Early Years and Childcare Advisory Team


Our team offers a combination of training, active assistance, encouragement and challenge to enable leaders and practitioners working in the Early Years Foundation Stage to improve all aspects of quality and provision. Therefore, providing better experiences and learning opportunities for children.

Practitioners please log in to see information and documents.

Funded training opportunities for practitioners

Early Years Professional Development Programme offers free online training with modules relating to PSED, CAL and Maths written by leading Early Years experts. Practitioners can also claim backfill payments for completing this training.

DfE early years child development training offers free, online training providing an overview of child development and gives practical advice for supporting the development of children in your early years setting.

Think equal is a programme to teach social and emotional learning to early years.

Dingley's promise, early years inclusion programme is a free online inclusion training for the early years workforce. 

Nurseries – Elklan communication friendly settings provides training for 2 staff members to become lead practitioners within their settings.

Childminders – Elklan Communication Friendly Home Based Settings is a free, online, accredited ELKAN training is available for Child Minders across the whole of Greater Manchester.

Nurseries and Schools Bright Futures Early Years Hub - Concept Cat is a fun and engaging method to teach the core verbal concepts for maths and science in nursery settings.

Bright Futures NW Early Years Stronger Practice Hub has been established to support nurseries and childminders in our area to adopt evidence-based practice improvements to achieve the very best outcome for our youngest children.

Universal offer

As well as receiving tailored support from your linked advisor within your setting, we also recommend that you engage with our universal offer in order to keep up with important updates and to develop quality in your settings. All sessions that form part of our universal offer are delivered termly and they focus on different content to provide varied support throughout the year.

Quality network meetings (for nursery managers and childminders)

Join us for our new network meetings, hosted termly and facilitated by early year’s advisors. The meetings are an opportunity for you to network with other leaders and share examples of good practice from your settings. As a group we will also work together to find solutions to any problems and discuss ways to improve practice within your settings. You can email in your questions or topics for discussion to us on EYCAT@Rochdale.Gov.UK

Sessions are delivered termly over Zoom. One session is hosted in the evening and the other during work hours to meet your needs.

Best practice network meetings (for practitioners and childminding assistants)

Practitioners and childminding assistants are often our most precious resource, enabling managers and childminders to bring their vision to life and we want to ensure they are given opportunity to reflect, share and celebrate good practice with other professionals. The Best Practice meetings are an opportunity for practitioners and childminding assistants to share what’s working well in their settings and to drive quality forward across the borough through conversation and collaboration.

Speech and language Q&A with early years advisory speech and language therapist, Helen Underhill.

A regular opportunity, in a safe and confidential environment, to:

  • Share ideas with other practitioners in your locality – talk about what is working well and how challenges have been overcome
  • Ask Helen Underhill (early years advisory speech and language therapist) questions/ gain support for children and families in your setting
  • Hear about upcoming training opportunities
  • Explore home learning and parental engagement for speech, language and communication needs
  • Gain Information and signposting about services which can support your children and families on a national, GM and locality level
  • Cover topics of interest that you need support with/ would like to explore more (e.g. how to make an SALT referral, how to support children with EAL, ongoing WellComm support)
  • (Most importantly) gain reassurance for all that you do to support the SLCN of the children in your setting

Termly designated safeguarding leads network meeting 

  • Delivered termly offered a variety of days and evenings.

Effective assessment support previously known as moderation

  • Autumn term - 0-2 year olds
  • Spring term - 2 year olds
  • Summer term - 3 and 4 year olds, alongside fellow early years practitioners from schools
Advisor visits

You can access free support from your linked early year’s advisor. Settings are eligible for a termly visit from their advisor, with one of these visits being the Annual Conversation. Childminders receive one annual visit from their advisor (this can be held over Zoom.)  

You can select from the following:

  • WellComm refresher training (for staff that have trained with a speech and language therapist some time ago or staff that need further support to increase confidence in using the screening tool)
  • Toddler Room – what is like to be 2
  • Observation of practice (area identified by manager – this will be a joint observation with manager or room leader and include a discussion on what was seen and how to develop practice)
  • Modelling of practice ( the advisor will model an area of practice identified by the manager that needs support and staff within the setting do not have a strength in this area to model in-house)
  • Developing a sequential curriculum (this is an area that is coming up in Ofsted inspections and less experienced staff are often less confident in this area)
  • Supporting children’s self-regulation
  • Storytelling
  • Understanding and planning from your data (your advisor will look at your data with you to identify trends, areas for development and identify any moderation needs)
  • Assessment support

Elklan Speech & Language Support - Accredited Level 3 training

Training delivered by one of the two below options:

  • 3 full days, face to face (one day per month).
  • 10 weekly 1 ½ hr zoom webinars.

Wellcomm Training

Delivered termly by a speech and language therapist.

WellComm packs can be borrowed from these Children’s Centres:

One pack can be borrowed to carry out your general assessments. Multiple packs can be borrowed for training. Please return packs before the end of term.

Safeguarding Training

  • Safeguarding training is free of charge throughout the year
  • Basic introduction to safeguarding children training, free of charge 4 times a year
  • Designated safeguarding leads training, free of charge 3 times a year. 

Designated safeguarding required to update their knowledge at least annually to support you to do this we also provide designated safeguarding lead network meetings 3 times a year (content is different each session, planned to the needs of the sector)

Additional safeguarding training and resources can be accessed via Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children’s Board/Partnership website.

There is also the option of buying additional in-house support/training from an advisor on any of the following:

  • Interaction
  • Quality audit
  • Establishing intent in loose parts
  • Planning
  • Provision/environment audit (this can be one room inside OR outside per visit)
  • Learning walk 
  • Diversity (not available until Spring term)

Bespoke support can be developed, but this will be charged at a higher price due to development time.

Bought in support form (1566KB pdf)

How to book training

If you need assistance booking onto a course please contact the Early Years Training Team on 01706 927851 or email training.team@rochdale.gov.uk.

Government programmes of support

See help for early years providers on GOV.UK website
See early years experts and mentors programme on GOV.UK website
See early years professional development programme on the early years professional development programme website

Early years and childcare guidance for providers

Information for early years providers, childminders and nurseries including guidance on the early years foundation stage (EYFS), funding and training.

For more information see Early years and childcare guidance for providers on the GOV.UK website.


The SENCO team promote the inclusive practice of early years settings, to meet every child’s individual needs.

For some children with a special educational need or disability, more specialist involvement is required. Where appropriate, the team provides specific advice, support and guidance to private day nurseries, playgroups and childminders in partnership with parents.

Dingley's promise, early years inclusion programme - Free online inclusion training for early help workforce. 


Rochdale provide free early education places up to 15 hours per week for eligible two year olds from the term after their second birthday and all three and four year olds, from the term after their third birthday.

For more information see Early Years Education Funding Team.

Contact us

If you have a general query then it is often easier to contact the team number as advisors may be visiting settings.

Tel: 01706 926860

Email: eycat@rochdale.gov.uk

If you are a practitioners log in to see direct contact details. 

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