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Early Years Quality Standards (EYQS)

The Early Years Quality Standard will support self-evaluation, reflective practice, action planning and high quality provision to improve outcomes for all children. It will involve working with parents, children and staff to make changes and to develop practice.

The process will be supported by mentors who are Early Years Advisers in Herts for Learning (HfL).

This is appropriate for those settings who currently have an Ofsted grading of good or above. This includes schools, preschools, day nurseries and out of school provision.

The Early Years Quality Standards offers three levels of award allowing settings to work towards the level and within a time frame that meets their current needs.

The process takes a year to complete, depending on the level of award chosen. Initial interest is gathered in April, with a briefing session delivered early in the summer term. Once accepted onto the scheme each setting works towards completing the process within the next academic year, from September, all settings finish and attend a celebration event at the end of following summer term.

Bronze Award

(for all levels of award this gateway to the Early Years Quality Standards will be mandatory)

It involves the setting completing the Early Years Foundation Stage audits, focusing on how the setting meets the requirements of the learning & development, assessment and safeguarding & welfare requirements. These will be submitted in July, for mentor to read.

In September the settings self-evaluation, development plan and/or action plans are to be submitted.

A Gateway visit will be completed in the Autumn Term (September/October), to review audits and discuss self-evaluation and action plans.

A summary report will be completed identifying areas of strength and areas for development. This will enable the setting to update an ongoing action plan and identify next steps for development.

Silver Award

Once the bronze award has been completed :

An environment rating scale audit (ECERS) visit will be completed in October/November and a report written and shared with the setting. (The mentors will be using the latest ECERS 3 audits.)

The Early year’s advisers are trained in the use of the full range of the environment rating scales. These are internationally recognised and standardised tools used to assess the quality of early years provision.

For further details of the environment rating scales please follow the links:

A follow up progress review visit will be completed in the spring term to monitor progress with actions identified in the ECERs audit visit. If progress can be demonstrated the silver award will be achieved.

Gold Award

Once the silver award is complete the setting may proceed to the gold.

This involves a setting led research and development project which “makes a difference” to outcomes for children especially those at risk of underachievement. Project surgeries will be offered in November to discuss project details and an optional surgery in the spring term to discuss progress.

A project completion visit will be programmed for the summer term, to evaluate the impact of the project on outcomes for children, and to validate the evidence presented.

Presentation and Sharing of Good practice

In July a celebration event will provide opportunities for all settings to showcase the projects and changes they have made – and how this has improved quality and made a difference for children.

The Early Years Quality Standards will be valid for three years after which this may be renewed.

Cost

The cost of the Early Years Quality Standards is related to the numbers of children attending the setting, size of the setting and the level of quality mark the centre chooses to work towards.

Registering Interest

Please send an email to eyquality@hertsforlearning.co.uk to register your interest in the HfL Early Years Quality Standards.

If you have any further queries or require any further information please email eyquality@hertsforlearning.co.uk