Support for cared for children in the Early Years

The virtual school sees the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as much a priority as other key stages of education. The virtual school has an advisor from the Early Start team who has overall responsibility for all cared for children in the Early Years. It is expected that all cared for children from the age of two, who are attending a setting, will have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) updated on a termly basis.

For details of educational provision for early years in Cheshire East please see the Family Information Service (FIS) website. It is expected that all cared for children will access provision rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED.

Two year olds

All cared for children are entitled to 15 hours free early education entitlement (FEEE)  from the term after their 2nd birthday.  Terms begin on 1  January , 1 April  and 1 September.  Attending early years provision is beneficial to supporting good development within the EYFS.

All cared for children attending nursery provision will have a Two year old progress check.

Children who have left care under a special guardianship order (SGO), child arrangement order or adoption order remain eligible for a funded 2 year old place.

Three and Four year olds

All looked after children are entitled to 15 hours free early education entitlement from the term after their 3rd birthday.

Cared for children are entitled to £302 Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) per year when in attendance at pre-school, nursery or childminder provision. The expenditure of the EYPP should be discussed and agreed upon at a PEP meeting. The PEP requires active involvement from all those involved with the child and ensures everyone is working for the best outcomes for the child. Areas for development should be identified for expenditure.

In addition some carers of cared for children may be eligible to apply for an additional 15 hours of free childcare taking their total hours to 30 hours a week. Eligibility can be checked on the Childcare Choices government website.

Transition to Reception

Transition to Reception should be planned during the Summer term PEP prior to the child starting school. Good practice would be to involve staff from the receiving school where possible.

Carers/ Social workers should ensure that they are familiar with the school admissions process and application date for Reception places. Cared for children have priority when places are allocated. Outstanding and Good schools should be prioritised.

If a child is born during the summer term it may be possible to defer their entry to school. In these cases a discussion should always be held with the Virtual school to ensure it would be in the best interests of the child.

Reception children are eligible for Pupil Premium Plus (PPP) which is held centrally by the Virtual School. To access PPP the school should identify a planned need for funding at the Autumn term PEP meeting and apply to the Virtual school for payment.

A formal assessment of a child’s progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage is made at the end of Reception known at the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. A Good Level of Development (GLD) would see a child scoring at least level 2 in the first 12 Early Learning Goals. A useful guide for carers/ social workers is What to expect when.

Concerns about development

  • For children aged 0-2 years or not attending a setting, the first point of contact should be their health visitor. The health visitor will be able to make a referral to the Early Years Forum.
  • For children aged  2-4 years in a setting, the setting should complete a request for an Early Years consultation (MS Word, 141KB) from an Area SENCO.  The form should be completed and returned to earlyyearssenhelpline@cheshireeast.gov.uk.
  • For children in school please contact the school SENCO.

If you still have concerns contact the virtual school.

Julia Ward
Tel: 01270 685989
Mobile: 0792 029 4732
Email: julia.ward@cheshireeast.gov.uk

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