Print Friendly, PDF & Email


The DfE are exploring the interest in a potential new project which will test innovative approaches to improving outcomes for young children in disadvantaged areas and are seeking expressions of interest from early years providers who may be interested in joining.

The aims of the project would be to:

  •  encourage more outstanding provision into deprived areas;
  • improve outcomes for disadvantaged young children; and
  • demonstrate how early years providers, working with local authorities, can use different business models to achieve this.


The DfE would like to hear from early years providers with an outstanding track record that are interested in opening up a new setting in a disadvantaged area, working closely with a local authority (who DfE are also ‘recruiting’ to the project). They are particularly keen to hear from providers who are prepared to operate on a social enterprise/not for profit basis.  They are investigating whether it would be possible to secure some support for the project, whether in-kind or a modest financial contribution, to help support the start-up costs, but, in any event, we hope providers will benefit in terms of:

  • demonstrating that your approach can improve outcomes, even in the most challenging circumstances;
  • fulfilling any wider social or community objectives your organisation may have;
  • support from a partner local authority (this could be, for example, related to help with premises in a deprived area);
  • increased flexibility to enter a new market or widen your existing market base, perhaps with support from the local authority in raising awareness of the new provision amongst local parents;
  • spending your Early Years Pupil Premium effectively;
  • potential to support local improvement more widely, for example, sharing or promoting your continuing professional development; and
  • being part of an exciting, new national project looking at how best to support disadvantaged children.


Participating providers should:

  • have an outstanding track record, as demonstrated by Ofsted inspection judgements;
  • be interested in opening a new setting in a disadvantaged area;
  • be able to attract, train and retain staff in best practice in improving outcomes for young children;
  • be willing and able to work with their partner local authority to get started quickly;
  • be able to help establish success criteria for the project and contribute to the evaluation of outcomes; and
  • be enthusiastic about participating and engaging in a national project at a national level e.g. by sharing learning and good practice.


The DfE are similarly approaching all local authorities to establish likely interest and early indications are very encouraging.  They are looking for local authorities that want to attract high quality providers into disadvantaged areas and are willing to support rapid development of the project in their locality.  For example, this might include help with premises, promoting the new provision to local parents, facilitating access to local networks or sharing good practice in spending the Early Years Pupil Premium.

The DfE think that this potential project should be particularly attractive to providers that may previously have been unsure about establishing provision in more disadvantaged areas.  They hope it will also be a great opportunity to demonstrate, both locally and nationally, how high quality provision can drive improved outcomes in challenging circumstances.

The DfE would facilitate this project with a view to showcasing good practice and would welcome suggestions about how we might do this.  Subject to available funding next financial year, they also hope to offer individual projects some central support to help with their evaluation and monitoring.

If you might be interested in participating in this potential new project, please drop an email to [email protected] by Friday 5 December.  At this stage, the DfE are not looking for a formal commitment but simply to establish the likely level of interest.  It would also be helpful to know if there are any specific areas of the country that you would particularly be interested in working in.  We look forward to hearing from you.

13 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Donna cox on November 25, 2014
    I would be interested in participating in project for improving outcomes for disadvantaged children.
  2. Linda on November 25, 2014
    I would be interested in taking part in the above mentioned project. I teach i Braunstone, which is an inner city area of Leicester
  3. Ann Manston on November 25, 2014
    I have 2 outstanding inspection outcomes. I am a forest school leader and believe that teaching children outside gives them amazing opportunities to learn , opportunities that they may not otherwise have in areas of deprivation.
  4. Heidi Evans on November 25, 2014
    I am in a very similar position to Ann Manston. Two outstanding Ofsted inspections and a forest school leader ! Look forward to hearing more :-)
  5. David Ellison on November 25, 2014
    Buttercups Pre-school already operate in a deprived area, but are interested furthering their involvement.
  6. Brenda Claire Wint -Omereye on November 26, 2014
    I would very much like to support childminders who care for children with physical learning disabilities and those with challenging behaviour by having a pool of peripatetic childminder assistants who can go in and give support and care for the other children to enable the childminder to some exclusive one to one support to the needs of the child with a specific need. As Outstanding childminder in Greenwich I was often approach my the local authority to support children with profound disabilities and I had employed and assistant so that I could devote my time to meeting the needs if that individual child. I believe it is important to the parents of children with specific needs that their child's needs are not diluted when their send their children into settings where they become part of the main stream mainstream. I have spoken with apprenticeship schemes in the Greenwich borough who say their young people in the borough between the ages of 17-24 who could be placed with childminders. This would give valuable experience to the young person and support their career development . I think this would be a really valid way of using the Pupil Premium Funds. I would be willing if I glad some funding to set up such a project. I have also balloted some of my childminder colleagues in the Abbey Wood and a Thamesmead area who like the idea of being able yo draw on adhoc support from a pool of childminder assistants when they are asked to care for a child with a specific need. I would ask that you give some consideration to this proposal. Kind regards Claire (preferred name )
  7. Brenda Claire Wint -Omereye on November 26, 2014
    I also think if I had support this idea could work as a national project as there a children with specific needs in all boroughs.
  8. Margaret mason on November 26, 2014
    We have 3 nurseries in deprivation areas . With 19 nurseries in total many achieving outstanding judgements Sheffield chesterfield stoke Grantham Nottingham Leicester are areas we support already . These areas may be of interest, with the appropriate support and information being available .
  9. Mitta Mistry on December 3, 2014
    I live and work in the very diverse and multicultural Borough of Hounslow. I was made aware of Potential New Project by visiting foundation and became interested in it as soon I found out about it. I believe that families need a drop in place to talk face to face about their issues, needs and the needs of their children and English as a second language plays a big part of not getting the correct help and information Having something similar to a children's centre would be a great place to offer sessions to start the project. If successful maybe this service could be offered in pre-school or in a mainstream school nursery so parents can get help if required via school teaching staff. This could be beneficial in helping to identify needs and also help parents. The project can monitor, assess and observe the child's progress and help parents whilst in the designated area and help identify issues. This would greatly benefit those families who have children with learning disabilities, special education needs, and parents with language barriers. Building strong relationships with children and families is very important in all settings, having a main contact person will help to build good trust but also a strong working practice. Parents will therefore feel happy to discuss issues, concerns or any worries with the same person. Any concern or worries can then be passed on to other agencies or other professionals.
  10. Sheila Turnbull on December 6, 2014
    We have 3 nurseries already in deprivation areas of the North East but would be very interested in being part of this project. We have operated since 2000 so have good experience. We are looking at setting up a Community Early Learning Hub with others in the area and already have 21 expressions of interest in joining including private nurseries and childminders
  11. Paul Eales on December 10, 2014
    We would like to be considered for the potential new project involving young children in disadvantaged areas. We already have a wide extensive portfolio in working with young children in deprived areas and supported families with meaningful outcomes.