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Knowledge Makes Change Newsletter – April 2019

Knowledge Makes Change

Dasa Wharton Photography

Knowledge Makes Change (KMC) is designed to share key information about early years developments in Jersey and up-to-date research and practice from the UK and international contexts.  Knowledge Makes Change is provided as part of the Early Childhood Development Programme.

This newsletter is for practitioners, parents and anyone who is working with young children and their families in Jersey. If you are aware of someone who would like to receive the KMC newsletter and who does not currently do so, please ask them to email to be added to the mailing list.

Jersey news

Partnership Working Through the Children’s Cluster

A workshop was held last September for people from the voluntary and community sector (VCS) to get together with officers from the States to identify how the relationship between the sector and the Government could be strengthened. The workshop identified a number of areas that needed addressing and improvements that were required including better co-ordination, improved information sharing and communication, more effective grant provision and clearer decision making by Government. A working group of VCS representatives and civil servants who organised the workshop have continued to meet to develop an action plan and ensure the actions within it are delivered.

One of the key actions is aimed at addressing the poor co-ordination both within the VCS and between the sector and Government as well as improving communication and information sharing. The size of the sector makes it more difficult for the States to engage with the whole sector and makes collaborative working across the voluntary sector challenging. Whilst there is some joint working around specific themes it is patchy and not commonplace. There is not really an embedded culture of partnership working on Jersey, including within Government, although there are some great examples where it is happening with really positive outcomes.

A clustering approach is being trialled to bring together key VCS organisations around a specific theme or issue. It was agreed to test the approach with organisations who work with children with the intention that if this approach works further clusters will be developed around specific themes such as: homelessness, mental health, disabilities etc.

Two meetings of the Children’s Cluster have now been held with representatives of around 15 service providers from the VCS together with relevant officers from Government. The aim of the Cluster group is to share information, challenge and hold one another to account, look at opportunities to join up activities or share resources, identify training opportunities, develop innovative approaches, ensure proper representation from the sector on strategic bodies and boards etc. Meetings will be held at different locations to showcase what organisations do with the two meetings to date being held at the St. James Youth Centre and the Methodist Centre and the next two meetings due to be held at The Bridge and Silkworth Lodge’s Clubhouse. The Children’s Cluster has agreed terms of reference and the last meeting agreed how the sector would be represented on strategic boards including the Children’s Strategic Partnership Board and the Safeguarding Board. The next two meetings will focus on making a difference – using Outcomes Based Accountabilities to measure impact and the voice of the child.

For more information on the Children’s Cluster contact Sean McGonigle at


Social Work degree at Highlands College  –  Extension for applications

The BA (Hons) Social Work degree at Highlands College is extending the deadline for applications for study in 2019-20 until Wednesday 1 May 2019by 5pm.  Further information about the course and the entry requirements can be found on pages 58-59 of the University College Jersey Prospectus which is available at this link.

Anyone wishing to obtain more information or guidance about the application process should contact Rose Parkes, Course Leader on 01534 608768 or email


New births, fertility and breastfeeding data available from Statistics Jersey

Statistics Jersey has published the Births, Fertility and Breastfeeding, 2018. Topics covered include: births and crude birth rate, over time; fertility rates (general, total, age-specific), over time; age of mothers, including teenage mothers; caesarean sections; birth weight; breastfeeding patterns (at discharge; at 6-8 weeks; at 9-12 months) and infant mortality.

You can view the document here.


Children’s Minister publishers report on listening to children in care

Jersey’s Children’s Minister has published a new, independent report which gives an insight into the views of some people with experience of care and what it means to them to ‘be heard’.  The independent report, called ‘Listen Louder’, has been produced by a new group called Jersey Cares. The report highlights the need for the Government to hear what people with experience of care have to say, to take action and to be held accountable. It recommends the need for an independent body to enable this to happen. The report focuses on the importance of listening to the voice of the child, of listening to and acting on what care-experienced children and young people have to say, and how this should be embedded in assessment and improvement of services.

You can read and download the report here.


Research and practice from the UK and international contexts


Free evidence-based resources to support children’s language development

Children who enter school with good language skills have better chances in school, better chances of entering higher education, and better economic success in adulthood. Evidence shows that children with poor vocabulary skills at age 5 are more likely to have mental health problems as adults and more likely to go through periods of unemployment. Understanding and supporting language development in the early years is therefore vitally important.

The ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD) is a research collaboration of over 40 researchers at the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster, as well as associated universities abroad. LuCiD’s goal is to transform our understanding of how children learn to communicate with language. LuCiD has produced a number of FREE resources to help caregivers, early years practitioners and healthcare professionals to support children’s language development.

Visit the LuCiD website for more information or subscribe to their newsletter for regular updates.


New resource from NCA to help to keep 4-7s safe online

A new educational resource has been developed by the National Crime Agency (NCA) to help keep young children safe from online sexual abuse and exploitation. The resource, to be used by practitioners, teachers and parents with four- to-seven-year-olds, is based upon a three-episode animation series called Jessie & Friends. There are also accompanying storybooks available to download. The resource is designed to teach children to recognise manipulative strategies in online chat like those typically used by offenders to groom children. It is hoped the resource will provide protective education to young children before they begin to encounter such risks online, making them less likely to become victims and/or be targeted by high-risk offenders.

To view the resources see this link.


Sounds of intent in the early years: Soundabout report

New research from the Oxfordshire-based music charity Soundabout reveals that targeted music sessions for children in the early years and their families in areas of high deprivation can improve their capacity to manage their feelings and behaviour, boost their self-confidence, and heighten their ability to listen and pay attention, enabling them to ‘close the gap’ in terms of meeting their age-related expectations. The research also found that early years music workshops can help children with complex needs to overcome developmental delays.

The findings come from a three-year study, which involved Oxfordshire-based music charity Soundabout delivering music-making sessions for young children in areas of high deprivation between 2015 and 2018.

You can download the report here.


Thank you for reading.

KMC is part of the Early Childhood Development Programme.  The programme is led by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) in partnership with theStates of Jersey and Jersey Child Care Trust, informed by the Education Department, Health and Social Services, the Early Years and Childhood Partnership and the Jersey Safeguarding Partnership Board. The programme is funded by UBS Optimus Foundation UK.

KMC newsletters are compiled and edited by NCB on behalf of local partners. If you have any questions or comments about KMC, please contact