Welcome parents and carers!

You are registered with the City of York Council's Local Area Teams York Family Information Service to receive our combined 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 Summer 2021's edition:

Happy 21st to us!

cup cake in blue case and a blue lit candleWe've been supporting families for 21 years!

There is no such thing as a silly question at York Family Information Service. If you have any question at all about being a parent in York or Young Person, contact us and we will be happy to try and help you.

Whether you are looking for childcare, groups and activities, ways to support your child or young person to meet new people and have new experiences, support around emotional wellbeing, parenting support or looking to help your young person find education, employment or training we operate on an ask anything basis and are ready to help support you in your role as a parent or a young person in York.

Contact our friendly team on 01904 554444 / or visit our website 

Shine! What's on this summer2021

blue and white Shine logoThe summer holidays are here! We have lots of exciting activities and things to do during the school summer holidays listed in Shine!

Arts, crafts, nature, walks, books, sports - there is something for everyone. For full details visit Shine!


Have fun reading this summer!

green font wild world heroesThe Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge is running in Explore York Libraries and Archives from 17th July until 11th September for 0 – 12s.

It’s a great way to get your child to love books and it’s free to take part. This year we are Wild World Heroes with a quest to make the planet a better place.

Read books you enjoy and get stickers and prizes as you read and a medal and certificate if you read 6 books. Just call in and sign up.


Free Holiday Activities and Food

girl kicking a ballFree, fun and exciting activities are available for school aged children who are eligible to receive benefits related free school meals. A range of activities are available to chose from, from different activity providers and a nutritious meal will also be provided on the day!

From Monday 26 July parents and carers of eligible children should book directly with the activity provider they wish to use. Places are subject to availability.

Parents should let the provider know that they are in receipt of benefit based free school meals.

More information is available at 


Max Card

green max cardFrom 01 August 2021 Max Cards will be issued only to families who live within the City of York Council boundary and have children aged 0 – 25 years who have disabilities and additional needs.

Families who live outside of the City of York Council, including those whose children access schools or services within York, will need to contact their local FIS to renew or apply for a Max Card.

Any family living outside City of York Council can still continue to receive the FIS newsletter with information on what is happening in York for children and young people aged 0 – 25 years.

Family Learning are getting out!

adult and baby hedgehogOur Family Learning team is going to be out and about from September delivering our popular courses at some of our schools, children centres and libraries.  There is a variety of courses for parents, grandparents and carers to support children’s learning all through their pre-school and primary years. We’re also running special projects in primary schools including Clifton Green and Clifton with Rawcliffe, Fishergate, Hob Moor and Westfield, so if you have children going to those schools, look out for Family Learning events and promotions in the autumn term.

We are on the look out for Learning Champions, people who can join us to help spread the word and sign people up to the learning opportunities on offer. You’ll receive support and training to do this which would be great for CV development and future career ideas, or perhaps you just want to put something back into your community … Whatever your reason, if you want to know more, check out or email

And finally, no-one needs to miss out - If you’re pushed for time or can’t get along to the venues on offer, we will still be doing at least one of each course online because we know that suited some people better. However, we can’t wait to get back out on the road and see you all face to face because learning together is really what Family Learning is all about!

You’ll find more about what’s on where and when at  or you can ring us for information on 01904 554277.

Help your child be school ready

image showing colourful flags and a ruler and pencils and stack of booksFamily Learning York have listed some great hints and tips to help your child be school ready.

  1. Books are a great way to explore a subject in a non threatening way and get your child to talk about how they're feeling. A good example is 'Starting School' by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.
  2. Get to know your child's school and it will seem less scary. Walk past the school together or visit if you can. Look at the school's website and find out if there are any social media groups you can join.
  3. Help build your child's confidence by encouraging them to do practical tasks for themselves. Put together a tick list of things to focus on: wiping their own bottom, zipping up their coat, putting their shoes on and off and tidying up. Remember to give lots of praise!
  4. Encourage a 'have a go' attitude. Let you child know it's ok to get things wrong. Try and focus on the trying rather than the end result.
  5. Introduce your child to word and number games. Look for numbers and words on signs, packaging, door numbers, registration plates. Try to read to your child every day. Check our your local library for lots of books you can borrow for free!
  6. Talk to your child about their feelings. Encourage turn taking and sharing. Try arrange a play dare. Help your child understand which behaviours are unacceptable.
  7. Uniform and equipment. Check your child's school website or contact the school. Get everything sorted the night before!
  8. All children are different. some will take longer to settle than others. That's fine. Try not to plan too many things after school in the first few weeks as your child will be tired. Carry on being kind and supportive! You might find you may need to bring bedtime forward!

