Why do we need under 5s, known as Early Years, services?

The term ‘early years’ refers to a specific period of time between conception and age five. During this time young children consolidate, through play and exploration, the abilities, knowledge and skills that provide the foundation for their future progress through school and life.

Early Years is a statutory service under Childcare Act 2016. At Brighter Futures for Children, we call this our Under 5s service.

Our role is to support and advise settings working with children from birth to 5 years of age in the provision of quality childcare.

What we offer

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers (0–5yrs) must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. Ofsted registered childminders, pre-schools, nurseries and reception classes must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework sets the standards for providers of learning, development and care for children from 0–5. All schools and Ofsted registered early years providers must follow the EYFS.

Ofsted changed the way they inspect and report on schools from September 2019. For more information on how these changes will affect you please visit www.gov.uk/government/news/ofsted-is-changing-how-it-inspects-schools

It supports an integrated approach to early learning and care by giving all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to adhere to.

It contains detailed information about statutory duties and requirements such as the need for settings to have arrangements in place to support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Contact:
early.years@brighterfuturesforchildren.org

Early Years update meeting

The Early Years Team aims to lead 3 Update meetings per year. This is an opportunity for all leaders and managers to network with each other and ensure they are kept up to date with local and national information.
Attendance at these meetings can be counted as part of your professional development and evidence towards the Leadership and Management aspect of Ofsted inspections.

Management committee network

The Early Years Team aims to lead 3 network meetings per year for directors and committee members of Reading Private, Voluntary and Independent settings. These meetings provide support, advice and the chance to network with others with the same standing.

Attendance at these meetings can be counted as evidence towards the Leadership and Management aspect of Ofsted inspections.

Business advice service

The Early Years and Childcare sector continues to operate under the spotlight, with providers facing increasing challenges to remain sustainable. Government funding and delivery models are changing, and the expectations of Ofsted and parents are continually rising, driving settings to push for improvements in quality and outcomes for their children.

In order to provide support in these changing times members of the Early Years Team have completed a Level 5 Award in Business Support as part of the Childcare Business Advisers Programme which is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the UK’s leading professional body for managers, consultants and business advisers. The Business Support Skills route ensures the ability to support settings with their business planning and advise them on sustainability issues.

Bespoke packages are available to purchase upon request, prices are based upon individual requirements.

Email: early.years@BrighterFuturesforChildren.org 

Sufficiency

Early Years’ Service has a duty to secure sufficient childcare for working parents, for funded 2 year olds, and all 3–4 year olds, they are required to report annually to the elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and make this report available and accessible.

Sufficiency reports can be found here.

Becoming a childminder Starting a new setting Business support
Childminder briefing Ofsted registration process Business Advice Service
Introduction to Childminding course Vouchers
Ofsted registration process Taxfree childcare funding
Vouchers
Taxfree childcare funding

Vouchers

Childcare vouchers are a Government-approved, tax-efficient way for parents to use to pay for childcare. Providers can register with the relevant scheme to accept these payments; they are able to register for more than one scheme. Parents will need the provider’s Ofsted registration number and the reference number of the childcare voucher scheme.

Taxfree childcare

Tax-free childcare is a Government-approved, tax-efficient way for parents to use to pay for childcare. Registered providers are able to sign up to receive payments directly into their bank accounts and will receive an 11 digit code from HMRC to use when setting up their account.

Providers are able to accept funds from both schemes.

Funding

In order to accept the early years funding, providers must complete a Provider’s Agreement and abide by the terms. The Early Years team can support you with this on your annual compliance visit.

Business advice service

The Early Years and Childcare sector continues to operate under the spotlight, with providers facing increasing challenges to remain sustainable. Government funding and delivery models are changing, and the expectations of Ofsted and parents are continually rising, driving settings to push for improvements in quality and outcomes for their children.

In order to provide support in these changing times, members of the Early Years Team have completed a Level 5 Award in Business Support as part of the Childcare Business Advisers Programme which is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the UK’s leading professional body for managers, consultants and business advisers. The Business Support Skills route ensures the ability to support settings with their business planning and advise them on sustainability issues.

Bespoke packages are available to purchase upon request, prices are based upon individual requirements.

Email: early.years@brighterfuturesforchildren.org

For information to support Early Years providers and practitioners in Reading, visit our dedicated transitions page here.

The Early Years’ Service fulfils the duty under the Childcare Act 2016 to provide information, advice and training to childcare providers. Local authorities must ensure they meet their duties under the Equality Act 2010 and take account of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice 0-25 when securing free places, promoting equality and inclusion.

Click here for autumn term 2022 CPD training programme

Click here for more information and training dates over the year

You can also visit the Reading Education Services website or if you want to get in touch, email us at early.years@brighterfuturesforchildren.org

Early Years Newsletter

We produce a termly newsletter to keep you up to date with the latest information, resources, top tips and advice. Click the image to open the edition below.

We have received funding for a new project to support babies born over the pandemic who will have missed out on opportunities to learn and socialise due to lockdown, and who may need some extra help to catch up on their development. Click the button on the right to learn more and to make a referral.

Baby Boost

Learn More

If you work with children under 5 with SEND, click the button below

Under 5s with SEND

If you need more information or need to speak with the Early Years team please call 0118 937 4730

If you want to report concerns about a child or young person, visit this page if you a member of the public or this page if you’re a professional.