We want to support you in providing the highest quality learning and care for your children and families. This section will provide a range of best practice ideas across all areas of learning and development.
Four guiding principles should shape practice in early years settings:
1. Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
2. Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
3. Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
4. Children develop and learn at different rates. (See The Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning, paragraph 1.15). The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Seven key features of effective practice:
1. All children deserve to have an equal chance of success. Narrowing the gap for disadvantaged children and identifying children with SEND early.
2. High-quality care is consistent. Every practitioner needs to enjoy spending time with young children. Children thrive on love and care.
3. Young children's learning is often driven by their interests. Plans need to be flexible. Plans need to help language development.
4. Effective pedagogy is a mix of different approaches.
5. Assessment is about noticing what children can do and what they know. It is not about lots of data and evidence.
6. Executive function includes the child's ability to:
- hold information in mind
- focus their attention
- regulate their behaviour
- plan what to do next
These abilities contribute to the child's growing ability to self-regulate. Language development is central to self-regulation.
7. It is important for parents and early years settings to have a strong and respectful partnership. This sets the scene for children to thrive in the early years.