DfE: Children’s Social Care Innovation programme – How to get involved: information on the Programme that seeks to develop, test and share effective ways of supporting children who need help from children’s social care services. It details how the Programme will operate over the next four years, the types of projects it will support, and the kinds of support available. (3 April 2016)
DfE: Childcare free entitlement – delivery model: seeks views on key elements of the operation and delivery of the 30 hours' extended free childcare entitlement for the working parents of 3- and 4-year olds. The paper covers some of the aspects of implementation of the 30 hour free entitlement offer, particularly how this will be delivered by local authorities, how the offer will meet the needs of working parents, and options for delivery. It includes draft statutory guidance for English local authorities on their duties under the Childcare Act 2016 and the Childcare Act 2006 to secure free childcare for qualifying children of working parents in their area. The consultation closes on 6 June 2016. There are also draft Childcare Act 2006 (Provision of Information to Parents) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 and draft Childcare Regulations 2016. (3 April 2016)
The DfE has issued a Call for expressions of interest – Early years capital funding that invites local authorities to bid for funding to support the delivery of the 30 hours extended entitlement coming into effect from September 2017. The closing date for Expressions of Interest is 29 April 2016.
ADCS / CAFCASS: Practice guidance for the use of s.20 provision in the Children Act 1989 in England and the equivalent s.76 of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 in Wales: this guidance clarifies expectations on local authorities for children looked after under s.20 of the Children Act 1989. There is no existing statutory or judicial guidance about using s.20 (s.76 of the 2014 Act in Wales). The guidance follows on from recent judgments about the current use of s.20 which may lead local authorities to misinterpret the law. It confirms that being looked after under s.20 remains a viable option for many children despite the recent concern, expressed by the judiciary and others in the sector, at cases where children have been left to 'drift' without decent care plans in place, with those children suffering harm or detriment as a result. It also confirms that local authorities should review all open s.20 cases to ensure that s.20 status remains the appropriate current legal option and framework for the child. It sets out best practice of s.20 for newborn babies, and examples of where s.20 is used appropriately. It also clarifies the duties and responsibilities of a local authority to a Looked After child. (1 April 2016)
Ofsted: Inspection handbook – Children’s homes: updated guidance Ofsted inspectors when conducting inspections of children’s homes. It should be read in conjunction with Inspection of children’s homes: framework for inspection from 1 April 2015. (30 March 2016)
Ofsted: introduction to children's homes: updated guide for applicants on what they must understand and prove in order to become registered to provide and/or manage a children’s home. (30 March 2016)