… only unsuitable clothing.”

We love to get outside and make the best use of our outdoor space. It’s lovely to let the kids roam and run free in a child friendly, risk assessed space . Parents are great and provide me with all-weather clothing so that getting outside, whatever the weather, is never an issue.

Little ones develop their walking, dealing with different surfaces underfoot. The sand and water table and outdoor kitchen are a huge hit with all ages. Our chickens are an endless source of fascination. We have balls, bikes, ride on cars, gardening equipment, hopscotch, play tents, ball pit, paddling pool, easels, blackboards, clipboards, bug boxes to name just some of our resources.

I feel there is an increasing pressure on childminders to join expensive forest school or forest childcare type associations to prove our commitment to the outdoors. However, I firmly believe,  that outdoor play can be and should be completely free and just as worthy.

I observe lots of learning in all 7 of the EYFS areas of learning whilst we’re outdoors – Communication & Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design, Physical Development and Literacy. I also regularly observe many Characteristics of Effective Learning.

The EYFS states that children must…

3.54. Providers must ensure that their premises, including overall floor space and outdoor spaces, are fit for purpose and suitable for the age of children cared for and the activities provided on the premises. Providers must comply with requirements of health and safety legislation (including fire safety and hygiene requirements).

3.58. Providers must provide access to an outdoor play area or, if that is not possible, ensure that outdoor activities are planned and taken on a daily basis (unless circumstances make this inappropriate, for example unsafe weather conditions). Providers must follow their legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 (for example, the provisions on reasonable adjustments).

I am committed to finding ways to further develop outdoor learning opportunities to fully promote children’s learning and play outside.

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