Welcome to our MyFIS and MyFIS+ newsletter

Our newsletter is sent out every term and we hope you find the information useful. If there is anything you would like to see more of, please drop us a line at or give us a call on 01904 554444.  We would love to hear from you!

What's in this autumn 2021 edition....

 We hope you enjoy reading our latest edition,

Best wishes,

York Family Information Service and the Information Service for Young People

Meet the team and find out more about us.

Bright Sparks Parenting - Managing Change

bright coloured logo‘The only constant in life is change’, so the saying goes. What can we do to make the process smoother for our children and young people and also manageable for us as parents/care givers?

A transition is changing from one state or condition to another. There are multiple transitions in a child's life; September brings transitions linked to education; starting nursery; starting school; moving from primary to secondary school; starting university; and moving into employment.

As they grow and develop, they pass through many stages. Physically, socially and emotionally they are moving towards becoming an adult, and this is a complex task. As parents and carers we have an ever-evolving job description and supporting transitions is part and parcel of the many ongoing tasks that parents face.

So how can parents and carers help young people who are facing changes? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Emotions: Help them to understand their emotions, it can be scary when young people don't understand what they are feeling and why. They can feel isolated if they do not have an outlet, so encourage them to talk to you or others about how they are feeling. Remember that emotions are on a spectrum, it is unrealistic to always be happy and never feel angry. The more they understand their emotions the more they will be able to recognise how they are feeling and why. They can then put some strategies in place to help them to regulate their emotions.
  • Brain Development: The brain develops rapidly in teenage years. The evidence shows teenagers need more sleep and that equally their sleep patterns can change. You might find an early bird is now a night owl and they struggle to switch off. This can make it hard for them to wake up in the morning. Try to let them rest when they can and avoid any stimulants (like screen time) near bedtime. In other words you are helping them by letting them sleep!
  • Emotional Resilience: Talk to them about emotional resilience. There is a lot of pressure on young people to conform to different social models and expectations. It’s really important that they understand that getting it wrong is part of getting it right. As such it is really important that you show them that creating support networks, understanding their emotions and being able to bounce back from failures of difficult situations, are all part and parcel of adult life. In other words teach them to be brave rather than to be perfect. Adversity will come and it will go, it is about navigating your way around it and learning from the experience.

If you would like to find out more about developing emotional resilience and other ways to support children, please come along to our next BrightSparks parenting support course, which starts on Tuesday 14th September 2021 and will run at 10am every Tuesday for 8 weeks (excluding half term week), at Knavesmire Children's Centre, Trafalgar Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO23 1HY. Find out more and register your interest visit at BrightSparks Positive Futures


childcare blocksThere are lots of different ways to reduce your childcare costs.

Some 2 year olds are eligible to receive up to 15 hours funded childcare. The funded hours starts the term after the second birthday. Why don't you find out if you are eligible for the autumn 2021 term?

All 3 and 4 year olds receive up to 15 hours funded childcare and some 3 and 4 year olds can receive up to 30 hours funded childcare.

Families with younger or older children may still be eligible for reduced childcare via a range of other options including tax free childcare. Visit Childcare Choices for more information.

To view information about 2, 3 and 4 year old funded childcare, different child care types and options visit    

Future Goals

Future Goals logo, colourful swirly ribbon with arrowsCity of York Council’s FutureGoals provides one-to-one support into an apprenticeship, education or other job opportunity. Advisers offer young people age 15-24 tailored support with general careers advice, job/apprenticeship search, CV or application writing, interview prep and more, either virtually or face to face.

The goal is to get you into a progression opportunity that’s right for you. Get in touch today for an initial chat with FutureGoals

Prepare your home for winter

poster give your home a hugGive your home a hug! FREE energy efficiency improvements to make your home feel loved! Start to think now to ensure your home is ready for winter.

Did you know under-insulated homes can play a major part in indoor temperature and comfort at home?

