Welcome to Hungry Little Minds ...
The South East & South West Service Hubs have been combined to create a new hub which covers the south of England from East Sussex across to Cornwall and up to Bristol and Bath.
We actively support Alliance members who manage a range of childcare services such as parent and toddler groups, pre-schools, children's centres and nurseries. We also provide specialist early years support and advice to families with young children, practitioners and professionals; we work closely with the other eight service hubs across the country and promote cross boundary working for members.
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 an accredited childcare training provider and run regular courses, including Cache Qualifications courses in early years and early years workshops such as 'Education Inspection Framework', 'Cultural Capital', 'Promoting Communication and Language in the Early Years' and many more workshops.
We also create and deliver bespoke and in-house workshops either for individual settings or practitioners and providers to access.
To see our current projects and work carried out across the Service Hub please click on the 'Our Services' tab above.
For any queries please do get in touch with us email@example.com or telephone 01278 691719.
Family Time Tips - free childrens activities to try!
Our Family Time Tips offer fun, practical tips and advice to promote children’s learning and development.
Activities have been chosen to ensure they positively support your child as they learn through play.
Simply click here and start having some fun with the family!
Have you seen our Facebook pages for the South?
Our new Early Years Alliance - South West Service Hub Facebook page is now live!
Click here to follow us for up to date sector information and local good news stories.
The Hungry Little Minds campaign provides lots of simple tips and activities that you can slot into your routine and that children love, such as:
Play ‘I spy’ on the bus with them and you can see their imaginations light up
Talk to your child about what has happened so far in the day – for example, “We went to the shops this morning, didn’t we? We bought some apples.” And talk about what is going to happen next – “After lunch we’ll do the washing up”
Look at picture books together. With each new page, give your child time to point out things to you and talk about what they can see!
Due to Covid-19 all our Alliance Connect events are now taking place online. We are also developing some bite-size CPD training sessions, more information about this will be coming out soon. We want to ensure you still receive that important face to face support and advice from us at this difficult time.
You can find out more about planned online events happening locally over the coming weeks under Alliance Connect here and also in our new monthly News Updates.
Join us for our FREE interactive online Alliance Connect sessions, these have been designed to support you through the challenging times we are all facing.
With a key focus on:
- Maintaining your provision and staying open
- Supporting practitioners, children and families to return to your setting
- Let's talk home based childcare (or childminding)
- Preparing your premises and the early years environment
Click on the Our Services then Alliance Connect tab to find the links and register for the sessions!
Virtual Classroom - April Sessions
Our Virtual Classroom offers a flexible approach to learning and has been designed for people working in the early years to ensure providers, staff and volunteers have access to training. The virtual classrooms can be accessed via, smartphone, tablet, lap top and desktop.
How long are the courses?
Courses comprise either 2 x 90 minutes or 3 x 90 minutes depending on the topic.
How do I book onto a course?
All Virtual Classroom workshops and packages, including the various pricing options for individuals and virtual In-House sessions can be found on our Virtual Classroom page.
Want In-house training to your whole team? Contact us to discuss your training requirements.
Ask your MP to demand an urgent coronavirus financial support package for the early years sector
The early years sector is facing significant financial pressures during the coronavirus pandemic. With an emergency Budget reported to being taking place shortly, we are calling for the government to commit to an urgent dedicated financial support package for the childcare sector.
Hungry Little Minds
Welcome to Hungry Little Minds
Improving early communication, language and literacy development is a key priority for the government and a cornerstone of building a country that works for everyone.
Some of the poorest children in the UK start school months behind their peers and the gap can grow through their school years. Children with poor vocabulary skills at age five may be up to twice as likely to be unemployed in their 30s.
In July 2018, the Department for Education (DfE) announced the government’s ambition to halve in ten years the proportion of children who finish reception year without the communication, language and literacy skills they need to thrive.
As part of this endeavour DfE has launched Hungry Little Minds – a new three-year campaign to encourage parents and carers to engage in activities that support their child’s early learning and help set them up for school and beyond
Hungry Little Minds has been designed to encourage parents and carers to chat, play and read more with their children.
We want to energise parents by making them see that ‘early learning’ is not a chore. Far from it, in fact: it takes little time, can happen anywhere and it can easily be interwoven with daily tasks. And ultimately, it is as rewarding for parents and carers as it is for their children.
All our communications are led by kids. We picture them in everyday settings – playing on the living room floor, sitting at the kitchen table or in a supermarket trolley – often seen from the adult’s point of view. And we see the thoughts in the kids’ heads in the form of think bubbles. These thoughts have humour, warmth, and charm, and they dramatise the eagerness of kids to interact, even when they are too young to speak, or even to understand a great deal.
