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?
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
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.
This updated guidance from PHE now includes a child flu vaccines poster for 2018 to 2019 influenza programme.
Click on the link to read the guidance: Flu Vaccines for Children