Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms that may help NEyTCO members with many of the acronyms or jargon used in the Early Years sector.


APEL – Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning


BA/BSc – Bachelor of Arts/Science (Honours Degree)


CACHE – Council for Awards in Children’s Care and Education
CAMHS – Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service
CCs – Children’s Centres
CCLD – Children’s Care Learning & Development (NVQ)
CCP – Certificate in Childminding Practice
CDC – Child Development Centre
CDS – Child Development Service
Cert Ed – Certificate of Education
CF – Children’s Fund
CFAM – Children and Families Service within Children’s Services
CIS – Children’s Information Service (now called the Family Information Service)
CLLD – Communication, Language and Literacy Development
COCR – Compulsory Ofsted Childcare Register
CP – Child Protection
CPD – Continuing Professional Development
CYPP – Children & Young People’s Plan
CVS – Council for Voluntary Service
CWDC – Children’s Workforce Development Council


DCP – Disabled Children’s Partnership
DCP – Developing Childminding Practice
DDA – Disability Discrimination Act
DCSF – Department for Children, Schools & Families
DLO – Desirable Learning Outcomes
DPP – Developing Pre-school Practice


EAL – English as an Additional Language
EAZ – Education Action Zone
ECM – Every Child Matters
ECP – Extending Childminding Practice
EDLF – Early Development and Learning Framework

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EDP – Education Development Plan
EEC – Early Excellence Centres
EEL – Effective Early Learning
EIP – Education Improvement Partnership
ELG – Early Learning Goals
ES – Extended Services ESP Early Support Programme
EY – Early Years
EYCE – Early Years Care and Education NVQ
EY(SE)FD – Early Years (Sector Endorsed) Foundation Degree
EYFS – Early Years Foundation Stage
EYPS – Early Years Professional Status
EYSENCs – Early Years Special Educational Needs Consultants (I&E)
EYR – Early Years Register


FD – Foundation Degree
FE – Further Education
FEI – Further Education Institution
FSP – Foundation Stage Profile


GG – Government Gateway (to access Self-Evaluation Form)
GLF – Graduate Leader Fund


HE – Higher Education
HEI – Higher Education Institution
HI – Hearing Impaired
HV – Health Visitors


ICP – Introducing Childminding Practice
IEP – Individual Education Plan
IiP – Investors in People
ILM – Institute for Leadership & Management
IMD – Index of Multiple Deprivation
INSET – In-Service Education and Training
ISIS – Inclusion & School Improvement Service, now I&E


JAR – Joint Area Review
JCP or JC+ – Job Centre Plus
JDQ – Job Description questionnaire


KEEP – Key Elements of Effective Practice


LEA – Local Education Authority
LIG – Leadership Incentive Grant
LPSA – Local Public Service Agreement
LSC – Learning & Skills Council
LSP – Local Strategic Partnership
LSCB – Local Safeguarding Children Board


MA – Masters Degree
MMU – Manchester Metropolitan University
MOU – Memorandum Of Understanding NC National Curriculum


NCH – National Children’s Homes
NCMA – National Child Minding Association
NCS – National Childcare Strategy
NDNA – National Day Nursery Association
NEG – Nursery Education Grant
NFSP – National Foundation Stage Profile
NNI – Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative
NVQ – National Vocational Qualification


OCR – Ofsted Childcare Register
OFSTED – Office for Standards in Education
OSC – Out of School Club
OST – Ofsted Security Token (Password to access SEF)
OT – Occupational Therapist


PCT – Primary Care Trust
PDP – Personal or Professional Development Portfolio
Ped – Pedagogue
PGCE  – Post Graduate Certificate of Education
PhD  – Doctorate
PI  – Performance Indicator
PLA  – Pre-School Learning Alliance
PSA – Public Service Agreement
PVI – Private, Voluntary & Independent (Nurseries and Pre-schools)
PW – Playwork


QA – Quality Assurance
QCA – Qualifications and Curriculum Agency


ROV – Record of Visit
RRA – Race Relations Act
RRAA  – Race Relations Amendment Act


SALT  – Speech & Language Therapy
SCM  – Support Childminder Schemes
SEF  – Self Evaluation Form
SEN  – Special Educational Needs
SENCO  – Special Educational Needs Coordinator (Children & Families Service)
SEND  – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
SLA  – Service Level Agreement
SOA – Super Output Area
SS – SureStart
SSD – Social Services Department TDA Training Development Agency


TfC – Together for Children
TNA – Training Needs Analysis


UKNARIC – UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre. For verification of overseas qualifications


VC – Volunteer Centre
VI – Visually Impaired
VOCR – Voluntary Childcare Register


WDP – Workforce Development Plan
WDT – Workforce Development Team

Other Useful Terms

Annual Review

The review of a Statement of Special Educational Needs with a Local Authority (LA). This must be completed within 12 months of making the Statement and then on an annual basis with an interim review every 6 months for children in early years.


Attachment behaviour is shown when babies and young children actively seek close relationships with their parents and other primary caregivers.


A person who works to enable communication for children and adults experiencing speech and language problems due to hearing loss.

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Birth to Five Service was previously known as the Early Years Support Service. The Early Years Advisory Teacher will support the pre-school in meeting the needs of all children including those with special needs.


Thought processes that involve reasoning, evaluation, problem solving and information processing. Associated with knowing, understanding and awareness.


A person named by a local authority to care for a child for whom the social services department has parental responsibility. The carer may qualify as a parent for the purposes of the Education Acts.

