Early Childhood Services

Services for families with children aged 0-4

Early education is far more than childcare and aims to prepare young children to be ready to start school.

Securing a successful start for our youngest children, and particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, is crucial. It can mean the difference between gaining seven Bs at GCSE compared with seven Cs and is estimated to be worth £27,000 more in an individual’s salary over the course of their career.

Improving outcomes for young children and their families, with a particular focus on the most disadvantaged families, reduces inequalities in child development and school readiness, supported by parenting aspirations, self-esteem and parenting skills, child and family health and life chances.

The Early Childhood service provides and commissions a range of services for all families and targeted services for families with children aged 0-4 years who are in need of extra support.

What do Early Childhood Services offer?

  • Childcare Sufficiency Assessments to create more childcare places where they are needed
  • Quality and improvement support for providers of childcare and early education including providing training and support packages. More information is available at the ‘Childcare Providers’ link on this webpage
  • Promotion and assessment of free childcare schemes to help improve attainment levels and support parents into employment.
  • Improving the attainment levels for our most disadvantaged and vulnerable children
  • We pay for and evaluate Children’s Centre services. Children’s Centres provide help for children with speech, language and communication needs, parenting support, activities for families with young children and much more
  • We also pay for the Nottinghamshire Families Information Service where parents can get information about a range of topics, local services and local childcare provision. Find out more on the Nottinghamshire Help Yourself website or Families Information Service Facebook page.

Children's Centre Services

The Early Childhood Service commissions Nottinghamshire's Children’s Centre services.

A Children’s Centre is a place, or group of places, where local families with young children can go and enjoy facilities and receive support that they need. Sometimes support may be offered in the home.
The facilities and activities are designed especially for parents expecting a baby, or those with a child under 5 years old.

Children’s Centre workers are fully trained to deal with individual needs a child might have, and they work with many partners to ensure they can support families in whatever area they need.

To find out more and what Children’s Centres are available near you, please go to the Children's Centre Services website.

How to access Children's Centre services

All families can access Children Centre Services where they have lower level needs. Families can also be referred into the service using an Early Help Assessment Form process is provided through the Early Help Unit:

Information for Professionals

Documents that provide more information about this service are available to download below:

Find out more information for early years childcare providers in the childcare providers sectionThis includes information about training, Ofsted registration, and guidance.

Contact us

Early Childhood
Children and Families Department
Nottinghamshire County Council 
County Hall 
West Bridgford
Nottingham
NG2 7QP

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