The effects of temperature:

  • Below 13°C - may increase your blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • 14-15°C - you may be diminishing your resistance to respiratory diseases.
  • 18°C - is the recommended night time bedroom temperature.
  • 19-21°C - is the recommended daytime temperature range for occupied rooms.
  • 24-27ºC - is too warm and can put babies and young children at risk.

Children, the elderly and people with certain disabilities or existing health conditions are especially vulnerable to the cold may at be higher risk when temperatures drop or increase. This includes physical and mental health conditions, such as diabetes and anxiety. Respiratory conditions, like asthma, can also be exacerbated by the cold.

The HUG grant obtained from the government under Local Authority Delivery funding and delivered by the Council and Better Homes Yorkshire can help your home attain the optimum temperature for comfort, insulation measures are available including: cavity wall, loft and attic room.

If you own or rent your home from a private landlord and your household income is below £30,000 and your property has an EPC with a low rating, we can help.

Contact us on 01904 552300 or email or visit for more information

York Baby Lab studies

University of York logoThe University of York are looking for babies and young children to take part in their studies.

Healthy Start

Healthy Start posterDid you know, if you:

  • are at least 10 weeks pregnant and receive income support or
  • have at least one child under 4 and receive income support

You may be able to get free milk, fruit or vegetables for your family every 4 weeks?  Plus free vitamins every 8 weeks. You could receive up to £1228* in total (*based on one adult and one child up to the age of 4)

For more information and advice on how to claim, call 01904 555475, email or visit

Early Years Parent/Carer Survey

silouhettes of baby to toddler rainbow coloursThe Early Years and Childcare Parent/Carer Survey is still open until Sunday 12th September!

Help us understand your childcare needs. We want to hear from anyone with a child aged 0 - 14 (or up to 18 years if your child has disabilities or additional needs) and using or looking for childcare in York. Complete the survey online

Please get in touch with FIS on 01904 554444 if you require a paper survey to complete.

Sense - Vision England residentials

sense logo whote font on purple backgroundWe have some exciting news! Vision England is running 3 night residentials this October half term and we still have spaces left! If you are 11 – 24 and have a disability. Why not join us for our FREE 3 night residential?

There is no requirement to get onto a residential other than being within the age range and to have a disability. But unfortunately, due to availability of venues, these residentials are not appropriate for those with high needs or mobility needs as the venues are not fully accessible.

All costs of the residential itself are covered by Vision England (so it’s FREE!) apart from transport costs. Individuals will need to make their way to and from the holiday by their own arrangements. If this is difficult let us know!

Applications can be made via the Sense website.

Kooth in September

Kooth logoKooth, an anonymous mental health and wellbeing community, are offering workshops for young people throughout September.

Sessions include: Making Friends, Youth Mental Health Day, Tackling Discrimination, The Importance of Identity, Creative Writing Workshops, Think Green and Carry On, Overcoming a Reputation and Social Takeover: Creative Writing.


Educational Psychology (EP) Helpline Autumn Dates

Educarional Psychology logoThe weekly EP Support line for parents/carers (and reopening for professionals) re-starts on Wednesday 8th September. The line will be open on Wednesdays 9.30 – 11.30 am during term time,

We have moved to a new booking system, to book a slot, please e-mail: with your name and a contact telephone number.

On the following Wednesday morning, we will e-mail you with a time slot for your consultation. Booking for each session will close on Tuesdays at 5pm. Spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Please note: the helpline offers short slots to talk with a psychologist about particular concerns; unfortunately, within the time available, we cannot advise on complex situations where different agencies need to work together to support a child or young person.

Go Kids Go

Go Kids Go posterGo Kids Go are running some free children’s wheelchair skills training sessions in York on Saturday 11th September, 12.30pm & 1.45pm at Saint Aidan's Church, Ridgeway, Acomb, York YO26 5DA.

Each session lasts around 1 hour and we work with just two or three families at a time focusing on the young person’s wheelchair skills and enabling them to be as independent as possible.

Extra wheelchairs would be provided for family members to join in, though some social distancing measures will be in place to keep everyone safe.

To book a place email:

Could You Be a Childminder?

