Early years

Participant recruitment poster: Research project for toddlers

Every child in Portsmouth deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

As a city we have high expectations for children at the end of their foundation stage and high expectations of early years settings who deliver provision across the city.

  Devonshire Infant School

All settings will be encouraged to take a strongly directive approach to ensuring that vulnerable children, in particular, experience a varied programme of activities, to give a high priority to ensuring regular one to one communication with children who need it most, and to provide as much support and encouragement as possible to help parents nurture their children’s well-being and development at home.

Portsmouth is proud to having a wide range of high quality early years provision. There are approximately 90 childcare providers on non-domestic premises (e.g. nurseries and pre-schools), over 100 registered childminders and 10 school nursery classes.  94% of the registered provision has been judged by Ofsted to be good or outstanding.

The quality of early years settings is important but equally the support of health visitors can have a profound impact on outcomes and we will be strengthening this support to the most vulnerable families by providing extra support at home around attachment, emotional wellbeing and communication development. This forms part of our work in terms of the implementation of the Prevention and Early Help Strategy to ensure the right support is provided for the right families at the right time.


Copnor Primary School

Our highly skilled Early Years and Childcare Team have developed this brand new varied and engaging training programme. Our team brings a wealth of qualifications and experience from Early Years Teachers, Early Years Ofsted Inspectors, experienced Childminders and Nursery Managers. We have strong partnership links and access to the regional Ofsted Team and other services including Educational Psychology, Portage, Health Visiting and EMAS.

The Early Years Development Programme 2018-19 can be found on the Portsmouth Services Network website, along with details of how to purchase packages and one-off activities. The programme brings together the training courses and direct support offered by the Early Years and Childcare Team at Portsmouth City Council. For more information email [email protected]

Portsmouth Early Years Conference 2019 –  The Power of Play; Ensuring Challenge and Progression Through Play will be held on Saturday 29 June 2019 at The Portsmouth Grammar School. We are delighted to announce our Key Note speaker as Kym Scott. Book early to avoid disappointment – http://servicesnetwork.portsmouth.gov.uk/Services/2559


The team are able to provide a range of support to schools for both pre-school and Year R provision:

Moderation: the statutory EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) is led by the Early Years Advisory Teacher (Strategy) with a co-opted team of staff from across the City. Moderation of the EYFSP is a sampling process rather than a method for checking each child’s attainment.  The purpose of the EYFSP moderation is to:

  • Secure the consistency and accuracy of judgements made by different practitioners
  • Reassure practitioners that their judgements are accurate, valid and consistent with national standards
  • Assure moderators that an acceptable level of accuracy and validity has been achieved for assessments recorded and reported

Developing new provision: the team are able to support with a range of areas including business planning, reviewing accommodation, upskilling staff to support new age groups and increasing capacity of existing provision. For further information on the range of work we are able to support please contact [email protected]

Quality improvement: the team have a wide range of support and challenge opportunities across our workforce development programme. This includes specific workshops on key topics, site visits to provide practical support and bespoke training. For further information, please visit the traded services website.

Interventions to influence best practice and secure strong outcomes for children within the EYFS:  This document has been created to support Year R practitioners and the intention is that it will evolve and grow. If you have an intervention that works effectively to develop the skills and learning of your Year R children and you would like to share this with others, please do get in touch.


Information, support and resources for childcare providers can be found at https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/ext/professional/support-for-childcare-providers