What does the EYN Partnership offer early years settings?
Ela Law: The EYN Partnership offers early years settings a unique opportunity to work with a dedicated Registered Nutrition Professional, who can support them in their efforts to provide healthy and balanced food, a stimulating eating environment and encourage partnership work between parents and nursery staff.
There are several nutrition resources from different organisations available, but only the EYNP offers the personal touch of individual support.
The Quality Mark is a fabulous programme to showcase and advertise the great work early years settings do and give them accreditation that is nationally recognised.
Signing up to the programme will also provide Ofsted with evidence of the setting working towards the Common Inspection Framework.
Why does working with a Registered Nutrition Professional (RNP) make the difference?
Ela: The resources from other organisations available to early years settings tend to be downloadable ideas and suggestions. With an RNP, advice can be put into practice with tailored and individual approaches, one-to-one support and the opportunity for settings to ask questions and clarify strategies. Especially at the beginning of their journey, early years settings will benefit from some guidance from a person rather than a web resource.
Dr Janet Aylott: RNPs have the knowledge and understanding to work towards goals that are right for the setting – not just sticking to a rule book. Recognising that every setting is different, and every child is unique.
How does the EYN Partnership Quality Mark work?
Janet: We can give settings instant recognition for the work they already do, as they will receive a ‘Committed’ certificate upon signing up. The setting will be assessed against a set of food and non-food-based criteria and the way they cater for special diets/preferences and allergies.
Once a setting achieves all the criteria, they will become ‘Accredited’ and receive their certificate. The ‘Advanced’ and ‘Specialist’ accreditation awards build on the work put in for the ‘Accredited’ award.
In the wake of the UK childhood obesity crisis, the Quality Mark gives settings the opportunity to highlight work they are doing to ensure healthy futures for children.
What training is available through the EYN Partnership?
Ela: Our RNPs can run face to face interactive half-day training workshops within settings. The whole team can attend, and a number of modules can be covered.
The Level 2 CACHE award unit offers training for cooks and includes basic nutrition knowledge, planning and preparing healthy and nutritious menus as well as catering for special dietary requirements.
The Level 3 CACHE award unit for early years practitioners includes nutrition knowledge and building a skills base to make positive changes around food provision within early years settings.
How does investing in nutrition pay off for settings?
Janet: All early years providers have a duty of care to provide a good start for young children in terms of healthy food choices and eating habits. By investing in nutrition at an early age, we have a unique opportunity to set children off on a lifetime of positive healthy outcomes.
Parents are keen to know that those caring for their children have the best interests of their child at heart, and EYN Partnership have provided a ‘gold bar’ nutrition standard to work towards.
Investing in nutrition through the EYN Partnership gives parents the peace of mind that their child’s nutrition is of utmost importance to the setting.
Ela Law previously worked as Food in Schools Coordinator for Newham within their Healthy Schools Team and now works as an EYN Partnership Registered Nutrition Professional in South East London and surrounding areas.
Dr Janet Aylott has 18 years’ experience working as a Registered Nutritionist and has significant knowledge in childhood nutrition. Janet now works as an EYN Partnership Registered Nutrition Professional covering London and Kent.