Information for Early Years Providers

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

For parents/carers who are critical workers, as defined by the government, who need early years childcare:

  • If you are a critical worker needing essential childcare and your normal provider is open, you can go there
  • If you are a critical worker needing essential childcare and your normal provider is closed, please email Children and Families Information service for alternative providers that are open -
  • We are currently working across schools and the early years sector in Cumbria to develop a potential hub model to provide childcare for those that need it throughout this period.

The Early Years and Childcare Service has a responsibility for ensuring that high quality early years, childcare and children centre provision is available and accessible to all families with young children. 

Within the 3 localities in Cumbria there is an Early Years Team that provides information for all settings delivering preschool education and care within their locality, these include childminders, voluntary, private and independent preschool settings, children centres and schools.

Each Advisor focuses on developing strong communities of good practice within each locality, working with other professionals to evidence locality needs and areas of concern.  The Advisers primary role is to work in line with Ofsted inspection outcomes to support the quality improvement of 'less than good' settings.

The Early Years Team works with settings and schools to enable them to continuously improve their Early Years Foundation Stage quality as judged by the Ofsted inspection:

Strategic Lead for Early Years

Katie Clarke -

Early Years and Childcare Team Managers 

Ann Breeze - Early Years Team Manager for Carlisle and
Amanda MacDonald - Early Years Team Manager for South Lakes and
Nicola Steels - Early Years Team Manager for Allerdale and


Early Years Advisers/Area SENCO's

Allerdale and Copeland

Dareneth Cook - Early Years
Karen Norman - Early Years

Barrow and South Lakes

Laura Kendall - Early Years

Carlisle and Eden

Christine Blair - Early Years

Childminder Advisers 

Karen Cove

Project Officer

Joan Bradley

Business Adviser

Sian Horsley

Finance Officers

Deborah Percival  
Ailsa Witchell
Children's Centres are places for children and their families.  They provide support for parents and carers and help them to access other services: 

A training programme that aims to provide the children's workforce with the skills and knowledge they need to best support the children and young people in their care.

The Solihull parenting programme is available for FREE for all parents/carers in Cumbria and the more detailed practitioner training is also available for one year FREE of charge.

There are three courses which we hope you will want your teams to access:

Understanding Trauma - This course covers Type 1 and Type 2 trauma, the window of tolerance, going through a traumatic experience, neurology and trauma. Recognising trauma, recovery from trauma, and more...

Understanding Attachment - This course is for practitioners who want to understand more about attachment, and shows how containment and reciprocity underpin the quality of an attachment.

Understanding Brain Development - This course is for practitioners who want an introduction to brain development from the antenatal period to adolescence.

The password for all courses is WORDSWORTHPRF (valid until April 2021).

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Information for childcare settings working with children with Special Educational Needs



Information for childcare settings working with children looked after:

Children in Cumbria will have the best possible start in life through a joined up approach between families and everyone who works with young children.

Healthy Families Cumbria Pledge

Useful documents

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13/11/2019 863k