                                             Croydon Children’s Information Service                       SEN and Inclusion Team ¤ 020 8604 7578
                                                                                             Croydon NCMA Development Worker ¤ 020 8657 3300              Sure Start Broad Green ¤ 020 8649 8441
                                                                                             Early Years and Childcare Manager ¤ 020 8604 7576            Training Officer ¤ 020 8726 7424
                                                                                             Early Years Improvement Team ¤ 020 8604 7572
                                                                                             Finance Officer ¤ 020 8726 7425                              The Early Years and Childcare team are no longer at the
                                                                                                                                                          Davidson Centre. The section will be temporarily based at:
                                                                                             Head of Early Years ¤ 020 8604 7564
                                                                                                                                                          7th Floor Davis House Robert Street Croydon CR0 1QQ
                                                                                             Marketing Officer ¤ 020 8604 7568
                    Designed by


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