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Early Years Solutions

Early Years Solutions

30 Hours Eligibility, Funding & Data Management

Online Portal linking Local Authorities and Nursery Education Providers

At a glance

Eligibility checks and funding management are offered as part of Sentinel’s comprehensive Early Years solution.

Featuring a secure, online Provider portal, our easy-to-use, flexible system automates a range of back office functions while ensuring data remains accurate and up-to-date.

Supporting the DfE’s 30 Hours Vision, our system quickly and seamlessly integrates with local authorities’ IT infrastructure and can also be extended to meet teams’ evolving needs.

Local authorities benefiting from our software include Birmingham City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council. 

Features and benefits

  • Instant eligibility checks

Sentinel’s system links with the DfE’s Eligibility Checking System (ECS) to provide instant responses to code checks with a start and end date for each valid code.
Codes are re-checked automatically as part of the system’s comprehensive back office support.

Built-in functionality also includes a hosted form for immediate two-year old eligibility checking plus checks for Free School Meals (FSM) and Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP).

  • Full management of funding for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

Sentinel’s solution integrates with council finance systems to send EEE payments and remittance advice notes online via each Provider’s individual portal. Providers can also log in to access and download their own funding statements. 

EEE funding payments are calculated automatically, based on different parameters you can control and adjust. 

  • Improved data accuracy, visibility and control

Data entry dates are strictly controlled and communicated via parameters selected by you, ensuring you get the information you need, when you need it. Sophisticated matching techniques validate, cleanse and merge new data using configurable rules you control.

Automatic notifications highlight issues such as ineligible children or where a child's assessment data is a potential cause for concern. Duplicate children can be identified across multiple Providers.

Dashboards summarise the overall status of a setting or of a child across multiple settings.

Reports are created at the click of a button with fast access to data required by the DfE for the annual Early Years Census.

  • Reduced administration and costs

Information is entered by Providers via the portal using online forms which can check data quality as it is entered – removing the need for time-consuming paperwork and poor quality data.

Sentinel's system helps teams to fulfil a range of statutory duties including all Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) data requirements, SEND obligations and those of the Childcare Act 2006.

  • Comprehensive security, easy integration

Wide-ranging security and data governance features include easy-to-set permission/access levels. Sentinel's system also provides a full audit trail of all actions taken, whether they be automated or manual.

Developed using JAVA technology, Sentinel's system integrates quickly and easily with any existing IT infrastructure. Once set up, it can be extended to handle all the information you need to share.

  • Monitoring child welfare and assessing development

Enhancing collaboration, Sentinel’s system creates a clear picture of what is happening within a particular family unit by allowing key information to be shared with child protection or family support service teams.

Assess and track children’s progress with a host of features - including integrated statistical functions - to view development and easy identification of those who aren’t progressing in line with expectations.

For additional details on how our system supports child assessment, please click here


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For more information

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