Supporting children's learning and development

This page has been produced to support you in developing your learning environment. It offers suggestions for a wide variety of ‘types of play’ and includes ideas of resources you may think of providing.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) says:

'It is important that all providers consider how best to create, maintain and improve an [environment] so it meets the highest standards and offers the best experiences for young children.’ (practice guidance p8)

As a childminder you offer children access to a wide variety of environments:

  • indoors
  • outdoors
  • off-site including walks, outings and visits

Having access to different learning environments is crucial to:

  • encouraging children’s motivation and an enthusiasm for learning
  • developing skills
  • building confidence and self esteem
  • developing emotional wellbeing 

It is understood that children learn best when they have opportunities to be supported toward:

  • making their own choices
  • making their own decisions
  • returning to experiences and activities across a period of time
  • extending their ideas

The childminders role in supporting children’s learning within these environments includes:

  • developing and supporting children’s feelings of security and well-being
  • encouraging children to try, to have a go
  • making sure children can repeat experiences
  • giving children time and opportunity to develop their skills
  • using the learning opportunities already ‘built in’ and available (for example setting the table, sorting out washing, learning to cross the road)
  • developing your own knowledge and understanding of child development and how children think and learn
  • observing children, assessing what you see and planning to progress individual children’s learning forward
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