Cared for Children in Early Years

Guidance for Early Years and Childcare providers

The Personal Education Plan (PEP) for the Early Years Foundation Stage

What is the virtual school?

Cared for Children (sometimes called Looked after Children) are the children that are subject to care orders and those who are voluntarily accommodated (they may be fostered or in residential homes or still living with their family). The Local Authority is their corporate parent and takes responsibility for their care and support. The Virtual School takes the lead in ensuring that all of our Cared for Children have the best educational opportunities possible and that there is consistency of approach across Cheshire East.

What happens if a Cared for Child attends my setting?

All settings should have a named person for Cared for Children, who should inform the Early Years and Childcare Team  whenever a Cared for Child starts or leaves their setting.

What will I have to do?

As an educational setting you will be asked to contribute to the child’s Personal Education Plan (PEP). You will be asked to sign up to the electronic PEP (ePEP) system to enable you to submit educational data about the child directly to the Local Authority.  

Personal education plans

What is a personal education plan (PEP)?

Cared for Children are required by law to have a Personal Education Plan. Cheshire East believes it is best practice for all Cared for Children from two years old to have a PEP, not just those of statutory school age. For children in the Early Years in Cheshire East we refer to their PEP as My 2-4 years Learning Plan. 

  • The first part records the child’s personal information, legal status and a brief summary of their care plan.
  • The next part records any health concerns, the name of the setting they attend, attendance and the impact of any Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) funding.
  • The next section asks for information about the child’s progress against the EYFS. Please provide comments for each of the Prime areas and a brief overview for the Specific areas. Next steps in learning should also be recorded. There is an ‘Other comments’ box to include relevant information on how the child is getting on in their placement. It can also be used to record any concerns the PEP participants may have in relation to the child and any actions to be taken to improve the situation if necessary.   
  • The final section is a page to record the voice of the child. There is space for the child to contribute their likes and dislikes, thoughts and feelings, routines and people who are special to them. Of course the child may need some help with this - so we ask that they are helped to complete it by someone who knows them well.

Who arranges the PEP meeting?

The Social worker is responsible for organising a PEP in consultation with the named person for Cared for Children at the setting as it is to focus on the educational progress/ development of the child.

Who attends the PEP meeting?

The child, the child’s social worker, the child’s parents/carers and other professionals involved are invited to contribute at a PEP meeting.

The information on a PEP is confidential. Settings should comply with the Data Protection Act when transmitting such information.

What support is available?

The Virtual School has a Headteacher with overall responsibility for all Cared for Children in schools. Within the team there are Education Consultants who are able to provide advice and guidance on issues specific to Cared for Children.

An Early Years Consultant has responsibility for overseeing the educational progress of Cared for Children in settings and links with the Virtual School team. Transition from pre-school into school should be a smooth process for the children.



  • ‘Inside I am hurting' by Louise Bamber

Correspondence about PEP’s should be sent to

Page last reviewed: 24 August 2022

Contact details

Email the Early Years and Childcare Team or telephone us on 01625 374182 or write to:

The Early Years and Childcare Team
Oakenclough Children’s Centre
Colshaw Drive

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