Early Years Foundation Stage and Childcare

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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) refers to the 0-5 years of a child’s development and sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old. You can find out more about the early years foundation stage at www.gov.uk/early-years-foundation-stage

Under this section you can find information about childcare funding, Ofsted and the different childcare options available to you on the islands. Including information on pre-school playgroups and Family Scilly services.

©JennyNightingale image

        Local Offer Scilly

Local Offer Scilly is a website providing  information about the available provision to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families on the Isles of Scilly

Hungry little minds logo

A government website where you can find some short videos, simple and fun activities for children from 0-5 years that you can do together. There are also links to other websites for ideas.

Children and Family Services – Early Years



The Council of the Isles of Scilly, Children and Family Services run Early Years Sessions that are led by a qualified Early Years practitioner.

This includes:

  • Time and Rhyme Time at the Library. 

  • Pop up Stay and Play Sessions on St. Mary’s and all the off Islands with Health Visitor drop-in Sessions. 

  • Scilly Splash Tots. 

  • Arts and Crafts sessions, Messy play, Junk modelling, Soft Play sessions, Music Sessions, Inter-generational sessions, Visits to the Lifeboat station, Fire stations, Dentist, Tresco Abbey Gardens, Carreg Dhu Gardens, Pirate Ship at the garrison, Celebration sessions such as Easter, Chinese new Year, Diwali, Christmas



Early Years Assistant

Tel: 01720 424494 or 424490

Email: childrensservicesemail@scilly.gov.uk


Further information

Children’s Services 0-25 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ioschildrensservices/

Website:  https://www.scilly.gov.uk/childrens-services

Children playing 1
Early Years play session
Image: Alice Chuter
Early Years play session
Image: Alice Chuter
Early Years play session
Image: Alice Chuter
Children playing 2
Children playing 3
Council of the Isles of Scilly Early Years & SEND support Service


Family Scilly

Family Scilly offer a variety of playgroup sessions, including story-time at the library, under 1's playgroups with health practitioner supports, finger food party, sleep workshops, baby massage, swim tots sessions and lots more. To find out more about the services on offer visit Children's Services 0-25 Facebook page www.facebook.com/ioschildrensservices/ and www.scilly.gov.uk/children/pre-school-primary.


The Early Years Assistants are a friendly, welcoming bunch and are happy to talk to you about the play groups and about any special educational needs and disabilities you wish to discuss. They can be contacted on childrensservicesemail@scilly.gov.uk or telephone on 01720 424490.

Below is a list of the professionals in the Family Scilly Team who are happy to help with your queries:

The Family Scilly Team:

  • SEND Inclusion Lead

  • SEND Caseworker

  • Assistant: Family Information and Access 

  • Assistant: Data Management

  • Children’s Services Administrator 

  • Assistant: Early Years

Contact on childrensservicesemail@scilly.gov.uk or telephone on 01720 424490.


Children’s Social Care Team:

You can find out more about the team and the services they offer on the Council of the Isles of Scilly website.


Early identification of SEND and what happens next:

Identifying SEND at the earliest opportunity and making effective provision, improves long-term outcomes for children. Parents know their children best and if you have concerns about your child’s development then you can raise those concerns with practitioners. This could be with for example your doctor, health practitioners or childcare providers. Practitioners are there to listen to the concerns parents and children themselves raise over development and equally are there to identify developmental and sensory needs for example through hearing screening test, child health development assessments. Practitioners should work with the family, support them to understand their child’s needs and to help them access early support.


If a parent, child or early years practitioner raises concerns over a child’s development they firstly must inform the child’s parents and bring the child to the attention of the Local Authority. 


What form does the support look like?

  • Early Years SENCO.

  • Specialist support from professionals such as health visitors, speech and language therapists or specialised teaching support.

  • Learning and developmental support equipment.

  • Home based programmes such as portage. Portage is a home visiting educational service for pre education children with SEND and their families. The National Portage Association website can give you further information.


As we have small numbers of early years children with SEND on the Isles of Scilly, support services are accessed by the local authority and it is best to contact Family Scilly on localofferscilly@scilly.gov.uk or telephone on 01720 424490 in the first instance.

For further information on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, please visit our Local Offer website www.localofferscilly.org.uk

Childcare funding

Currently the Isles of Scilly Council offers 2 year old funding for up to 380 hours to all. However your child could access up to 570 hours of early years funding in any Ofsted rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ childcare providers if your child gets disability living allowance or your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. You can find out more at www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/free-childcare-and-education-for-2-to-4-year-olds

You can use your funding either:

  • Up to 15 hours per week over 38 weeks of the year (term time only)

  • You can use the funding to cover childcare provision over the holidays or over the year. For example use 11 hours over 51 weeks of the year. (Please note that you may not receive the full entitlement if you use the stretch option). 

  • You can use the hours flexibly, using less hours some weeks and more hours on other weeks

When does funding start and how do I apply:

On the Isles of Scilly the 2 year old funding starts the day after their second birthday for the universal 380 hour funding but if you are eligible for the 570 hour funding then the extra hours will come into effect from the term after they turn 2.

