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The Southern Area Child Care Partnership was set up as part of the Northern Ireland Childcare Strategy “Children First”. The Partnership is charged with implementing the Childcare Strategy locally, based on the principles of social inclusion, quality, affordability, accessibility, family friendly workplace practices and information.
As part of this strategy, local Early Years Fora operate in all three Trusts within the Southern Health and Social Services Board area.
Membership of these fora include those who have an interest in Early Years matters within the Trust area. These Fora are inter and multi professional and should include voluntary/community/statutory involvement.
Representatives from Disability/Special Needs from Ethnic Minority Groups and from parents/carers should be involved in Early Years Forums.
All Fora will have a Chair who will set (in partnership/consultation with others) the Agenda and take responsibility for appropriate communication to members and for invitations to appropriate people.
These Fora are both information sharing and planning processes and should be viewed as an important early years planning, evaluation and monitoring system within the Trust.
It is the role of Early Years Fora to promote the strategic and operational co-ordination of early years services on a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary basis. The Fora should ensure that provision is set within the context of, the Southern Area Child Care Partnership Child Care Plan, any relevant statutory requirements and that account is taken of the needs of the local community.
The Southern Child Care Partnership Co-ordinator will regularly meet with all three Fora to review and agree Action Plans.