Hungry Little Minds is a three-year campaign launched in July 2019 with advertising across a range of channels that included online adverts, social media adverts, paid-for search, and press advertising in national magazine titles, followed by a PR campaign.
While the advertising is targeted to reach disadvantaged parents, we need partners like you to help us reach as many parents and carers as possible. By working together, we will be able to build a network of national and local partners to co-create an environment where chat, play and read behaviours are encouraged.
Whether you are a commercial organisation, a public sector service or a voluntary organisation, you can help to make the campaign a success and give it longevity beyond the first three years.
- Early Years Alliance - Cornwall Reads Facebook page
- South West Service Hub - Early Years Alliance Facebook page
- The Alliance’s Family Corner for more tips and advice
- The National Literacy Trust’s Family Zone
- View our latest Hungry Little Minds newsletter here
Alliance Connect — the new name for our networking events
Alliance Connect events are an opportunity for members and non-members to meet, share ideas and connect with fellow early years practitioners.
They are informal events bringing together like-minded people who wish to share information and discuss changes/challenges.
Our events have workshop tasters, guest speakers and debate subjects of interest.
Alliance Connects are a way of supporting local settings, sharing opinions and having your voice heard.
Workshops and Training
Following on from the popularity of our Alliance Connect online networking events, having listened to your views, wants and needs, we have now developed a programme of Virtual Classrooms.
Delivered over two or three 90 minute sessions, these courses have been specifically designed to be delivered online and can be accessed from the safety and comfort of your own space, whether that be at home or in the workplace, giving you an interactive experience with other providers to share ideas and support you to effectively deliver your provision.
How long are the courses?
Courses comprise either two sessions of 90 minutes or three sessions of 90 minutes depending on the topic.
How much do they cost?
Two-session courses cost £35 for Alliance members or £50 for non-members.
Three-session courses cost £52.50 for Alliance members or £75 for non-members.
How do I book onto a course?
To book a session click the link in bold for more details.
What is Cultural Capital, and why do you need to know about it? Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework requires you to develop children’s Cultural Capital – but what does this mean?
Let’s Talk the Learning Walk
Who is ready for the conversation with Ofsted? Want to find out more about ways you can showcase your provision? You will explore the focus of the Education Inspection Framework and define the learning walk and talk through what needs to be included.
Inspirational Leadership & Management
Want to inspire your staff to be outstanding? Is motivating colleagues important to you? You will discuss inspirational leadership of your early years team and consider the difference between managers and leaders, taking a closer look at the characteristics of an effective leader.
Defining the Early Years Curriculum
What to gain a more detailed understanding of the Early Years curriculum? New to working in childcare? By attending this course, you will define and discuss the term 'curriculum' and explore the intent, implementation and impact of the early years' curriculum.
Exploring the Education Inspection Framework
Are you worried about when Ofsted are due? Do you want to know how Ofsted will inspect registered early years settings?
Supporting Staff’s Wellbeing
Do you want to be able to effectively support your staff’s wellbeing? By attending this course, you will understand what is meant by mental health and wellbeing and the factors that impact negatively on staff’s mental health and wellbeing.
Looking towards your Ofsted Inspection (NEW for 2021)
This thought-provoking course will consider the implications for early years providers as they prepare for the resumption of Ofsted’s routine inspection schedule in the coming months.
Domestic Abuse and Violence Awareness
Do you want to gain a greater understanding of how to identify and support those who may be at risk of, and those who may witness domestic violence?
Understanding Two Year Olds (NEW for 2021)
Are you new to working with 2 year olds? Want to learn more about how they learn and develop? By attending this course, you will understand how 2 year’ olds develop and what you should do to meet their needs and understand how you support children to participate fully in their own learning choices.
Safeguarding Designated Person Level 3 (NEW for 2021)
Aimed at those with the designated role this interactive Virtual Classroom will enable practitioners to be confident to deal with potential safeguarding incidences as they arise.
Promoting Positive Behaviour
Are you confident you do all you can to support children’s positive behaviour? Need more information on supporting children who display more challenging behaviour?
Quality Teaching and Learning in the Early Years (NEW for 2021)
Do you take time to self-reflect? Are you confident your teaching meets all Ofsted requirements?
Promoting Language and Communication
Do you want to learn how to support all children in your setting to develop their speech and language skills? This Virtual Classroom will support your setting to promote good communication and language development in young children.
