School readiness starts from conception. This is a crucial time for brain development as children’s brains are like sponges. Healthy brain development means that children learn and develop well, helping them to be ready for school and later life. Find out more on the London Borough of Bexley website.
Early year’s education and care
- All childcare settings including childminders, pre-schools and nurseries follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
- This provides a structure of play based learning, care and development for children from birth to five years.
- The EYFS guide tells parents and carers more about how your child is learning and developing during their first five years.
- If your child has Special Educational Needs, additional support may be available to your child’s childcare setting. Take a look at the Funded Childminders (PDF) information from the London Borough of Bexley.
- For further information visit the Local Offer or alternatively speak to your childcare provider, or the Bexley’s Early Years Team which is made up of two elements, the Early Years Advisors and the Early Years Support Officers who can provide support for childcare settings.
Support for childcare providers
- Strategically planned and professionally delivered training programmes can be accessed online via Bexley Service Network.
- Bexley Early Years includes bespoke training, advice and guidance. The team also help to identify children with special educational needs and disabilities to ensure their needs are being met within the setting.
Finding childcare providers
- All early years settings follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This provides a structure of play based learning and care for children from birth to five years.
- Family Services Directory
- Local for Bexley
- The iChild Directory
- To find an Ofsted inspection report for any childcare setting go to Ofsted.
- If you are looking to become a childminder or set up other forms of childcare (for example a nursery or pre-school), contact the Early Years team.
- Early Years Support Officers can offer business advice. Information can be found on GOV.UK.
- All three and four year olds in England can get 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year, usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year. Some two year olds are also eligible.
Becoming a childminder or setting up a new childcare setting
- Information on free early education is available on funded childcare.
- The funding is flexible and can be accessed at up to two childcare sites for up to 10 hours a day.
- If 15 hours is too much for your child you do not have to use the full 15 hours, this can be built up over time.
- When you start your funded place you will be asked to sign a parent agreement which states the terms and conditions of your child’s placement.
- If your child has been attending a childcare setting as part of the Two Year Offer they will remain at the same setting where possible.
- If there are no places you will need to re-apply at another setting.
- If your child attends a school nursery there is no guarantee this will entitle them to a school place.
Free childcare for two year olds (The Two Year Offer)
- Families of eligible 2 year olds can receive up to 15 hours funded childcare a week – take a look at the Play 2 Learn leaflet (PDF) from the London Borough of Bexley.
- To receive 15 hours free childcare for your two year old you must meet certain eligibility criteria.
- Apply via the Citizen Portal.
The additional 15 hours of funded childcare is available for families where:
- Both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone-parent family).
- Each parent earns at least the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum or living wage and less than £100,000 a year.
When can my child start their free place?
- Whether your child is two or three they will start their place at the beginning of the term following their birthday.
- Your two year old can only access a place if they meet the set criteria.
- Find out when you can start claiming at GOV.UK
- For more information visit Childcare Choices.
Where can my child attend?
- Early years settings include childminders, nurseries and preschools.
- The type of setting you choose depends entirely on your personal preference and what you think is best for your child.
For a list of funded childcare providers:
- Visit Family Information Directory
- Email email@example.com
- Contact 020 8303 7777 and ask for the Family Information Service
Special educational needs
- If your child has Special Educational Needs, additional support may be available to your child’s childcare setting.
- Further information is available on Local Offer or alternatively speak to your childcare provider.
Early Years Pupil Premium
- Nurseries, schools, childminders and other childcare providers are able to claim extra funding through the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) to support children’s development, learning and care.
- The EYPP provides extra funding for three and four year old children whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits or who were formerly in local authority care but who left care because they were adopted or were subject to a special guardianship or child arrangements order.
- The extra funding can be used in any way the setting chooses to improve the quality of the early years education that is provided for your child.
- More information about EYPP is available on GOV.UK
Knife and fork skills: