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I need help with my teenager!

What help can I get towards childcare costs?

Where is my nearest GP?

I have a child with a disability, what’s available?

What activities can I do with my child in the holidays

What are tax credits?

Where is my nearest children’s Centre?

HOw will I find a nursery in my area?

If you want the answers to these questions and more call the

Blackpool Family Information Service

0800 092 2332

Parents - Do you know what the EYFS is? The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a framework, which sets the standards for development, learning, and care of all children from birth to five. The EYFS is about ensuring quality and consistency across all settings where care is provided for young children. All childcare providers will have to follow the EYFS from September 2008.

Why are the years from birth to five so special? The years from birth to five see the time of greatest growth and learning for all children. Good early years provision leads to better outcomes in a young person’s future education and life chances.

What does the EYFS mean for my child and me? The EYFS will form the basis of your child’s experiences when they attend childcare provision. Children do best when parents and early years practitioners work together. It is important to remember that you know more about your own child than anyone else. Practitioners should be asking you about your child and sharing information with you about your child’s progress. Understanding what your child is doing when they are with others will help you to notice how well they are developing and learning. The part you play in their learning and the choices you make will make a difference to their future. From September 2008, the childcare providers have to share information about their service including: • The type of experiences children have access to both indoors and outside • Daily routines of the provision • Food and drinks provided • Polices and procedures of the setting, and make available on your request the complaints procedure and tell you how you can contact to the regulator, OfSTED, if you are unhappy with the care you child receives

3 & 4 Year old Free Entitlement grant

Help with Childcare Costs Child Tax Credits: This is a payment for people with children,

whether they are in or out of work. You will get money from Child Tax Credit for each child. You do not need to have a very low income to get some help from Child Tax Credits, so most people with children get the credit.

Working Tax Credits: You can get Working Tax Credit if you or

your partner are working enough hours a week and your income is low enough. You don’t need to have children to qualify. It doesn’t matter whether you are working for someone else or self-employed. Couples must make a joint tax credits claim. If you are part of a couple, you cannot decide to claim as a single person.

Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits: You may

qualify for help towards the costs of childcare. Lone parents must work 16 hours a week or more. Couples can claim if both work 16 hours a week or more, or if one works 16 hours a week or more and the other is treated as incapacitated. You can get help with up to 80% of your childcare costs subject to maximum limits on the weekly costs you can claim for.

Childcare Vouchers: These enable you to pay for childcare out

of your pre-tax income. Both parents are allowed to get a maximum of £243 per month worth of vouchers. Extra help for students with children: If you are a full-time higher education student with dependent children, you may be able to get extra financial help. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get: The Childcare Grant (to help with childcare costs); The Parents’ Learning Allowance (to help towards course costs - like books, materials and travel); or help through the Access to Learning Fund (if you are in financial difficulty).

All 3 and 4 year old children attending a Blackpool registered provider are currently entitled to 15 hours per week free early education for 38 weeks of the year. Children become eligible for the grant the first term after their 3rd birthday. The hours covered by the grant are: • • • •

Per day: 1 hour minimum, 9 hours maximum. A maximum of 14 hours may be claimed over 2 days. To claim the full 15 hours, your child must attend for a minimum of 3 days per week. Only whole hours may be claimed for each day.

The terms are as follows: Summer 2009 (1st April – 31st August) – 13 weeks Autumn 2009 (1st September – 31st December) – 14 weeks Spring 2009 (1st January – 31st March) – 11 weeks For a list of providers who accept the grant or if you would like more information on the grant please phone the Family Information Service on 0800 092 2332

The Importance of School Attendance Regular school attendance is an important part of giving your child the best possible start in life. Talking to your child and their teachers could help to solve any difficulties you have in getting your child to go to school - and there are other forms of support available if you still have problems.

