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Under 3's Next Steps


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Can you help?


Some of the practitioners in my nursery are struggling to plan appropraite next steps for the children in their learning (0-3yrs) . Most seem to want to push the children onto next steps in which they feel the children should be learning, for example the old favorites like recognising colours, numbers, etc.


I am trying to help our practitioners think beyond this and support each child individually and i am in the process of putting together a pack which will help them when trying to plan next steps for the children.


My experience is mostly with pre-school aged children so i am finding this a bit of a challenge. Can any of you guys suggest some appropraite next steps that can be used within the 0-3yrs age group?


Ay help would be greatly recieved.



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we work with the steps in the development matters in the Eyfs we've found it so much better now that all the ages flow through from 0-5


I find the statements a bit vague to follow but the other columns look listen and note, and effective practice offers clarification to create you own next steps


also looking at some of the statements in Development matters it pays to break them down a little.

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As a childminder I work with a range of ages including 0-3's.

All of my next steps are based around what each child is interested in and what I need to provide to support that

Some eg.s of next steps I have written for my children over the last few months are :

aged 19mths - loved mixing up the sand, water and compost (transporting from one place to another)

Next steps - baking activity (exploring mixing), wheelbarrows/pushchairs (for transporting)

aged 16mths - developing physical skills, loves slide in garden but needs help to climb

Next Steps - provide log stepping stone to enable ** to independently climb up on to the slide

Aged 28mths - beginning to use colour names whilst playing

Next steps - reinforce through interests, eg. colours of thomas trains and carriages, encourage to choose specific coloured paper/plates/cups etc during activities and snack

13mths - watching me blowing bubbles

Next steps - add feathers to the treasure baskets for blowing games

10mths - needing lots of cuddles this week

next steps - ensure plenty of one to one time for interaction and bonding


I prefer my next steps not to be focused on what I want the child to learn next or be able to do next but by tuning into where they are in their interests and focusing on what I can provide to enhance that learning will automatically take place and children will move on in their development.

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That's fab dcn, I too am a childminder and I really struggle with next steps!

I don't know why because when I read posts like yours it seems really straightforward.


Think I'm going to have to have a sit down and have a think about my children, what they like and what they'd like to do.


Both my children are very new to me so we're all still getting to know each other!



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those are great next steps dcn - think we can get bogged down by trying to make the business of next steps too complicated - instead of focusing on what is probably the natural instinct of most practitioners - to simple respond to the child's interests.

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  • 3 months later...

sometimes next steps can be extending the learning into another area of provision so that learning is transfered. For instance a child pouring in the water might enjoy pouring in lentils or aots Also read observations carefuly and they tell you what a child can do and then look in the look,listen and note section of EYFS and see how to develop. Also sometimes how a practitioner responds can extend the learning ans naturally take it on a stage.

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