Early Years Workshops
We are currently running a programme of workshops which include Exploring the Education Inspection Framework (...
As the Early Years Alliance Central England Service Hub, we support approximately 1400 Alliance members in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes, Northants and Oxfordshire.
Our members include pre-schools, day nurseries, toddler groups, nursery schools, children's centres and individuals.
We have been providing high quality support and advice to providers of early years education and childcare in the service hub areas above for many years.
Locally, across all the Central England Service Hub, we also offer a comprehensive and up to date package of support to members, including:
To find out more about our work and services contact us on 01525 715248 or email at email@example.com
21/11/19 18:00 to 21:00 - 2 Burners Lane, Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes, MK11 3HB
All Autumn term workshops now completed - look out for the Spring tierm programme for new dates
*Individual EIF workshops cost: £35pp for Alliance members. £50pp for non-members. Or see below for our full EIF consultancy package.
The new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) will come into place in September 2019. Ofsted says the EIF has been amended to include greater emphasis on the needs of younger children.
It will replace its “quality of teaching, learning and assessment” with a new “quality of education” judgement. The Early Years Alliance has developed a package of support to help early years practitioners navigate the changes and can be delivered on-site direct to you and your team.
The package includes two specialist workshops Exploring the EIF and Cultural Capital plus our new publication Exploring the Education Inspection Framework available in September.
This workshop supports managers and leaders to better understand the requirements of the EIF. Participants will explore terms such as ‘intent, implementation and impact’. It will consider how the curriculum should look and offers support on ways to deliver successfully in their own provision.
Integral to Ofsted’s new inspection framework, the term Cultural Capital is described by Ofsted as being ‘the essential knowledge children need to be effective citizens’. This workshop considers the origins of the term and supports practitioners to recognise how the EYFS already supports Cultural Capital.
We also offer you six hours of face to face, on-site consultancy from a qualified and experienced early years advisor.
We will work closely with you to support you to implement your workshop learning to ensure it is embedded into your daily practice. You can choose how to receive this support to best suit your needs including phone, face to face or email.
If you now feel confident about the EIF and would prefer to focus on related business support, you can choose from these areas:
The consultancy is delivered within a 12 week period to ensure your team meets the requirements as quickly and efficiently as possible.
You can buy this package with either one or both of the workshops. The package includes our new Exploring the Education Inspection Framework publication, due out in September.
Benefits of membership of the Alliance include:
The Pre-school Learning Alliance is now called the Early Years Alliance.
Our new name reflects the growing variety of early years professionals who are now a part of the Alliance, emphasising our ongoing commitment to supporting an ever-widening range of early years providers and providing a united voice for all our members, as well as providing an expanding portfolio of direct services for children and families.
As the Alliance Central England Service Hub, we support approximately 1400 members in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes, Northants and Oxfordshire. Our members include pre-schools, day nurseries, toddler groups, nursery schools, children's centres and individuals.
We have been providing high quality support and advice to providers of early years education and childcare in the service hub areas above for many years. The type of support we offer ranges from alliance connect meetings with guest speakers, networking opportunities with other early years member groups and sharing best practice and advice. We are a credited childcare training provider and run regular courses, including Cache Qualification courses in early years, and early years workshops such as "Managing your Ofsted Inspection", and First Aid courses, from our Milton Keynes office - please see our training page for details of planned courses. We also create and deliver bespoke workshops either for individual settings or practitioners and providers to access, recent workshops have included GDPR, Pensions and Auto-enrollment, and PDN (Professional Development Network) workshops.
Please also refer to "Our Services" for current projects and work being carried out across the service hub.
For any queries, please do get in touch with us, Early Years Alliance Central England Service Hub, as follows:
Helen Middleton email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel:01525 715248 option 2
Claire Viola email: email@example.com, based at our Flitwick office on tel:01525 715255 option 1, and once a week at our Milton Keynes office tel:01908 263700 (days vary)
We are currently running a programme of workshops which include Exploring the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) and Cultural Capital, for full details of these workshops and future workshops, please see our home page, training & workshops page and watch out for our service hub emails which are sent out regularly to our members and subscribed non members.
Look out for future events here
We run a variety of training courses and workshops to service the early years sector.
These courses are open to all members of the public and membership of our organisation is not a requirement.
Full details of all courses and workshops available in Central England Service Hub are fully detailed in our latest Training Brochure
The Alliance is endorsed by CACHE and is a preferred provider to deliver Level 3 training in Early Years Education and Care.