To find out more about how to apply for 2 year old funding and to see if you are eligible for the 570 hour funded hours of childcare then contact childrensservicesemail@scilly.gov.uk or telephone on 01720 424490.


3 to 4 Year old funding

3 to 4 year old funding is available and starts the term after a child’s 3rd birthday. All 3 to 4 year old's are entitled to 15 hours of free education for 38 weeks of the year. Depending on circumstances such as employment status and whether you are on carers allowance or incapacity benefits then you may be entitled to 30 hours of free education for 28 weeks of the year. To find out more about the different levels of funding and eligibility criteria please contact childrensservicesemail@scilly.gov.uk or telephone on 01720 424490.

Help with finding and paying for childcare

Trying to find childcare can be a daunting experience for a parent.  After all, what does make a good childcare provider? How do you know your child will be safe and happy? To help answer these and many other questions you might have, the Family and Childcare Trust have created a step-by-step guide on finding childcare.

The cost may also be a factor when considering childcare. Depending on your child’s age and your financial circumstances, there may be support available including tax free childcare or support if in education. You can find out more at:

What is Ofsted?

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. They also inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people. Ofsted visits childcare providers who are registered with it to ensure that the education and safety of children is being well managed.  Outcomes of these inspections and the grades allocated to a childcare provider can be viewed on the Ofsted website.


More information on Ofsted is available at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted/about 


Other types of childcare that support child development in settings and at home.

The Childcare Act 2006 says childcare is ‘any form of care for a child including education or any other supervised activity’. Not all child carers need to be registered with Ofsted, but if they aren't registered, you cannot use funded hours with them.


These are some of the childcare providers that don't have to register:

  • Babysitters

  • Nannies and Au pairs

  • Home educators and home tutors

  • Blood relatives caring for a child or children they are related to

  • Recreational and sporting activity providers

  • Some under 8's creches of 4 hours or under with a parent present

  • When providing childcare for less than 2 hours per day

  • When providing childcare for a friend for up to 3 hours a day for reward

To find out more about alternative childcare options and signposting to providers contact childrensservicesemail@scilly.gov.uk or telephone on 01720 424490. 

Early years foundation stage practitioners and childcare workers

The Isles of Scilly Early Years Network consists of early years providers, local authority and family health and they meet every few months to discuss:

  • Training needs and requirements 

  • Current and predicted provision and demand

  • Developments to early years foundation framework

  • Professional support

If you are an early years provider and want to find out more about this then contact childrensservicesemail@scilly.gov.uk or telephone on 01720 424490


As a childcare provider there are a number of additional sources of funding available to you that you can use to support individual children such as the disability access fund and early years pupil premium, information is available on the www.gov.uk website.


Help with Transport

Information on how the Council of the Isles of Scilly supports transport to access EYFS services can be found on the Council of the Isles of Scilly website. To find out more about off Island transport for early years provision contact Family Scilly on childrensservicesemail@scilly.gov.uk or telephone on 01720 424490.

Childcare Providers

The Isles of Scilly has a variety of different childcare options from nursery, childminders and pre-school. To find out more about your childcare options and contact details visit https://www.scilly.gov.uk/children/pre-school-primary/childcare. All early years settings and providers should be inclusive so it is worth contacting them to discuss how they can accommodate and discuss any specific SEND questions you may have.

Childcare provider

Name: Cherry Blossom Childcare


Registered childcare provider


Age groups

Early years 0-5 years of age

Children 6-11 years of age


Contact details

Name: Anna Wild

Address: Cherry Blossom Childcare, The Health and Wellbeing Centre, St. Marys, Isles of Scilly TR21 0NA

Email: cherryblossomchildcare1@gmail.com

Phone Number: 01720 422276


(For example: access, adaptations, skills that staff/volunteers have to support children and young people with SEND)


Cherry Blossom Childcare adopts an inclusive approach designed to be responsive to individual needs. We have arrangements and policies in place to identify and support children with SEN or disabilities, including administration of medicines. Parents are supported in understanding this information. Through our key person system we are able to build close relationships with our families in order to best meet their needs and those of their children. We review children’s development regularly, sharing and discussing this with parents. Cherry Blossom Childcare has a designated SENDCo who attends relevant local and mainland based training and then disseminates this information to the team through staff meetings. We welcome external professionals in our setting in order to extend skills and knowledge needed to fully support all children. We are focused on improved outcomes and closing the achievement gap between disadvantaged children and others. Our setting, which is on one level, has been designed to meet all children's needs and includes a disabled toilet, a safe outdoor area, a ventilated sleep room and safe baby space areas.


Any Other Information

Please contact us for information about funding available to support childcare, or for any other information about our setting.

Childcare provider

Name: Helen Glenn


Registered childcare provider

Age groups

Early years 0-5 years of age

Children 6-11 years of age

Contact details

Name: Helen Glenn

Address: 17 Launceston Close, Old Town, St. Marys, Isles of Scilly TR21 0NJ

Email: helenv.glenn@btinternet.com

Phone Number: 07796 805356


(For example: access, adaptations, skills that staff/volunteers have to support children and young people with SEND)


I am a level 6 qualified Childcare professional.