In case you missed it! Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner newsletter - issue 26

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Welcome to the 26th issue of the EYFS Practitioner newsletter.

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Starting school campaign


Supporting children’s transition from their early years setting to school is essential and helping parents understand how to help their child at home with the transition is just as important.

We are launching the TLC Starting School Campaign again this year and it is always a great success. The campaign gives us an opportunity to share top tips and advice around starting school from a variety of parents and professionals from Essex.

We want to reassure parents about realistic expectations and the importance of supporting their child’s emotional wellbeing and encouraging independence ready for school.

The campaign will lead parents to Essex’s Talk Listen and Cuddle website and will be shared from a variety of ECC platforms. Follow the full campaign from the Talk Listen and Cuddle Facebook page.

Safeguarding update


EYFS websiteWe want to ensure our EYFS workforce is sufficiently supported and skilled to safeguard the children they work with.  In order to do this, we have provided a range of resources to support settings in strengthening their safeguarding arrangements. These are all available on the EFYS website and include:

  • Model child protection policy (one for settings and one for childminders)
  • Child protection / safeguarding audit
  • Templates for reporting and recording concerns
  • Written safeguarding briefings.

We have also introduced safeguarding forums for our EYFS settings, the first was held in Autumn 2020. We have held them termly and over 500 people have attended. Going forward, we will hold two per term, one during the day and an online version in the evening. Next term, the forums will be held on 5 October 2021, save the date, information on how to book will be shared soon:

  • 10am face to face in Chelmsford (venue to be confirmed)
  • 6pm online via Microsoft Teams.

Lastly, many of you will be aware that we have reviewed and updated our training arrangements for EYFS settings, in order to ensure Safeguarding Leads are sufficiently skilled and supported to undertake this role. There will be further information shared at the beginning of September, in the meantime here is a summary of those arrangements:

  • All staff in the EYFS sector should access Level 1 training – it is very useful to have this as part of your induction process for all new staff
  • All Safeguarding Leads must access Level 3 training. In Essex, our preferred provider is Juniper Education, although settings are free to access a different provider if they prefer. This should be undertaken every two years.  Sole childminders who have previously undertaken Level 2 training as the Safeguarding Lead (under the former arrangements) will not have to immediately undertake Level 3, but should access that when they are due to renew. Level 3 training via Juniper Education will be a full day training and the half-day refresher course has been removed, with effect from September 2021
  • All other staff within a setting must have Level 2 training, at least annually.  For those settings who wish staff to access this from an external source, our preferred provider is Anster. The Local Authority has a contract with the provider to deliver the training and sessions can be booked through Education Essex Online Booking System. The Workforce Development team are currently looking at 'Level 2 Safeguarding training bundles' to reduce the cost for settings, further information will be provided in September. Alternatively, Safeguarding Leads may wish to deliver Level 2 training to all staff within their setting themselves. To support you doing this, we will be providing presentations for you to deliver to staff, which will include all the necessary material. It is also possible to do a combination of these two options, depending on the needs of the individual settings.

These arrangements have been signed off by Essex Safeguarding Children Board, revised guidance will be shared later this year.

Essex Library Summer Reading Challenge 2021

Summer reading challenge wild world heroes

Are you looking for a fun, free activity for children to do over the summer holidays?

Head to your local library and join Wild World Heroes - the Summer Reading Challenge 2021! Children of all ages can join up; the challenge is to read six library books. For every book they read they’ll collect a sticker. Children who complete the activity will also earn a medal and certificate. As well as being great fun, it can also help prevent a reading dip over the summer break.

Wild World Heroes launches in all Essex libraries on 10 July and runs until 31 August. So, pack your bags for Wilderville and prepare for an exciting summer!

Find out more.

Trauma Perceptive Practice


Trauma Perceptive Practice (TPP) is the Essex approach to understanding behaviour and supporting emotional wellbeing. As of Summer 2021, around 40 early years settings and 350 schools were engaged in TPP. It is our ambition for all Essex schools and settings to access TPP by 2025.

