Last updated:
24 October 2017

Early years and childcare training and support programme

Find out about training opportunities to support continued professional development.

1 Overview

The training programme provides high quality, quality assured, professional training and development to the childcare and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) workforce, underpinned by the principles of the EYFS, Playwork Principles and the priorities identified by Ofsted through inspections.

The courses are aimed at childminders, playworkers, staff working in:

  • nurseries
  • pre-schools
  • Children and Family Centres
  • crèches
  • maintained nursery schools
  • before and after school clubs and holiday playschemes
  • staff working in schools delivering the EYFS.

To access courses, providers will need to join the Training Subscription Scheme.

Staff working directly with children in your setting can access the courses and there are no limits to the number of courses they can attend each year. The rate you pay is based on the number of staff working in your setting.

Our annual course guide and termly training schedule provides full information on the courses we are running, which settings and staff they are suitable for, when and where they are taking place, and how to book.

Courses are run at venues with good transport links in Crawley, Horsham, Worthing and Chichester. A small number may also be run in smaller towns and villages but attendees will need to travel in order to access the programme.

Childcare qualifications are not part of our training subscription scheme. Read our Childcare qualifications and funding information page.

Childminders should read our Childminder information pack for guidance on childminder qualifications.

2 Course guide

Published annually, this provides:

  • an overview of all courses, support and network meetings we offer
  • the term(s) in which each course is expected to be scheduled
  • information on how to book and cancel places
  • details of charges (eg non-attendance)
  • guidance on choosing statutory training that is not provided through the programme (such as Paediatric First Aid).
Course guide - April 2017 to March 2018 (PDF, 1.1MB) (external link)

3 Training subscription rates

Providers pay a rate based on the total number of all staff working directly with children in their setting. Committee members are exempt from the rate.

Rates payable for 2017-2018 are set out below.

Number of staffRate
1 to 2 £52
3 to 6 £155
7 to 10 £360
11 to 15 £566
16 to 20 £823
21+ £1080
Out of School Clubs maximum fixed rate £196*
Schools fixed rate £139**

*Out of school provision has a fixed lower rate. This reflects that practitioners are often part-time, working across several types of provision and may not access many courses from the programme. Instead of the fixed rate, an out of school club is able to purchase an alternative lower rate based on the actual number of staff working directly with children.

**Schools fixed rate reflects that not all staff working in a school will access the programme. There is a maximum limit of three staff working in the EYFS for this rate.

Examples of training subscription rates where a provider operates more than one type of setting:

  • A day nursery and an out of school club on different premises – two training subscription numbers are needed, one for each setting.
  • One provider running a day nursery, out of school club, breakfast club and holiday playscheme, from the same premises – only one subscription is needed (this is based on the assumption that the same staff will be working across all these settings).
  • A school with an out of school club and breakfast club – two training subscriptions numbers are needed (this is based on the assumption that they are run by different staff).

These examples will not cover every situation and a simple calculation of £50.40 multiplied by the number of staff working across your organisation may be more appropriate. If you would like to discuss the band and rate for your setting(s) you can contact us.

You will need to make your own calculation based on all staff members who work directly with children. Staff can be updated using the Online Provider Portal (OPP).

In the autumn term we audit the amounts that providers have paid for their training subscription against the OPP record and course attendance.

Any adjustments based on your updated staff numbers will be requested. Staff who are not linked to your settings will not be able to book a place on a course.

4 How to pay

Payments are made via our online payment system using a debit or credit card. Select ‘ECS Training Subscription Scheme’ when paying.

You will need the following information ready:

  • payment card details
  • setting name
  • Ofsted URN (if Ofsted registered)
  • email address
  • the amount payable (based on the number of staff in your setting).
Pay for your training subscription (external link)

We aim to process your application within 10 working days, confirming receipt of payment and issuing your unique training subscription number valid for the year April-March.

You will be asked to quote your training subscription number when booking training. We will not be able to take course bookings without this. If you have not heard from us within 10 working days, contact us.

If you are unable to pay online email workforce.development@westsussex.gov.uk, who will forward you a version of the application form and instructions on paying by BACS.

The subscription will be valid 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, regardless of when you apply. We will invite you to apply for another subscription on expiry.

Newly registered providers will be given a reduced rate based on the month they registered with Ofsted. You should subscribe to ensure that owners or committee members and staff have immediate access to training courses.

We will issue the training subscription number to your setting’s main contact. You will need to think about who needs to have access to it and keep this number safe. Anyone who is given access to it will be able to use it to book onto a course.

5 Training schedule

Published termly in advance, this provides dates, times and venues of courses, support and network meetings running this term.

Autumn 2017 training schedule (Excel, 101KB)

The condensed reference list below may be useful when discussing training with your staff, before referring to the full schedule.

6 Other training opportunities

The West Sussex Learning and Development Gateway allows you to search and book courses online from a range of learning opportunities. It will support your continuing professional development and training needs in addition to the ECS training programme.

Before you can book onto training you will need to set up an account. If you are external to West Sussex County Council your account will need to be verified, which can take up to two working days.

You can also book onto West Sussex Safeguarding Children’s Board (WSSCB) courses via the Gateway. These courses are not funded by the Early Childhood Service (ECS) and you may need to pay for these courses.

7 Training venues

The venue for early years and childcare training courses are in the Training Schedule.

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8 Contact us

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