Category Archives: Barnet Healthy Early Years

Consultation on: Ending the Sale of Energy Drinks to Children

This consultation seeks views on a proposed ban on selling energy drinks to children. It also asks for views on:

  • what products should be included in any restrictions
  • what age limit a ban should apply to
  • whether sales of energy drinks from vending machines should be restricted
  • whether there are any changes that would be more appropriate than a ban on sales to children or that could be applied as well as a ban

Energy drinks are soft drinks that contain higher levels of caffeine than other soft drinks, and may also contain a lot of sugar. Evidence suggests that excessive consumption of energy drinks by children is linked to negative health outcomes such as headaches, sleeping problems, irritation and tiredness.

The consultation proposes that a ban would apply to drinks that contain more than 150mg of caffeine per litre and prevent all retailers from selling the drinks to children. It follows the publication of the latest chapter of the government’s childhood obesity plan in June 2018, which outlines a series of measures as well as a commitment to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

The online survey can be found here: Sale of energy drinks to children.

This consultation ends at 11:59pm on 21 November 2018


Immunisations: Resources for Schools

Promotional resources aimed at parents and carers for nursery settings, primary and secondary schools.


These posters, one for primary schools and one for secondary schools, are aimed at parents and carers to remind them to check that their child is up to date with their vaccinations. It features the MMR vaccine and the pre-school booster.


The postcards, one for primary schools and one for secondary schools, are suitable for all school and nursery staff to send out to parents and carers of children as a reminder to prompt them to check that their child is up to date.

To download these resources, click on the link: Immunisations: Resources for Schools

Early Education and Outcomes to Age 4

Quality early learning is good for children of all backgrounds

The latest in a series of reports from the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED), a major longitudinal study of early years education following almost 6,000 children in England from age two through to the end of KS1 (age seven), has been published recently. The report uncovers key factors associated with high quality experiences in early childhood education and care settings (ECEC).

As part of the SEED study, researchers measured quality in 1,000 settings caring for children aged from two to four years old.

The newly published findings indicate that spending more time in quality early years’ education in group settings such as nurseries, nursery classes or playgroups between ages two to four can have a positive impact on the cognitive development and social and emotional development of children aged four years old – regardless of their social background. Additionally, children that spend more time with childminders were also found to have fewer emotional difficulties such as fears and worries.

This report focused on the development of children age two to four years and looks at the range of ECEC that children receive. It also assessed the impact of the parent child relationship on child development, and whether the quality of the home learning environment may play a role.

The report can be accessed here.

Early Years Education: What Does High-Quality Provision Look like?

Children in England are spending an increasing amount of their early lives in government-funded early years childcare. And this represents a significant investment of public funds. Despite the strong consensus that high-quality childcare provision can generate significant and sustained improvements in child outcomes, there remains a lack of clarity as to what this high-quality provision looks like in practice.

The Education Policy Institute (EPI) and the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) think there are two important ways of looking at quality in early years provision:

  • Structural quality relates to inputs that are more easily observed, measured and regulated, such as group size, child–teacher ratios, staff retention, and teachers’ training and professional development;
  • and Process quality captures children’s day-to-day experiences and includes the educational activities undertaken, the types of interactions between children, teachers and parents, and the way in which routine care needs are met.

Understanding and agreeing what ‘high-quality early years provision’ looks like requires us to look at both aspects, side by side. To help with this, EPI and EIF have published two reports on the key features of ‘quality’ in early years childcare provision that have the greatest potential to maximise child outcomes, focusing on structural quality and process quality respectively.

For further information click on the link: Early Years Education: What Does High-Quality Provision Look like?

Early Years Practitioner (Level 2) Qualifications Criteria

The Department of Education have produced this resource that sets out the minimum knowledge, understanding and skills that a level 2 early years practitioner needs to demonstrate to be considered qualified to support young children from birth to 5 years old.

It aims to ensure that early years staff understand and are able to apply the government recommendations for 0-5 years around healthy eating, physical activity, oral health and positive role modelling.

To find out more click on the link: Early Years Practitioner (Level 2) Qualifications Criteria

Support for Parents Feeding Infants

Academics at Coventry University have created a new website to help midwives and health visitors support both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding parents. There is also a ifeed website  that provides tailored information and advice for mothers and their partners to help them make informed and confident decisions about infant feeding.

It aims to promote breastfeeding without excluding those who do not breastfeed and to give factual information for helping parents make their own decisions about infant feeding. Because the most important thing is for a baby to form a strong bond with its parents, whichever method of feeding chosen, there is a heavy emphasis on bonding and responsive feeding. The content has been reviewed by several infant feeding specialists and lactation consultants and is consistent with Unicef’s Baby Friendly standards.