Welcome to our October edition of the 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 Spooktacular October Half Term edition....

carved pumpkin with FIS logo with a light glowing

  • Shine! Activities and Things to do!
  • Families Get Active
  • Better Homes Yorkshire - help to offset current energy price rises
  • HomeStart York
  • Starting School September 2022
  • Look Say Sing Play Parents Evaluation - parents/carers wanted!
  • Educational Psychology helpline new dates
  • York Youth Council needs you!
  • Public Health England Covid -19 vaccinations for 12 - 15 year olds
  • Planning your future Post-16 Guide 2021-20222
  • Have you considered becoming a Childminder?
  • Looking to work with children, young people and families?
  • Service User and Carer Initiative forum
  • Does your child have additional needs or disabilities?
  • Local Offer SEND Updates

Don’t forget that if you would like more information about anything in this newsletter or anything to do with family life, then get in touch with the York Family Information Service on 01904 554444 or by emailing

Shine! Activities and Things to do

white font Shien or blue backgroundShine hosts lots of activities held during the school holidays and during your free time. For children of all ages, young people and families.

Find out more what is happening this October half term - some activities are FREE!

Also take a look at our home Halloween craft activities to make, have fun and decorate your home.

plastic milk bottle with smiley faces drawn on themMilk Bottle Ghosts

Pom Pom Pumpkins

Tissue box monsters and more....


Families Get Active!

hands strking a match to light a fire, flame visibleWe are Families Get Active, a project funded by WEA and Sport England to encourage families to get outside and active. We realise that all members of the family can influence active habits and so we have collaborated with the Rowntree Society and explored their Rowntree Walks in a way that families will just love!

The Rowntree Society | York Family Walks: Rowntree History Trail - The Rowntree Society

In addition to this, we can offer poetry, bush craft workshops, family photography, memory sharing events, IT confidence for grandparents & children, family-fun running groups, willow weaving and much more. Our crafts and sessions are usually FREE! Next event Monday 25 October 10:00am-12:30pm, New Earswick Folk Hall

Numbers limited email or 07833 127786

Better Homes Yorkshire - help to offset current energy price rises

image of a small white painted house with a grey wolly hat and red pom pom and a red scarf wrapped arund the bottom of the house. Message says Give Your Home A Hug. Free energy efficiency improvements to make your home feel loved!As we are currently in unprecedented times with energy prices and wholesale prices have continued to rise, for the first time it is not worth switching energy supplier.

The cheapest prices available are the variable rates that were set at the recent price cap of £1277 set by the government and this cap is the same across all energy suppliers.

Prices are expected to rise again when the next price cap rates will be implemented in April 2022. Some suggestions state that this could be by as much as £400-£500 per year which would mean the price cap may rise to almost £1700 which is often the current price for a fixed deal..

The HUG grant delivered by the Council and Better Homes Yorkshire can help reduce energy use and help contain costs by installing insulation measures and keeping the heat in, measures available are:

  • cavity wall insulation
  • loft and attic room insulation
  • draft proofing

We can help if your property is suitable after a survey and:

  • you own or rent your home from a private landlord, and
  • your household income is below £30,000, and
  • your property has an EPC of D-G (we can provide this)

Contact us on 01904 552300 or email see for more information 

HomeStart York

orange and purple Home Start logoHome-Start York is a family support charity based in the City of York. Supporting York families with pre-school children for 33 years and have a proven track record that our encouraging, motivating, confidential support changes lives. Our team of trained volunteer parents visit a family every week for 2-3 hours, while parents need it.

Our services

  • Home Visiting – One to one in home support
  • School readiness- An 8-week home based programme preparing both parents and child for their school or nursery journey
  • Group – A 7-week tailored programme for new mums

For more info, contact or visit our website

A little more about Home Start's Ready for School? support

Are you worried about your little one starting school or nursery? Are you both feeling ready for the next step in education?

Home Start provide one to one confidential, individual support for parents of 3 - 6 year olds in their own home.

Find out more by calling 07519976946 or email By referral only, a form can be found at

 Starting School September 2022


Watch this short animation to find out how and when to apply for a primary school place for September 2022, and where to find advice and information. If you can't access the video try reading this newsletter in a different web browser or you can also find information in the Starting School in September 2022 guide for parents and carers. The deadline to apply for a primary school place is Saturday 15 January 2022.

Look Say Sing Play Evaluation - Parents/Carers wanted!

