Updated 18/02/2023

The EssentialsEYFS Paperwork Kidstogo

Planning. It all seems to have changed since September 2022 when it was made clear that childminders no longer have to produce as much written work. But have the fundamentals of planning actually changed? In a word, no.

The EYFS states:

‘Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests, and development of
each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and
enjoyable experience for each child in all areas of learning and development.’

How can you make sure that you are fulfilling the requirements set out above?

Planning is part of the Observation – Planning – Assessment cycle.Even if you do not do any written planning, in order to plan appropriate activities you will first need at least a rough idea of the following:

Children’s Individual Needs

Before they start with you can assess a child’d individual needs by talking to their parents and asking them to complete ‘All about me’ forms. As a child continues with you, you will be able to assess their changing needs through your observations and through continual partnership work with their parents.

When considering children’s individual needs it is also helpful to think about the sort of community that surrounds them. For example, if you live in an area with a high proportion of tooth decay you may like to offer more teeth cleaning related activities.

Children’s Individual Interests

These can be considered in two ways:

1. What sorts of topics a child may be interested in, for example, dinosaurs, cars, animals, etc. Planning activities around a theme can be a practical way to make sure that you are providing your children with a varied range of opportunities and experiences.

2. What sorts of skills or patterns of play are children showing an interest in? Are they showing an interest in scissor skills, in investigating filling and emptying containers, or in throwing things? (If you have not done so yet have a look into schemas.)

Children’s Individual Development

Again you should assess these with input from parents and, where appropriate, other settings and professionals. You may find the Birth – 5 Matters and/or Development Matters documents helpful when doing this. You may also have, through your own experience, a rough idea of which activities will be suitable based on the age of the child.

You can now use this information to plan what sorts of activities and experiences you are going to provide the children. Make sure when doing this that you:

  • Offer each child a mixture of free play and structured activities.
  • Your planned activities are in response to each child’s needs and interests.
  • Make sure the activities you have planned for each child are relevant to what you have established as the child’s ‘next steps’ in their development.
  • Make sure that what you have planned is challenging enough to keep the children’s interest and help them progress but not too hard so that it puts them off learning.

Make sure that you observe the children when they take part in your planned activities so that you can use this information to plan your next set of adventures!

You may find the following information and resources helpful when planning:

Free Basic Individual Planning sheet

Even if you do not want to do any written planning or observations this sheet may help you think about what you are offering each child so that you offer a broad and balanced range of experiences.

Free Downloadable Diversity Planning Calendar

Use our free downloadable calendar to plan to work some diversity awareness celebrations and activities into your childminding year. The calendar includes the dates of some multicultural holidays, religious festivals for Britain’s three biggest religions (Christianity, Islam and Hinduism) and other big events with a diversity focus. There are lots more events than these to choose from if you look for them on the web and it’s best where you can to adapt activities to the children you look after. Suppose you look after a Jewish or Sikh child? Talk to their parents for ideas then search on Google for ways to celebrate festivals that are important to them. Write them on this calendar so you remember to celebrate them.


How to write a year plan (long term plan) for your childminding setting

Step by step instructions on writing a year plan so you don’t forget anything.

Products that can help you

Childminding Best Practice Club:

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  • Monthly Childminding Best Practice Club Toolkit packs.
  • 25% discount on many of our products.
  • A Childminding Best Practice Club certificate to display at your setting.
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Supporting Documents

See our helpful page for links to useful documents such as the EYFS.