Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner newsletter - issue 19

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Welcome to the nineteenth 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.

Looking to learn something new in the new year?


Some of the courses we have on offer for you:

  • Baby Room Leader - This course will help baby room leaders to drive high quality practice within under twos provision.  You will learn how to manage effective transitions for children through the ‘Key Person Approach’, explore how to lead a team using the ‘Educare approach'. Be able to reflect on the leadership skills required to maintain high quality under two’s environments and influence and lead a team with the under two’s. 
  • Effective Room Leader - This course is ideal if you are new to the role of room leader or established room leaders wanting to develop their skills. You will explore strategies to support staff, students and new staff. How to manage change and maintain quality practice. Learning how to help staff to manage transitions effectively, dealing with simple conflict situations within the room and lots more.

To view all courses available click here

Rest & regulate


This should be a time to rest and renew but most of us are exhausted, COVID has amplified this fatigue. The children have been on an escalator of excitement and anticipation, joys and disappointments. Can we enhance calm in our settings to relish the quiet and cosiness of the winter months? Imagine yourself through the sensory day of your most sensitive children. Can we reduce movement? Soften the noise in our spaces? Are quiet spaces really that quiet? Can we slow our talking and soften our tone any more than we do already? On a sound walk, an imbalanced nervous system can be spotted in our struggling listeners.  Listening is a nervous system experience, what we hear can calm or arouse, create safety or danger.

Our voices and the breath in singing and playing wind instruments is not only very regulating for our children, it can help us feel calm. Find out more about helping children self-regulate through sound and listening experiences: Early Years Mental Health training – a video, useful links and free resources are here.

Cath Stephenson - cath@therapeuticteaching.uk

Youth Mental Health Awareness

MHFA logo

With Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England we are running The Youth Mental Health Aware half day course. This will be delivered by Nasen and supported by a representative from the Essex County Council safeguarding and wellbeing teams to share Essex specific information around mental health.

This course is for anyone working with children and young people up to 18 years old. For more information and to book click here.

Home Corners


For many of us our favourite place is home - familiar surroundings, familiar items and familiar people.

Home Corners are the perfect place to create this warm familiar feeling.  This area can support children navigating through emotions/feelings that sometimes overwhelm them, particularity in the current climate. 

This area has a way of helping children feel safe, secure and confident in their play.  Children learn through imitating what they see at home, having a good understanding of the children’s home environment is important to support the cultural capital of each child.

Keeping your area simple with ‘real life’ resources is a must, as these are the objects children will recognise. Cooking dinner or washing dishes are tasks children will have seen at home and imitate in their play.

It is imperative you always offer some type of home corner space. Children will often seek out this area when they arrive to start their day. It may also be a place of security for the child as they recognise and feel safe in the homely familiar environment.  

                                                                                             - Early Years Education Partner

Early Years and Education work-based learning opportunities

Adult Community Learning (ACL) have a range of apprenticeship programmes along with work-based learning opportunities for new and existing employees, who work in the early years and education sector. All courses are currently delivered online, due to Covid-19 restrictions.


  • Level 2 Children and Young People’s Workforce
  • Level 3 Early Years Practitioner
  • Level 3 Teaching Assistant
  • Level 4 School Business Professional
  • Level 5 Coaching

Work-based learning/ standalone courses:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning
  • Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner in Schools and Colleges

One day sessions:

  • Supporting children and young people’s mental health
  • An introduction to supporting pupils with Autism
  • Support pupils at meal/snack time
  • Support pupil’s positive behaviour
  • Support pupils to develop literacy skills
  • Support pupils to develop maths skills
  • Supporting pupils with SEND
  • An introduction to supporting pupil’s with SEND

You can find out more information and enrol, on the ACL website.

Business management termly update sessions

The Business Management Consultants have used feedback from their previous online event and have now released two more days for online training sessions, including a Childminder specific evening session.

These sessions, 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.

These sessions are free for owners/governing bodies or managers of an early years and childcare setting, including childminders in Essex. To book please use the below links:

Help get free books to Essex children!


Bookstart gives free book packs to families to encourage the joy of reading; snuggling up together with a book and some shared rhymes feeds children’s imaginations! Parents are given a Baby pack when they register their child’s birth and Essex Libraries contact all Pre-schools across the year to deliver Treasure for children aged three.

Children may have missed out on getting their free packs this year so parents and Childminders can pop to their local library to collect. The offer includes additional packs for children with SEND and dual language books for children at Pre-school. Check out the Essex Bookstart offer and if you have any enquiries please email Bookstart.LCALLS@essex.gov.uk

What is the Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB)?


The ESCB is made up of seven agencies who are jointly responsible by law for keeping children safe. These are called the Statutory Partners and they are the key decision makers who form the ESCB Executive and are responsible for the direction of travel (with identified relevant partners).

There is a commitment to work together to keep children safe, by ensuring the highest quality safeguarding arrangements and continuously improving practice. The ESCB induction pack gives a general overview of the work of the Board.

The Board facilitate child safety and child exploitation awareness campaigns. In the run up to Christmas we will be sharing messages about child safety around the home and safer sleep. Please follow us on social media to help spread the word about these important messages. Facebook @ESCBSafeguards and Twitter @EssexSafeguards

The ESCB also facilitate a wide range of learning and development opportunities from child abuse linked to faiths or beliefs, to exploitation, early help and team around the family. Take a look at the L&D pages for the full offering.

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.