This year has been a busy and eventful one, and here at PACEY we wanted to share some of the key things that have happened to us and our members. For a more detailed roundup of how we have impacted policy in 2018, take a look at the latest policy blog.
We started off the year with a focus on preparing for the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) set to become law at the end of May. This was a wide-ranging change that affected businesses across the EU, including childcare practitioners. To help support the sector in understanding and implementing the changes around GDPR, PACEY later released a series of easy-to-use resources, including sample policies, factsheets, templates and support videos.
This month began with a new early years minister in England. After a cabinet reshuffle led to a number ministerial changes at the Department for Education (DfE), including the departure of Robert Goodwill MP, Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on Avon, was brought into the DfE as a junior education minister.
February also saw the publication of our spring 2018 Childcare Professional magazine where we, explored the challenges ahead in England and Wales and spoke to Ofsted about myths in the sector.
PACEY launched its sector-wide survey, Building Blocks providing a unique insight into the issues facing early years professionals. The survey investigated topics from 30 hours funding to CPD in the workforce.
We also launched our new Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene for Early Years Settings online course. Accredited by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH), the course supports early years practitioners in England and Wales when providing food for children in their setting.
In Wales, a new network aiming to improve the teaching and learning of the Foundation Phase across all schools and education settings in Wales was launched by Education Secretary Kirsty Williams. Members of the Foundation Phase Excellence Network were invited to attend the launch, including Shelley Rees, a representative of PACEY Cymru.
From 1 April, Ofsted announced that they would be removing the self-evaluation form (SEF) from its website. We asked our members whether they would like PACEY to produce a self-evaluation template to use in your settings. An overwhelming 92% of members who responded said YES so we published a SEF template.
Changes continued and following the success of Business Smart last year, our grant was extended and we invested in improving and adding to the free resources already available. The online toolkit has had over 300,000 page views, proving its high success and benefits for members.
PACEY was over the moon to be awarded ‘Best Magazine for a Professional Association’ at the prestigious MemCom Awards 2018. Distributed to over 27,000 members it is our most frequently used support tool and most-loved member benefit, actively read by over 90% of our members.
Claire Protheroe, National Manager for Wales for PACEY Cymru gave evidence to the Welsh Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee at the Senedd on the Childcare Funding (Wales) Bill in May, which looked at the mechanism of using HMRC to check eligibility for parents/carers looking to access Childcare Offer funding in Wales. Claire was part of a panel made up of Cwlwm partners to share their views and respond to questioning from Assembly Members (AMs) on the Bill.
In June, we were delighted that three of PACEY’s volunteers were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, including PACEY Present Penny Tassoni who received an MBE for her work in the early years, as well as Sarah Edwards (pictured left) and Tracy Abnett who were both awarded British Empire Medals. They were nominated by PACEY’s board for their voluntary work with the association.
Following continued lobbying by PACEY Cymru, the team were delighted to share news from the Welsh Government confirming that from September 2018, a change in policy for the Childcare Offer would allow registered childminders to receive funding for the care of a child who is also a relative but who does not live with them.
After success in Wales, PACEY refreshed its call to end the English ban on childminders providing places to related children and continues to encourage members to write to their local MP and push for change.
The summer 2018 issue of Childcare Professional magazine highlighted the importance of safeguarding and helped you spot the signs of epilepsy.
We created new Facebook groups, Ideas for Creative childcare is a growing community where childcare professionals can share their amazing creative ideas and talk to others in the sector. First Steps to Childminding offers a network to those wishing to become a childminder in England; newly registered childminders; and those undertaking pre-registration training. In Wales, registering childminders can join Becoming a Childminder in Wales
PACEY has been delighted at the response and activity in the Facebook groups, and continues to welcome new members to our growing online communities.
At the end of August, PACEY and Mummy’s Gin Fund joined forces for Childminder Day - a whole day dedicated to parents wanting to know more about childminders, and those considering a career in childminding. With videos, Facebook Live, blogs and free resources, we shared a wealth of conversation, information and inspiration. The day was a complete success.
We launched our next report, ‘30 hours – one year on’
, after our Building Blocks survey in March, highlighting how childcare providers are coping with the scheme and calling for key changes from Government.
PACEY members and staff celebrated their success at the prestigious Nursery World Awards ceremony. All those nominated for ‘Childminder of the Year’ and in the newest category, ‘Childminding Business of the Year’ were PACEY members. Joanne Marvell won ‘Childminder of the Year’, Pebbles Childcare took ‘Childminding Business of the Year’ and PACEY Present Penny Tassoni (pictured centre), received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for her impact and dedication to the early years sector.
In October, PACEY’s Policy and Research Manager, Susanna Kalitowski (right), met with the Shadow Early Years Minister, Tracy Brabin MP (left), to discuss our key policy priorities. At the top of the list was the issue of declining number of registered childminders, and the unfair ban on childminders providing funded places to related children. Tracy has expressed her strong support for our campaign to overturn the ban.
We also published our most recent Childcare Professional magazine for Autumn/Winter 2018 where we talked about caring for children with SEND/ALN and spoke to Tracy Brabin about the sector.
PACEY joined forces with five other leading childminding organisations from across the British Isles, to launch a campaign that dispels some controversial childminding myths circulating within the childcare sector.
The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), PACEY Cymru, the Northern Ireland Childminding Association (NICMA), Childminding Ireland and the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) launched a joint childminder myth busting campaign highlighting the essential work that professional childminders deliver whilst promoting key facts about their childcare services.
This month we opened our second annual Christmas competition for members to be in with a chance of featuring on our digital Christmas card. We had a fabulous response and range of designs. It was a hard decision, but we narrowed down the entries to 16 of our favourites from a mixture of age groups.
Our winners are:
First line (left to right) – Milly (age 3) from childminder Elizabeth Middleton, Joseph (age 1) from Little Teddy’s Childminding, Hayden (age 4-10) from Laura’s Childminding and the toddlers (age 18 months – 2 ½ years) from Little Green House Childcare.
Second line (left to right) – Miles (age 4) from Laura’s Childminding, Pre-school children from Little Green House Childcare, the children from Sally Parkinson Childminding and Jacob (age 8) from Sarah Leete Childminding.
Third line (left to right) – the children from Sally Parkinson’s Childminding, Laura (age 9 ¾) from Sarah Bram Childminding, Cicely (age 11) from Tracy Negus Childminding and Isla (age 4-10) from Laura’s Childminding.
Fourth line (left to right) – Louie (age 6) from Sarah Leete Childminding, Ella (age 3) from childminder Elizabeth Middleton, Caitlyn (age 3) from Sarah Bram Childminding and Arya (age 2) from Little Teddy’s Childminding.
What have been the highlights of your childcare year? Join the conversation in our social media pages. And finally, just a reminder that the PACEY office and phone lines will be closed from 5pm 24 December and will re-open on 2 January 2019.
Wishing all our members and partners a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.