Image of a man smilingRegistered childminders are professional child carers who work in their own homes to provide care and education for other people’s children. They are registered and inspected by OFSTED. There are currently approximately 130 childminders registered in the city of York.

Registered childminders are self-employed and are responsible for their own tax and National Insurance. They are not “employed” by parents but negotiate a contract for their service for which they charge a fee. It is important to remember that all childminders need to have an inclusion policy that ensures that every child’s needs are met.

Why should I consider becoming a childminder? Childminding is a rewarding career, and provides opportunities for developing new skills and qualifications.

Childminding provides you with the opportunity to:

  • Contribute to children’s development and learning
  • Run your own business
  • Work from home
  • Provide a valuable service for your local community
  • Develop new skills and qualifications

How do I become a childminder? It is a big decision to become a childminder so it is important you have all the facts and make an informed decision. To help you to do this, book onto a free information session.

Prospective childminders may also need to complete an initial childminder training course before registering with Ofsted. This can be undertaken online through various providers. Attend our Childminder Information Session for further details.

Register your interest at or alternatively for more information contact

York Learning - Free Taster Sessions

York Learning red, blue and white logoYork Learning have over 30 free taster sessions coming up! If you are not sure if a course is right for you, a free taster gives you the opportunity to try before your buy. York Learning have 32 taster sessions coming up in September, including:

  • Ballroom/Latin Dance for beginners at Park Grove Primary School
  • Gentle Flow Pilates, online
  • HIIT Workout at New Earswick Folk Hall
  • Move Better, Keep Well, Online
  • Singing for fun at New Earswick Folk Hall
  • Yoga for Health and Wellbeing at St Andrews Church Hall, Bishopthorpe

View all upcoming taster sessions and for more information contact York Learning 01904 554277; or via York Learning's Facebook page.

New Entry added to our Service Directory!

York Family Information Service red, white and blue logoLooking for services, groups, parenting support or activities and things to do? Whether you are pregnant, you have a toddler, school aged children or a young adult (up 25 years), you can search for services and activities in York for families and young people.

When finding services it is very important that you think about which services you would like to use and what is going to be right for you and your family. To help you choose services safely we have made a short guide you can get by visiting .

If you can’t find what you are after, then please get in touch and we will do a tailored search for you.

01904 554444 /

New entry to our directory

York Theatre Royal's Creative Connections for 16-21 year olds has recently been added to our service directory.

The project is aimed at 16–21-year-olds not in education, employment or looking for a positive place to be. It consists of a series of workshops exploring how we connect and respond to the world around us. Visualise, meet others, and explore our ideas for the future. A space to respond to the here and now and think about how we can make a sustainable footprint in York. What stories really matter to you? Expert visiting artists will run specialist workshops, including Pigfoot: a multi-award-winning carbon-neutral theatre company, dedicated to making collaborative, sustainable theatre about the climate & ecological crisis. Try out writing spoken word pieces, creating environmentally friendly set designs and envision your own start-up project. The project will culminate in a sharing of our work with an art installation, pop-up event or performance!

Absolutely no theatre experience needed!

The sessions are held at The Studio at York Theatre Royal on Mondays 2pm-4pm and starts on the 20th of September.  Sign up or simply find out more via  / 01904 715468

Live Well York Residents Survey

Live Well York logo colourful blocksLive Well York is a community information and advice website for adults.

To help understand what information adults in York want to find on the website to help them have a good quality of life and maintain their wellbeing, they would like residents to complete their survey.

The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete and can be accessed online at

Supporting Your Child with Anger

adult talking to a young childIt is normal for children and young people to find it difficult to manage their feelings. Sometimes their behaviours can get out of control.

Underneath these behaviours, a young person who seems very angry may also be feeling things like fear, stress, sadness, hurt or worry – or might be struggling to cope with a difficult experience at school, at home or in another part of their life that they feel unable to talk about.

It can be really hard to deal with it as a parent.  It can have a huge impact on family life.

Young Minds have some strategies to help parents with their response, How Can I Help my Child Manage their Anger?

Parenting Courses are another way to help and can offer parents advice, support and strategies to help their child deal with their feelings of anger.

