November 2023 Parenta magazine

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

Issue 108<br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

Do you need a<br />

multisensory room?<br />

COVER<br />

KCSIE latest updates<br />

Engaging with families<br />

around behaviour<br />

+ lots more<br />

EYFS activities<br />

inside!<br />

This month…<br />

Mathematics<br />

What is your early years<br />

superpower?<br />

Is your childcare business facing uncertainty? Take the quiz & get an instant report<br />

Top tips for picking the perfect nursery management software

6<br />

26<br />

12 18<br />

Hello<br />

Welcome to our family<br />

Welcome to the <strong>November</strong> issue of <strong>Parenta</strong> <strong>magazine</strong>!<br />

We’re delighted to introduce this month’s jam-packed edition, which includes a diverse range of articles written by our<br />

esteemed professionals in the early years industry. From superpowers to safety and from multisensory to mathematics, we<br />

have it covered!<br />

International sensory expert Jo Grace continues with her popular series and questions whether you really do need a<br />

sensory room, nutrition guru Louise Mercieca concludes her article exploring whether vegan diets can support early years<br />

development, Dr Kathryn Peckham helps us to manage emotions without losing our cool and Lee Connelly continues his<br />

gardening adventures!<br />

Safeguarding Consultant Yvonne Sinclair takes us through the updated version of Keeping Children Safe in Education, Frances<br />

Turnbull shows us how to be creative with balloon painting, and Gina Bale teaches us how to tap into our creative selves! We<br />

also have a new expert on board - Jonathan Newport – his valuable advice helps us engage with families around children’s<br />

behaviour.<br />

Don’t miss out on our free webinar this month, as we focus on, ‘Financial Solutions for Early Years Settings’. Join fellow<br />

educators as we uncover some of the ingenious strategies and innovations that are allowing us to not only make ends meet<br />

but also to stretch our resources further and ensure the lasting success of our businesses.<br />

Register now at www.parenta.com/webinars!<br />

Don’t forget to share the magic of our <strong>magazine</strong> with your friends, colleagues, and parents alike. They can receive their own<br />

copy in digital or printed format by signing up at www.parenta.com/<strong>magazine</strong>.<br />

