Step into Quality is an access route into the Lancashire Quality Award. It provides an opportunity for practitioners to spend focused time looking at what they do everyday and considering which parts work well and which could be improved upon. Step into Quality is underpinned by the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Quality Improvement Principles.
Step into Quality involves whole team reflection on provision and practice, across eight ‘steps’, which will have a positive impact on the setting and support staff development:
Environment - the quality of experiences available to children both indoors and outdoors, to support their learning and development
Interactions - how adults sensitively support children’s emotional well-being, are involved in children’s play and learning and extend children’s thinking
Routines - how daily routines meet the needs of individual children and promote learning and development e.g. welcomes and farewells, snack and meal times, sleeping arrangements, nappy changing and toileting arrangements, registration, assembly and ‘play-times’
Key person - secure attachments are vital to children’s emotional well-being. How supportive is the key person system and the close liaison with families in order to meet children’s individual needs?
Parents - relationships with parents from the very first contact until their child leaves the setting, including sharing of information and involving parents in their child’s learning and development
Leadership and Management - the leadership style of the manager and their effectiveness in creating and supporting a motivated, skilled and cohesive team
Transitions - sensitive approaches towards transitions in their broadest context e.g. home to setting, room to room, nursery to school, reception to year one
Learning and Development - observing children playing and being engaged in the process of learning, reflecting, interpreting, gathering and using information to plan appropriately to meet individual children’s needs
We were awarded Step into Quality in March 2012
The aim of the programme is to reduce dental caries in children and lay a solid foundation for good oral health throughout life. The topic's (teeth) covered are:
We are now an accredited 'Smile4life' Setting as from August 2014.
The Associate Trainers and co-workers in each Early Years Teaching Centre have been training and supporting early years workers in private nurseries, etc. who are working with two year olds accessing the free entitlement and their families.
The aim is to improve the quality of experiences for two year olds and their families in settings and, particularly, to support better outcomes for the most disadvantaged children. The approach involves the whole staff team in each setting, working together on the ‘Being Two’ Project.
There are five strands:
Staffs also share knowledge with parents to make a summative assessment of the child’s development and learning, three times a year, to look at the progress the child has made and to discuss the child’s strengths and areas for development. The data is set out in a line graph for each child (through the Making Children’s Learning Visible, MCLV, Pen Green software) which makes the child’s learning and the progress they have made clearly visible.
The Being Two project is designed to support reflection on practice and to develop and improve practice from within the team – reflecting on what they are doing as workers and how they can
improve what they do to better support two year olds and their families.
The Lancashire Quality Award it is the process of working together to improve quality which is emphasised, embedding the habit of constantly reviewing practice and being open to change, rather than the end-product of the award. Each setting will be allocated a mentor by the Lancashire Quality Award team who will support practitioners through the process.
The eight modules within the award are:
Relationships with children, parents and the wider community –building relationships in order to ensure that children’s sense of security and their sense of value is nurtured. This module looks at supporting the settling in and transition processes and at ways in which to share information about the child
Sharing food and celebrations –maximising the learning potential within well planned meal and snack times. This module also addresses ways in which children’s achievements, large and small are celebrated
Working together as a team –the quality of provision is directly related to the quality of leadership. This module looks at ways in which the leader can empower other members of the team
Opportunities and experiences –maximising the potential within the learning environments indoors and at the quality of opportunities and experiences that are offered to children in order to support their learning and development within the EYFS
Making the most of the outdoors –the outdoor learning environment and the opportunities and experiences that are offered to children outdoors in order to support their learning and development within the EYFS
Interaction –the key person systems, the support for children’s personal, social and emotional development, the opportunities for children to develop communication skills and strategies to support positive behaviour management
Meeting everyone’s needs –safeguarding children, child protection and inclusion – CURRENTLY COMPLETING
Management and business –business planning, business practices and effective management.
The modules can be undertaken in any order. When any two have been completed, settings will receive an award for completing stage one. A further three modules will lead to stage two being awarded. The final three modules will lead to stage three and the full Lancashire Quality Award being presented.