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Terms of Reference (TOR) - EYRG

Purpose and context of the group

The Early Years Reference Group maintains a collaborative relationship between Staffordshire County Council (SCC) and the Early Years sector in Staffordshire.  The focus for the group is to support SCC and the early years sector to work in partnership to shape policy and practice and support each other to improve outcomes for children in Staffordshire.

The Early Years sector is represented by different early years provider categories across the eight geographical areas of the county. 

Coverage and remit of the group

The group will meet termly and discuss where necessary:

  • Early Years Single Funding Formula (EYSFF)
  • Compliance of the Early Years Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities
  • The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Staffordshire Early Education Funding Provider Agreement
  • Early Education Funded places
  • Effective practice and new initiatives
  • Two-way communication, consultation
  • Information, Advice, Guidance and Training Needs
  • Relevant guest speakers/attendees as required to attend the group

Governance /  links with other groups and boards

  • Early Years Advisory Board
  • Early Education Funding Group
  • Staffordshire Schools Forum

Core representation of the group

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

Early years representatives


  • Rob Lawford - Childminder

East Staffordshire

  • Sharon Keane - Childminder


  • Philip Siddell* & Tim Hopkins - Humpty Dumpty Day Nursery / *PVI rep on Schools Forum
  • Jayne Waterman - Little People Nursery
  • Helen Townsend - Hey Diddle / Catkins Nursery


  • Natasha Richards - Cheadle Kindergarten


  • Natasha Richards - Wolstanton Kindergarten
  • Nadine Key - Oaklands Nursery

South Staffordshire

  • Kelly Hill & Becky Haynes - Codsall Community Nursery
  • One other private nursery - names withheld


  • Joanne di Castiglione & Natalie Hart - Greenhall Nursery School & Little Learners
  • Julie Wetton & Michelle Lindley - Sandytots
  • Megan McComiskie - Colwich Playgroup
  • Sadie Shenton-Jones - Dollymixtures


  • N/A

Should a member retire or leave their post within their setting, their successor will have automatic membership of this group should they wish to take part.

Staffordshire County Council Membership

  • Chair: Helen Gibson - EY Lead
  • Vice chair: TBC
  • Cllr Mark Sutton - Cabinet Member for Children and Young People
  • Debbie Nash - Family Hub Manager
  • Finance Officer - Karen Winfer
  • Early Years Teacher Consultant - Jo Chan
  • Early Years Sufficiency & Market Development Consultant - Karen Greenan 
  • Minute Taker:  Felicity Pepper - Early Education and Childcare Entitlement Officer

When required......

  • Early Education & Childcare Sufficiency Data Officer: Vicki Green
  • Early Education & Chilcare Development Officer: Amanda Richards
  • Early Education & Information and Compliance Officer: Gary Alcock
  • Payment Officer - Keziah Dewing 
  • Capita One Business Support - Amanda Edwards
  • Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board - Jude Russell

Chairing of group

The Chair will be led by Staffordshire County Council and a Vice Chair will be appointed to ensure scrutiny and accountability for operational functions in relation to Early Years Reference group and will be responsible for keeping the agenda on task within the appropriate timeframe allocated.


  • Members of the group must confirm or send their apologies if they are unable/able to attend a meeting.
  • If a member does not attend three consecutive meetings and has not informed EEAC they will automatically be omitted from the group.
  • Members are permitted to send a representative from the same setting on their behalf.
  • 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 early years sector, SCC or led by Government agendas.
  • 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 - newslettes (EEAC update) 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 local authority 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 Chair 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. 

Next review October 2024.

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