During September the following courses are available:

family matters york logoFamily Matters York have several free parenting courses covering the theme of ‘Anger’.

The sessions include - handling conflict and behaviour, parenting strategies and effective methods for parents to help their child manage their behaviour

Bright Sparks colourful letters logoBrightSparks ‘Positive Futures’ parent course starts in September and another in January 2022.This course is for parents with children 5-11 years.  The content of the course includes sessions which cover this topic and provide parents with strategies to support your child including encouraging children to build emotional resilience, managing anger, challenging behaviour and listening, negotiating boundaries and consequences.

Feedback from parents shows that the majority of parents who have attended parenting courses have built up lots of useful parenting strategies and developed good support networks from the tutors and parents.  What has also been successful is that some of the courses have been offered online via zoom as well the option to do a course at a setting in York.  You can view the feedback online at

You can search for services to help with this issue by checking York Family Information Service online search facility.

SEND Updates

blue and white logo offer circle logoWelcome back, we hope you have had a wonderful summer and we are excited for the year ahead. Here at the City of York Council and the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group, we have been working hard over summer to continue on our SEND Improvement journey. Here are just a few things that we have been doing over summer!

You got involved and developed our Outcomes Framework

With the help of parents and carers, we have finalised our Outcomes Framework.

We want all children and young people in York with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to be happy and live the best lives they can.

Young people, parents and carers have told us that the most important outcomes that all children and young people should achieve are:

  • I am healthy
  • I have a choice and am heard
  • I am safe
  • I achieve my goals
  • I am included
  • I can overcome challenges and difficulties on my own or with support
  • I am becoming independent

Find out more about our ‘top 7’ at

We will use this framework when we commission new services, are checking the quality of our practice and when listening to voices of children and young people.

Our measure of success will be that children and young people can show or tell us that everything we do is supporting them to achieve these seven outcomes.

Keep a look out for our new outcomes framework graphics, coming soon!

Join us at Access4All – The all new, re-vamped ‘Access4All’

Access4All for young people aged 12 – 17 with special educational needs and/or disabilities is back! In the past, we have run the group which was  hugely important in our drive towards living in an accessible city for all.

The next step for Access4All is to move into a more ‘strategic group’, where the young people will drive forward change within SEND services across the city. The group will allow the young people to share their views on the provision, support, available opportunities and more, and with support from CYC, encourage change.

Group details:

  • Meet monthly, at varied locations
  • On a quarterly basis, young people with have the opportunity to meet with ‘decision makers’ – meet with the Head of SEND, Assistant Director of People, the Director of People, the commissioning manager and chief nurses from York Hospital
  • Members will help to structure what we discuss, set the agenda and have the opportunity to chair the meetings if they wish
  • As a thank you for being a part of the group, in Summer and at Christmas, the group will be treated to a ‘day out’, that we will plan together

To join the group, each young person is asked to send in a small expression of interest form. This can be done on their own, with support or by someone on their behalf with their permission.

For a copy of the form, contact by the 28th September 2021.

We cannot wait to hear from you!

Get Involved with York Parent Carer Forum

We have been working with York Parent Carer Forum on a range of projects and we are excited to continue to work in partnership with them, and you as parents of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.  Email to join York Parent Carer Forum

Follow the work they do, in partnership with us at City of York Council and NHS Vale of York CCG on Facebook

Join us to review the Local Offer for SEND website

Join other parents and our Local Offer Officer in a zoom call on the 21st October at 13:00 and help us to improve York's Local Offer website, for you and other families of children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities email

Special Edition SEND Newsletter

Before the summer holidays started, we shared a special edition SEND newsletter that summarised the work we have been doing on our SEND improvement journey, don’t miss out on your chance to read the July Special Edition Newsletter

Don't keep us a secret!                       

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Register with York’s Information Service

Is your child under 3? By registering with the Information Service you will receive on an ad hoc basis, tailored information about groups and activities, 2 year old funding and other information, including the opportunity to take part in research specific to the age of your child. Register online at 

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