Robert Goodwill (Minister of State for Children and Families) has sent a letter to Local Authorities confirming that there will be no movement in the transition end date of 31st March 2018. The letter also clarifies the status of any remaining Statements from 1st April 2018. This means that any families who still have statements after this date will not lose support instead their statements will continue until the transfer has taken place.
Extended childcare entitlement up to 30 hours
Parents are now being given the opportunity to take up an extended entitlement of childcare. This means that qualifying families with children aged between 3-4 years old can now apply to receive up to 30 hours of free early education.
Information about the availability of this offer can be obtained from childcare providers and school nurseries. In order to find out which childcare providers and schools who are offering the entitlement, parents can look at the Wolverhampton Information Network website.
Alternatively parents can contact Information for Families on 01902 554242 to find out further information.
Any parents who are considering this offer should ensure that they meet the following criteria this is available to view from the City of Wolverhampton Council leaflet.
- All parents in the household are working and earning the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the National Minimum or Living Wage. This also includes income from Tax Credits or Universal Credits.
- One/both parent(s) is away on statutory leave (e.g. maternal or parental)
- One/both parent(s) is on statutory sick pay.
- Parents on zero-hour contracts will be eligible.
- Parents who are registered as self-employed.
- One parent is employed and the other has substantial caring responsibilities, and/or disability.
- One parent is employed and the other is a foster carer with their own 3 or 4 year old.
Applications will not be accepted from parents where the following circumstances apply:
- Parents are advised that if they are in training they will not be eligible as other Government support is available.
- In households where the one parent’s income exceeds £100,000 the household will not be eligible.
Parents need to apply through the Childcare Choices Website which is linked to the HMRC. If successful the parents will be issued with an eligibility code, which would then need to be given to the childcare provider who is responsible for validating the code.
This code is a unique 11-digit reference number and is important as it is necessary in order to claim your free childcare. Eligible parents should take this code to the school or childcare provider offering this entitlement, with further documents which show the national insurance number of the parent and the date of birth of the child in order to secure the extended entitlement place. The provider will validate the code with the local authority to confirm eligibility. After this has taken place, parents and the childcare provider will be able to discuss when provision can begin.
The Department of Education has released new Exclusion guidance in its Exclusion from maintained schools academies and pupil referral units guidance, which advises parents and professionals of the 'statutory legislation that governs the exclusion of pupils from maintained schools, pupil referral units, academy schools (including free schools, studio schools and university technology colleges and alternative provision academies (including alternative provision free schools) in England.'
Two new short animations to help explain the EHCP process and the Person Centered Connection
With support from the Department for Education, Independent Support has produced two short animation films, which can be used by local authorities, IAS services, IS agencies, professionals and parent groups in their communications with parents and young people.
The purpose of the two animations is to help explain the EHCP process and its important relationship with the Person Centered Connection.
This animation has recieved excellent reviews to help explain autism. This information is likely to be useful to parents and carers as well as children themselves as it discusses the difficulty in expressing thoughts, feelings and emotions when a child has autism. The video also contains coping strategies used by children with autism to help them cope with the world around them. The clip is subtitled and is in a colourful cartoon format and gives an interesting and valuable insight into the experiences of children with autism.
Contact a Family produces a range of resources to help you check that you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to for example, Money Matters – checklist when your child has additional needs, lists financial help available to families in England, Scotland and Wales.
A message from the Council for Disabled Children
"This resource has been produced to help practitioners write good quality EHC plans that meet both the letter and the spirit of the Children and Families Act 2014.
The first part of this document includes excerpts from real EHC plans. In the second part there are two EHC plans which draw on real examples but the plans themselves relate to fictional children.
We expect these examples to be useful to those contributing to EHC needs assessments and to those writing plans as well as to parents, children and young people and those supporting them. We intend this document to provoke a debate about the key features of high quality EHC plans. We invite other organisations to identify good EHC plans that exemplify the best for children with a range of different needs and for whom a wide range of outcomes are sought. In turn, we hope that this will build a body of evidence about what works."
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Because money’s usually tight at this time of year, Contact a Family has put together a range of resources to help you check that you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to this winter. Their Money Matters – checklist when your child has additional needs lists financial help available to families in England, Scotland and Wales. They also have a new UK-wide booklet Help with fuel bills and keeping warm and have redesigned their guide to Claiming Disability Living Allowance for children (UK).
These are just a few of the parent guides they produce. Take a look at their resource library or read thefull list of all their parent guides. They are free to parent carers – just call their Freephone helpline to order. And don’t forget, they have lots of online advice and support available to you too.