Somerset County Council

Early Childhood and Childcare


The Early Years and Childcare Sufficiency team has duties under the Childcare Act 2006 to ensure that there is sufficient, sustainable and high quality childcare places for children aged 0-19 and their families.

The team works with children's centres, childminders, pre-schools, playgroups, day nurseries, out of school clubs and schools.

Our mission statement:

Access to flexible, affordable and high quality childcare for all.

There is sufficient childcare in an area if there are enough childcare places available to meet the needs of working parents, and enough places for all eligible children to take up the Early Years Entitlement.

What we do 

Early years news and update

  • E-bulletin of legislative changes and latest news relating to Early Years
  • 'News and Views' newsletter
  • The latest updates from "Ofsted"
  • Course information for Providers 

Information for Out of School Childcare Providers

  • Provide support
  • Details of Network meetings
  • Ofsted updates 

Provide Business and Committee Support

  • Advice on business sustainability and financial planning
  • Support Committees with effective practice and legislative requirements
  • Inclusion funding for holiday play-schemes and out of school provision
  • Support and advice for providers setting up new childcare provisions
  • Provide support and guidance to Out of School provision 6-19 

Somerset's Early Years Leadership and Peer to Peer Support Framework
 A free resource available to all Somerset early years settings

  • Professional Practice Resource Toolkit
  • Excellence in CPD Award
  • Somerset Early Years/Play Specialists
  • Somerset Early Years Teaching Centres
  • Early Years Centres Leading Innovation and Research 

Working with children 

  • Weekly Early Years job vacancy bulletin
  • How to become a childminder 

Childcare Sufficiency Assessments

  • Report on childcare sufficiency in Somerset
  • Local area sufficiency assessments available on request 

Support with childcare costs for parents 

  • Funded places for two-year olds
  • Somerset Code of Practice
  • Funded places for all three and four-year olds
  • Other support available for childcare costs 

Free School Meals and Funding for 2 Year Olds 

  • Application form for Funded places for two-year olds and Free School Meal's 

Children's Centres 

  • Programmes and timetables for Children's centres in Somerset
  • Details on closures 

Laws and regulation

Children Act 2004
Childcare Act 2006
Education Act 2002
Education Act 2011
Equality Act 2010

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