Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner newsletter - issue 20

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Welcome to the twentieth issue of the EYFS Practitioner newsletter.

What do you need from us?

If you would like to help us plan ahead in this current time please email us with your suggestions to workforcedevelopment@essex.gov.uk.

Want to learn something new this lockdown? To view all our available courses please visit the EYPC Training Programme.

Do you have a good understanding of the different types of abuse?


Our level 2 safeguarding virtual sessions will look at the different types of abuse and give you a sound understanding. You'll be able to describe your own safeguarding responsibilities and be aware of the roles and responsibilities of other agencies.

The course will enable you to be able to identify the appropriate child protection processes and procedures when making a referral and allow you to understand the importance of effective and appropriate information sharing.

More dates are now available including saturdays too! Our course will help you to implement the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. To book your place please click here.

Supporting children learning English as an additional language webinar


Additional dates have been added. 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.

Click here to book your place.

Winter Warmers

winter warmers

Last month we considered how quiet and stillness helps us savour the ‘hygge’ in our settings in winter. What about the children who struggle to relax? We reviewed the power of soft voices with easily-dysregulated children. Let’s think about how movement helps to regulate the breath, which in turn regulates heart rate and the nervous system ‘brake’. 

When you get the children really moving, so they start to puff and pant, as they stop and slow down, notice which children need longer to settle. These children have lower ‘regulation fitness’ and need structured, regulating, movement time, repeatedly throughout their session. Integrating movements to music can add to the fun and increase motivation, develop language skills through rhyming songs and support sensory integration. How closely do we plan our input to our children’s sensory developmental profile? Find out more about helping children self-regulate through movement:  Early Years Mental Health training.

Catherine Stephenson - Therapeutic Teaching cath@therapeuticteaching.uk

Essex Teaching Awards

As you are aware, the Essex Teaching Awards was run differently this year due to current circumstances with COVID-19. However, we still provided the opportunity for EYFS settings, schools and individuals to be acknowledged and recognised for the outstanding work they have done, and continue to do. We received 607 nominations to recognise individual staff members and teams, an 138% increase of nominations on last year. All sectors (Early Years, Primary and Secondary) saw an increase in nominations. This year we had a much larger proportion of parents and carers nominating which was great to see! We will now be reviewing all of the nominations and ensure that we recognise everyone for the fantastic contribution they have made to the children and young people in Essex. Thank you for all that you are doing in these difficult times.

Youth Mental Health Awareness

More sessions now available!

Alongside 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.

MHFA logo

Cloth Nappies Libraries

cloth nappies

The world of cloth nappies can be confusing at times, but in Essex there's a great support network to help parents along the way.

Nappy libraries provide both online and face-to-face support. They give parents the opportunity to trial a variety of cloth nappy styles and brands before investing in the option that works for them.

Find your nearest cloth nappy library:

You can share more with your parents by signposting them to Cloth Nappies Information

Early Speech, Language and Communication awareness training

comms and language

This training will consist of definitions and research around early language and communication and how implementing key strategies from a young age with all children consistently can make a huge difference. 

We are aware there are an increasing number of children starting early years settings with language delay and with this increase it is significant that we implement good strategies in your everyday practice.

The training will be delivered in two parts for your quadrant. You will need to attend both sessions.

  • Part 1 – Research and key facts
  • Part 2 – Strategies and websites

Your Early Years Partners will be sending out the invites for the sessions.

The Winter Reading Challenge


Essex Library Services are having a Winter Reading Challenge this year. With a woodland animals theme it’s going to keep children reading and entertained over the next couple of months – and they get rewarded for every book read! Check out the ongoing story of the Animals of Snowy Wood here and please encourage families to take part.

Libraries are COVID-19 Secure and we are working within current government guidelines to keep our public spaces safe during this time.

Online Safeguarding in Early Years: Keeping young children safe online


Hot off the press is this exciting new webinar, which will aim to:

  • Raise awareness of how young children use technology and the potential risks.
  • Explore a range of resources and approaches to help talk to young children about online safety.
  • Signpost useful and supportive resources to share with parents/carers.

The webinar will be running Tuesday 9 March 2021 10am-12pm and you can book your place on the ESCB website.

We're really excited to be working with an external facilitator using technology, that will be much more interactive.

The ESCB are offering a series of webinars through January, February and March, please see the information below and visit the ESCB website for more information.

  • Safeguarding in a desensitised world (CYP First)
  • Psychology of the offender (Zoe Lodrick)
  • Understanding gangs and criminal exploitation (Craig Pinkney)
  • Exploitation and the transition into adulthood (NWG)

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.