Family Services Commissioning

Information and guidance

Calling all BFI champions - staff, observational and mother’s audits now due

As we are stage 3 accredited, we are required to send Unicef our annual staff, observational and mothers audit results every March. This needs to be submitted no later than 5 March 2020 therefore the staff, observational and mothers audits will be due back by Friday 21 February 2020.

Staff audit questions – questions  

The BFI champions within each district will need to conduct the audits with at least 14 members of staff per district, however it is recommended that all staff are interviewed.

The questions are laid out in sections and the audit can be stopped at the end of each section depending on the responsibilities/levels of the different staff members. For example:

  • Level 1 members of staff, only answer level 1 questions
  • Level 2 members of staff, only answer the level 1 and level 2 questions
  • Level 3 members of staff answer all questions.      

    Observations – scoring sheet

    The aim of the observations is to support you to make the physical space in the centre/venue and the staff working in it supportive of and compatible with the Baby Friendly standards. Auditors will need to check that the premises, information boards and displays are used to the best advantage. They will also need to spend time observing how mothers/parents experience the centre.

    Using the form will help to make a judgement about what is needed to ensure that the standards are met and to prepare for external assessments.

    The auditor for the observations can be either the BFI champion or another member of staff. Please ensure that the auditor reads the guidance information found on the observation sheet.

    Mothers’ audits – questions

    14 mothers per district need to be audited, ideally consisting of a mixture of breast and formula feeding. Please submit your question sheets after they have been submitted. 

    Please ensure the following has been completed prior to returning the audit results:

    • name of the district is visible when submitting your audits
    • all interview sheets are submitted
    • the number of how many mothers were breast or formula feeding is visible.

    Audit documentation can be found in the family centre professionals area.

    Please can you send the observational audit, staff audit questions and mothers audits questions to

    Please ensure the audits are fully scored as per the guidance, before returning them to us.

    Early reading and the education inspection framework

    Gill Jones, Deputy Director for Early Education Ofsted, sets out how Ofsted look at early reading and phonics teaching as part of the new inspections.

    For more information please visit the Ofsted blog.

    Spotlight on picture books

    Rhyme and Sign adventure books with British Sign Language

    Picture books containing British Sign language (BSL) are very hard to find so I was really pleased to discover this series called ‘Rhyme and Sign adventure’ books. The stories are now available to borrow from every Hertfordshire Library. They have bright illustrations and cover topics which appeal to young children - farm animals, mini beasts and transport. The BSL is clearly signed at the bottom of each page. The stories are written with lots of repetition to help children (and adults) practise the different words and signs, and to build up their vocabulary throughout the story.

    The stories will be enjoyed by all, but please do specifically promote them to families who you know use British Sign Language.

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