Here are some ideas of how you might spend the EYPP funding. It is going to be important to think about which option(s) are most relevant for your children and your setting. EYPP needs to be spent to meet the individual needs of your children, their families and your setting. You will need to refine the justification so that it fits your context. This list is not exhaustive. Please share your ideas with us so we can share them more widely.
If your children are eligble for EYPP are moving onto their next stage, it may be sensible to have a transition focus. This could be for internal transitions as well as external.
- Taking photographs of the new environments and key adults, children will be moving onto - This will allow the children to be prepared for the next phase as they will be able to talk with their key person, other children or their parents about what to expect using the pictures.
- Having examples of the uniform - This will allow children to develop a sense of belonging to the next setting. It is part of the 'taking hold' element of transition. It may be useful fo children who find the idea of moving on difficult.
- Social event - families can be buddied with other families who are transferring to the next setting so they feel well supported. The staff of your feeder schools could be invited so that parents and children can be seen in a familiar environment for them.
- Extra visits with the key person - sometimes a child needs more visits than are offered for the majority of children. the key person might also accompany parents if they are feeling anxious about the move so they have a familiar face. Discussions can then be had based on the first hand experience of the child, family and key person.
- Home visits - These can be useful for developing relationships with families and to get an understanding of the home life of the child. It can really help with the settling process as the child will have seen their key person and another staff member, interacting with their family in their own surroundings.
- Core books - This will provide some commonality between the old environment and the new one.
Early language focus
There are many strategies that EYPP funding could be spent on which will impact on the early language development of the children. These are just some suggestions but are not exhaustive.
- Video cameras - These could be bought and used in a range of ways to impact on many aspects of practice. Interactions between staff and children can be recorded and then analysed to ensure children are having quality interactions in as many situations as possible. Children's speech could be recorded either in a formal way or else could be set up in specific areas of continuous provision. Transcripts or audio files could be kept as evidence of impact. Clips could be shared with parents with discussions which focus on the learning. This may make it more informative for the parent. They could be lent out so that learning that takes place at home could be added to progress records etc
- Loan libraries - If you already have a book borrowing scheme this could be extended so that equipment or games go home. The case study on the Foundation Years website, basket of opportunities, is an example of this. Futher extension could be to provide the ingredients for recipes or playdough etc. These borrowing schemes need to have support built in in a range of formats from oral to visual and written. We need to remember that what is completely obvious to us isn't always obvious to others.
- Displays and leaflets - These could focus on the development of language so that families know what to expect when and the importance of their role. It could include ideas for them at home. These could have longevity as once they have been up for a period of time they could be turned into reference material. Leaflets will be able to be shared as and when the need arises.
- Training - This could be accessed through the local authority, associations such as Early Education branches, local networks, outside training providers or bespoke to your setting or group of local settings.
- Acreditation schemes or programmes - These may involve an 'outside eye' being cast over your practice and developments identified from analysis of data collected.
- Adult interaction reviews - The quality of these interactions can have an impact on the child's early language development. See Sound Early Years principles page.
- Resources which require co-operation and are open-ended - It may be useful to audit your resources and see how many are "closed" and how many are "open-ended". In addition areas of continuous provision could be audited to ensure language opportunities are maximised for example if there are buckets in the sand area are they of differing sizes, colours and materials so that children can show what they know eg "I want the big shiny bucket to make my castle with."
Parents can be supported in a range of ways and these need to be tailored to meet the needs of each parent. This may provide a good opportunity for partnership working.
- Parenting programmes - It may be possible to signpost parents to courses which are running in local schools or children's centres. It may also be possible to work in partnership with other local settings who have the space to offer this. This would also reduce the cost.
- Providing information - This could be in a range of formats such as leaflets, dvd footage, pictures, diagrams etc. Discusions with the key person can also be a good source of information for the parents. The key person could also accompany the family to meetings etc which relate to the child.
Possible strategies for improving attendance
- Sharing the journey with another parent
- Setting could collect
- Setting could liaise with school if there are other siblings
- Share the reasons why it is important to have regular attendance
- Talk through challenges of regular attendance with key person. Parent could be encouraged to find solutions for themselves.
- Attendance could be monitored on a regular basis
- Non-attendance could be followed up quickly as it occurs
This is by no means an exhaustive list.
There are a vast array of other ways you could spend your EYPP. The idea of this page is provide you with some possible prompts and for you to take the ideas further to meet your children's, their family's and your setting's context.