Early Years COVID-19 Recovery Training Partners 2021-2023 Practitioner, Leadership and Whole Setting Support (from area leads, experts and mentors)

The earliest years are the most crucial point of child development and attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED). The Government announced up to £153 million of new funding for training for early years staff to support the very youngest children's learning and development as part of education recovery from the pandemic.

This investment in Early Years Education Recovery aims to build a stronger, more expert workforce, enabling settings to deliver high quality teaching and address the impact of the pandemic on the youngest children with a focus on the most disadvantaged areas.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the PSED of some of our youngest children. A number of children have been exposed to distress and anxiety during the pandemic period particularly if their home environment has been affected by illness, bereavement, emotional, psychological or financial strains. Early language and mathematics development has also been affected for a number of children.

Evidence tells us that the quality of education and care in early years has the biggest impact on children’s outcomes within a childcare setting. As such, DfE has designed a recovery programme for early years focused on helping children who need it most by supporting practitioners and leaders to address the impact of the pandemic on children in their settings. The programme will also offer targeted whole-setting support where beneficial.

One of the ways DfE is supporting early years settings (nurseries, pre-schools and childminders) is through a package of support to be delivered both in the setting and virtually. The department is recruiting experienced settings leaders and practitioners to provide this support in their locality. Each region will also have a number of area leads who will provide support to the mentors and experts in their area.

The support will be provided in the form of tailored leadership support, mentoring for practitioners and potential whole-setting interventions such as group training for example.

A pilot of the programme will run from April -July 2022, in two RSC regions, the Lancashire and West Yorkshire region and the North region. Hempsall’s is responsible for initially training pilot experts, mentors and area leads in the spring term of 2022 (Jan-April) with trainees in the remaining 6 RSC regions being trained between April and July 2022.

DfE’s role is to lead on the communications around the programme, and they have commissioned Pen Green as the delivery partner to support with the recruitment and placement of mentors, experts, and area leads.

Childcare Works