The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework states that early years providers must promote the good health, including the oral health, of children attending the setting. This includes providing balanced and nutritious food and drinks, supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing, and all aspects of healthy child development.
The below resources will support you in centring health and wellbeing in your early years practice.
Public Health England commissioned a feasibility study of a facilitated toothbrushing and oral health programme. The aim was to support sustained awareness of oral health in 2, 3 and 4 year olds in early years settings as part of the aspiration to achieve a generation free from tooth decay, improve children’s school readiness and give every child the Best Start in Life.
Public Health England has also published a toolkit to support commissioning of supervised tooth brushing programmes in early years settings and schools. Many local authorities in England already commission such programmes. This toolkit will help commissioners, public health teams and providers make sure their programmes are evidence-based and safe, and have clear accountability and reporting arrangements.
Physical activity guidelines
A report published by the four UK Chief Medical Officers draws upon global evidence to present guidelines for different age groups, covering the volume, duration, frequency and type of physical activity required to achieve health benefits.
Advice is available to encourage good development in babies and children, with the UK Chief Medical Officers recommending lots of ‘tummy time’. As much active play as possible in children under 5 is encouraged, and older children are recommended to be active for an average of 60 minutes a day across the week.
To support this, the government will work with nurseries to find fun opportunities for young children to exercise during the day through the new Daily Toddle initiative.