Skip to content Skip to main menu Skip to utility menu

Early years

The overwhelming evidence from research shows that high quality early learning and care is essential to give children the solid start they need to achieve better outcomes in school and beyond. Children who experience high quality provision develop better social, emotional and cognitive abilities. Conversely, poor quality provision does not support children’s learning and development in the long term.

We believe that children looked after children should be integrated into good or outstanding early years educational settings by 3 years of age, on a part-time basis. Research shows that children who attend from the age of 2 have significantly better outcomes. Well considered home routines and nurture would provide all the necessary care and learning experiences for the child to feel safe and develop.

Looked after children can access a free early years place, from the term after their second birthday, supported by their social worker.

Once a child is on role at an early years setting, let us know so we can provide the setting with appropriate practical and financial support. Call the family information service on 0800 389 8667.

Our early years personal education plan (EY PEP) is a tool to improve educational outcomes for looked after children 2 – 5 who aren’t in reception, by addressing identified learning needs and the wishes of the child, this tool is also used to ensure a smooth transition. Early years providers with children in care are required to complete an EY PEP and submit it to the virtual school. This must be completed and sent to the virtual school termly in order for the early years pupil premium for each child in care to be allocated. The early years pupil premium for children in care is for children aged from three years and one term accessing their free entitlement through the universal offer.

Access to high quality early years provision is vital to improving the educational progress of children in care by ensuring they have the best possible start to school. 

The Early Years Support

  • A virtual school worker allocated to each child, the term after they turn 3 years old.
  • All initial PEPs attended by the virtual school worker.
  • A minimum of one PEP meeting a year to be attended by the allocated virtual school worker.
  • A pack containing home learning resources will be provided for the carer and child at the initial PEP.