Delivery of the free entitlement for early education to two year old children

Delivery of the free entitlement for early education to two year old children

Specification for the supply of services to support local authorities and providers: delivery of the free entitlement for early education to two year old children. Reference number: 1018

Deadline date: 26/04/2012

This deadline is for… 12 noon 26th April 2012 for return of tenders

Contract value: £1 – £4,000,000

Location where the contract is to be carried out: England

Is this suitable for smaller suppliers? Yes

Is this contract suitable for a voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations? Yes

Name of the buying organisation: Department for Education


Description of the contract

Delivery of the entitlement, for eligible families, to free early education for two year olds is a challenge for both local authorities and providers, in what is a large and diverse sector. The Department for Education is, therefore, seeking to procure a national support contract to support delivery at a primarily local level to achieve the statutory duty, from September 2013, and its further expansion from September 2014. The contract is intended to operate across the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years. The successful supplier will need a good understanding of the early education sector and the legal framework within which it operate. We envisage that the successful supplier will support local authorities and providers in: a. ensuring there is sufficient capacity to meet the entitlement b. improving the quality of provision so that it best meets the needs of 2 year olds (within the context of the regulatory framework for early education including the Early Years Foundation Stage and the statutory guidance for free early education) c. stimulating parental demand for free early education places. While the Department is looking for innovative and creative proposals we would expect bids to include proposals which as a minimum: offer (rather than require) all local authorities a review of capacity, delivery systems, local constraints and challenges in delivering free early education to two year olds to help them assess their degree of preparedness; to deliver and to signpost to appropriate support; and support the sharing of learning between local authorities and between providers.




Classification of the contract

80000000 Education and training services

75200000 Provision of services to the community

79400000 Business and management consultancy and related services


Additional information

Contract type: Services – Unspecified

Is it a framework agreement? No

Is this contract related to a programme of funding? No

Contract will be awarded based on: Most economically advantageous tender in terms of: The criteria stated in the contract documents

Estimated length of contract: 01/06/2012 – 31/03/2015


Who to contact

Contact name Elizabeth Kay

Address Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street,, London, SW1P 3BT

Telephone 0207 783 8135

Extension number:



Web address


How to apply

Please e-mail for a copy of the bidding documents, which will be available from noon on Wednesday 4th April 2012. The Department intends to hold a supplier event for all interested parties in mid April. If you would like to attend the event please email Please note that space will be limited and we, therefore, ask a maximum of two representatives from each organisation attend.