Supporting the early years sector

Holding hands

Strong Early Years London

Partner: The Mayor of London, Ceeda


The 91ɫƵ is working with the Mayor of London and  offering business support to London's early years providers through an initiative called Strong Early Years London.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has invested £150,000 in the programme to help support London’s under pressure nurseries and childminders - recognising that London's early years sector is essential in preparing children for school, reducing the inequality gap and helping parents and carers return to work.

Strong Early Years London provides London’s nurseries and childminders with a sector-specific one-stop-shop on the London Business Hub. 

The programme includes a  and sector-focused .

The online business hub allows London’s nurseries, pre-schools and childminders to access a range of sector-specific advice and guidance all in one place, including:

  • blogs
  • webinars
  • ‘Business Connect’ interactive online events exploring topics such as digital marketing, effective staff recruitment and management, business health checks and budget forecasting.
  • information about upcoming business-advisory events
  • links to dedicated local authority services and wider support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The project is being led by the Early Years 91ɫƵ and delivered in collaboration with London boroughs and other training providers.

It will also deliver up to three hours of expert consultancy services to providers to help business owners and managers identify their specific development needs and offer tailored one-to-one support via video meet or telephone.

Nursery and pre-school managers and childminders are invited to visit the  within the London Business Hub page to register their interest in one-to-one consultancy.

To date nearly 400 early years business leaders have benefited from the online business hub services, which are accessed via the .

Early Years Development Services 

Partner: Southend Borough Council

Location: Southend


Working in partnership with Southend Borough Council the Early Years 91ɫƵ provides advice and support to early years and childcare providers to ensure high quality practice for all children within Southend. 

The type of advice and support that is offered ranges from enabling environments, safeguarding, safer recruitment, and risk assessment. Providers are also challenged and supported in preparation for Ofsted inspections. 

The development team plays a key role in the communication and workforce development functions of the service. 

The Early Years Resource Page on the Southend Learning Network site is available to all Southend providers including schools, which is monitored and updated regularly. It contains current Government legislation, Ofsted documents and all Early Years paperwork including Provider Handbooks and Parent Funding Declaration Forms. 

Training is arranged for the childcare workforce in all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage and to degree level. Training also includes a rolling programme of Safeguarding including Level 2, Refresher and Designated Person. 

The team also contribute to LSCB safeguarding meetings and link closely with the Local Authority Safeguarding Team and the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). 

The team can be contacted via email 

Oldham Ofsted Inspection Readiness Programme

Partner: Oldham Council

Location: Oldham


For the provision of an Ofsted Inspection Readiness Programme for 30 group providers who are due inspection. The bespoke programme covers:

  • Making links with the EYFS requirements and Ofsted inspection evaluation schedule
  •  Exploring the key documents that inspectors use to make their judgements

  •  Evaluating how policies and practice impact on the inspection outcome

  •  Defining the best ways of evidencing good practice in teaching and learning, assessment, leadership, Safeguarding etc

  •  Navigating sample inspection reports and exploring the implications

  •   Learning from case studies featured in ‘Getting it Right First Time’ publication

  •  Looking at the importance of self-evaluation and quality improvement processes using supportive documentation.

  •  Preparing an Ofsted Preparation Plan which includes an evidence checklist

  •  Responding to an Ofsted Inspectors line of enquiry including exploring the recommendations/ actions set at last inspection

  •  Identifying tips and ideas for what to do when an inspector calls.

  •  How to achieve ‘Outstanding’

  •  Ensuring childcare providers are aware of the Local Authority policy and procedures such as Oldham Safeguarding Children Partnership (OSCB)

  •   Ensure childcare providers are aware of SEND legislation, policies and procedures through the exploration of childcare providers inclusion policy, local offer and engagement with other services.

For new childcare providers awaiting their first inspection the focus is:

  • Supporting the childcare provider to meet any actions identified by Ofsted at the point of registration

  • Support the childcare provider to develop a robust development plan including priorities for first inspection

  • Ensuring there are strong leadership and management systems in place in line with the Inspection framework and Early Years Handbook

  •  How to improve the quality of teaching in line with the settings vision such as educational approaches or philosophy

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