Would you like in-house training in our virtual classroom? Are you interested in us delivering the workshops to your whole staff team? Get in touch
Are you, or a member of your team, wanting to undertake a NCFE CACHE LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA FOR THE EARLY YEARS WORKFORCE?
To find out more about our qualification training and apprentices visit the Training Page of our national website or contact the Training Centre on 01732 363 070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Become a member of the Alliance to receive a number of Alliance benefits such as discounted workshops, over 20 free online training courses for your team via online training specialists EduCare, access to 24 hour legal helpline Law-Call and the Alliance Under 5 magazine.
News and Events
Each month we send out a newsletter with interesting national and local articles plus other information.
If you would like your setting to be featured, show off your best practice, share an initiative or good news, please do get in touch: email@example.com
Local Authority Advice and Guidance - Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information
Bath & North East Somerset Council Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole Council
Brighton & Hove City Council Bristol City Council
Cornwall Council Council of the Isles of Scilly
Devon County Council Dorset Council
East Sussex County Council Hampshire County Council
Isle of Wight Council North Somerset Council
Plymouth City Council Portsmouth City Council
Somerset County Council Southampton City Council
Surrey County Council Swindon Borough Council
Torbay Council West Sussex County Council
Wiltshire County Council
EAL Advisory Service - Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information
Doctors of the World offers coronavirus (COVID-19) advice translated resources in 60 languages, which were produced in partnership with the British Red Cross. Other partners include Migrant Help, Clear Voice, Transbless Translations, Europia, and East European Resource Centre.
The complete list: Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Burmese, Czech, Dari, Dutch, English, Estonian, Farsi, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hausa, Hindi, Hungarian, Igbo, Indonesian, Italian, Kiswahili, Korean, Krio, Kurdish Sorani, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Nepali, Oromo, Pahari, Pashto, Pidgin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Romany, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Sindhi, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Tetum, Tigrinya, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Twi, Urdu, Vietnamese, Wolof, Yiddish, Yoruba.
Supporting and reassuring children around the world
Manuela Molina has created this short book to support and reassure children, under the age of 7, regarding COVID-19. This book is a great tool for practitioners and families to use to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation.
It is a printable resource and available in: English, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Egyptian Arabic, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish, Welsh.
Mantra Lingua are also trying to help families where the Home Language is not English. They have one of the largest library of dual language ebooks in the world. Currently, there are over 550 books and 38 languages. Each book is read aloud in English and the Home Language and are accessible by using a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
Mantra Lingua are offering access to this library free of charge to EAL families until 31/08/20.
Click on the link below to register and start reading!
Public Health England guidance is also being added regularly.
Currently available in Romanian and Urdu.
Click on Our Services / EAL Advisory Service for further information and resources.
This is a national service available to groups all over England and Wales; ideal for charitable organisations, pre-schools, village halls, afterschool/holiday clubs and many other community groups.
We currently process the wages of over 190 groups - here are some recent testimonials:
"This message is a belated thank you for running such an excellent payroll service for us over many years - your attention to detail was very much appreciated. All the best for the future."
"I would like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to you all for all your kind help over the last two years - any queries I have are always dealt with most kindly and efficiently."
EAL Advisory Service
The EAL Advisory Service is funded by Somerset County Council's School's Forum, for children with English as an Additional Language and their families across Somerset. We provide advice and practical support for all early years providers across Somerset to develop inclusive and effective early learning environments, and in particular, develop an effective communicative environment for all children.
It raises awareness of the importance of early identification of needs relating to EAL children and families and promotes effective partnerships with parents. We also develop and disseminate resources and training, as well as sharing best practice with the aims of improving outcomes for all EAL children and their families.
To contact the EAL Advisory Service call us on 01278 691719 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to access our Information Leaflet
If you require the support of an interpreter to come to your setting to support in meeting with families and carers, health visitors or give an insight into the child’s development in their home language for example then this is also a commissioned service, with the same service providers. DA Languages is for all Languages. Diversity Voice is for Polish only.
DA Languages Ltd
Please email DA Languages who will respond with an invitation to create a profile with DA Link their online booking system. Once you have created your profile, you can make multiple and repeat bookings. It is a simple system, however if you need guidance please refer to the documents below, or just call the Early Years Alliance on 01278 691719.
Booking Co-ordinator: Megan or Gina email@example.com 0161 928 2533 ext 231
Please call or email Diversity Voice to make a booking for all your Polish interpretation or translation needs.
Diversity Voice 03000 750105 firstname.lastname@example.org
With an ever increasing population in Somerset of families who have English as an Additional Language we are seeing a rise in the need for documents commonly used in Early Years settings to be translated into a variety of languages to meet the parent’s needs.
