Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner newsletter - September 2021

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Welcome to the September 2021 EYFS Practitioner newsletter.

Email workforcedevelopment@essex.gov.uk to tell us what you want to see in this newsletter or to contribute.

Training survey

Thank you so much to all of the readers who completed the training survey, your responses will really shape the training that Essex County Council offers to education establishments. If you haven't completed it yet, you can click here to start the survey.

We will keep the survey live so you can fill it in as many times as you like, as and when the training needs of your setting change.

So far, many responses are asking for training in SEND, safeguarding and speech and language. We do currently have training opportunities around these subjects which are listed below and are a mix of free and charged events.

SEND training

  • Introduction to the role of the SENCO
  • One Planning
  • Early years SEND funding
  • Autism Education Trust training

Safeguarding training

  • Safeguarding forum for early years
  • Safeguarding level two (bundle offer available)

Speech and language training

  • Speech, language and communication awareness

Log in to Essex Education online booking system and use the 'course search' for more information.

Oral health at Little Me Preschool

oral health supplies

Little Me Preschool have shared some images with us that show how they promote oral health in their setting. We love the inviting displays they have created for the children.

The EYFS states "The provider must promote the good health, including the oral health, of children attending the setting..."

Send your settings' inspiring activities or displays to workforcedevelopment@essex.gov.uk to be included in this newsletter. Please do not include any photos of children's information or faces.

oral health books and activities

Talking about ‘not talking’- children who remain quiet after settling in

child with flower

September brings separation for many young children starting in or returning to a setting. Any disconnection from primary attachment figures can be a difficult time for our more sensitive children. In these first few months we observe how the child settles in and forms secondary attachments. We expect quiet, withdrawn behaviour in some as part of this transition, but what if it goes on longer than two months?

Is the child talking confidently at home with wider family and friends? We can learn more from the child’s speaking habits, where and with whom, the child feels most comfortable, observing communication behaviour and building trust with parents/carers.

Find resources and guidance for early identification of anxiety, communication needs and selective mutism here and on SMIRA website.

Looking to refresh your knowledge and skills in understanding behaviour? "Easy to follow", "fresh ideas and strategies", "very informative", "how to react to behaviour that challenges"...

Log in to Education Essex online booking system and search Early Years Mental Health, introductory video here.

Carrying out effective risk assessments

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The EYFS states "Providers must determine where it is helpful to make some written risk assessments in relation to specific issues, to inform staff practice, and to demonstrate how they are managing risks if asked by parents and/or carers or inspectors.

Our 'Carrying out effective risk assessments' online training takes place on 8 November 2021 9:30am and is a practical workshop created to support senior staff to effectively complete generic and other specific risk assessments.

Each child and every adult using your provision has the right to feel safe and secure. Assessing the risks in your environment is an important part of this.

Visit Education Essex online booking system for more information and to book your place.

New Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) portal


There is now a new SEMH Portal on Essex Schools Infolink. It replaces the previous 'Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health information Portal', which will be removed at the end of September.


On the new pages, you will find:

  • Guidance
  • Resources
  • Signposting
  • Information about available training, including Trauma Perceptive Practice.

We would like to draw particular attention to the ‘Essex Guidance and Let’s Talk Resources’ section, where you will find a suite of resources that partners from across Essex Education, Health and Social Care services have collaborated to create. These are called 'Let's Talk Social, Emotional and Mental Health'. They provide an introduction to a range of themes that may impact a child's emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Role of the Equality Named Coordinator (ENCO)

trainging update header

Role of the ENCO face to face training sessions are now available to book via Education Essex online booking system.

Spaces are limited due to COVID restrictions.

The ENCO in your setting can refresh their knowledge on the Equality Act 2010, the protected characteristics and the Public Sector Duties of the Act.

Essex Safeguarding Children`s Board

The Essex Safeguarding Children`s Board has recently improved the information relating to the Essex Effective Support Windscreen levels of need and how to access support.

There are now links to the four Children and Families Hub films as well as links to guidance and examples on how to complete an online request for support form. Do take a look.

Annual General Meeting

If you are a committee run setting, the autumn term is an ideal time to hold your Annual General Meeting (AGM). Most charities are required to have them each calendar year, if not it is still beneficial to hold to recap on the previous year and plan for the year ahead.

The purpose of an AGM is:

  • To hear reports from the committee on the achievements and work of the group over the year
  • Present previous years accounts
  • Re adopt the constitution
  • Readopt of change policies
  • Elect or re-elect committee

To prepare for your AGM:

  • Consult governing document to understand timing, framework and business of your AGM
  • 14 days notice is advised
  • Circulate nomination forms
  • Calculate your quorum

Trustees need to be accessible and approachable and have a clear understanding of their own and others responsibilities.

Please come along to a forum on 2 November 2021 9:30am for more information on AGMs and other committee related issues.

We also have a 'Committee roles and responsibilities' eLearning module available now!

Visit Education Essex online booking system for more information and to book your places.

Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) funding reminders

july bulletin 1

Here are a few reminders from the Early years and Childcare FEEE team.

  1. Please check birth certificates to ensure the correct names and date of births are being entered on applications/headcount
  2. We are getting several queries from parents who are asking why they have not been found eligible for 'two year old funding', even though they have received a letter from Essex County Council saying that they might be eligible. Parents still need to pass the checks during the application process as the letter isn’t proof of eligibility
  3. Please ensure that children are eligible for 'two year old funding' prior to them starting, this can be done by submitting a 'Placement notification' within the Provider Portal. The parents needed to have applied for the funding via the Essex County Council Education Portal Funding codes from other Local Authorities cannot be used by providers within the Essex Local Authority
  4. We will be running a termly support session for the actual headcount task to support new providers, or those who are submitting headcount for the first time or anyone who wants to ensure they fully understand the headcount process. Dates are still to be confirmed.


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.