Young children with teacher

Under 5s

Our aim is to ensure that Reading’s young children have the best start in life with easy access to maternity, health, education and support services.

Support for schools and nurseries


Starting school is a key time for both children and parents or carers. Many children see this as a positive occurrence. However, some children and families will struggle with the move to a new environment. This first experience of school can have a profound influence on children’s school career.

A quality transition process should support both children and families to feel confident and secure in their new environment and future learning.

With this in mind Reading Early Years team, in collaboration with local schools and settings have agreed and developed a transition process. Part of this process includes the sharing of the child’s learning and development report as well as possible visits from schools to settings prior to starting.

Transitions Infant & Toddler Environment Rating Scale / Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ITERS/ECERS)

The Environment Rating Scales (ERS) are a set of tools for measuring and improving the quality of early year’s provision. Settings can purchase the use of this Ofsted recognised improvement tool through the Early Years Team, which includes:

  • 2 trained ITERS and ECERS Mentors
  • 2 observational visits on one room
  • Report from both visits, which can form part of your SEF
  • Quick fixes / Areas to improve

The ERS provide the trained mentors with a structure for recording, improving and evidencing different aspects of the learning environment provided for children. The ERS are used by researchers and practitioners all over the world to support reflection, self-evaluation, quality assessment and improvement. In the UK they are used by more than 50 local authorities and thousands of practitioners in all sectors, guided by the findings of the EPPSE research which identified a strong relationship between high quality early years provision and children’s later development.

The ERS are completed using an observation-based audit. They are designed to give a snapshot of provision on a particular day. A whole observation for one group/room takes half a day to complete. The scales can also be used for self-evaluation, one item at a time. Each item (e.g. ‘informal use of language’) includes a series of statements or quality indicators, arranged in a progression of quality from low to high. These indicators ‘stack up’ like building blocks to celebrate strengths and to highlight possible improvements. The scoring system allows each item to be given a score from 1 (inadequate) to 7 (excellent). While the scoring system is not the most important part of the process, it does provide a useful means of measuring quality – and improvement in quality – over time.


Click here for more information about training dates.

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.


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