Healthy Eating, Oral Hygiene and Notifiable Diseases

The guidance aims to help early years practitioners meet health requirement in the EYFS Statutory Framework. 


Healthy Eating

 It is important to acknowledge that healthy eating habits in the early years are very important because they influence children's growth, development and academic achievement in later life.

Eating well, growing food, cooking, planning for meals and shopping for food will support children and young people to develop skills needed throughout their lives.

Food allergens pose a significant risk to consumers with allergic conditions, which may even be life threatening. Children are particularly vulnerable because of their reduced level of control over the foods they eat. Childcare providers are responsible for making sure that they have allergen information to provide for the food they serve and that this is accurate, consistent and verifiable. The Food Standards Agency provides free online food allergen resources and training. 

The EYFS requires providers to take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well and those staff preparing and handling food must be competent to do so. 

A Food & Drink Code of Practice for your setting could include;

    1. A Food Policy
    2. How your setting communicates with families about their child's diet
    3. Planning varied menus for snacks and meals in advance
    4. Planning meals and snacks to meet national voluntary food and drink guidelines  
    5. Catering for the dietary requirements of all children
    6. Having a positive and welcoming eating environment to encourage children to eat well
    7. Ensuring staff are appropriately trained


Oral Hygiene

The EYFS Statutory Framework expects early years providers to promote children’s good health and oral hygiene, which should be introduced to children at an early age.  A child’s first experiences with dental hygiene and oral health can impact on the rest of their life.

The latest Oral Health Guidance from the Department for Education is  available on the Help for Early Years Providers website

The guidance:

  • Explains the importance of good oral health for early years children
  • Helps practitioners to meet the oral health requirement in the EYFS
  • Includes practical tips and activities to use in early years settings
  • Links to further reading and resources
  • Oral Health Foundation - Information and free resources specifically linked to early years
  • PACEY - Information and links to resources 
  • Colgate - Ideas to help  make oral hygiene fun  




Notifiable Diseases 

The EYFS 3.52 states, settings must have a procedure, which must be discussed with parents and/or carers, for taking appropriate action if children are ill or infectious. This procedure must also cover the necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection

Guidance on health protection in schools and other childcare facilities which sets out when and for how long children need to be excluded from settings, when treatment/medication is required and where to get further advice can be found at

Settings must complete this form to inform your local health protection team immediately about suspected notifiable disease cases.

Don’t wait for laboratory confirmation of the suspected infection or contamination before notification. Send the certificate to the proper officer within 3 days or phone them within 24 hours, if the case is urgent.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA, formerly Public Health England) aims to detect possible outbreaks of disease and epidemics as rapidly as possible. Accuracy of diagnosis is secondary, and since 1968 clinical suspicion of a notifiable infection is all that’s required.

‘Notification of infectious diseases’ is the term used to refer to the statutory duties for reporting notifiable diseases in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010.

Promotional materials can be accessed by clicking the link: Infectious diseases: education and childcare settings - GOV.UK (