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Terms of Reference (TOR) - EYRG

Purpose and context of the group

The Early Years Reference Group is to ensure a closer relationship with the early years sector in Staffordshire and the council. The intention is for the group to support SCC with the co-design of future consultations, policy and general recommendations.

Representation of group

The following Early Years representatives from the sector will form membership of the group:

Early years representatives


  • Rob Lawford - Childminder
  • Sara McCormick - Little Owls Childcare (also Lichfield)

East Staffordshire

  • Natasha Gilbert - First Steps Pre School
  • Sharon Keane - Childminder


  • Philip Siddell & Tim Hopkins - Humpty Dumpty Nursery - Preschool (also East Staffs)
  • Jayne Waterman - Little People Nursery


  • Natasha Richards - Wolstanton Kindergarten (also Newcastle)


  • Nadine Key - Oaklands Nursery School

South Staffordshire

  • Sue Dangerfield - ABC Nurseries


  • Joanne di Castiglione/ Natalie Hart - Greenhall
  • Julie Wetton - Sandytots
  • Louise Lewis - Colwich Playgroup
  • Sadie Shenton-Jones - Dollymixtures


  • Emily Woodward - Three Peaks

The following SCC officers will form membership of the group:

Staffordshire County Council Membership

  • Senior Partnership and Commission Manager: Carolyn Knight
  • Finance Officer: Karen Winfer
  • Early Education and Childcare Officer: Helen Gibson
  • Early Education and Childcare Entitlement Officer  - minute taker: Felicity Pepper
  • Sufficiency Data Officer: Vicki Green (when required)
  • Education Commissioning Manager: Debbie Nash

Chairing of group

Group members will appoint a chair to ensure meetings are conducted in a professional and proper fashion.

The chair will ensure scrutiny and accountability for operational functions in relation to Early Years Reference group.

The chair will also be responsible for time management of agenda items.


  • Members are permitted to send a representative on their behalf, if they are from the same setting, fully briefed and the appropriate person to attend the meeting.
  • Agenda items will be set prior to the meeting, either by email request and/or set at previous meeting.
  • Agenda items will include topics set by EY sector, SCC or led by Government agenda.
  • Meetings will include budget information, presentations (where applicable) and group discussions.
  • Non-members will be invited to attend the group if deemed necessary by the members.
  • Information and resources will be shared via email or during the meetings.
  • The Chair will disclose whether information is confidential or has copyright.

Sharing of Information

  • When relevant, confidential information that is discussed in the meeting may not permitted to be shared outside of the meeting by any member of the group. Any confidential items will be clarified via the minutes from the meeting.
  • Other information can be shared with other Early Years providers within Staffordshire. This information will be clarified via the minutes from the meeting and published on the council website.
  • Information from the meetings will be included via the E:Bulletins sent to all Early Years providers and/or available on the council website.
  • Sector representatives will be actively encouraged to share relevant information when the opportunity presents itself, for example: at forums, network meetings and training.

Data Protection/ Confidentiality

Members of the group shall ensure that all matters discussed during the time duration of meetings remain confidential and information is only shared with other colleagues where necessary and appropriate.

Frequency of meetings

The group will meet termly to ensure timely decisions are made.

Equal Opportunities, Anti-discrimination and Human Rights

All members of the group must adhere to equal opportunity and human rights principles in accordance with the policies and procedures set out from time to time by the LA and will adopt and maintain anti-discriminatory practices in the furtherance of the aims.

Conflict of Interest

All members of the group must be aware that a conflict of interest may arise from time to time in respect of their personal position or in respect of their organisation.

Such conflicts of interest may arise, for example, where a member has an existing or recent financial, business, personal or family involvement with an early years setting. Group members should disclose any such conflict of interest with the chair when/where relevant.

Members should consult with the Chairman if in any doubt as to whether or not the member has an interest which may give rise to a conflict and should be disclosed.

10. Review

The group will review the relevance of its work, terms of reference and membership of the group annually. Sector membership of the group will change annually/bi-annually.

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