1617 0605 Early Education and Childcare Provision in Childrens Centres

Islington Council invites suitable expressions of interest from suitably qualified organisations with relevant experience to deliver and manage early education and childcare provisions in children’s centre buildings in the following locations:

  • Lot 1: Conewood Childrens Centre (14 Conewood St, London N5 1DJ)
  • Lot 2: Hornsey Road Childrens Centre (8 Tiltman Pl, Hornsey Rd, London N7 7EN)
  • Lot 3: Paradise Park Childrens Centre (164 MacKenzie Rd, London N7 8SE)
  • Lot 4: The Factory Childrens Centre (Mayville Estate, London N16 8NP)

The successful providers will have to demonstrate a strong track record and extensive experience of providing early education and childcare provision including early identification of, and provision for, children with special educational needs and disabilities. They will be expected to demonstrate how they can improve outcomes for children and ensure they can meet the early years outcomes duty.

In addition, the successful providers will manage the children’s centre building and be an active partner in the network of early childhood services organised through the Bright Start areas. They will secure arrangements for collaborative working, contributing expertise and ensuring parents using the childcare provision can access the full range of health and family support services and training and employment opportunities and other early childhood services organised through Bright Start Islington.


Children’s Centres are placed in areas of most need. The provision of early years and childcare on these sites are instrumental in meeting a range of outcomes for children and families. This includes meeting the early years outcomes duty so that children begin their school lives in good health and are able to do well at school. In addition, the outcomes are expected to reduce the inequalities gap between those children who do least well in their Early Years Foundation Stage Profile score in relation to the general population of children living in Islington.

Islington Council believes every child should have an equal chance to fulfil their potential and remains committed to ensure that childcare is affordable and that children can receive high quality and support, whatever the family circumstances. We do this by contributing to the cost of childcare for low to middle income families by subsidising places. Good quality childcare is very important to children’s development. It also means that parents are able to take up training or go to work. This helps the whole family to be independent and have a better standard of living. In addition to this, 30% of all early education and childcare places are made available to those children who are assessed as being ‘in need’ according to Islington’s child in need priority statement.

A new integrated early childhood service model has been developed building on the excellent children’s centre model already within the London Borough of Islington. This will be known as Bright Start Islington. Full implementation of Bright Start Islington will begin in September 2017.

The new model will see the co-ordination and delivery of children’s centre services organised across three areas of the borough and led by three early childhood “Bright Start Islington” area teams. The teams will work closely with children’s centres as well as other providers of early education and childcare in their area to plan and deliver services which meet the needs of local families.

The requirement

Our duty is to ensure that Bright Start Islington and the role of children’s centres will have a clear core purpose focused on improving outcomes for young children and their families, with a particular focus on the most disadvantaged families, in order to reduce inequalities in child development and school readiness.

We are seeking to commission up to four organisations with relevant skills and knowledge that are able to demonstrate their experience to make a contribution to the core purpose by:

  • improving outcomes for children and families by offering high quality care and education services for children under 5 years in accordance with the London Borough of Islington’s Early Years Admissions policy and charging policy;
  • ensuring that all families have access to affordable, high quality provision and support, whatever the family circumstances. This is achieved by contributing to the cost of childcare through subsidising places in accordance with the London Borough of Islington’s charging policy;
  • managing the children’s centre building including hosting Bright Start Islington early childhood services; 
  • being an active partner in the Bright Start Area team, contributing expertise and working collaboratively to ensure families using the childcare provision can access the full range of health and family support services and training and employment opportunities and other early childhood services organised through Bright Start Islington;

The provider will ensure that the service is provided in a non-discriminatory, non-patronising and professional manner by experienced, appropriately qualified and courteous staff in a way that demonstrates respect for the dignity and value of children and their parents/carers and sensitivity to their individual situation and experiences. 


We are seeking to commission the above services for the following four lots:

  • Lot 1: Conewood Childrens Centre (an expectation will be added to this contract for the new provider to invest capital funding as part of a match funding arrangement with Islington Council.)
  • Lot 2: Hornsey Road Childrens Centre
  • Lot 3: Paradise Park Childrens Centre
  • Lot 4: The Factory Childrens Centre

TUPE [Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations]

Potential providers must be aware that TUPE may or may not apply to this service. Further details will be available in the invitation to tender.

Contract Period

The contract period will be for 36 months from an estimated start date 1 March 2018 with option to extend up to a further 24 months.

Contract Value

The Council funding for each of the four lots is as follows:


Childcare subsidy (Maximum)

Management of building


Council Funding per annum

Total Council Funding over maximum 60 month term

Lot 1





Lot 2





Lot 3





Lot 4










The maximum available council funding for these contracts is stated above.

Up to four separate contracts will be awarded, with a maximum of two contracts awarded per organisation.

