Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner newsletter - issue 21

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Welcome to the 21st 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.

'Early years mental health' virtual training day

adult hand holding baby hand

Our newest training opportunity is 'Early years mental health - Me, You, Us - Understanding emotional dynamics in the early years setting' with Catherine Stephenson from Therapeutic Teaching. This will take place on Thursday 10 June 2021 9:15am - 2:15pm via Microsoft Teams.

Catherine will explore the wellbeing of practitioners and children through the following topics and will end the event with an interactive Q & A session:

  • Insecure attachment in a young child - the implications of an insecure attachment profile on the ‘child - key person’ relationship and practitioner wellbeing
  • Using our understanding of these emotional dynamics to foster safety in relationship and in the setting context
  • Capturing ‘shifts’ in the relationship and the child’s emotional growth. We will be looking at a case study and observation checklist

For more information and to book your place, please open the booking form.

Spring term safeguarding forum

woman taking notes while watching computer screen

After the success of the first safeguarding forum in October 2020 with over 160 attendees, the safeguarding team intend to hold a face to face forum each term and then an online session in the evening for anyone unable to attend during the day.

The date for the spring 2021 forum is 24 March 2021. 

  • 9:30 - 11am for the day session
  • 6 - 7:30pm for the evening session.

Both the day and evening sessions will be online this term.

These forums are for Designated Leads and we are offering one place per setting at each session. Please complete the booking form  to apply for a place.

View the spring  2021 Safeguarding Briefing for more safeguarding updates. 

Early Years SEND Funding training

Two training sessions about SEND funding will be running on 22 March 2021 at 2-4pm or 5-7pm for managers / SENCOs of PVI Settings and childminders.

The 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​ and childcare website

Find out more information here.

Essex Plastic Pledge school grant application

hands holding bottles

The Love Essex team are currently offering early years settings and schools the chance to apply for £250 funding which they could use towards a plastic-reducing project within their setting.

Here is the application link.

Applications will close on Sunday 28 February and successful candidates will be told the good news on Friday 5 March.

Free Business Management Termly Update

Led by the Essex Early Years Business Management Consultants, this session will take place on Thursday 22 April 2021 remotely via Teams at 10:30am - 12pm and will provide an update on current issues, including funding streams, business and finance. 

Questions and answers will provide discussion points and identify other key topics. 

This session is a free event and is for anyone in Essex who is the owner/governing body or manager of an early years and childcare setting, which includes childminders and schools. You can book your place here.

Autism Course for parents/carers

parents lifting child up

If your setting supports any children aged five or under, who have autism or social communication needs, you may wish to share information about the Good Beginnings course with their parents/carers.

The 10-week course  runs every term, via weekly pre-recorded webinars for parent / carers to watch at home. Each webinar is followed by live question and answer sessions on Tuesdays from 10 11am, and accessed via Microsoft Teams.

Please share this link with relevant parents or carers who may like more information. The next course starts on 27 April 2021.

Recognising the signs of hearing loss

child listening

If you suspect that a child in your care has hearing loss, you can visit NDCS.org.uk to find advice for early years professionals in recognising the signs of hearing loss, what to do and how to help.

Some of the common signs of hearing loss mentioned on the website are:

  • Does not respond when called
  • Watches faces/lips intently
  • Complains about not being able to hear
  • Tires easily
  • Talks louder or softer than expected
  • Startled when people come into line of vision
  • Constantly says "what?"
  • Asks for speech to be repeated

Committee Forum for preschool committee members and managers

Wednesday 5 May 2021 9.30 – 11.30am virtual delivery.

We are pleased to offer the opportunity to attend a free committee forum to give support and advice on issues around committee run settings.  We recommend settings book two spaces, one for the setting manager and one for a member of the committee.

The forum will cover various topics including charity structures, Governing document, roles and responsibilities, safeguarding, Ofsted requirements and also committee members new to your setting.

To book your places or to find out more, please click here

Taste safe sensory play

girl playing with pasta

We want to hear your setting's sensory play ideas that are safe for little ones who put everything in their mouths!

Examples of activities are adding food colouring to squirty cream to make 'paint' or blending cereals to make ‘sand’.

Email workforcedevelopment@essex.gov.uk with your ideas and please include photos if you can (without children’s faces in them). We will share our favourites in future issues to inspire each other. Use the subject line 'SENSORY PLAY'.

Online training opportunities

You can view the online training opportunities available to the early years workforce on the Training Programme page. Here are a few examples of what's on offer.

  • Autism Education Trust training (NEW DATES ADDED!)
  • EYFS Conference (NEW!)
  • An effective room leader / Baby room leader
  • Brilliant babies
  • Early years mental health: the role of the early years practitioner
  • Safeguarding training
  • Trauma Perceptive Practice: The Essex approach to understanding behaviour and supporting emotional wellbeing
  • Youth mental health awareness training


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.