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As the summer heat (and the holidays) kick in full throttle, our team’s hard at work adding the final gloss to our biggest module to date. A few tweaks and touch-ups - and we’ll be all set to bring you the industry’s first fully-automated direct debit payment solution plus the invoicing add-ons you have requested us for.

We also did some minor bug fixes and performance improvements, added a new sessions counter for bulk sign in-out and introduced a new colour scheme to represent bookings for the day in bulk sign in-out counters – all of which are live on the portal now.

We’ll keep you posted as we progress with our payment and invoicing modules. Meanwhile, here’s a look at what’s been happening in the industry this month.


UK News

New PM Boris Johnson enters Downing Street with school funding pledge

Delivering his first speech as the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson pledged to put education and schools at the top of his agenda. As Johnson promises a £4.6 billion extra per year for schools, the early years sector is urging him to deal with the chronic underfunding of 30 hours free childcare. Read more

Ofsted to raise fees

The Department for Education has started a consultation, seeking views on a proposed increase to the application fees and annual fees paid to the Ofsted by early years providers. As maintained nurseries and schools do not currently pay any Ofsted fees unless they offer places to children under the age of two, any raise could further widen the divide between public and private providers – who are already operating on an unlevel playing field, reports the National Day Nurseries Association. Read more

Families plan legal action over new baseline assessment for four-year-olds

Families take the UK Government to court over its controversial reception baseline assessment, which is due to be piloted in primary schools from September. Parents claim the test could cause anxiety and distress in young children and expressed concern that the test results could be used to label children at a young age. The Department for Education, however, maintains the test will not be used to 'judge or label' individual children. The test would be a quick check of a child’s early language and ability to count when they start school and intended to help inform the teachers. Read more

New academy to offer specialist training for early years chefs

LEYF launches the UK’s first Early Years Chef Academy to help transform the food served at nurseries and curb obesity. The academy based in Stockwell is the first of its kind in the country to offer specialist training and qualification for chefs working in Early Years settings. Read more


From Around the World

Reports published on Australia’s first economic analysis of early childhood education

The Front Project and PwC have published Australia’s first economic analysis report on Early childhood education. The report suggests investing in early childhood education offers double the return ( ROI of 1:2) to  Australia. The high return on investment is attributed to the skills and abilities children develop in early education – which in turn leads to stronger academic performance and a greater likelihood of higher earnings and workforce participation. Read more

Preschoolers who practice phonics show stronger math skills, finds study.

Preschoolers who spend more time learning about the relationship between letters and sounds are more adept at calculating, counting and recognizing numbers -  finds a new study by the Liverpool John Moores University. The research suggests learning letter-sound interactions gives children the tools to understand abstract symbolic systems, which can make it easier for them to apply the principles to numbers and math. Read more


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