The Department for Education (DfE) recently announced that £153 million will be invested to strengthen teaching in the early years and address the impact of the pandemic on the youngest children. Together with the previously announced Nuffield Early Language Programme (£17m), and further investment (£10m) in the second phase of the Professional Development Programme, this represents an investment of up to £180m of recovery support in the early years sector.

These proposals build on the reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to accelerate and embed real change for young children, which is more important than ever in light of the impact of the pandemic.

One of the ways DfE are supporting early years practitioners is through a package of support to be delivered both in settings and virtually. The support will be provided in the form of whole-setting leadership support and mentoring for practitioners.

Eligible early years settings will be able to request the support of an early years Expert and Mentor in their region.

Initially, the programme will be piloted in two Regional Schools Commissioners (RSC) regions, Lancashire and West Yorkshire and the North of England. The project will be available nationally next academic year (2022/23).

If you are interested in applying for the role of a Mentor, Expert or Area Lead,  you can find more information on the expression of interest (EOI) forms via the links below:

We invite you to submit a short EOI using the form provided, outlining your relevant skills and experience, and your capacity for this role. The documents outline the responsibilities/activities you will be undertaking in each role and include details such as timings and pay.

As stated in the EOIs, successful applicants should be available to start supporting settings as part of this programme from April 2022. 

Please submit your EOI form to the relevant mailbox for your region, by the date provided in the relevant EOI.

DfE have produced an FAQ document for the pilot programme, however if you have any additional questions please also direct any queries to the relevant mailbox for your region.

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