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Early years forums

The early years forum is a monthly multi-agency meeting that monitors whether the right services are involved to support your pre-school child. The people at the meeting represent the services that may help your child, including:

  • Education health and care assessment and planning service
  • Specialist health visitors
  • Early years area special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs)
  • Community paediatricians
  • Educational psychologists
  • Local support team members
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Child development social workers
  • Specialist teachers

The people at the meeting may not personally know your child, but will have reports and information from colleagues who do.  They will make suggestions to ensure that each child has the best possible start to learning. The forum can refer to some teams, such as educational psychologists, and allocate additional funding to the setting.

More information on SEND funding available to support children at private, voluntary and independent early year settings, including the SEND Inclusion Fund.

Who can use the service?

Pre-school children who are believed to have special educational needs or disabilities.

There are four early years forums covering the whole of Staffordshire. 

Are there any costs?

No.

How can I refer?

Children will be referred to the forum when:

  • Their progress is causing concern in one or more areas of development
  • They may need extra help or assessment before starting school. 

Educational settings should refer to the early years forums using the PVI setting referral form.  

Referrals can be made by education, health or social care professionals such as Paediatricians, Speech and Language Therapists and Entrust Early Years Area SENCOs using the professionals referral form

Referral forms are available in our download section to the right of the page.

What happens after referral?

The information on your child will be discussed at the next available Early Years Forum meeting (usually within one month). They will consider your child’s needs and the help currently provided, based on your opinions and the opinions of the staff working with him/her.

The forum may decide that your child’s needs are currently being met, or that another service may be able to offer help. The setting may request additional funding to meet your child’s needs.

In some cases the forum may decide that it needs more information before it can make any suggestions, in which case your child will be discussed at the next forum. The forum will identify a parental contact. This person will usually be someone already known to you who will contact you as soon as possible (usually within one week) to discuss the suggestions made. They will explain what is being suggested, and put the recommendations into place if you are happy.

Once your child has been discussed at the forum meeting, their progress will be reviewed regularly, usually within 6 months. You will be asked for your views before each review.  Your parental contact will keep you informed of the suggestions made at each forum.

Who will we see?

The forum’s role is to monitor that the right support is in place for your child.

The ongoing support that your child needs will be through the team working with your child and family, such as the nursery staff or speech and language therapist.

The forum monitors that this support is meeting your needs. We discuss many children at each forum so it is not possible to have parents at the meetings.  However your views about what you feel should happen is important and you should be sharing this with the team working with you and the forum.

How do I find out more?

Please see our information for parents and carers on the Early Years Forum.

Early Years Forum Dates - 2022-2023

East Staffordshire  - Mondays (Burton and Tamworth order alternates each term)

  • 19th September 2022 - 9:00 am Burton; 1.00 pm Tamworth
  • 10th October 2022 - 9:00 am Burton; 1.00 pm Tamworth
  • 7th November 2022 - 9:00 am Burton; 1.00 pm Tamworth
  • 5th December 2022 - 9:00 am Burton; 1.00 pm Tamworth
  • 16th January 2023 -  9:00 am Tamworth; 1.00 pm Burton
  • 6th February 2023 -9:00 am Tamworth; 1.00 pm Burton
  • 13th March 2023 - 9:00 am Tamworth; 1.00 pm Burton
  • 24th April 2023 -  9:00 am Burton; 1.00 pm Tamworth
  • 8th May 2023 -  9:00 am Burton; 1.00 pm Tamworth
  • 12th June 2023 -  9:00 am Burton; 1.00 pm Tamworth
  • 10th July 2023  -  9:00 am Burton; 1.00 pm Tamworth

Lichfield & Cannock - Tuesdays Lichfield from 9.00 am; Cannock from 1.00 pm 

  • 13th September 2022
  • 4th October 2022
  • 8th November 2022
  • 6th December 2022
  • 10th January 2023
  • 7th February 2023
  • 7th March 2023
  • 27th March 2023 (Monday)
  • 9th May 2023
  • 13th June 2023
  • 4th July 2023

Newcastle & Moorlands - Mondays Newcastle from 9:00 am; Moorlands from 1.00 pm

  • 26th September 2022
  • 17th October 2022
  • 14th November 2022
  • 12th December 2022
  • 23th January 2023
  • 13th February 2023
  • 20th March 2023
  • 24th April 2023
  • 15th May 2023
  • 19th June 2023
  • 17th July 2023

Stafford & South Staffs - Wednesdays Stafford from 9:00 am; South Staffs from 1.00 pm

  • 28th September 2022
  • 19st October 2022
  • 23th November 2022
  • 14th December 2022
  • 25th January 2023
  • 15th February 2023
  • 29th March 2023
  • 26th April 2023
  • 24th May 2023
  • 28th June 2023
  • 19th July 2023

A printable copy of Early Years Forums and Funding meeting dates is available in our download section.

Early Years Funding Meeting Dates - 2022-23

Funding Meetings - Thursdays 

Please note that requests must be received 10 working days before these meetings: 

  • 6th October 2022 -deadline 22 September 2022
  • 1st December 2022 - deadline 17th November 2022
  • 2nd February 2023 - deadline 19th January 2023
  • 16th March 2023 - deadline 2nd March 2023
  • 11th May 2023 - deadline 27th April 2023
  • 6th July 2023 - deadline 22nd June 2023

Jargon Buster

Early Years Forum Jargon Buster.  A printable version can be found in our download section to the right of the page.