Services for Young Children

Quality Improvement Toolkit

Research informs us that children who experience high-quality early years provision are well placed to achieve better outcomes in school and beyond.

Leaders, managers and practitioners should have a clear understanding of the characteristics of high quality early years provision and why it is important.


The process/cycle of self-evaluation should be part of a continuous quality improvement process for all providers, enabling the setting to continuously improve. This toolkit is split into two sections to help you achieve this:


Ofsted promotes the process of self-evaluation to improve practice. Ofsted’s self-evaluation form (SEF) is available to all providers to summarise this process against the Ofsted Self-Evaluation Framework. In completing this form, practitioners are asked to reflect on their practice and identify opportunities for supporting children in meeting the five outcomes from Every Child Matters in partnership with parents, carers and other professionals.

The Sutton Trust

The Sutton Trust was founded in 1997 to improve social mobility through education. The Sutton Trust is a 'think-tank' and a 'do-tank' by funding programmes and commissioning research studies about social mobility.

The Early Years Toolkit is an accessible summary of educational research that provides guidance for early years professionals on how to use their resources to improve the learning of disadvantaged children.

Early Years Foundation Stage