Clinical Psychologist

A psychologist who works with the family and their child and setting with regard to developmental and behavioural issues.

Community Paediatrician (CP)

A doctor who specialises in children, assessing all aspects of development.


May have the role of helping families deal with emotional aspects of e.g. disability.


The process by which a child acquires skills in the areas of social, emotional, intellectual, speech, language and physical development. Developmental stages refer to the expected, sequential order of acquiring skills that children typically go through.


Tendencies to behave in particular ways or to prefer certain activities. Sometimes this is seen as relating to temperament. Each child has a unique pattern of dispositions and these need to be understood if development is to be supported effectively.

Early Learning Goals

The expectations in each of the seven areas of learning which it is expected most children will reach by the end of the Foundation Stage.

Early Support Programme

Supporting babies and very young children with additional needs and their families. Also provides a range of useful information resources.

Early Years Action

Parents and providers identify needs and support children within the setting’s own resources.

Early Years Action Plus

As for Early Years Action but also with the active involvement of outside support agencies.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The Early Years Foundation Stage was revised in September 2012 and is mandatory for all early years providers. It ‘sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.’ (pg 2, Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. DfE 2012)

Educational Psychologist (EP)

An EP has a degree in psychology, teaching experience and specialised training in child development. He/she works with children and their families to put together a plan to tackle learning, behaviour or other issues likely to impact upon the child’s progress.

Graduated Approach

Recognises that there is a continuum of special educational needs. Where necessary increasing expertise from specialists will be sought and made available to support the child’s needs.

Health Visitor (HV)

A person who provides a home visiting primary care service that may be specialist or generic according to area policy. Some health authorities employ specialist health visitors to work with special needs. Generic health visitors will have special needs as part of their normal caseload.


A process of identifying, understanding and breaking down the barriers to participation and belonging.

Independent Parental Supporter

A person offering parents independent advice and support on SEN and puts them in touch with Voluntary Organisations or Parent Support Groups.

Individual Education Plan (IEP)

A plan of short-term achievable targets and the action to be taken to achieve these targets for a child identified as having Special Educational Needs. IEPs are reviewed regularly by settings with the parents / carers.

Key Person

Member of setting staff named to support an individual child’s development and act as point of contact with his/her parents

Note in lieu

A note issued to the child’s parents / carers when following a statutory assessment the LA decide not to make a statement.

Named LA Officer

The person from the Local Authority who will liaise with parents regarding the process of making a statutory assessment and statement.

Non-verbal communication

Sometimes referred to as body language, non-verbal communication refers to all the body signals that usually accompany talk, such as eye contact, smiling, raising eyebrows or frowning, that people send when they communicate with one another.

Occupational Therapist (OT)

An OT deals with all aspects of life skills where children have difficulties in carrying out everyday activities and will provide physical aids when appropriate.


An orthoptist is an eye specialist who will work with children or adults with vision problems, squints or abnormal eye movements.

Parent Partnership Officer

Each Local Authority provides a Parent Partnership Service to provide advice and information to parents of children with special educational needs. The officers may liaise with and support parents through processes such as assessment, statementing, review, transitions.


Health professionals who deal with the physical aspect of a child’s development and may help with a treatment plan to control movement and balance.


The adults who work with children in a setting.

Portage Worker

Provides a home visiting, educational service. Portage is an early intervention programme that uses home visiting to support parents in the care and development of their pre-school child.

Request for Decision for Statutory Assessment (DSA)

When parents, providers and other professionals ask the local authority to make an assessment of the child’s special educational needs.


A schema is a pattern of repeated behaviour in children. Children often have a very strong drive to repeat actions such as moving things from one place to another, covering things up and putting things into containers, or moving in circles or throwing things. These patterns can often be observed running through their play and vary between one child and another. If practitioners build on these interests powerful learning can take place.

Sensory Education Support Service Teacher (SESS)

A teacher has had specialist training in the areas of hearing and sight in children. He/she works mainly as an advisor, to assist teachers and parents in supporting children with hearing or sight problems or sometimes both.

Sensory impairment

Being unable to fully use one or more of the senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling.


Any ‘out of home’ provision for early years for children from birth to five.

Single Assessment Framework - (SAF)

A standardised approach to conducting an assessment of a child’s additional needs and deciding how those needs should be met.

Special Educational Needs

The term ‘special educational needs’ (SEN) has a legal definition, referring to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age. Many children will have SEN of some kind at some time during their education. Help will usually be provided in their ordinary, mainstream early education setting or school, sometimes with the help of outside specialists.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)

Designated individual in a school or setting having responsibility for special educational needs.

Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (ref: DfES/581/2001)

The Government issued a Code of Practice on 1 January 2002. It gives practical guidance to Local Authorities, schools and settings on their duties in special education. Those with statutory responsibilities under the Education Act “must have regard to” the Code of Practice.

Special School

A school organised to make special educational provision (i.e for children with statements of SEN) approved by the Secretary of State under Section 342 Education Act 1996.

Speech and Language Therapist (S&LT)

A therapist who will support all aspects of communication, speech and language development and disorders (and any associated eating and swallowing problems).

Statutory Assessment

A detailed consideration of a child’s special education needs which may or may not lead to a statement or a note in lieu.

Social Worker

A worker who will support a family with practical issues such as benefit applications, respite care, household adaptations etc.


Movement between different environments, rooms or settings. All transition involves change and it is vital to prepare children, no matter how young they are, for this. When children are prepared for transition they adapt more easily to changes.

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