DfE Early Years Education Recovery Programme

Background from Department for Education (DfE)

The government is providing a package of workforce training, qualifications and support and guidance for the early years sector to help address the impact of the pandemic on the youngest and most disadvantaged children.

  • practitioners
  • leaders
  • settings, including private, voluntary, independent organisations, childminders, school based nurseries and maintained nursery schools



Support and guidance to all early years settings through:

DfE Childminder Mentor programme

What is it?

It is now four years since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Research has shown the impact on children, particularly the youngest and most disadvantaged children, has been far reaching and will potentially be long term.

Areas of development impacted include:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development

The Department for Education has recognised the impact and is offering a childminder mentor programme to childminders across England to support them to narrow the gap between disadvantaged children and others. This is part of the Government’s Early Years COVID-19 Recovery Programme.

What support will I get?

The support is free for one term. It is tailored to your needs which may include:

  • Improving confidence in or knowledge of child development
  • Planning an effective curriculum
  • Supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • Supporting children with English as an additional language (EAL)
  • Building strong relationships with parents and carers

It does not provide support with complying with the EYFS Safeguarding and Welfare requirements.

You can apply on your own or with a group of other childminder.

Who will be supporting me?

Support and advice will be provided by mentors who have at least three years’ experience in the childminder sector. You will also have an opportunity to network with other childminders in your area who are part of the programme.

Support is free and will be mainly virtual. If suitable, there will be an option to meet face-to-face.

How do I apply?

Applications are open now for the Spring 2024 term. Please use the link at the bottom of the page and complete the short application form, it will only take a few minutes to complete. Deadline to apply is 30 November 2023.

Want to know more?

Watch this clip of a childminder and mentor sharing their experience of being part of the programme.