Are you a parent or carer of a young child who has used the NSPCC Look, Say, Sing, Play campaign?

Do you want to support children’s early brain development?

 We invite you to share your views on the Look, Say, Sing, Play campaign and you will receive a £20 Love2Shop voucher as a thank you for taking part in the interview!

The NSPCC is working with the Institute of Health Visiting and Newcastle University to evaluate the Look, Say, Sing, Play campaign. Whether you have finished using Look, Say, Sing, Play, only just started, or are half-way through using it, we would like to know your thoughts, views, and experiences. By taking part, you will be helping the future development of Look, Say, Sing, Play.

We are looking for a range of parents/carers to take part in our evaluation by having a short interview/discussion with a member of the evaluation team about your experience.

I am interested - what do I do now?

This is really easy - just email the evaluation team and we will send you more information and the next steps.

Contact: Dr Jenna Charlton, Newcastle University by email:

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Educational Psychology helpline new dates

Educational Psychology logo with outsretched hand , open palm facing up with growing seed sproutingDo you want to chat to someone about your child’s learning needs and wellbeing? The Educational Psychology helpline returns after October half term starting Wed 3 November – Wed 15 December.

Appointments only. Please book via email by 5pm on the Tuesday before. Slots will be issued on a first come first served basis and will be between 9.30am – 11.30am.

 York Youth Council Needs You!

multi coloured poster for York Youth CouncilYork Youth Council is appealing for new members aged between 11-18 years of age to represent the city.

The youth-led organisation meets fortnightly on a Wednesday evening to discuss a wide range of issues for young people locally, regionally and nationally, working on campaigns that improve the lives and experiences of young people, and making sure that the voice of young people is heard.

Being a member of the council gives young people the opportunity to chat and discuss issues with local elected councillors, leaders in the Children’s and Mental Health teams, the NHS and more.

York Youth Council is also affiliated with British Youth Council and the UK Youth Parliament, which provides regional and national opportunities to get involved with youth politics, and even to sit on the green benches of the House of Commons once a year at a special session of Youth Parliament. The York Youth Council focuses on three main areas – campaigns, consultations and outreach and engagement.

If you have a passion for representing youth voice and young people’s views, have an interest in issues such as the environment, mental health and transforming education (to name a few of the current focus areas) then get in touch to get involved. We are a fun group where you get to meet others your age from all across the city, from different backgrounds. Why not give it a go and join us in September 2021.

Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, the council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “York’s Youth Council is a fantastic way through which young people in our city can make sure that their views are heard and acted on. I’d encourage anyone aged 11-18 years of age with an interest in our local area to find out more about how they can get involved”

A young youth council member, said: “York Youth Council is a welcoming and friendly group of young people that support each other while giving back to our community. It is a great chance to meet new people, engage in discussions and get involved in group projects. I joined a few months ago and everyone is so lovely, it’s such a wonderful group to be part of.”

York Youth Council is a non-political organisation. The group is facilitated by staff members from the Communities team. Visit for more information or email to find out more about how you can get involved.

Public Health England Covid-19 Vaccines for 12 - 15 year olds

the word health with a red circle around itPublic Health England (PHE) has updated its page of resources for young people and their families with answers to some frequently asked questions on the COVID-19 vaccine.

This autumn, all young people aged 12 to 15 are being offered a first dose of the vaccine.

Information leaflets on the vaccination for children and young people are also available to download or order for free.




 Planning Your Future Post 16 Guide 2021 - 2022

poster showing 3 people wearing white lab coats looking at a document.The latest Planning for Your Future Post 16 guide (2021-22) is now available. View the latest post 16 guide online.  

The guide is aimed at young people in Year 11 and their parents/carers to help plan and make decisions about options and sources of support available post-16. 

This will be promoted to students at schools and to parents/carers via normal school communication channels. 

If you require any additional information, please contact


Have you Considered Becoming a Childminder?

smiling man with folded armsRegistered 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.

In the city of York we are especially in need of childminders in the Bishopthorpe Road and Knavesmire areas.

Our next childminder Information sessions are:

  • Thursday 04 November 2021 @ 1 – 2:30pm
  • Tuesday 30 November 2021 @ 6:30 – 8pm
  • Thursday 20 January 2022 @ 1 – 2:30pm

Book online on our Childminding page.

Discover all you need to know in Pacey’s guide to childminding, including what childminders do, becoming a childminder, how much it costs, working with other childminders and real stories you can relate to.  

