About the Early Years Service

Who We Are

The Early Years Service brings together the statutory and non-statutory duties of the Local Authority. It combines the functions previously undertaken by EY Locality Advisers, pre-school workers, EY finance, EY commissioners and the EY SEND service.

The aim of the service is to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities for all children aged 0-5 years, by:

  • supporting the growth and development of the early years and childcare market to address gaps and support the sufficiency of high quality places for all.
  • building the quality and capacity of early years providers across the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sector.
  • having systems in place to identify and support children with additional needs as early as possible.
  • providing a higher level of intervention for children with the most complex needs.

 

The Early Years Service includes the following roles:

Early Years Quality and Improvement Leads x 3

Kim Nicholls, Justine Everett and Sue Williams

Working under the guidance of the Early Years Service Manager, Sarah Hylton, and alongside the Early Years Sufficiency and Business Manager, their role is to:

  • Lead partnership working in a designated locality to bring together all key partners to ensure a joined up, holistic approach to the provision of good quality child care and achieving good outcomes for individual children.
  • Offer professional information, advice, guidance and support to settings and other professionals to ensure children in early years settings achieve positive outcomes – especially in line with Welfare and Safeguarding, EYFS and SEND frameworks.
  • Manage targeted intervention, support and training for settings including implementation of the EY Intervention Programme, Childminder and SENCO training.
  • Create and embed systems to monitor outcomes for children in early years settings to understand countywide and locality priorities.
  • Design and model good practice and developmental activities which promote development, learning and inclusion.
  • Manage a locality team to ensure that individual children, families, professionals and settings receive the support they need to achieve the best outcomes.

 

Each Early Years Quality and Improvement Lead will manage 2 localities and may lead in specific countywide areas of work as below:

Kim Nicholls: Gloucester/Forest Lead.

Justine Everett: Stroud/Cotswolds Lead for SEN and disability. 

Sue Williams: Cheltenham/Tewkesbury Lead for Safeguarding.

 

Early Years Lead Advisers x 7

Ruth Price, Sarah Cousins, Stephanie Kirby, Catherine Hardwick, Samantha Jackson, Bev Green & Charlotte Smith

Working under the guidance of the EY Locality Leads, their role is to:

  • Promote the early identification of need and the development of holistic assessments and support plans for children - developing and supporting the delivery of clear processes and pathways to enable children and families to access support early.
  • Hold a caseload to include assessing, observing and reporting on a child’s ability to learn, develop and progress.
  • Offer professional information, advice, guidance, training and support to settings and other professionals to ensure children in early years settings meet required outcomes.
  • Develop and support models of partnership working across the locality to ensure a holistic and consistent approach to meeting needs.
  • Design, deliver and evaluate training related to meeting children’s needs (including SEND) to a range of childcare practitioners to support inclusive practice.
  • Support the implementation of the EY Intervention programme.
  • Model good practice and developmental activities to parents and EY practitioners which promote development, learning and inclusion.

 

Early Years Lead Advisers are each allocated to a Locality in Gloucestershire:

Cheltenham/Tewkesbury: Ruth Price, Sarah Cousins.

Gloucester/Forest: Bev Green, Charlotte Smith

Stroud/Cotswolds: Catherine Hardwick, Steph Kirby, Samantha Jackson

 

Early Years Advisers x 8

Cheralyn Randall, Tracy Collingham, Jane Kirkland, Nicky Bree, Jane Reed, Alison Davis, Kerry Smith, Danielle Warren

Working under the guidance of the EY Locality Leads their role is to:

  • Hold a caseload to include assessing, observing and reporting on a child’s ability to learn, support required and levels of progress made.
  • Where necessary, act as a lead professional including completion of Assessments and plans, arranging and chairing Team around the child meetings/reviews.
  • Plan and provide quality play and developmental experiences for young children within the home, targeted community group or assessment place using the Portage model of intervention.
  • Model good practice and developmental activities to parents and educators which promote development, learning and inclusion.
  • Attend My Plan+ reviews for priority children to ensure that needs are being met, provide advice in relation to the need for additional resources including non statutory funding or to determine whether a statutory assessment is required.
  • Support children with the transition to an appropriate educational setting when the need arises.