We are currently planning our Spring 2020 workshop programme, please let us know if you have any training needs in your setting or have a particular area of learning you feel we could deliver for you,or your setting. Contact us on 01525 715255 option 1 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are pleased to be able to offer a range of 3 hour workshops that can be delivered in-house to Early Years settings by one of our experienced tutors. You can choose from the range of workshops that the Early Years Alliance is currently delivering (these can be obtained from the Service Hub or are shown in our training brochure), or you can request specific subjects to meet the needs of your setting.
Workshop can be delivered in your setting or at a venue provided by you. Alternatively your setting can come exclusively as a group to our Service Hub offices in Milton Keynes or to an arranged venue if closer to you.
Quotes for the cost of a workshop or bespoke training session can be obtained by email to email@example.com so please contact us to discuss your training needs.
Our training centre arrange CACHE childcare courses for the early years, for more information on the courses and any funding available, please contact Ria Clifton, Training Advisor on 0732 363070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CACHE Level 1 Award in Caring for Children
CACHE Level 2 Certificate in an Introducation to Early Years Education & Care
CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator)
CACHE Level 3 by Distance Learning
CACHE L3 Award in preparing to work in Homebased Childcare
A Pre-enrolment day is held before the start of a Level 1, 2, & 3 course to assess the learners numeracy, literacy and writing skills as well as previous qualifications and experience to determine which course is most appropriate. Learners cannot be accepted onto a Level 1, 2 & 3 course until they have attended the Pre-Enrolment Day.
Alliance Connect meetings are an opportunity for members to meet, share ideas and connect with fellow members.
Member groups are able to get together as and when suits them. They can be informal meetings of like-minded people who wish to share information; have a good moan about early years(!); or discuss new changes/challenges.
Alternatively they can be a regular event in your Alliance calendar and have guest speakers, debating subjects of interest or something that is causing concern in your area. The choice is yours!
We are currently working on our Spring term events calendar, pwe will let you know by email when our next event has been arranged, or will show details here, so please keep an eye out for more news here soon.
Helping people to a better future through business start-up support
Would you like advice on funding and support accessing childcare?
If you are looking to get back into work or training this is the project for you.
We help to support disadvantaged people into employment or self-employment.
We will address the barriers participant’s face and aim to help them overcome individual barriers to support back into work or training. Each participant will be assessed and personalised programmes monitored throughout. For example;
This project is match funded by the Big Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund
MK: pop up crèche is an Alliance childcare service based in Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes. We offer crèches in the community to children centres and other local business acroff Milton Keynes. This enables parents and carers to access educational courses either on a long term basis or as a one off crèche.
Our committted, friendly and well-qualified team provides high qualify care and learning opportunities for children aged between birth-5 years. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) with a focus on learning through play and actively work in partnership with parents and childrens centres.
All crèche supervisors are qualified to an NVQ level 3 in Early Years and Childcare or above and a staff employed has an enhanced DBS disclosure.
During our crèches we promote healthy eating within our sessions and have been awarded our Smile Award in recognition of this.
For further information or any queries please contact
tel: 01908 266688 or 07718404592
The Alliance directly manages 75 childcare services across England.
Visit the Find Childcare page on the Alliance website to see the full list.
The Central England Service Hub directly manages four settings. Please contact them directly.
We offer a comprehensive payslip service for pre‑schools, full day care nurseries and out of school clubs. Our payslip service is run by Jenny Whitbread and Shazia Latif.
Our basic payslip service includes:
• Initial set up and ongoing maintenance of employee details
• Calculation of tax, national insurance and pension contributions for each employee, each pay period
• Producing summaries each pay period to show gross pay, PAYE deductions, pension contributions and net pay. These reports are sent via PAYDASHBOARD a secure online portal, to a nominated contact for your setting to print and retain
• Producing payslips for each employee processed each pay period. These are sent by PAYDASHBOARD direct to your staff on the actual pay date.
• Issuing of a P32 (the payment summary for HMRC) monthly or quarterly, depending on your arrangements with HMRC
• Setting up new starters on the payroll provided that we receive an employee record sheet and a P45 (if your new employee has provided this)
• Issuing of P45’s for leavers, which are sent by PAYDASHBOARD as a PDF for you to print and issue to the employee
• Calculation of statutory payments to include SSP, SMP and SAP etc.