In addition to the total council funding stated above, income will also be generated from parental fees in accordance with Islington Council’s charging policy and funding passported from the government for the provision of free early years entitlement.

The table below shows an indicative funding allocation over a 12 month period (based on current participation). Please note actual funding will be based on participation. Funding will be adjusted if the actual configuration of places offered during the year is more or less than the assumption used to calculate funding in accordance with the formula.


Council Funding per annum

3&4 year old funding

2 year old funding

UFAG places

Parental Fee income

Total Indicative Income

Total Indicative Income per maximum 60 month term

Lot 1








Lot 2








Lot 3








Lot 4








Tenders submitted for each lot will be assessed on the Council funding and indicative funding above, any bids over this amount may be disqualified.

Award criteria

The contract will be awarded to the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations. MEAT for this contract is quality 80% and cost 20%. Further details will be provided in the invitation to tender.

Award criteria


Cost – made up of


Unit costs


Allocation of costs (direct costs and overheads) including the management of the building


Quality – made up of


Proposed approach to achieving positive outcomes for children and families


Proposed approach to ensuring continuous improvement and the methods used for this including self-evaluation and quality assurance


Proposed approach to contract implementation, transition and mobilisation


Proposed approach to service outputs


Proposed approach to safeguarding and early help


Partnership working and approach to multi agency working within the scope of Bright Start Islington


Proposed approach to sustainability within the context of Islington’s Early Years admissions and charging policies




Tenderers should be aware that we reserve the right to hold site visits, presentations and interviews during the tender process. Site visits and/or presentations and/or interviews will be for verification/clarification purposes of the written submission.

We reserve the right to interview leading bidders.

Procurement Process

This contract is over the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) threshold. The contract will be procured using the Restricted Procedure. The Restricted Procedure means the procurement process will be conducted in two stages.

The first stage will involve selecting a maximum of the five (5) highest-scoring organisations for each lot through a selection questionnaire (SQ). All submissions will be subject to minimum requirements as stated in the SQ.

Organisations may apply for any number of lots. We will be looking to award contracts to up to four providers. The highest scoring organisation for each lot will be offered a contract for that lot. However, any one organisation will only be offered a maximum of two lots. Should any organisation be the highest scoring organisation in more than two lots, the next ranked organisation will be offered a contract. Therefore, you will be asked to state in your application the lots that you are applying for and order of preference.

The second stage will be an evaluation of tenders submitted by bidders who are selected at the SQ stage.

How to express an interest

If you wish to apply for any of these contracts please follow the steps below:

Register your company free of charge via the London Tenders Portal.

Await acceptance. You will receive an email confirming your username and password.

Use your username and password to log into the London Tenders Portal and express your interest in 1617-0605 Early Education and Childcare Provision in Children’s Centres. Categories: 80100000: Primary education services; 80000000: education and training services; 85312110: Child daycare services.

Shortly after you have expressed interest, you will receive a second email containing a link to access the selection questionnaire.


The deadline for expressions of interest is: 11.59am on Wednesday 30 August 2017

Submission of selection questionnaires by: 12 noon on Wednesday 30 August 2017

Late submissions will not be accepted.

Additional information

  • Islington Council and its partners are committed to work towards a ‘Fairer Islington’, for more information see
  • Please do not include any publicity material with your submissions.
  • Islington Council aims to provide equality of opportunity and welcomes applicants who meet the qualitative selection criteria from black and minority ethnic communities and disabled groups.
  • The Council encourages all types of organisation who meet the qualitative selection criteria including Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations, Social Enterprises or not for profit enterprises and small to medium enterprises (SME) to tender. 
  • Your submission will be marked in stages. Only applicants who meet the requirements at each stage will progress to the next stage. Further details will be contained in the tender documents.
  • Please include the Contract Number of this tender process when communicating with the Council in any way.
  • All questions relating to this contract should be raised via the question and answer section of the relevant contract on the London Tenders Portal. Please do not contact any officer of the council directly.
  • Applicants are advised that all costs incurred either directly or indirectly in preparation, submission or otherwise related to this advertisement will be borne by them, and in no circumstances will the council be responsible for any such costs. Applicants are also advised that the council at its sole discretion acting reasonably and in good faith reserves the right to abandon the procurement at any stage prior to contract award.
  • As part of a commitment to transparency the council is now publishing all spend over £500 each month. This includes spend on contracts, so the successful contractor should expect details of spend against the contract to appear on the council website Islington Council: Council contracts. The council is also committed to publishing tender and contract documentation after contract award stage. Commercially sensitive information will be redacted from documentation. What constitutes commercially sensitive information is a matter for the council’s sole discretion. However, tenderers will be invited to identify information they consider to be commercially sensitive in their tender return and this will be taken into account in the council forming a view.
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