Childcare prepare for the new term

childcare colourful blocksIs your child starting school, has your place of work or work pattern changed are you returning to work after maternity or paternity leave? Contact York FIS and we will support you in finding Ofsted Registered childcare. We send tailored lists of the childcare in your area based on the postcode and other information you provide us.

If you struggle to find childcare we also offer a brokerage service, giving you that extra support around finding childcare to meet your needs.

Contact us today if you would like a list or information on childcare.

Don't forget you might also be eligible for help towards your childcare costs whether your child is a baby or a teen. Find out more at

Tel 01904 554444 / text only 07786202241 or email

Support for Young People

young people jumpingIt’s not just the youngest children who are experiencing the next steps in school life and beyond.

Kooth are offering summer workshops to support young people experiencing anxiety and stress, exam stress and support for boys and young men’s mental health. For more info and to book email

York College are offering virtual Getting Sorted events for new students, parents and carers. Sessions are running on Tuesday 10th August 14.00-15.00 OR Wednesday 11th August 11.00-12.00. Book online at or contact York College 01904 770100

For more information on services to support young people's mental health and wellbeing or education, employment and training visit the Young People’s pages on

Early Years and Childcare Parent Survey

rainbow sillhouettes of children baby crawling to toddlerThis survey is to find out from parents /carers what their needs are regarding early years and childcare places in York.  The information will help the local authority to plan to make sure there is enough high quality early years and childcare places for families who need it.

Please complete this survey if you have yet to find an early years and childcare places for your 0 to 14 year old ( or up to 18 years old for children with a disability), or if your child is currently attending a childminder, pre-school, day nursery, school nursery, before/after school care or holiday club.

Answers will be kept confidential and parents / carers will not be identified in any way in the reporting and use of this survey. The survey should only take approximately 5 -10 minutes to complete and we will be sharing a summary of the findings with providers to also help you plan for the coming terms.

Please complete the survey by clicking on the following link:  The closing date for the survey is Sunday 8th August 2021.

For any parents/carers who are not able to complete the survey online, it is also available in paper format. Contact / 01904 554444

Healthy Child Service update

green, white and black Healthy Child Service logoYou can now contact the Healthy Child Service on one number!

The healthy child team work with young people, children (0 - 19 years old) and families ensuring children are able to reach their full potential and have the best possible start in life.

If you have any worries or concerns about your child's development then don't hesitate to give the team a call on 01904 555475.

You can also email them on or visit

Could you be a childminder?

smiley manRegistered 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. To register your interest visit the YorOK Childminding page and complete the online form. Alternatively for more information contact

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 detail

York St John Counselling and Mental Health Service

two people talkingThe Counselling and Mental Health Centre for young people aged 18+, is expanding to meet the increasing need for mental health services in York.

They’re moving to a new home on Clarence Street and would love you to be involved by helping them choose a new name for the Centre.

Our new Centre needs a new name, and we thought who better to ask than the people who make the Centre what it is - that's YOU. We’re all about community, collaboration and creativity, and this is a unique way to encompass all of this. This is an opportunity for us to collaborate and help shape the future of our Centre and help us to bring the community even closer together, really cementing our foundations in a meaningful way.

We’re really excited about sharing this next step with you and look forward to seeing your ideas. If you’d like to suggest a name for the new Counselling and Mental Health Centre, please share your ideas via this form!  Submissions will close at the end of the month, and its new official name to be announced later this year after the consultation. 

Warm regards, Counselling and Mental Health Centre (CMHC), York St John University | Lord Mayor's Walk | York | YO31 7EX , E-mail: , Website: YSJ_CMHC

Take part in research and receive a £5 Amazon Gift voucher

black and white cartoon paper and penSara-Louise Hashem, a developmental psychology Masters’ student at the University of York is looking to recruit children aged 4-10 (and a parent/carer) to participate in a research project Emotion Face Processing and Social Behaviour in Children – University of York. The study has been approved by the University of York Psychology Department Ethics Committee. Participants will receive a £5 Amazon voucher.

