Early Years and Childcare

Last updated:

The Early Years’ Service provides a range of support for schools delivering early years education and childcare for children of all ages across the EYFS. The Service provides advice and support to schools, through a team of early years specialist teachers who can work with EYFS leads and headteachers to improve outcomes for all young children and reduce inequalities.  The Service offers information and advice to schools to ensure they are knowledgeable and compliant with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage including safeguarding procedures. The Service has a variety of traded options to support schools quality improvement journey and Early Years SEND, and offers bookable CPD to teachers and Early Years practitioners through the Buckingham Early Years website.

The Early Years’ Service ensures the Local Authority meets its statutory duty to secure sufficient high quality funded early education places for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds and sufficient childcare for 0-14/18 year-olds whose parents are in work or training to return to work. We are required to report annually to Cabinet Members on the Sufficiency of Childcare in Buckinghamshire and publish our findings. The Local Authority needs to manage the early years and childcare market to ensure that parents have access to a range of providers operating different delivery models.

The Early Years’ Service has specialist Business and Finance Advisers who can provide advice and support in relation to the best options for the delivery of early education and childcare provision in schools. We would ask that you contact us if you are considering developing new provision or wish to make changes to your current delivery model. The Service offers Brokerage support to parents of children who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities to secure a suitable early education or childcare place and works with the provider to support a smooth transition.

Services provided to schools

  • Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) information, advice and support for schools with nursery and reception provision.
  • All schools have a named Key Contact: the purpose is to maintain the strong relationships our service has developed within the sector. As such, they will be the first point of contact for you. They will be able to provide advice and ensure the correct level of support is offered to you from the EYS.
  • Assessment, advice and support to schools regarding the EYFS.
  • Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) information, advice and support for nursery provision.
  • A high-quality Early Years CPD programme is available for leaders and early years practitioners working in all schools (see details below).
  • Advice on Regulatory requirements e.g. qualifications, ratios, space, safeguarding, health & safety, staff management.
  • Lowering age of admission and business modelling to manage 15-hour (UFE universal free entitlement) and 30-hour (EFE extended free entitlement) places effectively and sustainably.
  • Funding, payments and processes, and budget management.
  • Collaboration with School Commissioning to develop capital programmes to support place expansion.
  • EYFS information, advice and support for Family Centre provision.
  • Advice on developing new early education places or setting up childcare for children aged 0-14, or 18 with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities including as above plus:
    • Parents ‘Right to Request’ advice;
    • Methods of service provision and possible partnership working;
    • Leases and licences;
    • Consultation with potential users;
    • Business planning and budget management; and
    • Governor support in relation to the above.

Network, support and information sharing

  • Schools Forum representation and support.
  • Early Years Forum – a sub group of schools forum. Representatives from all areas of the early years sector are voted onto this subgroup to support with decision making, consultation and discussion on key priorities for sector.
  • Opportunities for all teachers working with the EYFS to network.
  • Early Years Side by Side Providers in Partnership Network (PiPs), by invitation.
  • Early Years SENCO Liaison Groups for teachers and practitioners in nursery provision.
  • Website information, weekly Sector Updates and e-communication.


Examples of EYFS Support Packages 2023-2024

Prices exclude VAT if applicable to your organisation

Early Years Consultancy for Good and Outstanding Schools   Price tbc  

An agreed programme of in-school support can be planned in consultation with the headteacher or other senior leaders. This may include bespoke consultancy visits, audits of practice and provision, training, mentoring, coaching and Early Years reviews. Specific areas of support include:

  • designing effective systems for planning, monitoring, delivering and evaluating the EYFS with reference to attainment data
  • ensuring an effective and meaningful partnership with parents through home visits, parent workshops and ongoing sharing of information
  • using audit tools to create action plans that improve learning environments so that all aspects of a school’s provision are outstanding
  • developing an observation led assessment system to ensure a sound understanding of children’s learning that feeds into effective planning
  • developing an approach to collecting, summarising and analysing data, and using it to plan effectively, while enabling transition between phases
  • planning literacy teaching using an effective phonics programme in partnership with parents

Early Years Packages for Good and Outstanding Providers

  • Half day consultancy and twilight: Price tbc
    • The half-day consultancy visits will consist of a three-hour visit to your setting by an Early Years adviser. The focus for the visit will have been agreed, prior to the visit.
    • The staff meeting will consist of a one and a half hour (maximum 25 individuals) meeting facilitated by an EY Adviser. The agenda for the meeting will have been agreed with the adviser before it takes place.