Allan<br />

2 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com<br />

Regulars<br />

10 Write for us<br />

36 EYFS Activities: Mathematics<br />

News<br />

Advice<br />

14 Reporting accidents and incidents<br />

22 Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday<br />

26 Anti-Bullying Week<br />

32 Safeguarding: self-harm<br />

24<br />

4 Congratulations to our <strong>Parenta</strong> Learners<br />

6 Picking the perfect nursery management software<br />

for your early years setting<br />

8 Childcare news and views<br />

Industry Experts<br />

30<br />

12 Do you need a multisensory room?<br />

18 Can vegan diets support early years development? -<br />

Part two<br />

20 Managing emotions without losing your cool<br />

24 Gardening adventures with your toddler<br />

28 KCSIE updates<br />

30 How can we effectively engage with families around<br />

children’s behaviour?<br />

34 “99 Red Balloons” - Creative balloon painting in<br />

the early years<br />

38 What is your early years superpower?<br />

parenta.com | <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 3

What do our customers<br />

say this month?<br />

“Kaye Newbury is my assigned tutor and I have been<br />

so impressed with the support I have received from her<br />

throughout my course so far. She’s always at the other<br />

end of the phone, and always there to help.”<br />

Rose Russell<br />

“I have completed my Functional skills English Level<br />

2 recently with <strong>Parenta</strong>. My tutor was Ryan Green,<br />

who was very helpful during my course. He was very<br />

supportive, helpful and provided all the resources that<br />

I needed for my course. I am really happy to have Ryan<br />

as my English tutor. Thank you so much.”<br />

Sadia Jafrin<br />

“Very clear in explaining the targets and how to<br />

“<strong>Parenta</strong> is a great training provider and I’m glad my<br />

employer has chosen <strong>Parenta</strong>. I have been matched<br />

with a really good tutor who understands my past of<br />

learning. I would definitely recommend to anyone.”<br />

Travis Bruce<br />

“I was lucky to have 2 tutors during my qualification<br />

and both of them were incredibly supportive and<br />

helped me achieve my level 3 qualification.<br />

Thank you so much.”<br />

Ana Dita<br />

complete them. Sarah has guided me very well and<br />

explained everything in detail to help me achieve<br />

my goals.”<br />

Faryal Malik<br />

“I would like to say that the services are fantastic.<br />

Providing resources to help support with learning,<br />

understanding how <strong>Parenta</strong> works and knowing how<br />

to access documents you may need.”<br />

Krista Jenkins<br />

“Ayse Drew is so lovely. Meeting her for the first time<br />

to start my course, she listened to my questions and<br />

helped me with explaining what I needed to do. Ayse<br />

made me feel very comfortable in knowing that if I<br />

needed help with anything she will be able to help. I’m<br />

excited for my journey with <strong>Parenta</strong>.”<br />

Carrie<br />

“My tutor Sarah is amazing! She’s really enthusiastic<br />

about her students. She puts in the extra time and<br />

energy to make sure we always have work and a clear<br />

plan forward to completing the course. She’s super<br />

friendly and easy to communicate with.”<br />

Kayleigh Elaine<br />

“We are very happy with the excellent service provided<br />

by Anita. She is always supportive with our learners.<br />

She is always confident and knowledgeable with the<br />

information that she provides our learners. Anita is<br />

always positive and always has a smile on her face.”<br />

Mihaela Fulga<br />

“BIG shout out to Kaye! Kaye is so helpful and kind.<br />

A fabulous addition to the <strong>Parenta</strong> family - she has<br />

helped me feel my greatest potential already, I look<br />

forward to working with her more and more to achieve<br />

my qualification."<br />

Monica Callan<br />

Congratulations<br />

to all our <strong>Parenta</strong> learners!<br />

Massive CONGRATULATIONS to all our <strong>Parenta</strong> learners<br />

who have completed their apprenticeships and gained<br />

their qualifications!<br />

A special shout-out this month goes to Daisy who<br />

has successfully passed her Level 2<br />

Childcare EYP – what a fantastic start to<br />

a long and rewarding career in childcare!<br />

“All services are excellent.”<br />

Sully Flores<br />

4 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com<br />

parenta.com | <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 5

Picking the perfect nursery<br />

management software for<br />

your early years setting<br />

M O N E Y<br />

B A C K<br />


M O N E Y<br />

B A C K<br />

Your time is extremely valuable and the<br />

realisation that nursery management<br />

software can liberate you and your<br />

dedicated staff from the burdensome<br />

paperwork that’s integral to running a<br />

successful nursery is a great feeling!<br />

We’ve compiled our top tips to help you<br />

make the right software selection.<br />

Why should you consider nursery<br />

management software for your setting?<br />

The benefits are vast. It’s all about<br />

reclaiming your time and gaining instant<br />

insight into every part of your childcare<br />

business. If you’re currently snowed under<br />

in traditional data admin methods and<br />

manually sifting through reports, going<br />

digital will change your life.<br />

Affordability vs long-term gain<br />

While purchasing software might come<br />

with an upfront cost, the time and money<br />

you’ll save in the long run make it a sound<br />

financial decision you won’t regret! Nursery<br />

management systems excel in managing<br />

every aspect of your setting, from invoicing<br />

and staff schedules to tracking children’s<br />

progress and safeguarding sensitive data.<br />

By eliminating arduous administrative<br />

tasks, you and your team can channel<br />

your resources into what truly matters - the<br />

well-being of the children in your care.<br />

Research!<br />

While numerous software providers may<br />

seem indistinguishable at first glance,<br />

investing time in exploring various options<br />

pays off. Look into their customer base,<br />

experience, reputation, and credit rating.<br />

Customer feedback on their website and<br />

on platforms like Google and Trustpilot<br />

will show a company’s commitment to<br />

customer experience and are telltale signs<br />

of a provider’s reliability.<br />

Data protection and storage<br />

Data protection and storage policies<br />

are paramount, especially when taking<br />

GDPR into consideration. A reputable<br />

company should stay current with<br />

these requirements and demonstrate a<br />

commitment to data security. Remember<br />

to ask where and how your data will<br />

be stored, backup frequency, and<br />

the presence of ISO accreditation for<br />

information security.<br />

Capability<br />

Compliance with Ofsted requirements<br />

is a must, necessitating a system that<br />

streamlines the recording of children’s<br />

development and safeguards sensitive<br />

information. It’s also incredibly important<br />

to be able to see at a glance two<br />

important variables within your business<br />

- gaps in staffing and capacity within your<br />

setting. Look out for software that allows<br />

you to quickly identify these elements of<br />

your business – this can help you make<br />

important decisions at the touch of a few<br />

buttons.<br />

Embrace the change!<br />

While the initial data migration might<br />

seem daunting, focusing on the longterm<br />

benefits keep you on track. Reliable<br />

providers offer dedicated support during<br />

the transition.<br />

Look for companies which can migrate<br />

your data and have your system up and<br />

running in a matter of days, with software<br />

hosted online and tailored to your needs,<br />

and money-back guarantees for your<br />

peace of mind.<br />

Software demonstrations provide a crucial<br />

opportunity for evaluation. Assess the<br />

demo’s helpfulness, and the quality of<br />

customer service, and don’t forget to ask<br />

questions!<br />

Training<br />

Training is the secret to harnessing<br />

the software’s full potential. Seek<br />

comprehensive training packages, ideally<br />

with unlimited, free-of-charge options.<br />

Ongoing training should be part of the<br />

deal, ensuring you stay up to speed with<br />

the system.<br />

Reporting<br />

Reporting often emerges as a timeconsuming<br />

and exasperating task, but<br />

choosing a system that delivers seamless<br />

reports at the touch of a button, is<br />

essential.<br />

Your time is valuable which is why quick<br />

insights into room capacity, staff ratios,<br />

registers, and dietary requirements are<br />

as vital as detailed reports on specific<br />

data like outstanding payments, funded<br />

entitlement allocation, registers, milk, or<br />

occupancy.<br />

Every setting must periodically assess<br />

its financial health. Reports like ‘agedbalance<br />

reports’ and ‘future fee<br />

predictions’ provide insights into your<br />

nursery’s financial efficiency. You need<br />

to be able to project revenue over a year<br />

based on current occupancy, equipping<br />

you for future childcare management<br />

decisions.<br />

Upgrades<br />

The digital world is moving at a fast pace<br />

and most of the software on the market<br />

can become out of date in time. When it<br />

comes to upgrades, select a provider with<br />

an in-house development team dedicated<br />

to keeping the software current at no extra<br />

cost.<br />

With our software, you<br />

are GUARANTEED to:<br />

Save time<br />

Increase efficiency<br />

Boost productivity<br />

Enjoy speedy invoicing<br />

Ensure compliance<br />

Gain full staff training<br />

and support with<br />

learning the new system<br />

Call 0800 002 9242 and quote ’Magazine’<br />

6 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com

Childcare news<br />

and views<br />

Recruitment and retention crisis<br />

has increased skills gap: NCFE<br />

NCFE's latest report delves into the current<br />

and forthcoming obstacles faced by the<br />

early years sector, encompassing both<br />

skill deficits and demand patterns, and<br />

considering expert opinions. Among its<br />

significant discoveries is the observation<br />

that job advertisements for the early<br />

years and childcare industry in 2022 rose<br />

by more than 4,000 compared to 2017,<br />

owing to newly established positions as<br />

well as workforce turnover. Moreover, the<br />

report outlines that the early years skills<br />

gap increased by over 2% in the past<br />

five years, leading to immense pressure<br />

on the workload and stress levels of<br />

setting managers. The data is taken from<br />

the Office for National Statistics Labour<br />

Demand Volumes.<br />

Janet King, sector manager for<br />

education and childcare at NCFE, said “A<br />

recruitment and retention crisis leads to<br />

an inevitable skills gap in the workforce.<br />

With any large turnover of staff, there are<br />

implications for stability, and this may<br />

equate to vulnerabilities in leadership and<br />

management.<br />

“Put bluntly, staff joining are not staying.<br />

Where they are staying, they are taking<br />

up management and leadership positions<br />

with little post-qualification practice, whilst<br />

more experienced staff are the ones that<br />

leave.”<br />

In its report, NCFE identifies a total of three<br />

areas of focus, which are ‘qualifications<br />

and training’, ‘career progression’ and<br />

‘changing the narrative’.

Write for us!<br />

We continuously seek new<br />

authors who would like to<br />

provide thought-provoking<br />

articles for our monthly<br />

<strong>magazine</strong>.<br />

If you have a subject you’re eager to explore<br />

in writing, why not submit an article to us for a<br />

chance to win?<br />

Every month, we’ll be awarding Amazon<br />

vouchers to our “Guest Author of the Month.”<br />

You can access all the information here:<br />

https://www.parenta.com/sponsored-content/<br />

Congratulations<br />

to our guest author competition winner, Pam McFarlane!<br />

Congratulations to Pam McFarlane, our guest<br />

author of the month! Her article, “Coaching in Early<br />

Years” explores how practicing active listening and<br />

effective questioning is a good start to developing<br />

a coaching approach as a leader.<br />

A massive thank you to all of our guest authors for<br />

writing for us. You can find all of the past articles<br />

from our guest authors on our website:<br />

www.parenta.com/parentablog/guest-authors<br />

Call 0800 002 9242 and quote ’Magazine’<br />

10 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com

Do you need a<br />

still do harm, is not to be found in the<br />

equipment or the activities. In truth, you do<br />

not need any of the equipment to have a<br />

profound impact on the people sharing the<br />

space with you.<br />

Joanna Grace<br />

I’m Jo Grace: a Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist and Founder of The Sensory Projects. In this series of 10 articles, I am going<br />

