Sunderland Healthy Early Years
Healthy Early Years (HEY) status is recognition of the valuable part early years settings play in supporting the health and well-being of the children in their care. The award has been a collaborative project between Sunderland City Council and the Teaching Primary Care Trust
There are 5 strands which each contain criteria for the setting to work towards and evidence their achievement
- A Healthy Environment
- Healthy Eating
- Physical Activity and Play
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
What is a Healthy Early Years setting?
A HEY setting is one where everyone works together to provide children, staff and the wider community with opportunities that promote and protect their health.
A HEY setting:
- promotes the health and well-being of all its children, staff and parents/carers by what is experienced within the setting or through wider community involvement
- is a healthy workplace providing choices, support and opportunities for all staff
- understands the importance of investing in health to assist in the process of raising levels of children’s achievement and improving standards
- is committed to ongoing improvement and development
- values and celebrates all children and staff
- provides a safe, comfortable and secure environment for children and staff
- involves parents/carers in health-related activities within the setting, and links health-related messages to the home environment.
This free Award recognises that many Early Years Settings are already doing a great deal of health promotion. HEY officially recognises the good practice and also supports settings to enhance their work in identified areas. As well as sharing good practice they settings are demonstrating
Early Intervention Health Coordinator is available, to provide advice and information on surveys, action planning, meeting criteria and building a portfolio. Regular training also takes place to support settings in working toward completing the award
Who can do it?
- All settings working with young children and families
- Children’s Centres
- Private and voluntary settings
- Pre-school groups
- Maintained nurseries
- All providers of private/voluntarily run childcare and preschool settings inSunderlandwho have at least good (if not outstanding) OFSTED rating.
- Providers cannot apply if they are under investigation for Environmental Health or Trading Standards allegations or there is any legal action being taken against them by these departments
Benefits of being involved in the Healthy Early Years Programme
There is increasing evidence that children and young people who are healthy may have improved school performance, and will go on to live healthier lives in adulthood. Early years settings can play a key role in improving children’s health by setting strong foundations to help them make healthy choices both early in life and in the future. Children will experience specific learning around health and well-being at an early age, which will enhance and maintain high standards of care within settings.
The HEY programme will help the setting support their staff to make healthy choices within their own lives, as well as accessing relevant training around health issues in order to deliver the programme. Involving the whole setting community is crucial to the programme, and this will improve teambuilding skills within staff and parent/carer groups, as well as forming and strengthening partnerships with outside agencies. Good practice can be shared between settings involved in the programme, which will enhance staff knowledge and expertise.
For the setting
Early years settings working towards the HEY programme will be making a real contribution to children’s health and learning, by helping children develop knowledge, skills and positive attitudes towards health and well being.
An Early Years Setting that has the HEY will be demonstrating that they are a positive health promoting setting who can offer many benefits to families using their facilities – both existing and potential.
The HEY logo can be used on all publicity of the awarded setting alongside a link to the website which will enable parents/carers to understand more about the impact and benefits of the Award.
To find out what some Early Years Settings have already been doing in Sunderland click on the case study links below.