Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner newsletter - issue 12

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Welcome to the twelfth issue of the EYFS Practitioner newsletter.

If you have any good news stories or examples of good practice we can share, please email workforcedevelopment@essex.gov.uk.

Helping you prepare for when the children return?

ready to learn

“Ready to learn” is our NEW webinar that you need to make sure you are prepared for when the children gradually return.

On this course it explores the theory and principles behind the term 'school readiness'. it will help you grow in confidence with supporting pupils with upcoming transitions via the current hurdle of teaching remotely.

It will give you practical activities and age appropriate ways in which staff can implement a Ready to Learn approach with their setting by using household items to help not break the bank. During the course you will create a kit bag that will give you the toolkit to ‘get out and about’… get booking now so you don’t miss out!

Essex Safeguarding Children Board COVID-19 Resource Hub


The Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) has a dedicated Coronavirus webpage, which aims to provide a single point of access for anyone needing information and resources in relation to safeguarding children and young people.

These pages outline any temporary changes to multi-agency safeguarding procedure and guidance. The Children and Families Service continue to prioritise support through continued contact with high risk child protection cases, our children-in-care and young people living in semi-independent accommodation. Details on this page will be reviewed and updated regularly.

There are also pages with general information - signposting to national and local advice, as well as resources for families, which include things like home-schooling and emotional wellbeing links.

To keep up to date with all things safeguarding related please sign up to our newsletter and take a look round our website.

Education Essex have brand NEW online webinar courses for you … be the first to book!


Our new training programme has a wide range of new online webinar courses available for you to access during these unprecedented times.

Examples of courses we have are:

  • Mini Mindfulness
  • Boosting Learning Through Movement
  • Math Movers
  • Power of PLAY DOUGH

And many more don’t miss your chance to upskill yourself while at home. 

You could learn how to create a ‘Dough Gym’, evaluating how movement stimuli can promote gross motor skills or understand what maths REALLY looks like - maths is all around us and so much more.

There are times and dates to suit all our new lifestyles … check them out. Also keep an eye out for more webinars to come.

Abacus Kindergarten - tips to help while at home


While only running a very limited service for our key worker parents, we were surprised about how competitive the parents home schooling has become online with sending what their child has done at home, Abacus wanted to remind parents to enjoy the time and realised they had to do more.

We decided to learn through nature! Every child was given (collected from outside the preschool) a small ‘Grow your own’ kit.  Every kit includes plant pots, small bag of compost, vegetable seeds and wooden lolly sticks for labels. They received an additional challenge to make their own watering can out of a recycled container. The results have been fantastic as you can see from the pictures.

One last activity based on nature is our tadpoles.  Usually, we have tadpoles at Abacus every year in a little nature pond, but this year most of us are not there to see the changes.  Now, every week we video the tadpoles, monitoring their changes as they grow and develop, and post them on our Facebook page.  The parents report that the children look forward to the videos and can’t wait to see if they can spot any legs yet! 

We hope you enjoy reading about some of our ideas.


Grow your Early Years setting with an ACL apprenticeship


ACL has been delivering quality training and development programmes for over 30 years and is the main apprenticeship provider for Essex County Council.

Apprenticeships can have huge benefits for your Early Years setting – from a more productive and skilled workforce with nationally recognised City and Guilds qualifications, to children receiving support from qualified employees benefitting their learning and development.

Our apprenticeship programmes are suitable for new entrants as well as existing employees within an Early Years setting. Typical roles include, Early Years Educator, Child-minder or Nursery Nurse. Apprentices will learn, develop and practise the skills required for career progression in the Early Years sector.

Programmes are designed to be flexible and will include a variety of delivery modes including taught sessions at one of our centres, distance learning through our virtual and digital learning platforms and 1-2-1 coaching sessions in the workplace.

To find out more visit the ACL website and submit an enquiry form, email acl.apprenticeships@essex.gov.uk or call 07748623230 or 07500976269.

What Safeguarding Training Level do your staff need?


We are excited to announce we have added new Safeguarding Level 2 webinar sessions to our training programme along with face to face sessions later in the summer term available for you to book on to.

Make sure your staff have the right level they need today!

The Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) Learning and Development page contains information on the ESCB training levels.

Also did you know?

The safeguarding level 1 free online course is now available on the ESCB website accompanied by an updated power point presentation. To ensure you are aware of current guidance and the effective support document in Essex, please ensure you read the power point presentation alongside completing the online course. Both are available on the ESCB website here.

Training opportunities

Our new training programme is available to view on our website. This is a temporary arrangement until our new booking system is live.

To improve our offer to you, our eLearning training is currently under review. We look forward to its launch on our new booking system. 

Covid-19 Early Years and Childcare Email Communications

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown period, the Essex Early Years and Childcare Service have been sending regular email communications to all early years and childcare providers across the County. A central information source point https://eycp.essex.gov.uk/covid19-coronavirus/ has been added to the Essex Early Years Provider website where all of these updates and associated attachments can be found for future reference. If for some reason you have not been receiving these updates and would like to be added to the distribution list, please let us know by emailing Free.EntitlementFundingQueries@essex.gov.uk


Post it note

Our archive page on the Early Years and Childcare website will host three terms’ worth of newsletters. This is to ensure that all of our information is current and up to date.