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Southampton Early Years and Childcare Service


Southampton Early Years and Childcare Service

There is a proven track record of effective partnership working between the Early Years & Childcare Service and schools, Children’s Centres and the providers that operate throughout the City of Southampton. Working collaboratively, the service has been instrumental in raising the quality of provision and improving outcomes for all children.

The Early Years and Childcare Service has developed an excellent understanding of all aspects of early years and childcare, aligned with up to date knowledge of current legislation and best practice.  It provides targeted support and challenge to providers to ensure they are working to improve outcomes and to reduce inequalities for children; this contributes to ensuring the optimum development of the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

The Early Years and Childcare Service supports the development of sufficient good quality, affordable and flexible provision for young children within Southampton, as identified within Southampton’s ‘Childcare Sufficiency Assessment’.

The service also acts as a ‘market facilitator’ to support any actual and expected increase in the number and quality of early years placements needed to ensure the delivery of the statutory requirement to provide 15 hours a week of early education for disadvantaged 2 year olds and up to 30 hours a week of early education and childcare for 3 and 4 year olds, as well as childcare for children of all ages.

The service also delivers a wide range of continuous development opportunities for early years and childcare providers linked to individual providers’ needs, local and national initiatives and other identified areas for development.  We maintain up to date information on provision across the city and are able to act as brokers for parents looking for childcare and support.

Our service offer contains an outline of what is available from the Early Years’ Service for the coming year. Many services continue to be offered at no charge, but in addition there is the opportunity to purchase enhanced support in the form of a range of services.

We look forward to continuing to work with you, making sure that together we secure the best outcomes for all children in Southampton.

The Early Years and Childcare Service is based at:

Startpoint Sholing, Wood Close, Sholing, Southampton, SO19 0SG

Early Years and Childcare Team Manager: Anne Downie
Telephone   023 8083 4252


Meet the Teams

The Early Years and Childcare Development Team

Main areas of work:  This team has lead responsibility for securing early years’ and childcare sufficiency in response to parental demand and national initiatives.  It acts as ‘market facilitator’ to ensure early years and childcare places are flexible, accessible and of sufficient good quality. The team is also responsible for ongoing needs assessments, gaps analysis, community profiles and priority development plans/maps. The team provides a wide range of support activities and interventions that are delivered through a coaching/mentoring and empowering ethos that enables early years’ and childcare providers’ own governance/leadership and staff teams to move forward with self-reliance, enabling the leadership team to be robust with regulatory and financial sustainability.   This team also oversees the Healthy Early Years Award.

Early Years and Childcare Development Team Lead: Darrin Hunter

Telephone   023 8083 2112

Senior Co-ordinator: Debra Cook

Early Years and Childcare Development workers:

Rachel Watson

Jane Wincott

Nimesh Visavadia

Belinda Cone

Angela Elliott

Telephone:  023 8083 3014

Early Years Advisory Teachers/Area SENDCos

Main areas of work:  This team works alongside the development team and supports and advises Early Years Foundation Stage providers around early education. As Area Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinators, their role incorporates supporting providers with ‘top tips’ through to support in completing integrated assessments leading to Education, Health and Care plans for individual young children.  The EYATS work in partnership with Children’s Centre and are integral to the Universal Help Assessment process.  This team delivers whole-setting and individual training on a wide range of areas, including around attachment, observation, assessment and planning, role of the SENDCo, promoting positive behaviour and supporting children with autism.

Administrator: Sally Griggs

Telephone:  023 80 915797

ECaT (Every Child a Talker)

Speech, language and communication programme which is working to raise children’s achievement in early language & early literacy, improve practitioner’s skills and knowledge and increase parental understanding and involvement in children’s language development, through regular training & support.

Early Language Consultant/Speech & Language Therapist: Jan Stevens

Telephone: 023 8091 5796

Southampton Family Information Service - FIS

Main areas of work: This team provides information on childcare and early years' education in Southampton and information for parents on activities and support services. They also act as brokers for parents/professionals needing support in finding childcare or early education.

Telephone:  023 8083 3014

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