Who we are and what we do

Essex County Council Early Years and Childcare is responsible for meeting specific statutory duties relating to a number of legislative requirements and supporting early years and childcare providers across the county with information, advice, guidance and training in relation to these duties.


The early years and childcare sector is made up of Ofsted registered day nurseries, pre-schools, childminders, out of school settings, family hubs and delivery sites, and crèches. This amounts to 2,619 providers (May 2015), and includes 1,200 childminders, 12 family hubs, 26 family hub delivery sites, and 4 outreach delivery sites. In total, there are over 17,500 early years and childcare practitioners across the county. To find out more about the detail of what we do please read our Strategy document.

Working alongside the Public Office, children and families we have engaged in an Early Years Review to co-design whole system change which will influence the direction of our work in the months ahead. To read more about the Early Years Review and the work we’ve been doing with the Public Office please visit our Innovation page.

If you need to get in touch with us, please go to our Contact Us page.

 Early Years and Childcare Structure Chart 

 Guide to early years and childcare strategy, legislation and related initiatives

Our Strategy for 2015-2018

Significant growth in the population of children and young people in Essex over the coming years, together with financial challenges, have focused our determination to commission high quality, accessible, affordable provision and effective early years and childcare services.

Research and evidence is clear and compelling; ensure that a child is well supported in their early years and the outcome for education and life chances will be significantly improved. The Early Years and Childcare Strategy for 2015-2018 outlines our guiding principles to ensure that the arrangements we put in place achieve the best outcomes for all children, make sense to the families we work with; are built around their needs and preferences and are easy to access and engage with.

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