Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner newsletter - issue 17

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Welcome to the seventeenth issue of the EYFS Practitioner newsletter.


What do you need from us?

Any suggestions welcome as 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.

Safeguarding Update

EYFS safeguarding survey We would like to gather some intelligence and your feedback on safeguarding so that we can support you further with your statutory role. Please complete our safeguarding survey by clicking on the following link  survey The survey closes on 9 November 2020.

EYFS safeguarding forum This month we delivered our first virtual EYFS safeguarding forum with Jo Barclay and Matthew Lewis which was well attended. If you were able to join us, we hope you found it useful. We look forward to keeping you updated with any further events in the future.

Explore the theory and principles of Mindfulness in the Early Years


The Mini Mindfulness webinar is available again after the successful summer term webinar. It will equip your staff to support pupil’s ability to explore, express and understand what is going on in their heads and inside their bodies. You will look at ways in which mindful activities can support children in achieving a range of developmental milestones. 

Here is some feedback from practitioners that attended back in the summer term and how it impacted the children they support:

'I came away with Mindfulness ideas to be shared with EYFS staff'

'By just slowing them down and being aware of their bodies, tastes, actions'

Book your space today to avoid missing out.

Supporting children learning English as an additional language webinar

As a practitioner do you consider the importance of home languages?

Our webinar will help you with 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.

Click here to book one of our available webinar dates

How you can support parents to deliver outstanding home learning opportunities

mum and son

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.

To find out more about this training and book your place click here.

'Parental engagement focuses on ways in which parents, carer and families support and encourage their children’s learning in school and everyday life. Schools and partners can play a vital role in supporting families to do this effectively and with confidence' (National Improvement Framework 2018 (2017, pg14)

Playful adults in the Early Years

Therapeutic teaching

Previously we considered how play can heal our children through this difficult time in our lives. How does it also help our mental health when we are playful with the children? In play children can rearrange the world to make it less scary and it’s the same for us. Healing neurochemicals are activated in joyful play and strengthen attachments, vital to feeling safe in setting. Take ‘Peek-a Boo’ which creates a momentary fear response in the child but this small degree of fear can help a child regulate their emotions.

Children with chronic anxiety struggle with even mildly threatening situations because it leads to high degrees of fear generated by the person’s fear of losing control (Gray in Voice of Play). We also get protective anti-stress effects from our playfulness. While we can’t let ourselves go in the setting, try to make some time for play. Give yourself permission, be spontaneous, set aside your inhibitions and try something you haven’t done since you were a kid. Learn more here.

Catherine Stephenson - www.therapeuticteaching.uk

Treat online safety the same as road safety


The Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) posted this tweet on the 20th October, you can watch the youtube video here.

Safeguarding Level 2 training - ESCB's Learning and Development page contains information on the ESCB Safeguarding training levels. So make sure you check it to ensure your staff have the right training they need!

Further dates for the autumn term, including more Saturdays are available now for Safeguarding Level 2 training. These will be offered via webinar sessions. Visit our training programme to make your booking. 

Role of the Mental Health practitioner

mental health

Your whole setting can now all gain the knowledge needed for this role. It encompasses the forthcoming changes to EYFS and the impact of COVID-19 on practice

Your whole team can access the training throughout a chosen day that suits you. You also get an additional tailored follow up support from the tutor. Alternatively we can offer this training on an individual basis also.

For any more information, feedback from others you have already attended and what's covered in each part. Also how to book your setting on to this course click here.

Early Years SEND Funding for Managers, SENCOs of PVI Settings and Childminders

This training will give you a better understanding of the possible streams of additional funding that is available in the Early Years sector to support children with SEND and will enhance the information around funding available on the Early Years​ website. 

 At the end of the course participants will have:

  • A clear knowledge and understanding of the different streams of funding available.
  • Be aware of the processes of making an application to apply for funding and where to submit it.
  • Be aware of the information required when filling in an application or when information has been requested.
  • A chance to discuss strategies, ways of utilising the additional funding and to record maximum impact.

Session are running on the 16th November 2020 at 2-4pm or 16th November 2020 at 5-7pm. Both sessions are free and will be run virtually. To book please click here.

Business Management Termly Update


A virtual Q&A session led by the Essex Early Years Business Management Consultants will provide an update on current issues, including funding streams, business/staffing reviews and occupancy. Questions and answers will provide discussion points and identify other key topics.

This is being run as a trial, places are limited. Based on feedback, we will aim to hold further termly sessions focused on timely key topics. This session is for owners/governing bodies or managers of an early years and childcare setting, including childminders in Essex.

The session will be held on Tuesday 17 November 2020 at 10:30am - 12:00pm. Book your place here

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 FEEEQueries@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.