to share some of my passion for understanding the sensory world with you.<br />

In this article, we are going to consider<br />

sensory rooms. In 2018-2019, I conducted<br />

a piece of research which looked at the<br />

use of multisensory rooms in the UK.<br />

What I found was published by Routledge<br />

in the book “Multiple Multisensory<br />

Rooms: Myth Busting the Magic” and<br />

in the peer-reviewed journal The Tizard<br />

Review as “Multisensory Rooms: Essential<br />

Characteristics and Barriers to Effective<br />

Practice”. Multisensory rooms are<br />

something I have considered a lot!<br />

multisensory<br />

First up: they can be amazing spaces,<br />

transformative, in fact. In my last two<br />

articles we have been thinking about how<br />

changing the sensory environment can<br />

be supportive of children’s mental health<br />

and their ability to engage with activities<br />

and people around them; also, how a<br />

multisensory room can provide a fantastic<br />

adaptable sensory environment. So, it is<br />

no wonder that you hear testimony from<br />

people who have experienced the rooms<br />

saying what an amazing impact they<br />

have had.<br />

room?<br />

Multisensory rooms also pack a<br />

significant wow factor: if people are<br />

going around your setting to look at what<br />

you provide, they’re going to be seriously<br />

impressed if you have an “all singing,<br />

all dancing” sensory room there. Having<br />

a sensory room acts like a badge of<br />

honour, signalling your willingness and<br />

intent to provide for a diverse range of<br />

needs (It was funny when I was doing my<br />

research, I asked people why they had<br />

had their sensory room installed and many<br />

answered it was because they wanted<br />

to impress people! The fact that this was<br />

their first answer, not, to meet the needs<br />

of these people, tells you a lot about what<br />

the rooms are for!).<br />

I used to work in a school for children<br />

classed as having severe and profound<br />

special educational needs and disabilities<br />

and I have memories from moments<br />

shared in the sensory room that will last<br />

me a lifetime. So, I am not against the<br />

rooms in any way, but did you notice how I<br />

said they “can” be amazing spaces?<br />

This is the thing: most multisensory<br />

rooms in the UK are not having an<br />

amazing transformative effect on the<br />

people who they’re intended for - some<br />

are even harming. When people are<br />

thinking about getting a multisensory<br />

room, they often ask me what equipment<br />

they should buy, or what activities I<br />

recommend they do inside of the rooms.<br />

The difference between the rooms that<br />

have amazing life-changing effects and<br />

those that are purely decorative, or worse<br />

When I did my research, I asked lots and<br />

lots of people who use multisensory rooms<br />

about their experience of those rooms. I<br />

asked them what was essential to effective<br />

practice in the rooms. I asked them what<br />

barriers they encountered for effective<br />

practice. I have hundreds and hundreds<br />

of pages of interview transcripts, and<br />

hours upon hours were spent discussing<br />

the rooms with people. I found eleven<br />

positive characteristics of the rooms, two<br />

negative ones, and ten barriers to effective<br />

practice. But I can summarise it all for you<br />

in one sentence: the magic to be found in<br />

multisensory rooms is found in the people<br />

within them, not in the equipment they are<br />

built from.<br />

People entering a sensory room with<br />

someone who “gets them”, who<br />

understands their sensory needs and<br />

abilities, who is willing to engage with<br />

them in a manner that best suits them,<br />

have a magical time in the rooms. If<br />

someone is in the room with someone<br />

who does not get them, it doesn’t matter<br />

how expensive the room was, how well<br />

designed, or how impressive, very little<br />

of any impact is likely to occur. If you<br />

understand the children you support in<br />

your settings and you have the thousands<br />

of pounds needed to install a sensory<br />

room, by all means, go ahead, as I said,<br />

they’re amazing spaces. But, if you do not<br />

have that kind of money kicking around<br />

in your pocket, have a look at the three<br />

most significant positive characteristics I<br />

discovered for sensory rooms and think<br />

about how you could improvise them.<br />

The three most significant positive<br />

characteristics of effective sensory rooms<br />

that I identified in my research were that<br />

they were dark, activity-associated, and<br />

uninterrupted spaces. Let’s take them one<br />

by one:<br />

Dark: Can you create a dark space in<br />

your setting? It could be a pop-up dark<br />

tent (I have a fab one from TTS), it could be<br />

dark fabric thrown over a table, or it could<br />

be a huge cardboard box (did you know<br />

motorbikes get delivered to dealerships<br />

inside big cardboard boxes?) You could<br />

buy some blackout blinds to cover your<br />

windows, or just cut cards to shape and<br />

attach Velcro dots to your window frames<br />

to allow you to pop them up and down.<br />

Activity-associated: People found<br />

response levels were high in the rooms<br />

because the people entering them knew<br />

what they were going to do there. A bit like<br />

how people know they’re going swimming<br />

when they smell the swimming pool,<br />

or they know they will be cooking in the<br />

kitchen. This effect is powerful, and it does<br />

not have to be about a sensory room,<br />

creating a sensory orientation to activities<br />

(like with the sensory scaping we talked<br />

about in my previous article) helps people<br />

to tap into their understanding from the<br />

last time they were in that space and<br />

engage more quickly.<br />

Uninterrupted: This one speaks for itself,<br />

doesn’t it? If you are going to try and<br />

connect with someone, engaging deeply<br />

in an activity together, but one of you gets<br />

called away by the phone or distracted<br />

by someone else, then the magic that<br />

builds up around that shared experience<br />

will burst like a bubble. Again, this is a<br />

characteristic that is not just valuable<br />

about a sensory room, think about how<br />

you could protect key activities – is there a<br />

sign you can put on the door to ensure no<br />

one walks in during storytime? Is there an<br />

area of the room that is occupied just by<br />

an invited group and everyone else knows<br />

not to go in until it is their turn?<br />

The magic of multisensory rooms is not<br />

found in bubble tubes or fibre optics, it is<br />

in the humans within them and in their<br />

willingness to listen to one another with all<br />

their senses. Connecting in a moment of<br />

shared sensory understanding.<br />

My first three articles were about why<br />

and how to offer engaging sensory<br />

experiences within your setting; these<br />

three have been about considering the<br />

sensory landscape of your setting, and the<br />

next two are going to be about providing<br />

for individual children who have particular<br />

sensory needs, and later in this series,<br />

we will look at eating. Please feel free to<br />

connect with me on social media to watch<br />

my current sensory adventures unfurl, all<br />

the connection links can be found on my<br />

website www.TheSensoryProjects.co.uk<br />

Scan here for<br />

more resources<br />

from Joanna:<br />

12 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com<br />

parenta.com | <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 13

Reporting accidents<br />

In early years, the aim is always to prevent<br />

accidents and incidents through careful<br />

planning, effective use of risk assessments<br />

and adequate and up-to-date training.<br />

However, there are occasions when - even<br />

with the best and most careful planning<br />

- accidents and incidents can occur. If<br />

these accidents involve children, then<br />

there is a statutory requirement to tell the<br />

relevant authorities because as well as<br />

following RIDDOR regulations, childcare<br />

settings should adhere to the Early Years<br />

Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements for<br />

reporting incidents.<br />

Settings should write and maintain<br />

proper records to ensure that lessons<br />

are learnt, protocols are followed, the<br />

correct people are informed promptly,<br />

and everyone understands their role in<br />

preventing these incidents from occurring<br />

again. Mismanagement of incidents<br />

and events by childcare settings and/<br />

or childminders can result in prosecution<br />

and de-registration, so all settings must<br />

understand their legal duty to report any<br />

accidents and incidents.<br />

The Government publishes information<br />

about the events and serious incidents that<br />

must be recorded and reported, and more<br />

information can be gained from:

T<br />

V<br />

E<br />

R N M<br />

E N<br />

G O<br />

F<br />

U<br />

N<br />

D<br />

D<br />

E<br />

Generate Instant Enquiries, Connect Locally, and Boost<br />

Occupancy Levels with Our Ofsted-Compliant Websites.<br />

Act Now for Rapid Results!<br />

Courses available now with<br />

achievements of up to 96%<br />

EPA pass rate:<br />

Level 2 Childcare (EYP)<br />

Level 3 Childcare (EYE)<br />

Level 3 Team Leader<br />

Level 5 EYLP<br />

Did you know...<br />

An impressive 75% of employers consistently choose <strong>Parenta</strong>, reaffirming our<br />

unparalleled excellence in childcare training!<br />

"A very easy website process. Love the end results, and that is coming from<br />

someone who did not have a clue where to start!"<br />

Call 0800 002 9242 and quote ’Magazine’<br />

Call 0800 002 9242 and quote ’Magazine’

Louise Mercieca<br />

Can vegan<br />

diets support<br />

early years<br />

development?<br />

Part two<br />

There has been a rise in the number of families switching to a vegan diet. There are certainly plenty of reasons why this seems a good<br />

idea for both the environment and our health, but what impact does a restrictive diet have on very young children? When making any<br />

decision about a diet or lifestyle choice, it must be entered into with all the facts and considerations. Choosing a vegan diet isn’t a decision<br />

to take lightly, especially if making that decision on behalf of a child. The second and final part of this article looks at what deficiencies<br />

could be caused by adopting a vegan diet in the early years, what supplements are needed, and many other considerations to be taken<br />

into account.<br />

Nutrient<br />

Deficiency impact<br />

Vitamin B3<br />

Vitamin B12<br />

Vitamin D<br />

Calcium<br />

Iodine<br />

Selenium<br />

Iron<br />

Zinc<br />

Lysine<br />

Tryptophan<br />

Methionine<br />

Omega 3 fatty acids<br />

Extreme deficiencies can lead to the serious condition, Pellagra, which is classified as the 3 Ds; Dementia, Diarrhoea, and<br />

Dermatitis – this is extremely rare but does occur in the UK.<br />

Low levels can lead to anaemia (lack of red blood cells) which makes people tired and weak.<br />

More seriously, B12 deficiencies in the early years can reduce the function of the central nervous system and even a mild<br />

deficiency can cause neurological deterioration.<br />

A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children (this does still exist).<br />

Weakened immune system.<br />

Low mood which can lead to depression.<br />

As with vitamin D, a lack of calcium can lead to rickets in children. Calcium not only supports bones but muscles such as the<br />

heart and a deficiency can lead to heart failure in extreme circumstances.<br />

Iodine deficiency is the main cause of brain damage in early childhood resulting in impaired cognitive and motor development.<br />

Additionally, iodine deficiency can cause the development of a condition called Goitre (enlarged thyroid gland).<br />

Low levels or deficiency can cause confusion (brain fog) and general fatigue, more serious and prolonged deficiencies can<br />

lead to infertility and compromised immunity in response to certain viruses.<br />

Iron deficiencies can lead to iron deficiency anaemia.<br />

Reduced growth & development, impaired immunity, low memory, impaired motor skills.<br />

When coupled with low serotonin (linked to vitamin D deficiency) this deficiency can increase violence, depression, and anxiety.<br />

Deficiencies affect growth and development (slow growth) and can cause general fatigue, dizziness, anaemia, and impact on<br />

mood.<br />

Low levels of this can lead to anxiety, tension, feeling on edge and disrupted sleep. Prolonged deficiencies can lead to<br />

aggressive tendencies.<br />

Involved in the antioxidant defence system so deficiencies can cause an increase in oxidative stress.<br />

Deficiencies can have a negative impact on mood, IQ and behaviour, more serious deficiencies can have adverse effects on<br />

brain development and neurodevelopmental outcomes.<br />

Omega 3 supplements are used to treat symptoms of ADHD and in young offenders’ institutions, such is the significant impact<br />

