Early Years Improvement Fund


As part of the Opportunity Area’s Priority 1 (to accelerate the progress of disadvantaged children and young people in the acquisition and development of communication, language and reading) the Early Years Improvement Fund is being launched to support early years providers working together in clusters to run a workforce development plan, or implement a communication, language and literacy improvement project.


The aims of the fund are:

  • to accelerate a new, collaborative approach to ensure every child, regardless of location, is benefitting from our shared knowledge, experience and best practice, as well as to contribute to workforce development
  • to improve attainment in communication and language in the early years and at primary level, creating networks to bring together early years and schools to reduce the gap for disadvantaged pupils, with progress sustained into secondary school and beyond


To be considered eligible for funding, clusters should demonstrate the following in their bids:

  • all named providers must be located in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire (please contact a member of the team if you are unsure)
  • bids must include participation from three or more settings*
  • the total cost for the intended project or development plan must not exceed £10,000

Based on identified needs in the area, bids that demonstrate the below criteria are likely to be prioritised:

  • commitment to participation or support from the appropriate feeder school
  • an element of parental engagement
  • support for children with:
    • English as a second language
    • clarity of speech
    • phonics

*Settings can include private day nurseries, maintained nursery classes, school-run preschools/playgroups, private preschools/playgroups, committee-run preschools/playgroups, and childminders.

How to apply

To apply for funding for your project, please complete this form and send it to Paula Durrant, Opportunity Area Early Years Lead Specialist, opportunityareas.EAST@education.gov.uk by midday on Thursday 20th June 2019.

Each cluster may apply for up to £10,000 to support their project. For guidance on how to develop your bid please see this document and if you would like any support with the bid-writing process, please contact Paula Durrant, Paula.Durrant@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.