TPP training consists of nine training Elements, plus Train the Trainer. It starts with the manager engaging in the first two Elements, before nominating a TPP lead from your team to access the Train the Trainer and then deliver the remaining seven Elements to your staff, with our support of course. There is a cost of £25 at the point of Train the Trainer to access our online platform which hosts all the training materials and provides access to a county-wide TPP community network. Everything else is free.

We can be creative in how we deliver the training to accommodate your capacity and working patterns if needed. Please ask us about the options available.

Contact to find out more or be added to our ‘expression of interest’ list.

Update from FEEE funding team


FEEE guide for parents has been revised and is now available in Arabic, Hindi, Polish, Romanian and Urdu in the resources section of the Free early education entitlement for three to four-year-olds webpage.

FEEE Early Years dates (including term dates, headcount, and payment dates) for 2022-23 have been added to Early Years and Childcare website.

This term we have randomly selected providers to trial the FEEE Audit form. Going forward we will be undertaking audits following a parent enquiry and will continue to carry out random audits. Themes which have come to light from audits completed so far are:

  • Deposits are being retained until a child leaves – see page 16 of FEEE handbook
  • Not aware of Deprivation Supplement – check financial reports
  • Invoices are not clearly showing the breakdown of total cost of childcare
  • Financial reports are not being downloaded and saved
  • Parents who take up additional hours when accessing the FEEE funded hours are being charged more per hour for those additional hours than parents of children who are paying for all of their childcare hours

Confirmation of date of birth not being evidenced correctly.

EYFS reforms online training

child blowing bubbles

The Department for Education, through the Teaching School Council, has funded Pen Green and partner Nursery Schools to deliver the following online training to provide additional support to eligible private and voluntary sector early years providers:


  • Observing to Understand Children
  • Managing Change with your Team
  • Overview of the approach to communication in the reformed EYFS including:  English as an additional language, assessment and workload, curriculum planning and working with parents
  • The Learning Environment to support Communication and Language 
  • Opportunities for enriching talk with a focus on quality interactions. Exploring reading and vocabulary to support communication and Language.

Recordings of all sessions are now available on the Pen Green website.

Training opportunities

person on laptop

The following training opportunities are now live on Education Essex online booking system.

You can view all of the training opportunities available to the early years workforce on the Training Programme page.

Early Years SEND – Revised ways of working

These sessions, taking place in September 2021, will provide managers and SENCOs (PVIs and childminders) and those working within the early years to start to become familiar with the documents that have been devised following on from the EY Reforms and can be used as part of the graduated approach – SEND code of practice 0-25 years (2015).

Early Years Talk Boost

Early Talk Boost is a targeted intervention aimed at three - four year old children with delayed language, aiming to boost their language skills helping them to catch up with their peers. The programme aims to accelerate children’s progress in language and communication, after an nine week intervention.

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

This is training is designed to increase practitioners understanding for the funding streams available for children with SEND and how the funding can be used to offer enhanced support to the child. 

Business Management Termly Update

Led by the Essex Early Years Business Management Consultants, this session will provide an update on current issues, including funding streams, business and finance. 

Autism Education Trust training

A variety of training from the Autism Education Trust for early years, schools and post 16.


Specialist courses that aim to empower those working with children and young people who need help to develop clear speech.

Committee Forum for Preschool Committee Members and Managers

The forum is to provide committee members and managers with an opportunity to network and ask questions on issues around committee run settings. The autumn term forum will take place on 2 November 2021 9:30 -11am.

One Planning for Early Years Settings, Schools and Colleges

One Planning is the approach taken in Essex to enacting the requirements of the SEND Code of Practice. It is a way of completing the graduated approach (assess, plan, do, review) in a person-centred way. 

This free training introduces staff working in educational settings to One Planning and to a range of resources and materials to support One Planning. 

Various dates available.

Introduction to the role of the SENCO for PVIs and Childminders

15 November 2021 10am - 3pm Chelmsford.

7 October 2021 10am – 3pm  (please note, this event is not available to book yet, details to be confirmed).

Introduction to the role of the SENCO for Childminders

23 September and 14 October 2021 6.30 – 8pm delivered virtually. Must attend both sessions.

This is a newly written free course designed to provide recently appointed SENCOs with the opportunity to explore the role and its responsibilities, and to network with colleagues from other settings.


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.