Sara-Louise's study is investigating the relationship between children’s perception of facial expressions and their social behaviour. This is a remote online study, meaning that you can take part from home at a time/date that suits you.

Who can participate?

  • Children aged 4-10 and a parent/carer.
  • You will need a laptop/computer and Internet connection.
  • Because the computer task involves watching sets of pictures that appear very quickly on the screen, children (and parents) who are sensitive to flashing pictures (i.e., photosensitive epilepsy).

What is involved?

  • Due to Covid-19, this study is entirely remote, meaning that tasks can be completed from home at a time which suits you. They will take 1-1.5 hours in total, which includes plenty of breaks and can be split into multiple sessions.
  • Parents will complete an online questionnaire about their child’s everyday social and emotional behaviours.

With the help of a parent, children will complete 2 fun online computer tasks during a scheduled Zoom call with the researcher:

  • Task 1 will involve watching sets of ‘scrambled’ faces presented very quickly on the screen to look out for dogs’ faces and ‘normal’ faces ‘hidden’ in-between. Some of these faces will display an emotion (e.g., happiness, sadness, fear).
  • Task 2 will involve children watching and briefly discussing 2 very short videos (10-20 seconds) of other children displaying emotions in everyday situations (i.e., looking worried at a Doctors’ appointment).


  • You will help us to develop our understanding of an under-researched area of developmental psychology.
  • You will receive a £5 Amazon voucher for their time.

Full details of the study and register your interest is available online. Alternatively, you can email the researcher Sara Hashem ( directly.

Look Say Sing Play event - Thank you!

green look with a smiley face say sign playMore than 100 parents, carers and children attended City of York Council’s recent Look, Say Sing Play event with the NSPCC.

Look, Say, Sing, Play is designed to help parents with children under the age of two to bond with their young ones and help their minds develop using fun tasks and household items.

The NSPCC's Look, Say, Sing, Play local partners, including City of York Council, Early Start and Family Learning, entertained children at Acomb Explore Library on June 30, and advised parents on positive ways to build stronger bonds with their children through simple songs and games to play at home.

Helen Westerman, NSPCC local campaigns manager, said: “It was really fantastic to see so many parents and carers join in with the Look, Say, Sing, Play event in Acomb.

“The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, and many of those who attended made it clear they were really pleased to be taking part in something with experts and other parents and carers.”

A spokesperson from City of York Council said: “The feedback we received was incredibly encouraging and everyone appeared to enjoy the individual activities, which – as well as being fun – gave lots of useful information to parents and carers in Acomb.

“We were even busier than we had hoped, and everyone worked incredibly hard to make sure we could offer activities to all who came.  Our Covid planning had been extensive and thankfully the weather was our friend so we were able to use the garden at Acomb Explore to accommodate a wonderful number of visitors.”

The basics of the campaign are straightforward, and can easily be done at home by any parent or carer. Parents are encouraged to Look at what their baby is focusing on and how they react, Say what they’re doing and copy the sounds their baby makes, Sing along to their favourite tune and Play simple games and see what their baby enjoys.

To find out more about Look, Say, Sing, Play or sign up to free weekly brain-building tips, go to or and search for Look, Say, Sing, Play.

Do you want to know what we have done since the SEND Inspection?

get involved logo

This month, the City of York Council and the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group are bringing you a Special Edition Newsletter. This newsletter will cover what our services have done, what we plan to do, and what difference our work is making to families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in York.

  • Hear from Ruth at the new Parent Carer Forum
  • Health updates on Autism and ADHD
  • Learn how we are working with you in joint partnership and how you can get involved
  • Understand what the Outcomes Framework is and what it means to you
  • Get to know how your views have been used to make a difference
  • And much more!

Your child’s school or setting will receive a virtual copy of this newsletter and will be sharing this with you and sharing on their websites before the end of term.

The newsletter will also be uploaded onto the Local Offer for SEND website. You can find it on the July Special Edition Newsletter page.

If you cannot access the online version, Explore Libraries will also have some for you to read. For a physical copy of your own, please contact

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