it has on mood, behaviour and emotions.<br />

Supplementing a diet may be easier said<br />

than done! Some children can’t chew<br />

a chewy supplement (if they are very<br />

young), there may be issues over the<br />

coating of the supplements and goodquality<br />

ones can be very expensive. It<br />

is necessary to supplement though as<br />

nutritional deficiencies can have life-long<br />

consequences, so supplement research is<br />

essential.<br />

Other considerations<br />

If you are considering an alternative diet<br />

or must restrict certain elements due<br />

to allergies, then this may be possible<br />

without going entirely vegan, this would<br />

certainly ease some of the restrictions.<br />

There’s no reason why we all can’t enjoy<br />

plant-based meals several times a week,<br />

indeed this would be preferable for our<br />

health and our environment.<br />

There has been a rise in vegan produce,<br />

making it a lot easier to shop for ‘meatfree’<br />

alternatives but please shop with<br />

caution as just because a product<br />

is vegetarian, or vegan, it does not<br />

necessarily mean it is ‘healthy’.<br />

Ultra-processed foods<br />

(UPFs)<br />

The vegan and vegetarian market is no<br />

different to the rest of the food landscape.<br />

There is now a wide variety of products<br />

aimed at convenience. Vegans can opt<br />

for processed burgers, sausages, pies<br />

etc. that may be marginally healthier than<br />

their meat alternatives but are still ‘overprocessed’<br />

and likely to contain artificial<br />

ingredients and ‘fillers’ that make a<br />

product convenient but not healthy. To get<br />

the most out of a vegan diet it is necessary<br />

to plan, prepare and cook properly and<br />

not rely on ready-made options.<br />

Vegan children<br />

Is it possible? Technically yes, with careful<br />

planning, consideration of all nutrients<br />

needed and supplementation. But is it<br />

easy? No.<br />

You will spend a large percentage of your<br />

time scanning labels and menus until you<br />

are confident with your own shopping<br />

choices. For fully developed adults, it<br />

can be a healthy lifestyle choice. For<br />

developing children, it can be incredibly<br />

detrimental if not implemented effectively.<br />

If you are embarking on a vegan lifestyle<br />

for your family, please embrace the full<br />

variety of natural plant-based options<br />

available, seek professional guidance and<br />

remember that many essential nutrients<br />

will need to be supplemented.<br />

Scan here for<br />

more information<br />

& resources<br />

from Louise:<br />

parenta.com | <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 19

Dr. Kathryn Peckham<br />

Managing<br />

emotions without<br />

losing your cool<br />

support your child in recognising their<br />

emotions:<br />

Emotional labelling: Teach your children<br />

the names of different emotions by using<br />

simple, age-appropriate language.<br />

Encourage them to express how they feel<br />

by saying phrases like, “I can see that<br />

you’re feeling sad right now.”<br />

Visual cues: Use visual aids, such as<br />

picture books or emotion cards to help<br />

them associate specific facial expressions<br />

with different emotions. This can enhance<br />

your children’s understanding and make it<br />

easier for them to express themselves.<br />

We all have them, and we all need to<br />

manage them; yet sometimes, they can<br />

get the better of all of us. So, what exactly<br />

are our emotions all about? And how do<br />

we begin managing emotions in the early<br />

years?<br />

As children grow and navigate their<br />

way through life, they encounter a wide<br />

range of emotions, from happiness and<br />

excitement to sadness and frustration.<br />

Emotions will also play a significant role<br />

in their development and well-being and<br />

helping them to understand and manage<br />

their emotions is an essential skill that will<br />

contribute to a child’s social and emotional<br />

growth in many ways. In this article, we<br />

will then explore what emotions are,<br />

why they are important and how young<br />

children can learn to recognise and handle<br />

their emotions effectively.<br />

What are emotions?<br />

Emotions are powerful feelings that<br />

everyone experiences. They are natural<br />

reactions to situations and events, and<br />

they can change and evolve throughout<br />

the day. Some common emotions children<br />

may experience include joy, anger, fear,<br />

sadness, surprise, and disgust. Each<br />

emotion has its unique characteristics<br />

that you can come to recognise such as<br />

facial expressions, physical reactions, and<br />

behavioural responses.<br />

Why are emotions<br />

important?<br />

While we might be nervous about some<br />

of the more extreme emotions, they<br />

shouldn’t be avoided or hidden away.<br />

Emotions serve as signals that provide us<br />

with valuable information about how we<br />

are feeling, and how we perceive what<br />

is going on around us and indicate how<br />

we will respond. Emotions help children<br />

to make sense of their experiences and<br />

tell them how to communicate their needs<br />

and desires. So, by recognising and<br />

understanding their emotions, children can<br />

then develop an emotional intelligence<br />

that is rooted in empathy, they can build<br />

healthy relationships and feel capable of<br />

facing challenging situations effectively.<br />

Recognising emotions<br />

For young children, learning to identify<br />

and name their emotions is a crucial step<br />

towards emotional intelligence. Here<br />

are some strategies that you can use to<br />

Role-playing: Engage in pretend play<br />

with your children and act out various<br />

emotions. This interactive approach allows<br />

them to explore different feelings in a safe<br />

and supportive environment.<br />

Managing emotions<br />

Once a child can recognise their emotions,<br />

it’s important to help them develop healthy<br />

strategies for managing them. The trouble<br />

is emotional management with children<br />

tends to happen at a time when emotions<br />

are running high and when the child is in<br />

no place to listen to you or take in any of<br />

what you are saying. The first thing you<br />

need to do is get their “thinking brain” back<br />

online as you help ease them away from<br />

the more “flight, fright, fight” responses<br />

that have been triggered.<br />

Here are some techniques that can assist<br />

your young children in regulating their<br />

emotions:<br />

Deep breathing: Teach a child to take<br />

slow, deep breaths when they feel<br />

overwhelmed or upset. Deep breathing<br />

can help calm their bodies and minds.<br />

Positive self-talk: Encourage a child to<br />

use positive affirmations or self-statements<br />

to replace any negative thoughts. For<br />

example, instead of saying, “I can’t do it,”<br />

encourage them to say, “I will try my best.”<br />

Problem-solving: When they face<br />

challenges, guide a child through<br />

problem-solving processes. Encourage<br />

them to think of possible solutions and<br />

weigh the pros and cons of each option.<br />

Seeking support: Teach your children that<br />

it’s okay to ask for help when they need it.<br />

Let them know they can talk to a trusted<br />

adult, such as a parent, teacher or friend<br />

about their feelings.<br />

Allowing children to express their thoughts,<br />

opinions and feelings is also a key part<br />

of supporting their emotional intelligence.<br />

By offering them the vocabulary to<br />

express how they feel, we can foster their<br />

individuality, build their self-confidence,<br />

and promote their overall development in<br />

powerful ways.<br />

Every child is unique, in their thoughts,<br />

feelings and perspectives. When we give<br />

our children a voice, we acknowledge and<br />

celebrate this individuality. And when we<br />

encourage them to express themselves,<br />

we empower them to embrace their<br />

uniqueness and develop a strong sense<br />

of self-identity. This freedom of selfexpression<br />

lays the foundation for their<br />

future personal and social interactions<br />

as they learn to understand, own, and<br />

manage the way they think and feel. They<br />

learn that their thoughts and feelings<br />

matter and that they have the power to<br />

influence their outcomes. This sense of<br />

empowerment will then nurture a child’s<br />

self-esteem and encourage them to<br />

articulate how they feel more effectively,<br />

whilst listening more empathetically to the<br />

thoughts and feelings of others.<br />

But of course, if you are going to support<br />

your children’s emotions, you need to be<br />

able to manage your own, without losing<br />

your cool. That may sound obvious, but<br />

with increasing stress and anxiety levels<br />

facing many of us, our emotional health<br />

can become overlooked. So, ask yourself,<br />

how well do you listen to how you are<br />

feeling? Do you have people in your life<br />

that you can express these feelings to…<br />

and who will listen? Do you have “stress<br />

techniques” and methods you can try and<br />

a support network that understands you?<br />

Whether you are a parent, practitioner or<br />

family worker, join me at the Nurturing<br />

Childhoods Academy where you can<br />

become a member of the Nurturing<br />

Childhoods Community. Listen to talks,<br />

and chat with other parents and carers<br />

about the experiences they are having,<br />

you might like to swap a funny story or ask<br />

for some advice. And there are also lots of<br />

materials, tips and suggestions, new blogs<br />

every week and you can even have a go<br />

with a ‘Childhood Challenge’ or two!<br />

Scan here for<br />

more resources<br />

from Kathryn:<br />

20 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com<br />

parenta.com | <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 21

Armistice Day and<br />

Remembrance Sunday<br />

Armistice Day occurs every year on 11th<br />

<strong>November</strong>, and it marks the day in 1918<br />

when the guns stopped on the World<br />

War One battlefields as negotiations<br />

started to end the war and find a peaceful<br />

settlement. Armistice is Latin for “still<br />

arms” and it started at 11am on the 11th<br />

day of the 11th month (<strong>November</strong>). Today,<br />

we mark the moment with a two-minute<br />

silence across the country and many<br />

countries around the world do the same in<br />

their time zones.<br />

Remembrance Sunday is observed on the<br />

second Sunday in <strong>November</strong> (as close to<br />

Armistice Day as possible) and is a day of<br />

commemoration across the globe when<br />

people stop to remember the lives lost and<br />

sacrifices made in human conflicts since<br />

World War One.<br />

Whilst most adults understand the<br />

significance and importance of marking<br />

these events, it can be difficult to relay<br />

this to children without worrying them or<br />

frightening them about some of the events<br />

in our human past, especially when certain<br />

parts of the world are at war even as the<br />

wreaths are being laid.<br />

However, there are ways that early years<br />

settings can introduce children to the<br />

important messages of Armistice Day<br />

and Remembrance Sunday, in an ageappropriate<br />

