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All planning starts with observing children
in order to understand and consider their current interests, development and learning.

It is important that all children, whether they attend full time or part time, are given the opportunity to experience a whole range of activities across all the areas of Learning and Development. This will provide them with the best outcomes to progress towards or exceed the early learning goals. It is therefore important that Childminders develop long-term plans.


Planning is the key to making children’s learning effective, exciting, varied and progressive.

Long-term planning can be kept very simple and done up to a year ahead. It gives an overview of the themes and topics that are going to be covered over the coming months and notes of any special events and occasions that are planned.


Download Long-term Planning Template

Download Long-term Planning Completed Sample


Themes and Topics can be chosen around the seasons and events that fall in the month or can pick up on children’s interests and hobbies. Long-term plans should be altered each year so that different themes are covered an the children experience as broad a range of activities as possible.


Download Ideas list of themes and topics


Medium term planning will require more detail around the activities you are going to organise and how these link to the different areas of learning and development.


Download Medium-term Planning Sheet

Download Medium-term Planning sheet –sample


Using long and medium-term plans Childminders should be

able to produce short-term plans based on these and the observations and assessments they have made on the children in their care. Short term plans need to be flexible and pick up on the changing interests of the children.


However, it is important to remember that no plan written weeks in advance can include a group’s interest in a spider’s web on a frosty morning or a particular child’s interest in transporting small objects in a favourite blue bucket, yet it is these interests, which may lead to some powerful learning. Plans should therefore be flexible enough to adapt to circumstances.


There are lots of different ways of recording your planning. Here are just a few that you might find useful to adapt to suit your individual practice. Some are for a week, others for just one activity.


Download  Activity Planning Sheet

Download  Activity Planning Sheet-Pasta

Download  Topic Web

Download  Activity Web-Painting

Download  Planning Topic Web Sample Farms

Download  Weekly planning sheet

Download  Weekly planning sheet-Ducks

Download  Weekly Planning sheet for individual child



When you are planning remember that children learn from everything, even things you haven’t planned for-such as a fall of snow.


If you care for a child that attends another setting, for example a pre-school or daycare then you should be asking to see their planning and linking it into your planning for that child where possible. For example if the child is learning about plants at pre-school you could plan a visit to the local garden centre to extend the child’s interest and learning. As a Childminder, these sorts of outings are far easier to organise than for group settings.


Settings communicate and work together for the benefit of children, so there can be continuity in their learning.


Why not discuss your plans with your Co-ordinator if you are a Network minder or with other local Childminders at Drop-in sessions. They may be able to give you ideas of local resources that are available or you may be able to plan joint activities, for example trips to the Fire Station.


Practitioners who work alone will benefit from opportunities to discuss their plans with others working in similar circumstances.


Remember to make your planning fun and interesting to the children, challenging but achievable.


Additional support and information can be found on the EYFS CD-ROM  3.1 Enabling Environments Observation, Assessment and Planning



‘Get ready! Preparing for the Early Years Foundation Stage’

Includes a ‘Diary of a childminder: what the EYFS means in practice’

Available free of charge from dfes@prolog.uk.com

Or call 0845 6022260 or you can write to
DfES Publications, PO Box 5050, Sherwood Park,
Annesley, Nottingham, NG15 0DJ