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Additional support and information

Early years quality improvement and support programme (EYQISP)

The early years quality improvement and support programme is a robust support and challenge programme that is provided by Cornwall Council to help early years providers in all schools, academies and early years settings to achieve the best possible outcomes for all children, including those from disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.  It also ensures that essential training and support is available for providers of early years services in order that they can confidently improve practice and can secure good or better Ofsted outcomes during inspections.  The programme is integral to the implementation of the Integrated Early Years Strategy in Cornwall.

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All providers will have a minimum basic entitlement to: 

  • Access training and conferences in the 2019-20 Education and Early Years Training Directory 
  • Telephone and email information and advice through contact with the Cornwall Early Years Improvement Team staff, the Early Years Learning and Development Team, the Family Information Service and the Early Years Inclusion Service
  • An Early Years Consultant, Early Years Advisory Teacher, Early Years Support Assistant and Childminder Support Assistant for their area (contact details are available from the Family Information Service website)
  • Pre and post Ofsted inspection phone advice for good and outstanding early years providers, academies and schools where this has been requested. Bespoke visits by agreement where a particular need or concern has been identified.
  • Bespoke support visits arranged by agreement between the provider and local Early Years Consultant; for early years settings receiving nursery education funding.
  • Brokerage of peer to peer professional support between providers and practitioners where appropriate.
  • Invitations to specific improvement programmes in areas where data suggests children’s progress would benefit from additional, targeted support.

Additional, targeted support will be available as follows:

  • Settings graded ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted will be allocated an Early Years Improvement Team consultant who will be responsible for working with the setting in order to secure progress against relevant Ofsted actions. This will include the development of a post Ofsted action and training plan which will be a condition for continued early years funding. Where necessary a grant will be paid through the Early Years Improvement Team in order for specific elements of action plans to be implemented. For example if a course is recommended as part of the action plan it may be possible to provide some resources in order for this to be subsidised or offered with no cost. Local early years consultants will be able to give further advice about this during the development of an individual Action Plan.
  • Settings identified as being vulnerable will be prioritised for visits and these visits will be undertaken by the relevant Early Years Improvement Team member, for example an Early Years Advisory Teacher or Early Years Support Assistant.
  • Visits may consist of a range of activities including monitoring and supportive discussion with relevant managers and staff, observations within the setting or modelling of good practice for practitioners.
  • Settings where support has been prioritised may receive additional support commissioned by the Head of Early Years and Foundation Stage based upon needs identified by the monitoring process.

Information on the early years inclusion fund discretionary grant can be found on the Family Information Service website.

Online support for early years education providers

The Family Information Service (FIS) website is a vital resource for all professionals working with children and young people, but especially early years education providers, as it offers a whole section dedicated to this sector. Within it, you will find information and documents to assist with running a successful business, including details on funding, useful contacts, templates, application forms, important updates and guidance on statutory elements. 

Elsewhere on the site you will find information on both local and national services for families. It is also the online access point for the common assessment framework (CAF). Or use it to find out what’s happening at your local family hub through the downloadable what’s on guides.

As the official source for details on Ofsted registered childcare providers within Cornwall, parents rely on FIS when they are looking for a provider. So, to maximise the marketing of your business, make sure your details are up to date with the service. To amend your page on the FIS website, simply click on the link ‘my account’ and then sign-in or register.

If you have any questions, contact the FIS team on 0800 587 8191 or visit the website. 

When updating your details on the FIS website, you will see a section headed ‘local offer’ with a list of questions underneath. The local offer is a statutory element of the Children and Families Act, every local authority must have one and Cornwall’s is hosted on the FIS website.

The Local Offer allows parents of children with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) to see what services are available for their family. Therefore, your answers to the local offer questions will play an important role in helping parents to decide if your setting is right for their child’s needs.

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets out the requirements for staff to child ratios in settings delivering the early EYFS and the qualification levels that practitioners must hold. The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) defines the 'full and relevant' qualifications that practitioners must hold to be included in the specified ratios at levels 2 and 3 of the EYFS. 

The early years qualifications list provides guidance and a search tool to help those delivering the EYFS to identify qualifications that are considered to be full and relevant at levels 2 and 3. 

Each regular staff member engaged in the delivery of the EYFS should be participating in training and professional development activities associated with the principles of the EYFS framework. This does not necessarily mean attendance at a training event. Professional development opportunities are defined as ‘any occasion where a practitioner learns something that increases their knowledge about any aspect of early education, childcare and playwork’.

Please keep a record of all training and professional development opportunities that your staff have undertaken. Under the Ofsted education inspection framework, settings will be asked to provide evidence of how they are supporting staff development and needs, and a description of their programme of professional development and training. It is essential that this work is linked to a full supervision and appraisal process in each setting as required in the EYFS Statutory Framework.