and compassionate way, so<br />

read on for some ideas that you can use.<br />

Main themes to<br />

consider<br />

Rather than focusing on the terrible<br />

loss of life and sacrifice that wars bring,<br />

think about the following themes that<br />

are still relevant to Armistice Day and<br />

Remembrance Sunday, but which are<br />

more age-appropriate.<br />

Saying thank you to people who look<br />

after us and keep us safe, such as<br />

servicemen and women, as well as<br />

police, fire crews and ambulance/<br />

health workers<br />

Acknowledge the contribution that<br />

brave people have made to our<br />

society and what it means to be brave<br />

and stand up for what is right<br />

Help children think about people in<br />

the past who have made life possible<br />

today and the differences across time<br />

Show pride in our country whilst<br />

recognising and embracing how we<br />

can work together with people in<br />

other countries to overcome adversity<br />

Practical things to do<br />

Art activities<br />

Making poppies is relevant to early years<br />

and there are lots of craft ideas online<br />

that you can use to make poppies to<br />

wear as buttonholes, to decorate homemade<br />

wreaths, or add to a wall display.<br />

Red poppies are used to remember the<br />

members of the armed forces who died in<br />

conflicts in World War One and since, but<br />

there are other colours of poppies that can<br />

be used to represent other groups as well.<br />

Purple poppies – commemorate<br />

animal victims of war<br />

Black poppies commemorate the<br />

contributions of Black, African and<br />

Caribbean communities to the war<br />

effort either as servicemen and<br />

servicewomen or as civilians<br />

White poppies are often worn to<br />

remember those who died, but<br />

emphasising an end to the conflict<br />

Think about ways to create poppies<br />

using different media including:<br />

› Paint with thumb/handprints or<br />

stencils<br />

› Tissue paper, card, and straws<br />

› Felt and material<br />

› Paper plates<br />

› Play dough or clay<br />

Storytime<br />

Use storytime to share stories of people<br />

being brave or working together to<br />

overcome events and concentrate on the<br />

camaraderie and unity that people have<br />

found during hard times, rather than the<br />

conflicts. Talk about the importance of<br />

peace and discussing differences so that<br />

children can understand other people’s<br />

points of view and respect their different<br />

cultures. Search for books and stories<br />

which are age-appropriate. There are lots<br />

of age-appropriate videos on YouTube<br />

telling the story of Armistice Day and the<br />

Poppy Appeal.<br />

Outdoor excursion<br />

Take the children on an excursion to your<br />

local war memorial to explain how people<br />

can be remembered even when they are<br />

no longer around. Show them the names<br />

on the plaques and memorials and<br />

explain that they have been left there so<br />

that they will never be forgotten. You could<br />

then ask the children if there are people in<br />

their own life who they like to think about.<br />

Tealight displays<br />

Make a display in a corner of your setting<br />

using battery-operated tealights to<br />

represent people that the children would<br />

like to remember. This could introduce<br />

the children to the act of thinking about<br />

people who are not with them now (not<br />

necessarily deceased) so they could think<br />

about their parents, grandparents, friends,<br />

neighbours or pets, or anyone else who<br />

is special to them. You could make some<br />

tealight holders from paper cups and get<br />

the children to decorate them, perhaps<br />

getting staff to write on some words that<br />

the children use to describe each person.<br />

Music<br />

Sing songs about peace and living<br />

together to reinforce the values that you<br />

want to promote in the children. You can<br />

also find songs about giving thanks for the<br />

world around you and introduce the idea<br />

that you want to give thanks to the people<br />

who serve in the Army, Royal Navy, and<br />

Air Force for everything they do to keep<br />

people safe. There are some simple songs<br />

on YouTube which you can use to sing<br />

along to and get the children to join in. Or<br />

think about writing your own words to a<br />

well-known tune like “Frere Jacques” or<br />

“London’s Burning”.<br />

Language-related activities<br />

Why not commemorate Remembrance<br />

Sunday this year and help your older<br />

children learn about and understand<br />

their emotions at the same time? Ask the<br />

children to think about things that they<br />

remember and then ask them to describe<br />

how they feel and why they feel like that.<br />

For example, you can help them think<br />

about things like a day out with their<br />

family, or a food they like or a pet. Then<br />

talk about how they feel and give them<br />

some vocabulary around that to help.<br />

Observe a moment of<br />

silence<br />

Explain to the children that on Armistice<br />

Day, or Remembrance Sunday, you would<br />

like to remember the special people who<br />

have served their country in times of war<br />

and peace. Explain that the rest of the<br />

country will also stop what they are doing<br />

at a particular time (11am on 11/11) and<br />

ask them to join you to think about special<br />

people in their own lives. Remember, you<br />

may have children of servicemen and<br />

women in your setting too so be sensitive<br />

to this. You might find that 2 minutes is<br />

too long for your children, but even a<br />

few moments of silence can help get the<br />

message across.<br />

Whatever you do, send us your pictures<br />

and stories to hello@parenta.com.<br />

Scan here for<br />

more references<br />

& information:<br />

22 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com<br />

parenta.com | <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 23

Gardening<br />

adventures with<br />

your toddler<br />

Lee Connelly<br />

In the bustling world of early years<br />

parenting, finding activities that engage<br />

and educate the little ones can sometimes<br />

feel like a challenge. But fear not!<br />

Engaging in gardening activities with<br />

children can be both educational and<br />

incredibly fun.<br />

This month, I thought from my own<br />

experience as a father and educator,<br />

I would give you innovative ideas that<br />

have worked for me as the Skinny Jean<br />

Gardener. Today we’re diving into the<br />

world of toddler-friendly gardening. Let’s<br />

explore some of the creative activities<br />

that will not only get your hands dirty but<br />

also grow a lifelong love for nature in the<br />

children. The great thing about all of this<br />

is that it can be done in your early years<br />

setting and at home – regardless of how<br />

much outdoor space you have!<br />

Gardening with children is more than<br />

just digging in the dirt, it’s an experience<br />

that will give long-lasting memories.<br />

Engaging with nature at an early age can<br />

enhance a child’s sensory development,<br />

fine motor skills, and understanding of<br />

the environment. Begin your gardening<br />

adventure by introducing the children to<br />

the magic of seeds. Large, easy-to-handle<br />

seeds like sunflowers or beans are perfect<br />

for tiny hands. Let them feel the texture of<br />

the seeds, smell the soil, and marvel at the<br />

concept of life growing from a tiny seed.<br />

It is like being a magician, watching that<br />

seed grow into something you can eat or<br />

that is so colourful. That’s real magic.<br />

I’ve always promoted creating accessible<br />

spaces for little green thumbs to grow.<br />

Designate a specific area in your garden<br />

(or balcony at home) for the children’s<br />

gardening escapades. Invest in child-sized<br />

tools, tiny rakes, shovels, and watering<br />

cans for the setting, making them feel<br />

like true gardening champions. A raised<br />

garden bed or containers at ground level<br />

are excellent options, allowing the children<br />

to reach without difficulty.

Anti-Bullying Week<br />

❤ Emotional – isolating others,<br />

tormenting, hiding books, threatening<br />

gestures, ridicule, humiliation,<br />

intimidating, excluding, manipulation<br />

and coercion<br />

❤ Sexual – unwanted physical contact,<br />

inappropriate touching, abusive<br />

comments, homophobic abuse,<br />

exposure to inappropriate films<br />

❤ Online/cyber – posting on social<br />

media, sharing photos, sending nasty<br />

text messages, social exclusion<br />

❤ Indirect - can include the exploitation<br />

of individuals<br />

It is also important to remember that<br />

sometimes, bullying behaviours can be<br />

a communication from a child to let you<br />

know that something else is wrong with<br />

them, so you must always have your<br />

safeguarding hat on and consider that a<br />

child’s poor behaviour might be a warning<br />

sign that there are other things amiss in<br />

their life.<br />

Sometimes it can be difficult to get the<br />

balance right between informing students<br />

about bullying and keeping things<br />

age-appropriate, especially for younger<br />

children, so we’ve come up with some<br />

ideas for each day to help you mark Anti-<br />

Bullying Week this year in ways that are<br />

appropriate and positive for pre-school<br />

children.<br />

Tuesday 14th – Kindness<br />

is key<br />

Use today to explain to children about<br />

the value of kindness. You can tell stories<br />

about people being kind and how that<br />

helps everyone. You can also remind the<br />

children that people who are being kind<br />

to one another do not call people nasty<br />

names. There are several stories you<br />

can use and a good list of books can be<br />

found on the “booksfortopics” website<br />

(booksfortopics.com/booklists/topics/<br />

pshe-emotional-literacy-citizenship/antibullying/).<br />

Wednesday 15th – Be a<br />

good friend<br />

Use today to remind children about how to<br />

be a good friend and how good it feels to<br />

have friends you can rely on. Being a good<br />

friend means showing an interest in other<br />

people, sharing equipment, and taking<br />

turns nicely, as well as playing kindly with<br />

others and listening to other people’s<br />

ideas. It also means looking out for your<br />

friend in times of trouble. Read stories, and<br />

perhaps do some drama about how you<br />

could help people if they were upset or<br />

having a problem.<br />

Thursday 16th – Make a<br />

noise!<br />

Remember that there are many resources<br />

on the ABA website and others such as<br />

Twinkl to help you celebrate Anti-Bullying<br />

Week. Let us know what your setting is<br />

doing by emailing your pictures and stories<br />

to hello@parenta.com. If you or your child<br />

are troubled by bullying call the National<br />

Bullying Helpline on 0845 22 55 787.<br />

Resources and information<br />

❤ anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/antibullying-week-<strong>2023</strong>-make-noiseabout-bullying<br />

❤ booksfortopics.com/booklists/topics/<br />

pshe-emotional-literacy-citizenship/<br />

anti-bullying<br />

❤ twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-p-76-eyfsanti-bullying-week-2017-resourcepack<br />

