Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner newsletter - issue 18

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Welcome to the eighteenth 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.

Our Essex Education catalogue is now online!

Great news! Our Essex Education catalogue is now available online. You can find this on our new traded page on the Essex Schools infolink website. The range of services we offer can support almost every aspect of education provision.

We experts in education so you can rely on our quality, capability and customer service. We know that providing excellent education involves a vast array of support services and we’re here to help make it easier for you.

Our support offer encompasses the following areas:

  • Enrich your culture, arts and curriculum
  • Manage your school/setting provision
  • Develop your workforce
  • Improve your performance

Schools/Settings now have the ability to search and book bespoke services that they need. To view the online catalogue please click here.

If you need any further help please email workforcedevelopment@essex.gov.uk.

One month's FREE recruitment and tips on effective online recruitment


1. Write an effective job advert - Be specific in what candidate you want

2. Choose the right service to advertise with - You don’t want to miss the perfect candidate!

3. Think about timescale - a rushed application may put some applicants off applying, you could consider closing the vacancy on a Monday to give applicants the weekend to perfect their submission.

4. Make the most of any extras - If you sign up now for next year's recruitment service you can access the benefits of the service for FREE in December.

Find out more about the FREE month on offer for our Essex Education Recruitment service here and how it can benefit you.

Youth Mental Health Awareness

From Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England this half day course will be delivered by Nasen and supported by a representative from the Essex County Council colleagues from safeguarding and wellbeing to share Essex specific information around mental health.

The Youth Mental Health Aware half day course is an awareness-raising course. It offers an introduction to mental health and mental health issues in young people.

The course covers protective and risk factors for mental health. Delegates will learn about stress, signs and symptoms of mental health difficulties, how to signpost to further help, recovery and self-care.

You will also have the opportunity to hear from our Essex County Council colleagues from safeguarding and wellbeing.

Given the challenging situation faced by everyone since March 2020, awareness of mental health is more important now than ever.

This course is for anyone working with children and young people up to 18 years old.

For more information and to book click here.

MHFA logo

Connection calms

Therapeutic teaching

Enhancing connection with young children and parents/carers is one way we can ease the strain on everyone’s mental health in these difficult times. Our nervous system reminds us, moment by moment, that connection to others can help us to feel safe, when some-one asks us how we are with a curious expression or reassures us with an empathic soothing voice.

This only happens when we receive safety signals in the face and voice of another. When we are stressed, we can find ourselves in a sympathetic ‘high energy’ (action or fight/flight) state very quickly or in an immobilised ‘helpless and hopeless’ shutdown, low energy state (freeze/shutdown).

It’s vital for us to move our own body to a calm responsive state and we need to read the child’s nervous system well, this video explains this with some nervous system ‘hacks’ in an entertaining visual way.  Find out more with Early Years Mental Health training

 A video introduction with useful links and free resources is here.

More from Safeguarding

It was very good to see so many Early Years providers in attendance at the first Early Years Safeguarding Forum, held virtually on 21 October. Thank you for attending; we hope you found it useful.

We are pleased to announce that three resources, discussed during the Forum, have been added to the safeguarding pages on the Essex Early Years and Childcare website. These are an Early Years Safeguarding Audit, and two Model Child Protection Policies: one for settings and one for childminders.

We will announce plans for our spring term Safeguarding Forum in a future edition of this newsletter.   

However in the meantime you can book onto our Safeguarding level 2 training here. Saturday dates are also available.

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 31 December 2020.

Outdoor play for young children

outdoor play

Children’s access to outdoor play has never been more important. Some children may have had limited outdoor play experiences over recent months. Enabling them to get outside, and providing them with lots of open-ended resources, activities and opportunities will go some way towards addressing this.

Provide plastic objects and equipment, tarpaulins, plastic table-cloths, shower curtains and light weight fabrics that can be easily washed and dried.  Offer natural objects that can be easily cleaned (e.g. large smooth pebbles), or thrown away at the end of an activity (e.g. leaves, twigs). Use card and paper, as it can be easily recycled or disposed of. Focus on the process and the doing rather than the product at the end. 

It doesn’t matter what the final result is, as the fun and learning will take place along the way. Try undertaking small group art projects that can be photographed or displayed in your setting.  There are some examples here.

Outdoors is also the place for conversations, supporting children to process and make sense of their experiences.                               

  - Early Years Education Partner QTS

Supporting children learning English as an additional language webinar


This training will support 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.

For more information and dates available click here

Covid-19 Early Years and Childcare email communications

A central information source point https://eycp.essex.gov.uk/covid19-coronavirus/ has been added to the Essex Early Years Provider website where all updates and associated attachments can be found for future reference. To be added to the email 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.