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Foundation Years

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Early years support for children, families and professionals

4Children is here to help give children the best start in life. We’re directly helping over 50,000 children to learn and develop every year, with almost a hundred Children's Centres and over 40 nurseries.

We also support childminders, nurseries, Children’s Centres and out of school clubs through conferences, resources and other support and we’re helping every young child in England, by advising the Government and decision makers on all aspects of early years and childcare.

Children’s Centres and nurseries

4Children are one of the largest providers and strongest advocates for Children’s Centres and nurseries. Our Centres support families from pregnancy through to adulthood, recognising the central role they play in:

  • Reaching out and offering real support to vulnerable families
  • Supporting children and parents to be healthy
  • Ensuring children are ready for learning, especially helping them with their
  • communication and language
  • Helping parents with their parenting skills
  • Identifying need early and providing specialist support
  • Helping parents to work, train or study

Baby building blocks

Strategic Partner for Government for Early Years and Childcare

4Children is delighted to be the Government’s strategic partner for early years and childcare. Through The Children’s Partnership (the Government's voluntary sector partnership for children and families) we bring early years and childcare organisations together, support the development of quality and advise Government. 

Expert information and resources on the early years

4Children's Foundation Years website is an indispensable site that supports professionals working with children and families in the foundation years. The site is a one stop shop for resources, information and the latest news on the foundation years. Developed collaboratively by professionals in the sector, for the sector, it brings together information from many sources that will help support children to develop and flourish.

Our special projects test out new approaches and share learning

Childcare Hubs
4Children is developing Childcare Hubs to provide families with the flexible, high quality and sustainable childcare they need. Hubs bring together nurseries, childminders and put of school care into one co-ordinated source. We are trialing the Hubs in nine areas around the country.

Reach Out! 
Children’s Centres need to reach out to those disadvantaged and troubled families in their communities that need help most. That's why we’re developing a new tool to help them develop and evidence their impact with disadvantaged families. More information and support about this will be available online next year. 

Supporting the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in Children’s Centres

We know how important local partnerships are. That's why we have worked with local authorities to help them improve their commissioning and involvement of the voluntary sector in Children's Centres.

For more information, please visit Engaging the VCS in Children’s Centre Commissioning  and Parents and Community Management.

Helping to develop early years and childcare businesses

4Children knows how important business skills are to ensure effectiveness and sustainability of early years and childcare organisations. If you offer childcare, our online business skills support tool, developed with the Office of Public Management can help you plan and develop a sustainable business model.

Visit 4Children’s Business Skills Support section and Business Skills Health Check Tool to find out how effective and sustainable your service is.

SEED – Study of Early Education and Development in England

4Children is delighted to be working in partnership with Professor Edward Melhuish of the University of Oxford, NatCen Social Research and the consultancy Frontier Economics to undertake an eight-year longitudinal research project to 2020. This major new study, funded by the DfE, aims to evaluate the effectiveness of early education in England, by following 5,000+ two-year olds up to the age of seven.

For more information visit the SEED website.