Climate and ethos
Across all early years setting there should be a commitment to children’s social and emotional wellbeing. There should be an ethos that supports the emotional wellbeing of children throughout all aspects of the early years setting, reflected in policies, procedures and practice.
Practitioners working in early years settings follow the statutory expectations set out within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework; this framework is for all early years providers. This holistic and evidence-based approach integrates care and education and requires practitioners to guide children’s care, learning and development through ensuring positive relationships, an enabling environment, respect for the uniqueness of each children, and recognition that young children learn in different ways and at different rates. These EYFS framework themes act as fundamental drivers for securing strong mental well-being.
Click each item below:
For children to thrive they require loving and secure relationships; this can be provided by both parents and a keyworker. Point 3.27 of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage states “Each child must be assigned a key person. Their role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs to help the child become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build a relationship with their parents”.
The keyworker plays an important role in responding sensitively to children’s feelings, behaviours and meeting emotional needs by giving reassurance to the child. To support a child’s emotional welling, early years settings should follow the four guiding principles which are:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
Early years settings must provide an environment and opportunities that involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities and one where there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
Early years setting need to develop and implement a whole setting approach to children’s social and emotional wellbeing. Head teachers, governors and teachers should demonstrate a commitment to the social and emotional wellbeing of all children. They should provide leadership in this area by ensuring social and emotional wellbeing features within plans, policies, systems and activities that helps promote mutual respect, learning and successful relationships for both children and staff.
There should be a culture of inclusiveness and communication that ensures children’s concerns can are addressed (including the concerns of those who may be at particular risk of poor mental health).