• Ongoing assessment of your workforce for auto-enrolment purposes, process any opt-in and opt-out requests and apply postponement as per your requirements. We can also submit your "Declaration of Compliance" and upload the pension contributions to your chosen pension provider and produce all statutory letters for your employees relating to auto-enrolment
• Sending the “Full Payment Submission” (FPS) to HMRC each pay period
• Sending an “Employer Payment Summary” (EPS) to HMRC as and when required
• Sending HMRC the annual year end submission
• Liaising with HMRC on your behalf
• We will keep you updated on any changes in payroll legislation by email
Please click this link to see what our current payroll service charges are: Payslip Services 2019-2020
We pride ourselves in being a dedicated payslip service for early year's settings. We are often the first point of call for payroll/ finance and HR queries you may have. We will try to answer these queries, but do not always have the answers or expertise (espscially in HR) that you may need. There may be times when we need you to direct your queries elsewhere, and the details of ACAS and Law Call can
For further information, please call Jenny Whitbread or Shazia Latif at the Central England Service Hub: 01525 715248 option 3, email: email@example.com
Our massively popular annual community event, Picnic in the Park, held in Wardown Park, Luton, Bedfordshire, has been running for around 20 years, and was started by the Early Years Alliance's “Luton Branch” of member groups, who met for a picnic in Wardown Park. As the years passed, the event got bigger and bigger, and much more popular, so the branch asked the Alliance’s county office to organise it for them. By then event had turned into a community fete style event, where local childcare settings were invited to hold stalls to raise funds for their setting and to also provide a free activity for the children who attended.
In later years, we were able to secure sponsorship and organising support from the local authority, which were extremely welcoming, as by then the event was huge! Local partners and charities were also invited to promote their services in Luton. However in 2015, the Alliance became the sole organisers again, as our partners were unable to support us.
Each year we have a theme, and ask our stall holders to support the theme through either their stall or free activity. Previous themes have included Celebrating Fathers, Keep Luton Smiling (highlighting the importance of oral health), Keeping Luton Tidy and Communication and Language; Luton’s Little Voices, and last year was Think Safe, Stay Safe in Luton, focusing on the prevention of accidents in the home and also when out and about. The theme was heavily supported by the Safe at Home, Luton, Scheme and in this year replaced their annual Safety Roadshow. We highlighted the key safety messages covered in the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s Child Safety Week (6-12 June 2016) which included warnings about the safety of e-cigarettes and refills, ensuring the same precautions are taken as with household cleaning products and medicines.
We largely self-fund the event from charging a stall fee and for car parking on the day (the event car park is in Popes Meadow, Old Bedford Road). There are a total of approximately 40 stalls, along with entertainment from a local children’s entertainer, Cheeky Dog, who has supported us for many years. Luton Library staff also provide regular story telling sessions, and Active Luton provide soft play facilities whilst promoting fitness programmes for all the family which is available in the town. Some of the stalls provide food, following our healthy eating guidelines. The fire service support us and bring along a pump for the children to explore, along with the police, who try to attend and have in the past brought a van with a cell in it, and great fun was had by all by locking children in!! The one and only time they will try this out!!
Feedback is collected each year following the event and every year our stall holders are amazed by how many families they are able to reach on the day, which they would normally never manage to do so.
In 2011 we also celebrated the 50th birthday of the Alliance, and in 2012 we were honoured to be joined by the Alliance’s CEO, Neil Leitch as our guest, he also managed to pop in last year after attending a local meeting, and in 2017 we were delighted to be joined by Dr Jason Wong from NHS England, the Vice Chair of the Healthy Teeth Happy Smiles Oral Health Promotion Partnership Board.
Wednesday 26 June 2019
The theme for our last event in 2019 was Think Active, Be Active’ and visitors to the event learnt about ways to engage as a family by thinking actively and being active in our every day life. We know that exercise helps our physical health but it also helps our mental health, and we invited families to join in with the fun activities on offer and to enjoy being outside in the beautiful surroundings of Wardown Park. There were lots of activities around the theme, including very active "Zumbini" taster sessions provided by Active Luton, and song time sessions from staff members from the Flying Start Children's Centres in Luton. We were joined by our key Flying Start partner agencies, who as well as activities, are here to provide information about services available to Luton families and local childcare settings. We also provided a free activity trail with a free prize to claim, and our entertainment programme also included very popular sessions from Cheeky Dog Entertainments, along standing supporter of our event, and story telling sessions from the lovely team at Luton Library.