 

Early Years Advisers are each allocated to a Locality in Gloucestershire:

Cheltenham/Tewkesbury: Cheralyn Randall, Tracy Collingham

Gloucester/Forest: Kerry Smith, Danielle Warren

Stroud/Cotswolds: Jane Kirkland, Nicky Bree, Jane Reed, Alison Davis

 

EYFS Quality and Improvement Adviser & EYFSP Moderation Manager

Cath Davenport

 

Professional Development Programme Project Manager

Gayle Clifford

Working under the guidance of the Early Years Service Manager, Sarah Hylton and alongside the Early Years Locality Leads, Gayle is involved in developing and coordinating programmes of work to enhance and improve the universal and targeted offer for families with young children across the County.

The current programmes of work are:-

  • Early Years Professional Development Programme (EYPDP) - this a programme that will support pre-Reception Early Years Practitioners to improve their practice in working with very young children between the ages of 2 and 4, in improving outcomes in language, literacy and numeracy, with an emphasis on improving school readiness. The programme has already trained 11 Champions in Language & Literacy for 2-4 years olds and they are about to cascade their training to a further 41 Early Years Practitioners in settings based in Gloucester, Cheltenham and the Forest of Dean.
  • Stay, Play & Learn - Our Stay, Play & Learn sessions are aimed at supporting families to encourage their child’s learning and development through talking, playing, singing and sharing books or activities together. All staff delivering the groups have attended a 2 day training course called PEEP training which is delivered by PEEPLE Training. More information on this training can be found here: https://www.peeple.org.uk/training . The training is free and if you are interested in receiving some additional information or would like to book a place on the next course please contact clifford@gloucestershire.gov.uk . The training would really benefit any staff working with children and families on a daily basis, or delivering their own Stay & Play/toddler groups. We are also currently running some Stay, Play & Learn groups in Gloucester. If you would like some further information on dates, times & venues, please email Gayle Clifford. Alternatively our groups are advertised on our Facebook page – Stay, Play and Learn
  • Partnership working – I am currently working with the Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) Early Years sector to ensure that we have sufficient Stay & Play & Toddler groups across the county as well as looking at the provision of a more targeted approach where required.

Provision of Training – I am looking at training to support our Early Years practitioners. We have recently delivered training in ECAT (Every Child A Talker), Trauma Informed and PEEP. If you are interested in finding out more information, please do not hesitate to contact me – gayle.clifford@gloucestershire.gov.uk

 

Early Years Sufficiency and Business Manager

Sarah Spencer

Working under the guidance of the Early Years Service Manager, Sarah Hylton, and alongside the Early Years Quality and Improvement Leads, Sarah manages the Business support team including the Finance Support Manager and Childcare Officer. Sarah will still cover some aspects of previous EY work, namely the lead responsibility for the Bristol Standard and the childminder recruitment and training.

The main purpose of this role is to ensure there is sufficient high quality and sustainable EY provision for children across the county working with a wide range of stakeholders across the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sector plus: 

  • Growth of the early years market, engaging new providers and offering professional advice, guidance and support.
  • Work with colleagues to secure early years funding contributions from developers to meet demand for childcare places in Gloucestershire.
  • Ensure that priorities reflect national initiatives and are effectively implemented ie delivery of the 2,3 and 4 year funding.
  • Provide regular returns to the Department for Education on Gloucestershire’s early years provision and capacity.
  • Work with the Finance Support Manager and Finance Support Officers to ensure there are effective and efficient systems in place to ensure the timely payments to providers for state funded places
  • Work with the Childcare Officer to offer professional information, business advice, guidance and support to settings and other professionals.