We have a stock of translated documents, so please look here first. If what you are looking for is not here, contact them directly with your specific needs, but if it is a common need that many settings have requested, please also contact us at the EAL Advisory Service so that we can monitor requests and ensure the best use of resources available.
Keep Talking - Children Learning English as a Second Language
Bulgarian Chinese - Traditional
Chinese - Simplified Dutch
Every Step Counts
Gathering Information from Parents
ECAT - Child Monitoring Tool
The Personal Child Health Record (red book)
Funding for 2 Year Olds - Information
Funding for 2 Year Olds - Application Form
Parents Guide to EYFS
Parent Version ECAT
Children's Personal Pathways
Stepping Up To School Transition Videos
The EAL Advisory Service was commissioned by Somerset County Council to produce a short video which will help and guide parents and families with EAL children through the transition period of moving up to primary school.
This video has been produced in English and is available subtitled with the following languages; Bulgarian, Chinese, Filipino, French, German, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Turkish.
Click on the following YouTube links to view the videos:
Welcome to Somerset Videos
We were also commissioned to create a short video aimed at parents, giving brief information about childcare options in Somerset. This has been recorded in English and 10 other languages: Bulgarian, French, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. To accompany this there is a pack of information that providers will find useful when trying to gather and share information with parents and carers who may speak little English. This is also available in the same range of languages on the 'Resources' tab.
Click the links to view the videos on YouTube:
EAL - Resources
There are a number of resources available to support practitioners. We have updated and collated many of these below, including the “Supporting Children Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years” & “Quick Tips for Helping EAL Children”.
This page will be updated regularly as and when new resources are available or updated.
The EAL toolkit was designed and produced by the Somerset EAL Advisory Service in 2017.
It was launched at various events around the county to providers, including provider evenings, cluster meetings and conferences.
The pack is a useful resource to give guidance and support to Early Years practitioners when considering how best to support
EAL children in their setting, including Environmental Audits and SEND comparison flow charts.
Hard copies of this resource are very limited; Somerset providers can obtain a copy by contacting their Early Years Community Leads who may have some.
Providers can obtain a digital copy by clicking on the links below:
Stages of Early Bilingual Learning Is Bilingualism an Advantage?
I don't speak much English - how can you help me? About learning English as an Additional Language
EAL Best Practice Checklist Engaging Parents as Partners in Transitions
Audit for a Communication Friendly Environment page 1 Audit for a Communication Friendly Environment page 2
A Unique Child page 1 A Unique Child page 2
Positive Relationships page 1 Positive Relationships page 2
Enabling Environments page 1 Enabling Environments page 2
Learning & Development (1) page 1 Learning & Development (1) page 2
Learning & Development (2) page 1 Learning & Development (2) page 2
Is it a language issue or a Special Educational Need? How do we distinguish between EAL & SEN?
EAL Flashcard Keyrings
Each keyring contains a set of 20 words in English, the other language, the pronunciation and a descriptive picture.
The words include: hello, goodbye, please, thank you, yes, no, mummy, daddy, fruit, water, milk, hungry, toilet,
play inside, play outside, help, good, sorry, sad and tired.
To order a set download the booking form and send to
Welcome to Somerset
To accompany the Welcome to Somerset videos there is a pack of information that providers will find useful when trying to gather and share information with parents and carers who may speak little English. These documents are also available in the following languages on request: Bulgarian, French, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian & Spanish.
Our Vision and Mission
Our vision is a society where every child enjoys the opportunity to learn through play. We believe families should be at the centre of policy-making and empowered to become fully involved with their child's learning and development. We are here to support early year’s providers in delivering high quality, affordable and sustainable care and learning to families, and to ensure that all children, regardless of background, are given the best possible start in life.
We work in partnership with other agencies and Alliance members to:
The outlined specific services below are just some of the ways that we can help you benefit the children and families of your community and project in the South West but we have expertise across England that we are able to utilise anywhere in the country. Using the skills and knowledge developed through delivery in a specific area we can adapt and share best practice across all of our development services, such as:
Please give us a call to discuss your specific needs to see if can help achieve your aim!
Contact Juliette Moran - Service Manager South East & South West
07849 093513 email@example.com
Specific services we offer
Juliette Moran - Service Manager for the South East & South West Service Hub
Contact Juliette directly by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 07849 093513.
Alison Smallacombe - Finance Officer & Payroll Administrator
Jeanne Cook - Payroll Administrator
Emma Perry - Service Administrator
Sue Brian - Training & Support Co-ordinator