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Early Years Consortia

Early Years Consortia 1 Early Years Consortia 2 Early Years Consortia 3 Early Years Consortia 4 Early Years Consortia 5 Early Years Consortia 6

Overview of the Early Years Consortia

In October 2013, a decision was made to establish an “Early Years Consortia” with the support of the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA). In April 2016, the SEND Early Help Team was developed with the responsibility to continue to support and further develop the Early Years Consortia.

 The primary purpose of the consortia is around inclusion and the ability for ALL FUNDED children to access their free nursery/childcare entitlement namely:

  • 2 year old offer of 15 hours
  • 3 & 4 year old offer of up to 30 hours

The support is targeted for those children with emerging and lower level SEND and complex health needs.

The majority of children may not require any additional support throughout their early years, but where there is an identified need it is vital we respond and intervene as early as possible.


What is Early Years Consortia
Early Years Consortia is an opportunity for early years practitioners to access support and guidance when they have concerns about a child's learning and development at the earliest opportunity, and when a practitioner has exhausted the resources and expertise in their own provision. This is known as the 'Graduated Approach'.
What is the Early Years Consortia Graduated Approach?

Under the SEND Code of Practice 2014 and other government legislation such as the Equality Act 2010 (click here for details) all educational settings are required to use their best endeavours to meet the needs of children and young people identified as having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities as part of the 'Graduated Approach' (see diagram below) to support in the first instance.

Early Years Consortia Graduated Approach

This means identifying needs early then starting with support at the lowest level (stage 1) and increasing the level of support over time according to the child's needs and as part of the 'assess, plan, do, review' cycle. Therefore, not all children will reach the higher levels of support (stages 3-8). Instead, only some children will require support from stages 3-6 while only a few children will require support from stages 7-8.

What support does Early Years Consortia offer to Early Years Settings?
  • Access to the SEND Early Help Team
  • Peer support
  • Monthly meetings
  • Specific case related discussions
  • SEND updates
  • SEND specific training opportunities
  • Portage training and advice
  • Funding for specialist SEND Resources
  • A designated budget for needs-led, individual support and training
What specialist support is available via the Early Years Consortia?
How do I access support from the Early Years Consortia?

Due to the realignment of the Children's Centre boundaries, it has been necessary to reconfigure the Early Years Consortia which has led to a reduction in the numbers from 8 to 6. This will be effective from September 2018, please see our Terms of Reference for further information. The membership is ward based, to see which Consortia you should attend please check the map above.

Each Consortia holds a monthly meeting which is chaired by a local childcare provider and supported by the SEND Early Help Team and SEN and Disability Link Worker from the local Children's Centre.

Contact details of Chairs and dates, times and venues of the meetings are available on your individual Consortia page which you can access using the map and buttons above.

To access any financial support from the Early Years Consortia, you must complete the relevant application (with parental permission) and submit it to the Chair of your Consortia 7 days prior to the date of your next meeting. The setting must present the application at the meeting. If they are not present, the application will not be considered.

All current application forms are available in the documents list on the right hand side of this page. Please note, any applications that are submitted on any previous forms will not be accepted. This may delay the allocation of support.

Who should attend Early Years Consortia?

Due to the sensitive nature of the discussions held at Consortia meetings regarding individual children and their families, all attendees need to be respectful of confidentiality. For this reason, we ask that practitioners do not invite anyone such as students, parents and external agencies into the meeting without first consulting with the Early Help Team and their Consortia Chair Person.

Please note, to make the meetings more effective and timely we would ask that no more than 2 practitioners attend from any one setting.

Please note that you do not need to be caring for children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) to get involved with the Early Years Consortia so please come and join us!

For further information, please contact either Sarah Sweetin-Jones, Dot Harrison or Sonja Steen O'Neill from the Early Help Team on 0151 233 5985 or via email eyc@liverpool.gov.uk

We look forward to seeing you at your next meeting.