Kent County Council (KCC) and The Education People (TEP) are committed, through the Early Years and Childcare Strategy, to working in partnership with Early Years settings within the county to support them in providing high quality early learning and care. The relationship between KCC, TEP and settings has always been and still is highly valued. Many settings have stated that they had particularly valued support for; leadership and management, self-evaluation, advice on teaching and learning and preparation for Ofsted inspection. We will continue to build on strengths and support national and local priorities as well as responding to the individual needs of settings through our Improvement Services.
For information and guidance on how the delivery plan supports Kent’s out of school providers please visit our dedicate Out of School page.
Our Delivery Plan (PDF, 355.6 KB) document outlines in detail our support for the following Early Years providers:
- Newly registered providers
Where a setting is newly registered this will trigger support by The Education People on behalf of the Local Authority. The Senior Improvement Adviser will allocate an Improvement Adviser who will contact the setting and undertake bi-monthly visits up until the first inspection. The bi-monthly visits will focus on self–evaluation, the grade descriptors in relation to the setting and will record recommendations in a note of visit. Together the leader or manager; and adviser will also conduct a two-year-old audit, a SSTEW audit and identify areas for further improvement.
- Requires improvement judgements
Where a setting receives a ‘requires improvement to be good’ judgement from Ofsted, this will trigger intervention by The Education People on behalf of the local authority based on the issues raised at inspection. It is extremely important that settings make good use of the support provided and make swift improvements in accordance with the Provider Agreement.
Regular visits from an Improvement Adviser will support this improvement and will focus primarily on the Ofsted actions and recommendations with the aim of securing a good judgement at the next inspection.
Additional quarterly monitoring visits by a Senior Improvement Adviser will review and evaluate progress to date and focus the support, advice and challenge provided by the Improvement Adviser.
- Inadequate judgements
Where a setting receives an inadequate rating from Ofsted, this will trigger intervention by The Education People on behalf of the local authority based on the issues raised at inspection. The Senior Improvement Adviser will agree with the setting a strategy for swift improvement focused on the Ofsted actions and recommendations including support from the Improvement Adviser. Again, it is extremely important that settings make good use of the support provided and make swift improvements in accordance with the Provider Agreement.
Support will include a monthly monitoring visit by a Senior Improvement Adviser who will share the support process, focus further improvement and monitor progress, including the intention to withdraw FF2 funding if insufficient improvement is made.
- Welfare requirement notices
There are occasions when Ofsted notify KCC that they have issued a ‘Welfare Requirement Notice’ (WRN). When we receive notification of a WRN for an early years and childcare setting a member of the Early Years and Childcare Service will contact you to arrange a support visit to review and evaluate any necessary actions you need to take.
When a registered provider causes the Local Authority concern related to children’s safety the Local Authority has a duty to share these concerns with Ofsted.
If you believe you fall within one of the categories above and have not been contacted by a member of the improvement and standards team please let us know by emailing EYCImprovementServices@theeducationpeople.org.
Nationally on average 5% of Early Years providers are judged by Ofsted to be less than good. In Kent our data shows that on average only 3% are below good at any one time.
We know from research that children who attend good or outstanding Early Years settings are better placed to achieve positive outcomes in their school life and beyond. It is therefore our expectation in Kent is that all settings should aspire to be judged outstanding by Ofsted and have a culture of continuing improvement.
Ofsted documents you may find useful
- Getting it right first time
- Early Years Inspection Handbook (May 2019 updated Sept 2020)
- Education Inspection Framework (May 2019 updated Sept 2020)
- Early Years Compliance Handbook
- Inspecting safeguarding in Early Years, Education and Skills Settings (May 2019)
- Teaching and Learning in the Early Years - a balancing act
Useful links and documents
- Statutory framework for the Early Years foundation stage
- Provider agreement (PDF, 398.3 KB)
- New provider pack (PDF, 1.0 MB)
Business support team
Improvement and Standards team