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Hampshire County Council appoints ‘Prospects’ to support Early Years education providers

26 January 2015

Prospects, an education, employment and training company, has been selected by Hampshire County Council to deliver improvement support to Early Years providers from April 2015.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to offer support to Early Years providers that are judged, by Ofsted, to be ‘Inadequate’ or ‘Requires Improvement’.

Councillor Peter Edgar, Executive Member for Education at Hampshire County Council, said: “We have a good track record for ensuring children at a young age are ready for school and for learning, enabling them to make good progress at school. We want to continue to make sure all children have the opportunity to succeed - improved outcomes for children are at the centre of our work. The service that Prospects will deliver to Hampshire’s childminders and early years settings will complement the range of support that Hampshire County Council’s Services for Young Children offers. The organisation will be required to build on the good work of the previously commissioned services of the Professional Association for Early Years (PACEY) and Childrens Links.”

As part of Hampshire’s Improvement Support Programme, Prospects will work with childminders and private, voluntary and independent nurseries and pre-schools. Prospects will provide individually tailored support delivered, face to face, by telephone and digitally in order to help providers improve the quality of education and care in their provision, ultimately to achieve improved outcomes for pre-school age children.

John Theedom, Prospects Director of Early Years, said: “We are delighted Hampshire County Council has chosen us to support the delivery of high quality pre-school and childminding provision and to help improve education and childcare, from the youngest age for children in the county. Prospects has a wealth of experience and expertise in assisting pre-school and childminding settings. Since we began working with pre-schools in Southampton, almost half of those inspected subsequently have received an improved Ofsted grade. We look forward to working with Early Years providers, through our personalised advice, coaching and mentoring, to support them to ensure every child is given the best possible start in life through their early years’ experiences.”

Prospects was selected after a robust tender process and has been awarded a one year contract with an option to extend for a further year. The existing range of services to childminders and group settings with the current organisations PACEY and Children’s Links, will continue until March 2015. Prospect Services will work with both PACEY and Children’s Links during the spring term to ensure a smooth transfer to the new service.

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

The Prospects Group is a dynamic and enterprising organisation providing a wide range of education, employment and training services in the UK and internationally. At its heart is the drive to improve the life chances, skills and aspirations of everyone it supports. Each year, Prospects’ extensive range of high quality services serves more than a million people.

Prospects currently provides similar services in the South of England for Medway Council in Kent and Southampton City Council. In addition, Prospects delivers Early Years Inspections on behalf of Ofsted in the Midlands and the North of England.

Prospects does not provide Early Years support work in areas where it inspects Early Years settings on behalf of Ofsted.

For further editorial information about Prospects, contact Jayne Runacres, Senior Communications Manager: email jayne.runacres@prospects.co.uk
Telephone: 020 8315 1023

www.hants.gov.uk/mediacentre

For media enquiries please contact:
Diana Leahy, Senior Communications Officer
Tel: 01962 847368
Email: diana.leahy@hants.gov.uk

22 January 2015

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