Skip to content

School effectiveness

Early Years ONE Devon

Early Years ONE Devon and the Early Years Entitlement Funding

Devon’s strategy for early years effectiveness

Devon County Council has high expectations and aspirations for children. We believe that Devon is a great place in which to live, grow up and work; our children deserve the best possible care and learning opportunities so that they can positively thrive.

Early Years ONE Devon is the approach that Devon County Council’s Early Years and Childcare Service use to support the effectiveness of early years and childcare providers.

The Council must follow the statutory guidance which ‘reflects the Government’s intention that, as far as possible, free places are delivered by providers who have achieved an overall rating of ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ in their most recent [Office for Standards in Education] Ofsted inspection report.’ Section A3: Quality p17.

Our approach supports all Early Years providers to become ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ provision, ensuring the needs of children are met. We have a strong focus on disadvantage and want to help everyone to access their right to an education, good quality care, and achieve their full potential.

We will promote a setting effectiveness approach that recognises and supports settings to be responsible for their own improvement.

The key principles of the Early Years ONE Devon strategy are:

  • To work collaboratively with services to support a holistic approach and effective partnership to support setting improvement
  • To build leadership capacity across devon to enable settings to manage their own improvement and identify when they need external support.

Devon Early Years and Childcare Service (EYCS) will:

  • Always have the interests of children and families as its prime focus
  • Work in partnership with all stakeholders i.e., Ofsted, Department for Education (DfE), Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) etc.
  • Act openly and with transparency in all matters
  • Support and challenge early years settings to improve provision.

Early Years ONE Devon process

Devon EYCS setting data is collected and analysed at Devon, locality and individual setting level e.g. Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP), number of funded 2-year-olds, Ofsted inspection outcome.

Termly meetings attended by the Early Years and Childcare Advisers (EYCA) and Early Years Consultants (EYC) are held where setting data e.g., Ofsted outcomes, sufficiency information, management or venue changes) and any support provided, and progress to date are discussed.  Appropriate support is then offered to settings which may include:

  • Early Years and Childcare Adviser visits
  • Early Years Consultant visits

Early Years and Childcare Advisers support settings with:

  • Safeguarding and welfare requirements
  • Leadership and management (including support for new managers)
  • Financial and sustainability support
  • Recruitment and retention
  • Developing your business model and new provision
  • Pre-Ofsted suitability of new premises visit and pending Ofsted visits
  • Managing and leading on the EYFS for childminders

The Early Years and Childcare sector is very diverse, therefore the EYCA team will work closely with a provider to develop tailored timely support in order to improve outcomes for children.

Early Years Consultants support settings with:

  • Managing and leading the EYFS
  • Observations of teaching and learning
  • Planning the indoor and outdoor learning environments
  • Provision of an inclusive learning environment
  • Supporting EYFS staff meetings in relation to learning and development
  • Crafting an EYFS curriculum advice
  • SENDCo support with inclusion
  • 2-year-olds (to evaluate the quality of the practice and provision in meeting the needs of 2-year-olds, identifying strengths and priorities)
  • Children with EYPP and improving outcomes. Focus on development may include supporting early communication and language, emotional wellbeing and the home learning environment)
  • New manager or new premises – supporting implementation of the EYFS specifically in relation to the Learning and Development requirements.

Early Years and Childcare Service – meet the team – Information for childcare providers (

Post Ofsted Action Plan (POAP)

Where a provision receives verbal notification of a ‘requires improvement’, ‘inadequate’ or ‘not met’ judgement from Ofsted, or the ISI, they should inform the Team Manager Early Years’ and Childcare Service within 5 working days. A joint visit by the EYCA and EYC where appropriate will then be arranged and an action plan developed. This information will be shared at the Early Years ONE Devon meeting to determine progress and future support agreed.

Early Years Entitlement Funding

Up until now our approach in Devon was to suspend funding for new children coming into settings if providers were judged to be less than ‘good’ by Ofsted or ‘not met’1 by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). This included inadequate, requires improvement, not met – with actions, and not met – with enforcement action.

Providers with the following outcomes had funding for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds suspended: 

  • Inadequate
  • Not met – actions
  • Not met – enforcement action
  • ISI ‘not met’.

Providers with the following outcomes had funding for 2-year-olds suspended: 

  • Requires improvement.
  • Not met – actions

This suspension remained in place until an improved outcome of ‘good’, ‘met’ or above was given by Ofsted or the ISI. We found that this process was having a detrimental impact on the financial sustainability of some providers and so a review was undertaken, and the following changes have been made.

The Revised Early Years ONE Devon Approach

All providers judged ‘requires improvement’, ‘not met’ or ‘inadequate’ will continue to be part of the Early Years ONE Devon process. The Early Years Entitlement funding will not be automatically suspended if providers work with us to make the necessary changes that were identified by inspectors.

Note: if Ofsted issue a Notice of Intention to cancel, or suspend registration as part of their Early years and childcare enforcement policy – GOV.UK ( funding for new children will not be given from the date that the Notice /Suspension was issued. but children who are already in attendance for funded time will continue to be funded – if the parent/s so wishes.

In order to retain the Early Years Entitlement Funding, the follow criteria must be met:

  • The provider must work with the Early Years and Childcare Service. If the owner is the registered person and employs a manager, there is an expectation that both the owner and manager are actively involved with the creation, implementation, and review of the Post Ofsted Action Plan (POAP).
  • As part of the POAP and follow up support visits, there must be evidence of change/s being implemented, embedded, and sustained within practice. Failure to evidence this could lead to funding being temporarily removed.
  • The provider must continue to work with us until a re-inspection has taken place and a judgement of ‘good’, ‘met’ or ‘outstanding’ has been achieved.
  • The provider must write to parents and carers:
    • whose children are in receipt of the 2, 3 and 4-year-old funding, if their provision is judged to be ‘inadequate’ or ‘not met’, giving them the option to either remain at the provision or transfer to another provider
    • whose children are in receipt of 2-year-old funding if their provision is judged as ‘requires improvement’ or ‘not met’ giving them the option to either remain at the provision or transfer to another provider.

A copy of the letter template for providers to send to parents and carers will be provided.  A record of responses must be kept. If parent and carers choose to transfer their child to another provider, the funding will follow the child. A notice period cannot be applied.

An Early Years and Childcare Service Team Manager for your area will ask for confirmation that letters have been sent to parents and carers. We may also ‘spot’ check parents and carers once a list of children who are eligible for funding has been either provided by or verified with you.
Progress is monitored at termly meetings. If criteria are not met and/or if, upon re-inspection, a lesser judgement than ‘good’ or ‘met’ is received – funding may be suspended.