Register your interest at or alternatively for more information contact

Looking for a job working with Children, Families or Young People?

Take a look at current vacancies specifically aimed at working within the Children's Workforce.

Current vacancies range from volunteering roles to paid employment and there are full and part time vacancies available.

Service User and Carer Initiative forum

image of smiley babyThe SUCI Forum in the Department of Health Sciences is a group that is involved in consulting on, and being directly involved in, the education of midwives and nurses at the University.

We are currently particularly keen to encourage some new members to the forum who have experience of using ante-natal, midwifery and children orientated services. This includes any type of service where you might have had contact with midwives, health visitors, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals.

Our SUCI forum members are able to be involved in a wide range of activities including things like consultation on curriculum content, recruitment and selection of students, design and delivery of teaching, shaping the service user and carer involvement in the department activities, as well as being able to network with other service users, carers, professionals and staff from the department.

We greatly value the contribution this group makes, and we are really keen to welcome new members, particularly those who might be able to be involved in the coming months in considering the midwifery curriculum.

You can choose which activities you would like to be involved with, there is no pressure to take part and we are a really friendly bunch!

You can check out some more information about the group and how to sign up by checking out our SUCI webpage.

Does your child have additional needs or disabilities?

Have you joined the Max Card scheme?

Fagreen max cardmilies living in York and who have a child aged 0 - 25 years who have a disability or additional need are eligible to receive a FREE Max Card. The card provides discounted access to many attractions throughout the UK at participating venues.

If you think you might be eligible for a Max Card, contact York Family Information Service or sign up to MyFIS+. Eligible families will continue to receive our termly MyFIS and MyFIS+ newsletter, but will be added to the Max Card scheme and the disabled register.

Already got a Max Card?

Check the expiry date on the back of the card. If you need a new one complete the renew or replace online form.

Local Offer SEND Updates

You Got Involved

On Tuesday 19th October, City of York Council worked in partnership with Askham Bryan College to host this year’s Progression and Opportunities event. The event hosted over 20 different providers from York and surrounding local authorities, to show families just some of the options available to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, when they leave school.

Thank you to everyone who came along to share their provision, to everyone who attended and to Askham Bryan College for hosting.

Access4All – Strategic Young Peoples Group

Access4All – The all new, re-vamped ‘Access4All’

In the past, CYC have run a young peoples group named ‘Access4All’, this group were hugely important in our drive towards living in an accessible city for all.

The next step for this group is to move into a more ‘strategic group’, where the young people with drive forward change within SEND services across the city.

This 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 including schools, West Offices at times that work for you and your young people
  • On a quarterly basis, young people with have the opportunity to meet with ‘decision makers’ – meet with the Head of SEND, Assistant Director of Education and Skills , 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’, to somewhere that the group decide and we can facilitate

So how do your young people join?

We already have a group of young people raring to get started, but there is still time to join!

Email to get involved.

Updated Written Statement of Action

Take a look at our most recent rating on our Written Statement of Action. Our Written Statement of Action sets out our targets and work in response to our Local Area SEND Inspection that took place in December 2019.

Have a look at the progress we have made over the last 3 months on our SEND Updates online page.

Get Involved and Help Us Improve

Get Involved poster email for more information Together, we are still working on improving services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Recently, parents carers and young people have been involved in:

  • Amending the Education Health and Care Plan and Annual Review Paperwork
  • Inclusion Review
  • Developing a new Request for Assessment document
  • Reviewing the Local Offer
  • Looking at preparation for adulthood plans

Make sure you keep up to date with the Local Offer for SEND and Parent Carer Forum social media for opportunities to get involved, and help us to make changes in York.


red, white and blue FIS logoDon’t forget to tell your friends and family about York Family Information Service!

If you use Twitter or Facebook you can follow York Family Information Service online! Get the latest news and information about family life and events in York


the words register here with a red scribble diagonally surrounding the wordsIs your child under 3? By registering with York’s Information Service s you will receive on an ad hoc basis tailored information about groups and activities, 2 year old funding and other information such as the opportunity to take part in research specific to the age of your child.

Register online with the Information Service.


red square speech bubble and a blue square speech bubbleIf you have any suggestions or comments about our newsletter and the types of articles featured or you have been in touch with us, we would like to hear from you! Your feedback helps us to know how effective we are, and how we can improve.

You can provide your feedback online at

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