Services for Young Children

Improvement Support Programme (ISP)

Services for Young Children (SfYC) work in partnership with all approved early years education (EYE) providers to ensure that Hampshire providers are of high quality and offer sufficient provision to the community.

The Vision

Services for Young Children works will early years education providers to ensure that all Hampshire children have access to the high quality childcare and education that meets their individual needs. The Service is committed to supporting and enabling childcare practitioners to be self-managing, and deliver childcare provision that makes a difference for children.

Hampshire County Council has the following statutory duties relating to childcare:

  • to respond to Ofsted outcomes of 'inadequate' and 'requires improvement''

  • to ensure there are sufficient early years education places

  • to provide moderation for the Early Years Foundation Stage

The Improvement Support Programme (ISP) has been reviewed to meet the statutory responsibilities above.

How will I know what support I can access?

We expect providers to be undertaking their own setting self-evaluation and, if you identify issues/ developments/ problems you need to discuss, please contact your SfYC local development team to consider what support offer may be made available to you.

What support is available?

SfYC has a range of resources to advise, guide and support approved EYE childcare providers to ensure the best outcomes for children in Hampshire can be achieved. To ensure resources are used effectively and efficiently, support will be offered based on the individual Ofsted action points for each provider.

The local development teams implement the ISP process on a rolling programme when Ofsted inspections have taken place. Providers with an Ofsted grading of 'outstanding' and 'good' outcomes are able to access the general support available. There is also an opportunity for providers to purchase support from the range of Professional Options available.

Alongside Ofsted judgements and inspection reports, we strongly recommend providers use their own self-evaluation of their setting to identify successes and areas for development.

General support

The general support offer is made available to all providers, including newly registered, and those that have an 'outstanding' and 'good' Ofsted outcome; and includes a range of services from the SfYC ISP general support  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 149kB menu.

Targeted support

Offers of targeted support will be available to childcare providers that receive an 'inadequate' or 'requires improvement' outcome, as this puts them at risk of not meeting the Terms and Conditions of the EYE funding.

Providers that have a 'requires improvement' or 'inadequate' Ofsted outcome will meet with the SfYC local development team and discuss how to address the Ofsted action points. The local development team will focus the support offer on the 'must' actions points that are included in the Ofsted inspection report or on a trigger*. The local development team implement the ISP process on a rolling programme following the publication of Ofsted reports. Providers will be invited to discuss how the Ofsted actions will be addressed at an External Team Around the Setting (ETAS) meeting which will be confirmed by email.

A provider with an 'outstanding' or 'good' Ofsted outcome may also be invited to an ETAS meeting following concerns raised such as a safeguarding issue, children not making expected levels of progress, or a provider at risk of closure, i.e. *a trigger. A timetable for the implementation of an action plan and reviewing process will be agreed at the ETAS meeting. Please see suggested quality improvement tools.

Providers will access support from the range of services offered under the general support offer and those agreed as part of the support plan at the ETAS meeting to support quality outcomes.

Targeted support may include:

  • access to various self-evaluation tools such as ECERs and ITERs

  • focused visits from the SfYC local development team

  • bespoke training

Professional Options

As well as the general and targeted support offered as part of an agreed improvement support plan, providers may choose to purchase additional support services. For further details visit our Professional Options page to view the portfolio of high quality services available.



  • The ISP process has been reviewed - please see the body of this page for further information.

What do you think of the ISP?

  • Please let us know what you think by email to:
  • Regular updates regarding ISP will be added to the SfYC blog