Our Priority

'The best start in life for all'

The Start Well Service works in partnership with children and families, the early years workforce and other professional partners to ensure the best possible start to life for children in Bolton. This supports the Bolton Vision 2030, through the Children’s Directorate Plan 2022-24.



How will we implement this?

The Bolton Start Well Service Quality and Outcomes team, SEND team and the Early Years Communication and Language Development Service have developed a range of services for Early Years and Childcare Providers.

We offer support for all professionals working with early years families including providers delivering funded early education and childcare, childminders, schools, academies, out of school clubs, voluntary organisations, and health partners.  

Click the button below to find out more. 

Support for Early Years Providers

So, whether you are looking for advice, consultancy, support and challenge or training to enable your early years workforce to be skilled in teaching, monitoring and assessing children's developmental and learning needs, look no further - we can help.

We work flexibility in response to national, local and individual needs in a variety of ways.

Contact the following teams by emailing boltonstartwell@bolton.gov.uk or telephone 01204 33 8149

  • Start Well Quality and Outcomes Team
  • Start Well Early Years SEND Team
  • Start Well Communication and Language Development Team

EYFS Professional Development Services

To support our priorities and in response to your needs, we offer a wide range of professional development services which are fully funded or chargeable. 

Our training programmes are specifically designed around the identified learning and development needs of children and the early years workforce, so you can be confident that our services will help you to improve outcomes for the children in your care.

Briefings and professional development courses

The Start Well professional development programme is intended to inform, refresh and update practitioners’ knowledge and understanding of child development, pedagogy and practice. Some of the briefings and training offered are fully or part-funded, whilst others are chargeable. This is outlined on each specific course page.

We trust that you will find the relevant training you are looking for in our courses section.  However, if you require a more tailored, professional development activity, bespoke training is an option.

Bespoke consultancy

The service offers bespoke consultancy which can be tailored to meet your continuous improvement needs. Bolton Start Well Service employs a small team of expert consultants, who have considerable experience in the early years sector and will work closely with your

setting to ensure that you develop or embed outstanding practice, whilst monitoring the impact this has on children’s learning and development. This consultancy could support your leadership and management, general practice, tracking and assessment, moderation, implementation, monitoring and modelling of interventions. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

Bespoke training

All Start Well professional development courses can be delivered in-house to ensure you can explore and understand the key messages as a cohesive team, cluster or chain.  The service also offers more personalised training to fully meet your continuing professional development needs. Training can be built to match your availability and identified needs. 

Our training programmes are specifically designed around the identified learning and development needs of children and the early years workforce, so you can be confident that our services will help you to improve outcomes for the children in your care.

Start Well Consultants will be happy to discuss your professional development requirements.  Please contact the service directly to discuss and book your training needs.



Did you know?

  • Over 540 people receive our regular Early Years Update email (subscribe here);
  • Practitioners consistently rate Start Well training 4 out of 5 stars or above;
  • The attainment gap between children receiving Free School Meals and all children in Bolton, is in line with the national figure;
  • 96% of all early years providers were graded as Good or better, in line with the national average.

Feedback from providers

The feedback provided below shows the impact of our partnership working:

EYFS Leadership support

As a new EYS lead taking over midway through an academic year, working with Start Well has been so extremely helpful.  Start Well  has supported me both in an EYS lead group and in 1:1 sessions to enable me to source and understand the information that I needed to begin my journey as an EYS lead!  The consultant’s  knowledge and expertise has been really helpful to get me started in my new role.  Jo (Thomasson Memorial School).

Phonics Project support

I just want to say that after all this craziness and uncertainty that has been around for a lot longer than any of us ever imagined, we all needed a boost of fun and something to be happy and excited about. Re-engaging with yourself with the phonics project has been a real breath of fresh air, your guidance and support has been amazing and we cannot thank you enough for introducing us to the fun dough disco and phonics activities like cross the river. These activities have ignited fun and allowed staff and children to become excited about learning and have become new favourites; With the help and guidance you have provided our children, we have gained a wealth of phonics knowledge in a wide variety of areas and have really left us school ready.

Thank you so much and we cannot wait to continue the fun.

Leanne (Early years and pre-school Bolton College).

Cross Phase Reading Project and Phonics Project support

Bolton School Nursery are pleased to be participating in the Cross Phase Reading Project and the Phase 1 Phonics Project with Bolton Start Well.  The projects have further enhanced practitioner knowledge and have positively impacted children’s move to Reception Class. The Start Well team has supported us in the projects by carrying out observations and arranging cluster group meetings with other schools and settings. We are looking forward to participating in more projects in the new school year.  Mrs A. Hunt (Bolton School Nursery).

Phase 1 Phonics (Letters and Sounds) training

The course was brilliant, giving an insight into Phase 1.  Faria Ingar.

The Phase 1 Phonics video was great to watch and helped a lot.  I will watch it again when I need to recap. Chantelle (Tender Years Day Nursery).

Number Journey training

I now have an in depth understanding of the expectations of teaching numbers in EYFS and have ideas of how to improve my practice.  Courtni (Red Lane Primary School).

Early Years Daycare Managers group

It's nice to talk in a supportive group.  We share similar challenges and it helps to build my confidence.  We have built a group of trust, where we feel we can talk openly without any judgement.  Marie (Bolton Children's Opportunity Group).

Early Years Daycare Meeting

Firstly, I would like to thank you for all your hard work and commitment.  It was a pleasure to attend the meeting.  I really enjoyed getting to know other people who are in the exact same job as myself.  I could speak and express how I was feeling and they absolutely understood! They were also very helpful, even offered to share things via email.  I could honestly feel my mental health improve from the first meeting!  I look forward to the next meeting.  Asma (Paradise Garden Nursery).

To help enable us to improve our service and inspire others, please continue to share your feedback by email: boltonstartwell@bolton.gov.uk