Early Years COVID-19 Recovery Training Partners 2021-2023 Practitioner, Leadership and Whole Setting Support (from area leads, experts and mentors)

Coram Hempsall’s is DfE’s EY Covid recovery training partner for 2022-24.

This investment in Early Years Education Recovery aims to build a stronger, more expert workforce, enabling settings to deliver high quality teaching and address the impact of the pandemic on the youngest children with a focus on the most disadvantaged areas.

One of the ways DfE is supporting early years settings (nurseries, pre-schools and childminders) is through a package of support being delivered both in the setting and virtually. The department has recruited experienced setting leaders and practitioners to provide this support in their locality in Area Lead, Expert and Mentor roles.

Each region has a number of Area Leads who provide support to Mentors and Experts who in turn offer support to settings. It is our role to provide training for people in these roles. Their support is provided in the form of tailored leadership support, mentoring for practitioners, childminders, and whole-setting interventions such as group training, for example.

The earliest years are the most crucial point of child development and attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED). The Government announced up to £153 million of new funding for training for early years staff to support the very youngest children's learning and development as part of education recovery from the pandemic.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the PSED of some of our youngest children. A number of children have been exposed to distress and anxiety during the pandemic period particularly if their home environment has been affected by illness, bereavement, emotional, psychological or financial strains. Early language and mathematics development has also been affected for a number of children.

Evidence tells us that the quality of education and care in early years has the biggest impact on children’s outcomes within a childcare setting. As such, DfE has designed this recovery programme for early years focused on helping children who need it most by supporting practitioners and leaders to address the impact of the pandemic on children in their settings. The programme also offers targeted whole-setting support where beneficial.

The pilot programme ran from April-July 2022, in two regions, the Lancashire and West Yorkshire region and the North region. It then rolled out in the remaining 6 regions after that. The programme now continues with further training on a term-by-term basis and with the inclusion of childminders from spring 2023.

DfE’s role is to lead on the communications around the programme, and they have commissioned Pen Green as the delivery partner (for group providers) to support with the recruitment and placement of mentors, experts, and area leads. Hempsall’s acts as the delivery partner for the childminder programme.