The pre-school years from birth to 5 are critical to children’s development and ensuring that when they attend school they have good skills to become effective learners. Equally important is the availability of high quality childcare provision that supports parents in being able to work or return to study and/or training. Early Years - Image © Aaron Whitney - FOTOLIA
In Kent we have a vibrant and strong private, voluntary and independent childcare sector which provides a wide range of childcare and education for young children to meet parents’ needs. Schools also provide Foundation Stage education in maintained nurseries and reception classes.
Kent’s Early Years and Childcare team offers advice, support and challenge to early years providers across the county to ensure high quality provision and sustainable businesses. The team supports the development of new early years provision and the sustainability of existing provision [including out of school childcare for 0-14 year olds* and including providers offering the Free Early Years Foundation Stage Entitlement . Sufficiency is assessed annually using the County Childcare Sufficiency Assessment. Early Years providers are offered support through workshops and briefing sessions on a range of issues including business and finance, marketing and recruitment and the development of new childcare places.
*and up to 16 where the young person has a disability and/or special educational need and/or is looked after.