Luton’s Mayor, Cllr Tahir Malik opened the event and spend a lot of time walking around the 30+ stalls attending the event, talking to stall holders and learning about their organisations or settings. The event was also visited by Robin Porter, Chief Executive, Luton Council and Sophie Ross, Chair, Board of Trustees, Early Years Alliance who spent time walking around the event, and who both were incredibly impressed with the community spirit and positivity of both stall holders and families attending.
We received lots of positive comments from families who attended the event, with many amazed by the amount of useful information available to them, and the variety and amount of fun, free activities for their children to participate in. Our stall holders were equally positive about how many families they were able to engage with and share information about their services or settings. The Library Service told us: "We received lots of positive comments about libraries. Bookstart books we gave out were gratefully received. Everyone seemed to enjoy our rhymetime sessions. We had some comments about our theatre shows for the under 5's which was great! There was lots of interest in the Summer Reading Challenge too. It was great to catch up with some families we had not seen in a while."
Work has already started on Picnic in the Park 2020, watch this space for more news!
For more information on the event please contact: Claire Viola, Service Hub Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org or 01525 715255 option 1
Planning an early years event?
Read our blog on the Early Years Alliance's main website about planning an early years event.
mk:toy library is a service in Milton Keynes for pre‑schools, childminders and parents. We love to loan out educational and entertaining play equipment to suit babies and younger children. We have lots of toys and resources to suit settings, individuals and parties, which we lend out on a three-week or weekly basis
We have two services weekly loan of larger party/outdoor play equipment and long-term loan of Discovery Boxes.
Our Weekly Loan equipment starts from £15 for a week and includes a range of packages some with bouncy castles aimed at older toddlers and pre‑schoolers and a toddler package for babies and younger toddlers, as well as outdoor play equipment. Visit our weekly loans page for more information. Members of the Alliance receive a 10% discount on their Weekly Loan booking.
Our Discovery Boxes are themed around a particular topic such as Space, Transport or Magnets and cost £5 for 3 weeks (minimum spend £10). These themed Discovery Boxes contain a range of games, toys, books, role play equipment or learning resources as well as ideas for extending activities. Some of the Boxes aren’t actually boxes but equipment such as larger games or physical play equipment, check out the Long-term Loan (Discovery Box) page for more information. Members of the Pre-school Learning Alliance can loan boxes for FREE.
We also have a range of specialised SEN equipment which is available for loan to families with a particular need, long‑term loan of this equipment can be arranged in person.
Visit the mk:toy library website which has an online catalogue of all our toys.
Why does Milton Keynes need mk:toy library?
The members of the Alliance believe that all children are entitled to play. Play is a valuable way to learn and the aim of mk:toy library is to allow all children to have access to a variety of different play equipment and resources.
We have a large selection of specialist SEN equipment that is available to borrow on a medium to long term basis.
Some of our most popular items come from our Party Equipment range. Whether you are throwing a party in a community centre, garden or front room we have lots of exciting toys to put a smile on your young child’s face.
The equipment we have is available to borrow at reasonable hire charges. You have to collect and bring back to Kiln Farm. We have years of experience at knowing what children enjoy, so we can advise you on getting the most out of the equipment.
The toy library was established in 1986 but had a grand opening event in 2000 at Greenleys Community Centre with former actress and MP Glenda Jackson cutting the ribbon. Glenda was President of the National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries. In April 2014 mk:toy library relocated to the offices of the Alliance at Kiln Farm due to a reduction in its funding and it is now managed by volunteers. In March 2015 mk:toy library introduced online booking for party equipment and then in September 2015 to online booking of Discovery Boxes.
Glenda Jackson MP opening the Toy Library in 2000
We want to provide the best possible service to local families, childminders, pre‑schools, nurseries and schools looking after children under five. Our mission statement is ‘To help children to succeed, create childcare that families need and to build learning communities’.
Visit www.mktoylibrary.co.uk which has an online catalogue of all our toys.
Volunteering at mk:toy library
We have two regular volunteers working in mk:toy library on a Thursday morning. The volunteers sort toys, prepare marketing materials and prepare party packs. If you could spare some time we would love to hear from you.
To use mk:toy library
Please note that we only accept cash or cheque payments as we do not have credit card facilities.
tel: 01908 263700
visit: On Thursdays 10.30am - 12pm (term time)
Milton Keynes Service Hub
Early Years Alliance (formerly the Pre-school Learning Alliance)
2 Burners Lane
Press the buzzer for mk:toy library to be let in and we are on the first floor. Unfortunately we are not very accessible so please don’t bring a pram. Children are the responsibility of their carers whilst visiting mk:toy library.