This page tells you how childcare providers are represented at decision-making bodies and how providers’ voices can be heard.

The Somerset Education Partnership Board
This is the main body for consulting on, shaping and directing policies and service provision in relation to schools and education settings. It is a significant partnership involving schools, academies, early years providers and the Local Authority, led by schools, on behalf of education providers in Somerset.

Early Years sub-group of Schools Forum
This group reports to the Schools Forum on all aspects of early years funding. It’s role is to explore the impact of funding decisions in relation to the sufficiency and quality of early years provision in Somerset and make proposals to the local authority with regard to future funding.

The Early Years Partnership
Professionals with an interest in the early years agenda meet together with representatives from the early years workforce to share information and agree joint strategies to improve outcomes for all children, young people and their families.

The partnership provides a forum to facilitate collaborative working and this group feeds into Early years sub group and The Somerset Education Partnership Board.

Early Years Communities

There are 11 Early Years Communities across Somerset which provide opportunities for Early Years providers to meet, share ideas and resources and provide peer-to-peer support.  Each Early Years Community has a childminder lead, early years practitioner lead, teacher lead and head teacher champion and plans are in progress to integrate health leads into each Community as well.  An executive committee of EY Community leads will liaise with senior officers from the Early Years Team at the Local Authority. Here is a list of the lead contacts.