You can help prevent your child skipping school by: •

making sure they understand the importance of good attendance and punctuality

taking an interest in their education - ask about school work and encourage them to get involved in school activities

discussing any problems they may have at school - inform their teacher or headteacher about anything serious

Regular school attendance - why it’s so important Going to school regularly is important to your child’s future. For example, children who miss school frequently can fall behind with their work and do less well in exams. Good attendance shows potential employers that your child is reliable. Research suggests that children who attend school regularly could also be at less risk of getting involved in antisocial behaviour or crime.

Arranging appointments and outings after school hours, at weekends or during school holidays will help to prevent disruption to your child’s education and to the school. Under normal circumstances, you should not expect the school to agree to your child going on holiday during term time.

not letting them take time off school for minor ailments - particularly those which would not prevent you from going to work

Launch of the Family Information Service Since April 2008 Local Authorities are required to provide parents and prospective parents with the information, advice and assistance they need. Building on the skills and expertise already developed by the Children’s Information Service, it requires a wider range of information to be delivered to parent and carers in a way that met local needs. The list below gives examples of the services and facilities that the Family Information Service will hold information on, which may be of benefit to parents, children and young people:

3. Health/nutrition/exercise/ healthy choices 4. Child Safety 5. Sporting, play and recreational opportunities 6. Parenting and relationships 7. Support services for young people including advice on careers 8. Youth Offending

1. Schools and other educational services or facilities including those providing further or higher education.

9. Financial and legal issues

2. Physical and mental health

11. Local services such as Children’s Centres and Extended Schools

10. Care, advice or support for children or young people who are disabled


Much of this information will be available from the Family Information Service (FIS) but for some types of complex information it will be appropriate for the FIS to signpost parents to other parts of the local authority or to external organisations and agencies. So if you need to know where your local library is or how to cope with your troublesome teenager then call

Blackpool Family Information Service on 0800 092 2332


Does your child have a disability? The Record is a database containing personal information about the child/young person. This includes their name, address, carer details, main diagnosis and services being received.


The five main aims are: -

To provide statistical information to help plan services for Children with a Disability To provide statistical information to inform local and national research To assist in the development of appropriate adult services To provide details for a mailing list so that families may be sent relevant local and national information To share information, with the parent/ carers consent, with other practitioners involved in the child’s care.

Advantages for Families and Children: -

their child’s future needs Families can refer themselves to the record

Here are some examples of services/agencies that families have been signposted to following inclusion for their child on the Planning Record: -

Special Care Dentistry for the child with a disability experiencing difficulty accessing a dentist Young Carers support for the other children in the family Leisure Cards to identify the child with a disability and their carer so any appropriate concessions may be applied Fire Service for free fire safety advice for the whole family Targeted Services to discuss family support

Nicola Unsworth, Planning Record Co-ordinator Family Information Service, Progress House Clifton Road, Blackpool, FY4 4US 01253 477437 Email:

Enable them to be informed of relevant information through mail shots and newsletters Providing information about their child enables a Record to be developed as a valuable resource around planning for

Early Years Professional Status The first five years of a child’s life are the most important in their development, when they learn to build relationships and deal with the world around them. High quality early years provision can have a significant impact on children’s development, performance at school and their future life chances. If all children are to benefit from a high quality Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, then the workforce must be professional, well qualified and dedicated. To improve outcomes for children the Government is committed to raising the proportion of the early years workforce with relevant and appropriate qualifications to work with babies, toddlers and young children. The Benefits of an Early Years Professional in a Childcare Setting EYP’s are able to take a key role in leading and supporting other staff to help them develop and improve their practice.

wider children's’ services; •

Take responsibility for leading and managing play, care and learning: and

Have a secure and up-to-date knowledge and understanding of early years practice with children from birth to five

EYP’s will be trained to: •

Be skilled and effective practitioners;

Work as part of the team of skilled and committed people working with children in early years settings and

The Government aims to have an EYP in every Children’s Centre by 2010 and each full day care setting by 2015.

Ask your childcare setting that your child attends who their EYP is or is going to be! Make sure your child has the best possible start in life!

Early Years  

A guide to helping parents with the development, learning, and care of their child from birth to five.