Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner newsletter - issue 15

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Welcome to the fifteenth issue of the EYFS Practitioner newsletter.


Do our courses meet your needs?

We are currently looking at our training programme for the next year, if you would like to help us plan ahead in this current time please email us with your suggestions to workforcedevelopment@essex.gov.uk.

How to engage parents in home learning

home baking

Parents can have a huge impact on their child’s learning and this has never been more apparent following the recent home schooling during COVID19. Therefore this training has been developed to provide practitioners with a practical toolkit to help them to support parents to deliver outstanding home learning opportunities.

Dates for this course are the Monday 28 September and Saturday 28 November 2020.

Attendees will reflect on their current practice and explore new ways to support the development of strong, positive relationships with parents, families and the community. To learn more about this webinar click this link to book onto the Engaging Parents in Home Learning webinar.

EYFS safeguarding forum rescheduled

Back in April 2020 this was cancelled we are now able to confirm the new date of the Wednesday 21 October 2020 from 7:00pm - 8:30pm which is free of charge and will be held at Chelmsford City Football Club.

The Schools and Early Years Safeguarding team at Essex will be running safeguarding forums for EYFS providers.  Going forward, these forums will cover a range of safeguarding matters and will provide key information to support providers in meeting their statutory responsibilities in keeping children safe.

 This forum will focus on reporting and recording concerns.  Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, and are limited to one per Early Years provider so please book your place soon. 

The Schools and Early Years Safeguarding Team are also working on safeguarding resources for Early Years providers.

Creating the WOW factor through Information and Communication Technology (ICT)


WOW factor through ICT

This course will help you to reflect on current practice and gain practical hands on examples of how to develop WOW factor ICT experiences in your setting in line with responses to COVID19 

You will discuss where ICT features in the revised EYFS framework (2017), reflect on current provision through auditing the type of activities we offer in our settings. You will address how ICT and Technology can help pupils with SEND and understand how to effectively risk assess the use of ICT in your setting, especially whilst offering remote learning opportunities in line with responses to COVID19. To book onto this webinar click here

Upcoming dates for this course are: Saturday 19 September and Wednesday 18 November 2020

Have you completed your Safeguarding training?


Further dates for the autumn term, including more Saturdays. Safeguarding Level 2 training, we now offer this via webinar sessions all throughout the autumn term visit our training programme to make your booking. 

The Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) Learning and Development page contains information on the ESCB training levels. So make sure you check it to ensure your staff have the right training they need!

Supporting children learning English as an additional language webinar


We are delighted to be able to introduce this course now as a webinar. 

This training supports practitioners in early years settings to consider the importance of home languages, ideas on inclusive communication for families and the key principles of learning English as an additional language.

You will be able to reflect on current practice relating to supporting children learning English as an additional language and meeting 1:7 of the Statutory Framework. To book click here. Next date for this course is the Wednesday 30 September 2020 get booking quick.

Online safety

The Essex Safeguarding Children Board is raising awareness of the importance of having open and honest conversations about online safety. These conversations should start as soon as children begin exploring technology and for many this is during the pre-school years. The ESCB website has lots of resources, videos and podcasts for parents to access for advice, including a podcast and an animation we’ve created specifically for parents of pre-schoolers. www.escb.co.uk/onlineexploitation 

online safety

Talk, Listen and Cuddle. NEW website


We have some exciting news! The campaign Talk Listen and Cuddle have relaunched their new website. Our aim is that the updated site is easier to navigate and will continue to support families who have young children to give them the best start in life. Sharing play-based activities and information to inspire parents and carers to understand the significant role they play in developing their child’s speech, language and communication skills from birth. 

Talk, Listen and Cuddle are the three ingredients needed to ensure young children get the best start in life.

TLC is an ECC campaign that helps families of young children support their children’s communication development through playful learning at home from birth to 5.

The TLC website and Facebook page have been running for many years and have an excellent following from Essex parents, early years settings and schools. The campaign has naturally evolved over this time to meet the needs of families and settings in Essex.

The recognition that early language development is key to the best start in life is now of high importance nationally and TLC compliments the Governments Hungry Little Minds campaign and the Tiny Happy People initiative that has been recently launched by the BBC and backed by The Duchess of Cambridge.


Play in the new future


Our new future puts relationships firmly at the centre of our practice.  Helping the child to feel safe to stay and safe to play requires strength, from recognising our own vulnerability. Managing loss and uncertainty starts with our self-care and our capacity to enable healing through play.  

Suzanne Axelsson talks about the ‘play-responsive educator’ who notices the depth of the child’s immersion in play, ‘listens’ through this observation and sensitively times the interaction to extend the experience for the child.

Play is powerful therapy when we witness and ‘hear’ their stories through play. Telling stories to children so they can name feelings in themselves. Each child’s unique language of play tells us how they are feeling. Whether boisterous or solitary behaviour, the child needs to feel connected with us to understand feelings. How we use our presence with the child in this new future requires even greater sensitivity from us. While we may be conscious of lost time let’s focus on the extraordinary magic of the secure relationship.

Catherine Stephenson - Therapeutic Teaching

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.