Mother and son hugging

Ensuring a childcare setting is of the highest quality is one of our main priorities. In order to help settings achieve a high standard of care we run several schemes.

All childcare that is registered with the Care Inspectorate, Wales (CIW) is required to meet a set of National Minimum Standards (NMS), but here in Caerphilly we encourage settings to strive for a level of quality over and above these standards.

Caerphilly Quality Standard (CQS)

This is a scheme that acts as a stepping stone between the NMS and a Nationally Recognised Quality Award. Support for achieving the CQS is provided by Local Authority Childcare Development Officers and a Quality Incentive grant is made to those who achieve the standard. Financial support is also available for those who wish to take on the National Quality Award.

The CQS has been developed to be appropriate for all different types of childcare including Day Nurseries, Childminders, Playgroups/Meithrin, After School Clubs and Creche's. There is a requirement to renew the CQS every two years.

All childcare providers who are contracted by the Local Authority to provide specialist services such as Early Years Education, Flying Start and Social Serivces are required to achieve the CQS and a Higher level quality Award, but all settings are actively encouraged to participate.

If you are a setting and wish to engage in the scheme, please contact the Early Years Team on 02920 760760.

Advanced Childminders Award

Childminders are also able to engage with the CQS as described above, however, Caerphilly Early Years have devised their own Advanced Quality Award based on the experience and expertise of staff and childminders working in this sector for the past 10 years.

This is a self assessment scheme supported by Local Authority Development Officers and a financial award is made to those achieving the required standard. All childminders who are contracted by the Local Authority to provide specialist services are required to achieve the Advanced Award.

Gold Standard Healthy Snack Award

This award is designed to support Healthy practices within Childcare Settings. It was developed in partnership between the Local Authority and the Local Health Board.

Early years and childcare settings provide an excellent opportunity for promoting positive attitudes and habits to healthy eating. This award provides guidance relating to food and health issues for a range of childcare providers. It covers specific areas including food provision, developing social skills, increasing knowledge, hygiene issues and providing the environment to make the healthy choice the desired choice.

This award is recommended as a model of “good practice”. It is proposed that Early Years’ settings and After School Clubs implement it within their development plans.

Caerphilly Healthy Early Years (HEY) Scheme

Developed in partnership by Caerphilly council, Public Health Wales and the voluntary sector, the HEY scheme builds on the good practice developed within the borough through the ‘Healthy Schools Scheme’ and the ‘Gold Standard Healthy Snack Award’.

The scheme looks at ways in which pre-school settings can engage the children in their care, families and staff to achieve a healthy and active lifestyle through developing a health-promoting ethos and environment throughout the setting.

Settings are supported to promote health and wellbeing via delivering a range of activities addressing the health areas of nutrition, oral health, play, emotional health and wellbeing, a safe and stimulating environment, the health promoting workplace and the environment.

Caerphilly Healthy Early Years - Introduction and Background (pdf 14.5mb)

Our Healthy Pre-School Development Officer said:

"Many children spend significant amounts of time in pre-school settings. This puts staff in an ideal position to have a positive influence in promoting healthy messages including healthy eating and being active as part of a healthy lifestyle. The provision of health promoting settings positively enhances not only a child’s health, but also allows the child to take full advantage of the learning opportunities provided in these settings.”

For more information please contact:

Nicola Greenway on 01443 866728 or email greenn1@caerphilly.gov.uk

Eco Early Years

This scheme supports settings to work towards environmental and sustainable projects on completion of Phase 3 of the Healthy Early Years Scheme.  The emphasis is on commitment to environmental awareness and sustainable development and will help incorporate Education for Sustainable Development & Global Citizenship (ESDCG) within the setting and wider community.  There are 3 award levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold and it is anticipated that each level will take about 12 months to complete.

Settings who are contracted with Caerphilly County Borough to deliver either Flying start and/or Early Years Education will be supported to complete the Environmental Scales; Infant and Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) and Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS).  Settings are required to achieve an overall judgement of a level 4 or better within an agreed timescale before delivering on the contract.

The Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-Being (SSTEW) is a new observational tool that is being introduced to settings, the scale describes educational practices that support the development of task focus, problem solving and imagination.

For more information please contact:

Nicola Greenway on 01443 866728 or email greenn1@caerphilly.gov.uk