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 also deliver the Children’s Centre Service which supports expectant parents and families with children under the age of five.
  • Nottinghamshire Families Information Service (FIS) also sits within Early Childhood Services. This virtual 'Family Hub' is 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. Or follow Notts FIS on Instagram: www.instagram.com/nottsfis/

Finding local childcare

The children's centre service

The children’s centre service works to ensure young children get the best start in life and that their families are supported to help them achieve this. It provides a range of services for parents-to-be and families with children under five-years-old who live in Nottinghamshire. Some of these are at our purpose-built centres, but many take place in community venues, parks, or in family homes.

The facilities and activities are designed especially for parents expecting a baby, or those with a child under five-years-old.

Our team is fully trained to deal with the 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 about the service and how to get in touch, please go to our Children's Centre Services webpages.

Information for professionals

Documents that provide more information about this service, childcare in Nottinghamshire and research in relation to early childhood 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 Services
Children and Families Department
Nottinghamshire County Council 
County Hall 
West Bridgford

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