❤ bbc.co.uk/programmes/<br />

articles/5w7nscs7JM5r7GPvTBjGlDX/<br />

anti-bullying-week-resources<br />

Get those odd socks ready – Anti-Bullying<br />

Week <strong>2023</strong> is here!<br />

Every year, the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA)<br />

organises Anti-Bullying Week across the<br />

UK and thousands of school children and<br />

younger pre-schoolers join with teachers<br />

and other adults to call out bullying<br />

behaviour in a bid to stop it. This year, the<br />

week runs from Monday 13th to Friday<br />

17th <strong>November</strong> and the theme is “Make A<br />

Noise About Bullying”.<br />

The ABA and its partners have been<br />

researching bullying and promoting<br />

measures to prevent it for over 30 years<br />

and have come up with the following<br />

definition for bullying:<br />

“The repetitive, intentional hurting of one<br />

person or group by another person or<br />

group, where the relationship involves<br />

an imbalance of power. Bullying can be<br />

physical, verbal or psychological. It can<br />

happen face-to-face or online.”<br />

One thing to remember about bullying<br />

is that bullying behaviours can start in<br />

children as young as 3, so it is never too<br />

early to remind them about the positive<br />

things they can do to keep themselves<br />

and others safe. Children in their early<br />

years are still learning how to manage<br />

relationships, how to share and how to<br />

appreciate each other, so there are times<br />

when conflicts can occur. To be classed<br />

as bullying, however, there are four key<br />

behaviours to look out for. Bullying is:<br />

❤ Intentional<br />

❤ Hurtful<br />

❤ Repetitive<br />

❤ Involves an imbalance of power (age/<br />

strength/numbers etc.)<br />

A child who snatches a toy from another<br />

child on a one-off occasion would not<br />

be classed as bullying but would still<br />

need some intervention to explain that<br />

snatching things from others is not<br />

acceptable behaviour. However, if the child<br />

encouraged their friends to repeatedly<br />

go up to another, singled-out child every<br />

day, and took things from them regularly,<br />

then this could be classed as bullying<br />

behaviour. It is intentional, hurtful, and<br />

repetitive and there is a power imbalance<br />

because several children are picking on<br />

one child. However, be careful not to label<br />

any child as a “bully”. Remember that we<br />

want to address the bullying behaviour<br />

not directly criticise who a child is, because<br />

if children are labelled as “bullies” or<br />

“naughty” early on, then it can hurt their<br />

self-esteem and progress.<br />

Bullying behaviours can be varied, but<br />

include:<br />

❤ Physical – pushing, poking, kicking,<br />

hitting, biting, pinching<br />

❤ Verbal – name calling, sarcasm,<br />

spreading rumours, threats, teasing,<br />

belittling<br />

Monday 13th – Odd Socks<br />

Day<br />

Each year, Anti-Bullying Week kicks off with<br />

a bang with ‘Odds Socks Day’, when the<br />

nation is encouraged to put their best foot<br />

forward (clad in an odd sock) to launch the<br />

week. How about choosing another way<br />

to celebrate and extend the day by asking<br />

children and staff to bring in a spare, odd<br />

sock and sew or link them together to<br />

create one big chain-like bunting?<br />

You could hang them on a washing line<br />

outside to mark the start of the week for<br />

all to see or create a hanging mobile of<br />

odd socks inside your setting. Explain that<br />

we all have ‘odd socks’ and that they are<br />

all different, but together, they make up<br />

a colourful and attractive display. Explain<br />

that this is like life, everyone is different but<br />

together, we make life interesting, and we<br />

all are important and to be valued.<br />

This year’s theme is “Make a Noise About<br />

Bullying” so why not do some creative<br />

music-making to explain to the children<br />

that bullying is never OK and that if we<br />

all ‘make a noise’ about it, then it will<br />

be easier for adults to help put an end<br />

to it. You could make and create some<br />

percussion instruments and use them to<br />

explain, that making a noise can alert<br />

people if something is wrong. You could<br />

sing songs such as “London’s Burning” or<br />

songs which talk about asking for help if<br />

you need it.<br />

Friday 17th – Celebrate<br />

togetherness<br />

Today is all about celebrating together and<br />

sharing a fun time. You could organise<br />

an event or have a party to celebrate<br />

togetherness and friendship. Why not use<br />

your odd socks to make a glove puppet<br />

and put on a show?<br />

Scan here for<br />

more references<br />

& information:<br />

26 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com<br />

parenta.com | <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 27

Yvonne Sinclair<br />

Introduction<br />

On the 1st of September <strong>2023</strong>, the<br />

Department for Education (DfE) published<br />

its <strong>2023</strong> version of “Keeping children safe<br />

in education” (KCSIE). This is statutory<br />

guidance for all schools including<br />

maintained nursery schools. However,<br />

early years providers are advised that they<br />

‘may find it helpful to refer to the guidance’<br />

as best practice.<br />

Throughout the guidance, there is the use<br />

of the terms ‘must’ and ‘should’. For clarity,<br />

‘must’ refers to when a person is legally<br />

required to do something and ‘should’<br />

means that the advice set out should be<br />

followed unless there is a good reason not<br />

to.<br />

What are this year’s<br />

key changes?<br />

Filtering and monitoring<br />

The focus is on roles, responsibilities and<br />

expectations for the schools’ filtering and<br />

monitoring systems. The guidance is very<br />

clear:<br />

✏ The designated safeguarding lead<br />

should take lead responsibility for<br />

online safety and understanding the<br />

filtering and monitoring systems<br />

✏ Staff and governors should<br />

understand the expectations,<br />

applicable roles, responsibilities,<br />

and cyber security – this should be<br />

included in training and inductions<br />

✏ Governors should ensure appropriate<br />

systems are in place, including<br />

unreasonable restrictions on ‘overblocking’,<br />

and regular system reviews<br />

on effectiveness and appropriateness,<br />

informed by the risk assessment<br />

under the Prevent Duty<br />

✏ The Department for Education<br />

has published new “Filtering and<br />

Monitoring Standards” that schools<br />

should follow to meet their duty<br />

✏ Guidance on key areas which should<br />

be included in safeguarding policies<br />

Want to know more<br />

about your filtering and<br />

monitoring duties?<br />

Why not join us on our 28th <strong>November</strong><br />

CPD training session, where we will be<br />

going through roles and responsibilities,<br />

appropriate filtering and monitoring,<br />

training, recording, reporting and<br />

much more? Book your place here,<br />

KCSIE<br />

updates<br />

safeguardingsupport.com/catalogue/134-<br />

cpd-sessions/.<br />

Safer recruitment: online<br />

searches<br />

Online searches, for shortlisted candidates,<br />

should be considered as part of the<br />

safer recruitment procedures. Shortlisted<br />

candidates should also be informed that<br />

online searches may be done as part of<br />

due diligence checks.<br />

Use of school/setting<br />

premises for non-school/<br />

setting activities and<br />

clarification on allegations<br />

against 3rd party staff<br />

New guidance around seeking<br />

appropriate safeguarding assurances<br />

from organisations or individuals using<br />

school/setting premises for non-school<br />

activities and how to handle allegations<br />

made against outside organisations or<br />

individuals using setting premises.<br />

What do I need to ask my<br />

staff to do?<br />

In all settings, it is essential that everybody<br />

understands their safeguarding<br />

responsibilities, which means that early<br />

years providers should ensure that their<br />

staff and volunteers who work directly<br />

with children, read at least Part One of the<br />

guidance.<br />

This is because Part One provides<br />

essential safeguarding information for<br />

everyone who comes into contact with<br />

children. Staff and volunteers are vitally<br />

important as your frontline safeguarding<br />

eyes and ears, as they are in a strong<br />

position to identify concerns early, as they<br />

have regular contact with your children,<br />

and their families and as so, are able to<br />

identify early on, any emerging concerns<br />

and report them to the safeguarding lead<br />

promptly, which means you can often<br />

prevent them from escalating.<br />

It is true that no one person can have<br />

a full picture of a child’s needs and<br />

circumstances. Therefore, all settings<br />

should embed a strong approach and<br />

culture to safeguarding, maintaining an<br />

attitude of ‘it could happen here’. This<br />

means having staff who have a strong<br />

awareness and understanding of the signs<br />

and indicators of child abuse and neglect,<br />

whether that be inside or outside your<br />

setting or home and even online.<br />

Knowing what to do if they are worried a<br />

child is being abused or who and where to<br />

seek advice, is vital for early identification<br />

of concerns.<br />

Part One also covers the role of staff<br />

in providing a safe environment in<br />

which children can learn. This means<br />

understanding the systems which<br />

support safeguarding within your setting.<br />

These will include: your safeguarding<br />

policies, the role of your safeguarding<br />

lead and local early help processes,<br />

training (including online safety) and<br />

managing the requirement to maintain an<br />

appropriate level of confidentiality. Also,<br />

never promising a child that they will not<br />

tell anyone about a report of any form of<br />

abuse – the above should be explained to<br />

staff as part of staff induction.<br />

KCSIE 23 advises that staff should be<br />

aware that children may not feel or<br />

know how to tell that they are being<br />

abused or neglected or even recognise<br />

their experiences as harmful. In these<br />

cases, it is crucial that staff have<br />

professional curiosity and speak with their<br />

safeguarding leads about concerns.<br />

Where staff have raised a concern,<br />

written records of the concern should be<br />

made. This may also be helpful if/when<br />

responding to any complaints about the<br />

way a case has been handled internally.<br />

Records should include a clear and<br />

comprehensive summary, and details of<br />

how the concern was followed up and<br />

resolved - including any action taken,<br />

decisions reached and the outcome.<br />

If there is any doubt about recording<br />