Premium Package for Good and Outstanding Providers   Price tbc

  • The package includes a further two half‑day consultancy visits with an EY Adviser (these visits are in addition to our universal offer).
  • Furthermore, you will be able to plan and schedule a bespoke, in‑house training session, facilitated by an EY Adviser

EYFS Bespoke training £300

Schools and settings can choose from a range of training to support the delivery of the EYFS, meeting the needs of all children. The training session is for up to 20 delegates for a maximum of 3 hours in length

For example:

  • Communication & Language
  • Building a Unique Curriculum
  • Where is the Maths?
  • 2 Year olds
  • Teaching Phonics in Pre school and Nursery

ECERS    £600

Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale

 ½ day audit of quality of provision, SWOT analysis and senior management feedback

ITERS      £600

Infant & Toddler Environmental rating scale

½ day audit of quality of birth to three provision, SWOT analysis and senior management feedback


½ day audit of quality of interactions, SWOT analysis and senior management feedback


Assessment Review  POA                                                                                                          

This document has been produced to support all practitioners across the Early Years to self-evaluate their assessment systems.

Learning & Development Review   POA                                                                          

This document has been produced to support all practitioners across the Early Years to self-evaluate their approach to Learning and Development.

These audits are available to download at no cost on our webpage. If you require further support, we are able to offer Bespoke packages for a fee:

  1. Extend this service with a virtual Teams meeting with a member of the early years service who will provide feedback to discuss strengths and areas for development to support action planning.
  2. Send your completed Assessment self-review to your key contact who will organise for a named member of the EY service to provide detailed feedback highlighting key strengths and areas for development in a two hour visit to your setting.

Safeguarding & Welfare review

Option 1:

A half-day audit to review compliance with the EYFS Safeguarding and Welfare requirements that includes feedback and report. This physical visit will check for statutory compliance within the Early Years Foundation Stage. Includes a comprehensive audit to review the effectiveness of safeguarding in the Early Years setting. Supports compliance with the EYFS statutory requirements and enables the setting to identify and recognise how they ensure children are kept safe. £300

Option 2:

A half-day physical visit to enhance compliance with the EYFS and Safeguarding and Welfare requirements.  It includes a review of premises, checking practitioner safeguarding knowledge and safer recruitment practices. A practice ‘walk and talk’ style discussion. It may include checks on paperwork etc as required when a deeper dive is required. This may be something that has been highlighted in the audit. £300

Option 3:

All of option 2 in addition to the following: increasing confidence of S&W requirements and internal policies and procedures within a staff meeting. 1.5 hr support staff meeting/ Q+A session tailored for setting. Issues covered could be: staff confidence, gaps in safeguarding knowledge, current Ofsted trends and issues or a safeguarding update if needed (this could have been highlighted in the option 2 visit). £200

Option 2+3 = £500

SEND Support

Autism Education Trust (AET) Tier 1 Making Sense of Autism   £300                                     

Basic autism awareness training for all staff in all early years settings, whether or not they work directly with children with autism. This is a 2 hours training session for up to 20 delegates

Autism Education Trust (AET) Tier 2 Good Autism Practice  £600

This training will support practitioners working directly with children on the autism spectrum or on the pathway to a diagnosis in early years settings. This is a full day training session for up to 20 delegates

Half-day EYFS consultancy/SEND  £300

Bespoke consultancy for EYFS provision on a range of topics including Early Years Reviews, Assessment, Developing Provision and SEND in Reception

EYFS Subsidised CPD Programme 2023-2024

A high-quality Early Years CPD programme is available for leaders and early years practitioners working in all schools and school-managed children’s centres. Most course prices are subsidised, and the programme will be continually developed across the year to provide the most up-to-date training in response to evidence, national policy and local and regional changes. Schools will receive regular updates on new courses through Sector Updates or by viewing the website below.

Please view our website to find details of our support and training courses or contact the Early Years Workforce Development Team


Key Contact
Early Years’ Service
01296 3837111

Sue Bayliss
Early Years Manager

Print entire guide

Was this page helpful?

Very poor
Neither good nor poor
Very good