 

Childcare Officer

Deborah Robinson 

Working under the guidance of Sarah Spencer, Early Years Sufficiency and Business Manager.

To provide business support to early years providers across the maintained, private and voluntary sectors and:

  • Support providers to reshape and create new childcare places in line with the council’s commissioning strategy including alternative governance, management and delivery structures.
  • Work with providers to produce business plans which are aligned to the Council’s sufficiency strategy and their own business audit.
  • Maintain effective analysis of early years outcomes to target those providers who are likely to require more intensive support and prioritise workload accordingly.
  • Provide expert and responsive information, advice, guidance and support to early years providers on local and business needs.
  • Work with colleagues to ensure that outcomes for children in early years settings inform countywide and locality priorities.
  • Work with the Early Years Sufficiency and Business Manager engaging with other local authorities, national organisations and government departments, such as Department for Education, to ensure Gloucestershire County Council can demonstrate capacity is sufficient and sustainable, meeting its sufficiency duty and is compliant with all government expectations.
  • Develop information, stakeholder engagement plans and training materials for providers to build their capacity, skills and knowledge.

 

Business Support Officer

Rico Phillips

To support the Early Years Sufficiency and Business Manager to ensure there is sufficient high quality sustainable childcare provision across the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors across the county.  Working collaboratively with EY Service teams to ensure that provision for children in early years settings reflects countywide and local priorities

Gathering and collating data and information reports for:

  • Weekly and termly reporting to DFE
  • 2 year funding eligibility take up monitoring  and tracking
  • Childcare sufficiency reporting
  • Ofsted monitoring and reporting
  • Place planning and 106 contribution information
  • To support Early Years and Education Managers with information in response to situations as they occur
  • Receive, monitor, input and respond to Ofsted information and data, raising queries / concerns  where appropriate
  • Ensure providers complete all necessary returns and analyse data to aid planning and monitoring sufficiency and sustainability of provision
  • Ensure that new providers are set up with a Provider Portal Account and all required start up documentation including Nursery Funding Provider agreements are issued to providers
  • Regularly monitor and approve, as required, updates from childcare providers onto Self Update Portal  as received
  • Support the EY development officer to carry out annual monitoring and support calls to all Childcare Providers offering Out of School and Holiday provision
  • Support the Nursery Funding Team (at set periods to be agreed with the Early Years Sufficiency and Business Manager) with the Nursery Funding payment processes including critical payments to promote sufficiency throughout the year
  • Undertake such other duties and responsibilities as are commensurate with the grade and nature of the job

 

Finance Support Manager

Sue Bodenham

Working under the guidance of Sarah Spencer, Early Years Sufficiency and Business Manager.

To manage the processing of payments and receipts for Nursery Education Funding, Early Years grants and contracts and ensure families can access high quality provision plus:

  • To establish and maintain programme monitoring and control procedures for processing payments and administer grants and contracts to providers of Early Years, Education and Childcare, accurately recording child placement and setting details and process payments within published time scales.
  • To prepare and present reports on expenditure as required.
  • To authorise and manage the payment of invoices from settings.
  • To manage the development and day to day running of databases to ensure there are effective and efficient systems in place to ensure the timely payments to providers.
  • Ensure clear and up to date information is available for parents and settings relating to changes in policies, guidance and practice.
  • To lead the Finance Support Officers, ensuring an effective team structure is in operation to deliver outcomes.
  • Work with colleagues to secure delivery of systems for managing any changes to entitlement funding as required.

 

Finance Support Officers x 3

Glynis Russell, Ben Mumford and Emma Allsopp 

Working under the guidance of Sue Bodenham, Finance Support Manager to administer Nursery Education Funding, EY grants and contracts and ensure families can access high quality provision, plus:

  • Process and administer grants and contracts to providers of Early Years Education and Childcare, accurately recording child placement and setting details and process payments within published time scales.
  • To ensure Nursery Education providers complete all necessary returns and analyse data to aid planning and monitoring provision.

 

 

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