Health And Wellbeing in Early Years

‘Children’s health is an integral part of their emotional, mental, social, environmental and spiritual well-being and is supported by attention to these aspects’

‘Learning in health and wellbeing ensures that children and young people develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes which they need for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future.’

(health-and-wellbeing-pp.doc (live.com))

In Early Years we understand the importance of a child’s health and wellbeing and explore this within their physical and emotional growth and development.

Within Early Years a child’s wellbeing has been proven to become enhanced when:

A child’s emotions are accepted and understood in close, consistent relationships.

A child’s experiences are consistent with their idea of who they are and their unique interests are valued.

A child’s friendships are nurtured and valued from birth; enhancing their sense of group belonging.

A child has free access to interesting and challenging play materials and spaces indoors and outdoors, in the setting and in the community.

A child may have many opportunities for free- flow imaginative play outdoors.

A child’s families, whatever form they take, are supported and valued.

A child’s professional carers are valued and supported for all their skills knowledge and attributes.

A child has a strong sense of belonging to their setting and local community, where they are listened to, acknowledged and affirmed and their contribution is sought and valued.

A child is taken into account in society as a whole, so national and local policies ensure that all children’s needs can be met by their families and communities.

(Wellbeing in the Early Years | A Unique Child | Teach Early Years)

How a child shows high levels of wellbeing –

  • Children are interested in the environment
  • They are flexible and can move on from problems quickly
  • They can express themselves and take risks and challenges without effecting their self-worth
  • They can stand up for themselves and can ask for things they need
  • They are energetic and radiate a ‘zest for life’
  • They are relaxed or able to relax at times
  • They appear happy
  • They are at peace with themselves

( Adapted from Dr Leuvers directed research centre for experiential education (2015) Wellbeing in the Early Years | Early Years Educational Blog (earlyyearsstaffroom.com)

Within our setting we not only embrace health and wellbeing in the environment, but also plan structured activities based around our general health and wellbeing. Together we explore topics such as oral health, healthy eating, mental health, physical activity, yoga, emotions, etc.