information or information sharing, staff<br />

should discuss it with their safeguarding<br />

lead.<br />

Why is all this<br />

important?<br />

Research and serious case reviews have<br />

repeatedly shown the dangers of failing<br />

to take effective action. Poor safeguarding<br />

practices include:<br />

✏ Failing to act on and refer the early<br />

signs of abuse and neglect<br />

✏ Poor record keeping<br />

✏ Failing to listen to the views of the<br />

child<br />

✏ Sharing information too slowly<br />

✏ A lack of challenge to those who<br />

appear not to be taking action<br />

In addition, KCSIE 23 Part 5 and Annex B<br />

provide staff and volunteers with important<br />

additional information about specific<br />

safeguarding issues and should also be<br />

read by those staff and volunteers who<br />

work directly with children.<br />

Finally, it is key that leaders of settings<br />

consider what mechanisms they<br />

have in place to assist their staff to<br />

understand and discharge their roles and<br />

responsibilities and demonstrate that staff<br />

have read and understood their duties.<br />

If you would like to know more about<br />

gaining access to our safeguarding<br />

quizzes that will help you with this, and<br />

demonstrate staff understanding, please<br />

get in touch.<br />

Resources<br />

✏ KCSIE Full document<br />

For proprietors, management<br />

committees, senior leaders,<br />

safeguarding leads<br />

✏ DfE Filtering and Monitoring Standards<br />

Standards schools should meet on<br />

filtering and monitoring<br />

✏ Appropriate Filtering and Monitoring<br />

Guidance<br />

A guide for education settings and<br />

filtering providers<br />

Scan here for<br />

more resources<br />

from Yvonne:<br />

28 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com<br />

parenta.com | <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 29

Jonathan Newport<br />

Between the ages of 0 and 5, children<br />

undergo what is probably the most<br />

magical and transformative period of their<br />

lives. To develop cognitively, socially, and<br />

emotionally, exploration and discovery are<br />

essential. Children thrive on a daily diet of<br />

hands-on, play-based experiences against<br />

a backdrop of positive relationships with<br />

adults, regular interaction with peers, and<br />

a rich, stimulating environment.<br />

A consistent approach is key, not just<br />

to behaviour, but also to ensuring<br />

children feel secure and nurtured. When<br />

experiences and expectations at home<br />

How can we<br />

effectively engage<br />

with families<br />

around children’s<br />

behaviour?<br />

mirror those in our settings, we increase<br />

the likelihood of successful outcomes for<br />

our youngsters. So, it’s in all our interests<br />

to pursue a coherent approach to family<br />

engagement, particularly about behaviour.<br />

The vital role of parents<br />

and carers<br />

As educators, many families tell us that<br />

they struggle with their child’s behaviour,<br />

and we often give advice, tell them what<br />

we do in our settings, and share lists of<br />

strategies for them to try at home. But this<br />

approach, while being well-intentioned,<br />

can feel very ‘done to’ rather than ‘done<br />

with’ to families.<br />

Instead, true family engagement<br />

involves listening to parents and carers<br />

to understand the behaviours they are<br />

seeing, and their family situation. We<br />

can look holistically at the child together<br />

with them, both in our settings and<br />

at home, rather than seeing these as<br />

separate things. The challenge for us<br />

as practitioners is, how can we most<br />

effectively support families with behaviour<br />

so their child can thrive both at home and<br />

in our settings?<br />

c<br />

We also need to be open to learning from<br />

parents and carers, rather than assuming<br />

we have all the answers when considering<br />

strategies to support behaviour. We can<br />

share approaches and ideas and adopt<br />

a puzzle-solving approach to behaviour,<br />

where we are curious, try things out, and<br />

find what works for this child, in an everevolving<br />

process.<br />

Bridging the gap<br />

We all have the children’s best interests<br />

at heart; however, there can sometimes<br />

be a disconnect between home and our<br />

settings regarding behaviour. To bridge<br />

this gap, we need to acknowledge and<br />

understand any potential barriers and<br />

work with families to understand them.<br />

For many parents and carers, handing<br />

over the care of their child to another<br />

person can be both daunting and<br />

challenging. They may feel anxious<br />

about how their child will respond in a<br />

new setting and some of that anxiety<br />

may rub off on the child. For children with<br />

diagnosed or suspected additional needs<br />

and disabilities, there are often additional<br />

concerns about whether a setting will<br />

be able to support their needs. We also<br />

need to be mindful of the fact that some<br />

parents and carers will have had prior<br />

experiences themselves, which can affect<br />

their responses to our expectations and<br />

initiatives around behaviour.<br />

Parents and carers can also hold widely<br />

different views about behaviour. What is<br />

acceptable to one family might be wholly<br />

unacceptable to another. We therefore<br />

need to reflect on the reasons that<br />

underpin individuals’ differing perspectives<br />

and see different options and positive<br />

approaches as choices available to us<br />

rather than try to implement a one-sizefits-all<br />

‘solution’.<br />

Practical ideas<br />

for building family<br />

engagement around<br />

behaviour<br />

To create strong, long-lasting relationships<br />

with our families, we need to develop<br />

effective, positive, and inclusive strategies<br />

around behaviour. These 5 suggestions<br />

are a useful starting point for framing<br />

internal discussions between leaders and<br />

practitioners, and can help drive future<br />

action planning:<br />

1: Keep an open mind<br />

It’s important not to make any<br />

assumptions about the support that<br />

parents and carers want or need. By taking<br />

the time to see behaviour through their<br />

lens and find ongoing ways to collate their<br />

views and opinions, we can ensure we<br />

are engaging in ways that are timely and<br />

appropriate.<br />

2: Extend our reach<br />

Sometimes, even the most effective<br />

engagement strategies are only partially<br />

successful because they do not reach all<br />

families. For example, arranging coffee<br />

mornings or drop-ins may suit some<br />

people, but others might miss out due to<br />

work or other commitments.<br />

Taking a creative and curious approach<br />

can be helpful. Who are the ‘hard to reach’<br />

families and what could we do to remove<br />

existing barriers? This might involve getting<br />

out into the community more regularly,<br />

looking at ways technology could support,<br />

and offering alternative times for drop-in<br />

sessions.<br />

3: Consider our local context<br />

All contexts and communities are different,<br />

and as such, will require a bespoke<br />

approach to family engagement. For<br />

example, if language is a barrier to<br />

communication, how could we engage<br />

with families in their first language? Do<br />

some families have limited access to<br />

technology, resulting in them being unable<br />

to access our initiatives? By taking our<br />

families’ social, economic, and cultural<br />

backgrounds into account, we can<br />

devise the best strategies for supporting<br />

behaviour.<br />

4: Share our approach to<br />

behaviour<br />

Approaches to behaviour have evolved<br />

over the years, and we must keep parents<br />

and carers informed about our strategies<br />

and ethos. When families are clear about<br />

why we do things, not just what we do,<br />

they are more likely to engage with and<br />

support us.<br />

This was one of the underpinning ideas<br />

when we created the “Team Teach Family<br />

Engagement Training” course because<br />

we recognised that our approaches to<br />

behaviour support also need to be shared<br />

with and understood by families for them<br />

to be most effective.<br />

5: Work as a team<br />

Parents and carers know their children<br />

better than anyone else, so by tapping into<br />

each other’s expertise and experience,<br />

we can collaborate to find strategies<br />

that work for all of us. This is especially<br />

important when we consider families<br />

that are involved in multi-agency support<br />

and receiving guidance from several<br />

professionals; there is a risk that they<br />

might become overwhelmed by conflicting<br />

perspectives. In such cases, a coherent,<br />

strategic approach is essential.<br />

A golden opportunity<br />

Fuelled by curiosity, compassion, and<br />

connection, we have a golden opportunity<br />

to examine and improve our approaches<br />

to family engagement around behaviour.<br />

By taking a joined-up, unified approach,<br />

we can empower families to understand<br />

and support their child’s behaviour,<br />

helping them to become resilient, happy,<br />

and healthy individuals.<br />

Consistency is a key component of<br />

understanding and responding to<br />

behaviour, so by fostering strong home<br />

links based on mutual trust and respect,<br />

early years settings and families can work<br />

in harmony to ensure the best outcomes<br />

for every child.<br />

Scan here to<br />

learn more<br />

about Jonathan:<br />

30 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com<br />

parenta.com | <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 31

In the latest in our series of articles about<br />

specific safeguarding concerns, we look<br />

at the issue of self-harm, a safeguarding<br />

issue for many teenagers and young<br />

people, and something that is often<br />

misunderstood by parents and carers.<br />

Whilst most young children do not selfharm,<br />

it can happen, and you should be<br />

particularly aware of your young staff in<br />

the most vulnerable age ranges of 16-25.<br />

According to the charity, Young Minds,<br />

one in six children aged 5 to 16 were<br />

identified as having a probable mental<br />

health problem in July 2021, a huge<br />

increase from the one in nine children<br />

identified in 2017. Many other statistics<br />

reveal a similar upward trend, such as<br />

the increase in young people aged 18<br />

or under attending A&E with a recorded<br />

diagnosis of a psychiatric condition, or the<br />

fact that over 80% of young people with<br />

a mental health condition reported that<br />

the coronavirus pandemic had made their<br />

condition worse. Mental health is a very<br />

real problem for many of today’s young<br />

people.<br />

Safeguarding:<br />

self-harm<br />

Self-harm incidence is also increasing, and<br />

the statistics are worrying. In 2018-19:

Frances Turnbull<br />

A Finnish study, (Lehikoinen, <strong>2023</strong>) was<br />

asked to find new ways to engage 1- and<br />

2-year-olds creatively. This age group is<br />

known to work independently, playing<br />

alongside each other rather than with<br />

each other, so it can be tricky to get them<br />

to participate in the same activity together.<br />

The 6 activities devised for this age group<br />

included the following (from previous<br />


Number pocket game<br />

You will need:<br />

• 12 card holders or paper pockets<br />

• 12 craft sticks<br />

• Masking tape<br />

• Printed numbers (or numbers written and<br />

cut out of paper)<br />

Steps:<br />

EYFS activities:<br />

Mathematics<br />

Mathematics in the EYFS equips children with crucial life skills and provides a foundation for future academic and<br />

real-world success. It’s not just about numbers; it’s about cultivating a well-rounded, problem-solving mindset that<br />

can serve children throughout their lives. Mathematics helps with cognitive development, foundational numeracy,<br />

real-life application, social skills and confidence building.<br />

1. Prepare the craft sticks:<br />

Take the 12 craft sticks and write the<br />

numbers 1 to 12 on them.<br />

2. Set up the pockets:<br />

Using masking tape, stick the 12 card<br />

holders or paper pockets on to a wall or a<br />

suitable surface.<br />

3. Label the pockets:<br />

Add the corresponding numbers from the<br />

craft sticks to the outside of each pocket.<br />

For example, attach the craft stick with “1”<br />

to the pocket labelled “1.”<br />

4. Game play:<br />

Invite the children to participate in the<br />

game, one by one. They should pick up one<br />

of the craft sticks, look at the number on it,<br />

and then try to match it to the pocket on the<br />

wall with the same number.<br />

5. Encourage visual matching:<br />

Emphasise the importance of using visual<br />

skills to match the numbers. This step helps<br />

enhance their ability to identify and match<br />

numerical symbols.<br />

36 <strong>November</strong> <strong>2023</strong> | parenta.com<br />

6. Variation with shapes:<br />

To add more fun and variety, you can use<br />

the same concept but replace numbers<br />

with shapes. For instance, you can have<br />

shapes drawn on the craft sticks and<br />

corresponding shape pockets on the wall.<br />

7. Rotate players:<br />

Once a child has finished matching their<br />

sticks, allow the next child to take their turn<br />

and repeat the process.<br />

This interactive game promotes visual and<br />

cognitive skills in children while making<br />

learning engaging and enjoyable!<br />

More on this activity and others can be found<br />

here: toddlerapproved.com/number-pocketgame-for-toddlers-and/<br />

Number writing activity<br />

You will need:<br />

• Tray<br />

• Table salt<br />

• Cardboard squares<br />

• Marker pen<br />

• Paintbrush<br />

Steps:<br />

1. Prepare materials:<br />

Gather all the materials needed for the<br />

activity: a tray, table salt, cardboard<br />

squares, a marker pen, and a paintbrush.<br />

2. Prepare the cardboard squares:<br />

Take the cardboard squares and, on one<br />

side of each card, write a number using the<br />

marker pen. On the other side, draw the<br />

corresponding number of dots to represent<br />

the number.<br />

3. Set up the tray:<br />

Fill the tray with table salt, creating a flat<br />

surface in which the child can write and<br />

draw.<br />

4. Introduce the activity:<br />

Show one of the cards to the child,<br />

displaying the side with dots. Encourage<br />

them to count the number of dots on the<br />

card.<br />

5. Number writing in salt:<br />

Ask each child to write the number they<br />

Splat the number<br />

You will need:<br />

• A die<br />

• Post-it notes<br />

• A fly swatter!<br />

Steps:<br />

1. Gather materials:<br />

Collect the materials required for the game:<br />

a die, post-it notes, and (yes!) a fly swatter.<br />

2. Label post-it notes:<br />

Take the post-it notes and label each one<br />

with different numbers. These will be the<br />

numbers the children will be aiming to<br />

“swat.”<br />

3. Set up the game:<br />

Lay out the labelled post-it notes in front of<br />

the children, making sure they can see the<br />

numbers clearly.<br />

4. Roll the die:<br />

Have a child take the die and roll it. The<br />

number rolled on the die will determine<br />

which number they need to “swat.”<br />

5. Swat the corresponding number:<br />

In response to the number rolled, the child<br />

should use the fly swatter to “swat” the<br />

believe corresponds to the number of<br />

dots they counted. They can use either<br />

their fingers or the paintbrush to write the<br />

number in the salt.<br />

6. Self-check:<br />

After writing the number, the child flips the<br />

card over to see if they got it right. If their<br />

written number matches the one on the<br />

card, it means they’ve correctly identified<br />

and written the number of dots.<br />

7. Correction if needed:<br />

If the written number doesn’t match the<br />

card, encourage the child to shake the<br />

salt tray a little to erase their writing, and<br />

then write the correct number in the salt,<br />

copying it from the card.<br />

8. Free play:<br />

Allow some time for creative free play,<br />

letting the child draw and doodle in the<br />

salt tray. This can be a fun and imaginative<br />

extension of the activity.<br />

This activity is not only engaging but<br />

also helps children practice number<br />

writing, and counting, and encourages<br />

self-checking, which fosters independent<br />

learning and skill development!<br />

More on this activity and others can be found<br />

here: learnwithplayathome.com/2013/07/<br />

number-writing-activity-salt-tray-game.html<br />

corresponding number on one of the post-it<br />

notes. This helps them associate the rolled<br />

number with the written number.<br />

6. Competitive play (optional):<br />

If you want to add some competition,<br />

multiple children can participate<br />

simultaneously. They can take turns rolling<br />

the die and trying to be the first to swat<br />

the correct number on a post-it note. This<br />

can make the game more exciting and<br />

engaging.<br />

7. Testing reaction times:<br />

The game is an enjoyable way for children<br />

to test their reaction times when it comes<br />

to identifying and swatting the correct<br />

numbers. It combines fun with learning and<br />

encourages quick thinking.<br />

This simple and interactive game not only<br />

makes learning numbers enjoyable for<br />

early years children but also enhances their<br />

hand-eye coordination and quick decisionmaking<br />

skills!<br />

More on this activity can be found here:<br />

doodlelearning.com/maths/maths-activities/<br />


Gina Bale<br />

Do you struggle to find your own<br />

‘superpower’? If so, please don’t worry<br />

- you can do this! As an early years<br />

educator, you are already a superhero in<br />

my book.<br />

Let’s hone in on your very own early years<br />

educator superpower.

C<br />

M<br />

Y<br />

CM<br />

MY<br />

CY<br />

CMY<br />

K<br />

Online Courses and<br />

Accreditations Nurturing<br />

Children in their Early Years<br />

Courses, talks and guides: Written for<br />

parents and professionals. Allowing us to<br />

work together, with the child at the centre<br />

of all we do.<br />

Online access: Available any time, any<br />

where. Scheduled to meet your needs<br />

and your time frame. Never miss a<br />

training session again.<br />

Designed and delivered by experts:<br />

Both in the field of child development and<br />

practice. Understanding the challenges<br />

you face and how to meet them.<br />

Supporting you: Recognising the<br />

foundational experiences children need<br />

and celebrating the work you are doing to<br />

offer them.<br />

For more information and free samples of the course<br />

go to: www.NurturingChildhoods.co.uk/parenta<br />

Pssst... Let the Littlemagictrain<br />

take your children on a magical<br />

journey of learning and lots of<br />

fun!<br />

Pssst...<br />

Let the Littlemagictrain take your<br />

children on a magical journey of<br />

learning and lots of fun!<br />

“<br />

“Littlemagictrain has helped children to develop<br />

their confidence and desire to communicate,<br />

describe, understand, and use new vocabulary.<br />

By week 6, I observed clear improvement in<br />

attention, memory and narrative skills.”<br />

“<br />

“Littlemagictrain has helped children to develop<br />

their confidence and desire to communicate,<br />

describe, understand, and use new vocabulary.<br />

By week 6, I observed clear improvement in<br />

attention, memory and narrative skills.”<br />

Liz Shoreman, Senior Speech and Language<br />

Therapist and Manager, The Speech Bubble<br />

Liz Shoreman, Senior Speech and Language<br />

Therapist and Manager, The Speech Bubble<br />

“The staff always join in and I can honestly<br />

say it’s one of the best products we’ve<br />

ever invested in!”<br />

“The staff always join in and I can honestly<br />

say it’s one of the best products we’ve<br />

ever invested in!”<br />

Scan Me!<br />

Nicky Sanford, Early Years Teacher,<br />

Marcham Pre-school<br />

Nicky Sanford, Early Years Teacher,<br />

Marcham Pre-school<br />

“<br />

“<br />

FREE<br />

Training and<br />

support.<br />

FREE<br />



Nurturing<br />

Childhoods<br />

<br />

www.littlemagictrain.com<br />

www.littlemagictrain.com<br />

Or email: Hello@littlemagictrain.com<br />

Or email: Hello@littlemagictrain.com<br />

NEW<br />

Family Engagement<br />

Training from<br />

Team Teach<br />

Help the families of children and<br />

young people in your setting better<br />

understand and support their child's<br />

behaviour at home with our new CPD<br />

accredited training course.<br />

2-day<br />

Family Engagement<br />

Training Course<br />

To find out more, please contact<br />

Stephanie Pendlebury directly:<br />

Stephanie.Pendlebury@teamteach.co.uk<br />

07934 299449

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!