The Early Years Foundation Stage framework
All Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, which sets the standards for learning, development and care of children from birth to five. For further advice and information about meeting the requirements of the EYFS, other helpful resources, and to download the statutory guidance use the following links:
Meeting the needs of children with additional needs
Information and documentation is available online to help childcare providers to best support children with SEN, disabilities and vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
(note: SENIF is only available to providers delivering funded places for 2 and/or 3 and 4-year-olds)
The Merton SEN Local Offer details services, advice and support for children and young people with SEN and disabilities and their families. If you are a childcare provider with experience of working with children with SEN and disabilities you can advertise on the Local Offer so that parents can quickly find childcare to support their children. The Local Offer also contains advice on Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments and Plans
Portage Service provides educational support for children aged 0-3 with significant additional needs and disabilities
- Merton also has a
disability database for children and young people. Children can join the database to receive information and updates and help inform us of the needs for services in the borough.
- Children and young people on the disability database can also apply for an
M-card – a concession card designed to provide a quick, easy and discrete way to raise awareness that the holder has disabilities or Special Educational Needs.
- Merton has a range of
training and professional development to support early years practitioners with their knowledge, skills and practice around SEND.
NASEN (the National Association of Special Educational needs) supports practitioners by providing relevant information, training and resources to enable staff to meet all pupils’ needs.
Effective safeguarding and child protection
- It is everybody’s responsibility to keep children and young people safe. If you are not sure if a child is at risk, seek advice from a ‘designated person’ in your setting or speak to a MASH (Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub) worker (020 8545 4226).
We provide advice online about what do if you are worried about a child
- The MASH is the single point of contact for all safeguarding concerns regarding children and young people in Merton
- If a childcare provider has concerns about a child, or a child is seriously injured in their care they should follow the Contact Protocols below for safeguarding of children.
- Merton’s Quality Improvement Team provides a free advice and support service for providers when a serious incident involving children or staff has occurred. Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone: 020 8274 5300 (office hours).
- To find Safeguarding training courses for Early Years providers at
mertoncpd.co.uk/cpd type EYSAFE in the Event Code search box.
- Ongoing suitability of staff safeguarding and health declaration forms:
- The Merton Safeguarding Children Board website is available here:
- The Government has a useful guide for practitioners available here:
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Early Years, Childcare and Children's Centres Service
10th Floor, Civic Centre