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Support for communication and language, physical development, and personal, social and emotional development.

These three areas of learning are vitally important for building a foundation for future learning.

Through high quality learning experiences and supportive adult:child interactions, you will be igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, enabling them to form positive relationships and supporting them to thrive both physically and mentally.

Communication and language

A portion of children are arriving in EYFS provision with underdeveloped communication and language skills or specific needs. The government continues to recognise this issue and has increased the emphasis within the current EYFS on supporting children to develop these essential life skills.

Whether you are new to the profession or more experienced and wanting a refresher, the Derbyshire Early Years Service offers several opportunities to support EYFS providers in meeting this communications and language need.

To guide you through key communication and language features, and strategies to enhance, enrich, and support all children, register for the free self-guided learning package: 'Early Years Communication and Language: A practitioner's guide to providing children with the best start for communication and language', available via Eventbrite.

The above-mentioned course is also the starting point for the Confident Communicators non-accredited package. Further to this, Confident Communicators will progress to strategies and resource guidance for you to provide the best learning environment and interactions to provide targeted support for some children. Confident Communicators has 2 main packages of staff development: leadership support and professional networking. For more details, please visit the Confident Communicators and Readers information page.

You may also choose to use the Every Child a Talker (ECaT) assessment tool to make a more detailed assessment of the child's needs. An introduction session is available to guide you through the use and implementation of these documents which are available to download from the related documents section of this page.

The quickest way to find information for the full range of training and events is to follow the Derbyshire Early Years service on Eventbrite.

Personal, social and emotional development

Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others.

(Department for Education: Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage)

Physical development

Being physically active has countless benefits; it maintains health and weight, develops muscles and bones, encourages movement and coordination, improves sleep, builds relationships and social skills, and contributes to brain development and learning (Physical Activity Guidelines for the Early Years).

Movement skill development in early childhood is also a significant predictor of achievement in reading and mathematics in primary school. So, the more a child moves, the more the brain is stimulated and the more they will learn!

To ensure children are physically ready, eager and able to learn, Derbyshire Early Years Service offers several opportunities to support EYFS providers in meeting children’s physical development through the ‘Every Child a Mover’ (ECaM) programme. The programme consists of:

  • ECaM assessment tool – a tool which gives a detailed assessment of a child’s physical development needs
  • ECaM pack – a support pack containing information and materials to enable children to be physically ready and eager to learn
  • MOVERS audit – a Movement Environment Rating Scale (MOVERS) for 2 to 6 year-olds provision, which measures the quality of the environment and pedagogy in which children are encouraged to move and be physically active. MOVERS is a part of a family of rating scales and uses a similar scoring system to other environmental rating scales such as ECERS, ITERS, and STEW
  • ECaM training – a variety of training events are available to support practitioners to acquire a greater knowledge of physical development and ECaM. We can also deliver bespoke training courses, staff meetings or consultancy to meet your provision's individual needs. 

If you would like to get to know and understand children’s movements better, improve outcomes for children or request further information on ECaM, then please contact Derbyshire Early Years Service on

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