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The Chair welcomed the guest to the committee and a short introduction was given by Members.
Q – Please introduce yourself and odder and outline of the roles and responsibilities that your post involves?
Alex Gamby (Head of Early Years and Childcare) and Sue Smith (Early Years and Childcare Equalities and Inclusion Manager) both from Kent County Council were in attendance for this item.
Q – Please can you explain why the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) was introduced and its main purpose?
The Early Years Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2015 to provide extra funding for 3 and 4-year-old children who had been in care or adopted from care, or for children whose parents were in receipt of certain benefits. The EYPP provides an additional £302 a year for any child who received 15 hours of the Early Education Entitlement.
Q – What strategies and interventions has the Early Years and Childcare Service employed in order to promote and support the attainment of vulnerable pupils in Kent.
KCC’s Early Years and Childcare Service has supported this initiative by:
· providing up to date information at Early Years and Childcare Briefing and Networking Sessions and through termly (six times a year) Early Years and Childcare Bulletins
· identifying one member of the Early Years and Childcare Service’s Equality and Inclusion Team to gather information and support when necessary, offering visits to settings in the early days of the funding
· providing a dedicated page on KELSI (please see link below) supporting settings to:
o supporting settings to encourage parents to apply for this additional funding
o looking at research and national information from organisations such as the Education Endowment Foundation
o Gather and disseminate effective practice for using the EYPP
· adding an EYPP filter on the Kent Progress Tracker
· developing an Intervention Tracker which will enable settings to identify which interventions are having the most significant impact (available from October 2017)
· monitoring Ofsted reports to identify when the use of additional funding is mentioned as a strength
· monitoring up take and FSM Early Years Foundation Stage Profile gap data
Q – To what extent has Early Years Pupil Premium funding been effective in narrowing the attainment gap between vulnerable children and their peers in Kent How does this compare to the national picture? Please provide data and figures.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile data for 2017 is the first year that the EYPP funding will have been available for the children entitled to the funding. The FSM gap reduced from 20% to 10.1% in 2017 but it is impossible to directly attribute this reduction to the funding at this stage. Further analysis of the Kent districts with the most positive results will enable us to identify what has been put in place to make such a positive outcome.
Q - Is it all funded by KCC?
The government already provided extra funding for school-age children (Pupil Premium) and through the provision of free entitlement places for eligible two-year olds (approximately ... view the full minutes text for item 1.
(1) The Chairman welcomed Julie Miles and Christine Robinson to the meeting and invited them to introduce themselves.
(2) Julie Miles said that she had worked for some 30 years in the field of childcare. She was now the Manager of the Discovery Day Nursery in Parkwood in Maidstone, which had a staff complement of 10. She was interested in everything related to children’s education, particularly in relation to SEN.
(3) Christine Robinson had started working for KCC in 1973, specialising in work with Young Children and gaining expertise in deprivation, refugees and pupils with English as an additional language (EAL). She had also worked the Equality and Inclusion Advisor for KCC’s Early Years Team since 2004.
(4) Julie Miles said that the Discovery Day Nursery had some 100 children on roll with an age range of 2 to 4. The two-year olds had their own room. All 37 of them were in receipt of Free for 2 funding. Only 23 of the 3 and 4-year olds, however, were eligible for the EY Pupil Premium. Their parents completed a form including their NI Numbers on a termly basis, ensuring that all those eligible could receive it.
(5) Christine Robinson said that the criteria for Free for 2 funding was broader than for the EY Pupil Premium. The crucial differences in eligibility were that those with an EHC Plan or a Disability Living Allowance were automatically eligible for Free for 2 funding, whereas they were not eligible in respect of the EY Pupil Premium.
(6) Julie Miles explained that each child eligible for the EY Pupil Premium received £103 per term. This funding tended to arrive late on in the term. For example, the funding for the Autumn Term 2017 had not been received until November.
(7) Julie Miles then described the process which took place when children were newly admitted to the Nursery. Staff members would initially carry out home visits, enabling them to take note of the home circumstances and identify any areas of concern. This was a crucial aspect of the Nursery’s work as there were currently 20 children with safeguarding concerns, 23 EAL pupils and 20 who had difficulties in using language skills, which could be caused by parental neglect or ignorance. One three-year old pupil had arrived still using a dummy. Other problems were due to bottles which contained tea, coke or alcohol leading, in extreme cases, to them having their teeth removed. Some parents did not encourage their children to speak. The Nursery was attached to a local Children’s Centre which could offer support such as the “Chatter Matters” course, helping both the children and their parents.
(8) The Nursery made use of the “Early Talk Boost” programme which had been established by the I CAN charity in 2014. This was a 9-week programme of small group intervention which taught 3 and 4-year old children new words and sentences. A progress tracker was employed. The cost was £520 excluding books. The success of this EY ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
1. The Chairman welcomed the two guests; Chris Millins and Barbara Hall to the Select Committee meeting and invited all those present to introduce themselves.
2. Barbara Hall explained that she had been an advisor for Kent Early Years over the last 17 years. Within the Equality and Inclusions team, she had a specialism in communication and language. Most recently this had led to her leading projects working with a communication charity I CAN. Within the Equality and Inclusion team, all members are trained and qualified I CAN Licensees who can deliver I CAN training packages., and she also works closely with speech and language therapists. She explained that she had a passion for supporting with children’s communication and language and was soon to be qualified as a Makaton. Makaton is a language programme which uses signing and symbols.
3. Chris Millins advised Members that she had worked for the Pre-School for the past 35 years and been manager for the last 25. She explained that she was very passionate about her role which dealt with the day to day management of staff, supervision and training. Children were monitored through a Tapestry system and she was responsible for the development and processing in all areas. YIPP was used to help develop each of the children’s learning.
4. The Chairman asked how many children the pre-school taught? Chris Millins confirmed they had 49 and went on to explain that when the Pre-school was first opened, they had 12 children without any funding. The Pre-school has a community feel with good relationships with the church. They operate a pack away system in the church hall so all staff members arrive at 7.45am to set up for a 9am start and packed away at the end of the day. Equipment had been purchased through EYPP funding in addition to community fundraising. They recently had an outstanding OFSTED inspection.
5. The Chairman queried out of the 49 at the pre-school how many were entitled to EY Pupil Premium? Chris Millins stated 8 children.
6. The Chairman asked if the additional funding was enough to cover some of the equipment that was required? Chris Millins commented that the funds did not always cover larger equipment that was sometimes required. A package called ‘I CAN Early Talk Boost had been purchased the previous year, which had been an effective tool in reducing attainment gaps. Chris Millins demonstrated to the Panel a number of small items that were affordable which helped with areas such as physical writing skills, which many children had benefited from.
7. The Chairman referred to the comment relating to narrowing the attainment gap and asked if this had been identified through a progress tracker? Chris Millins explained that they mainly used Tapestry to track progress but had also used that system. At the end of each month they would go through all the key development needs, and worked with the children who had been identified as needing further support.
8. Barbara Hall commented ... view the full minutes text for item 3.