Eight to Relate

Eight to Relate is a values-driven auditing tool for the personal, social, and emotional provision in your setting. It is holistic and ambitious, and it goes into depth in different areas of practice. Every setting has a unique context, and you will know best what works for your children, practitioners and families. We hope it will be a tool for reflection;you can work through the areas sequentially or dip in and out of one area at a time. Use it in a way that fits your setting and your team’s capacity.Whilst in the short-term making changes based might feel like a lot of work, we hope the effort you put in will help to create a workingenvironment that is full of joy, warmth and friendship.

Supporting children’s emotions is difficult for many individuals. Children’s behaviour, or just talking about it can often open up our own subconscious wounds and trigger ingrained feelings, thoughts and responses. Changing how we respond can therefore require significant shifts in our own thinking and consciousness. Leaders need to be knowledgeable in understanding, sensitive in challenging and supportive to individuals in making this change.

Children’s behaviour is communication. It is our role as adults to find ways to understand this communication. Each practitioner brings their own intuition and professional judgment and as such, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Trusting and safe relationships are fundamental foundations. 

Eight to Relate
Eight to Relate

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This document is long overdue for our sector. Emotional well-being has always been at the heart of my leadership journey and learning, I believe it is our moral responsibility to attend to the emotional wellbeing of every child, family and staff team. Getting the culture right, and creating an enabling environment in which each individual is valued, understood and supported in a way that enables them to thrive, is the essence of effective leadership. We all need to feel safe and to belong in order to connect and achieve’. I hope that Eight to Relate’ inspires settings to be reflective and bold, attending to both hearts AND minds as they review their provision.


Nicola Theobald, Lead for Early Years Partnerships

Kate Hubble, Early Years Improvement Officer

Kate Irvine, Early Years Improvement Officer, Early Years Consultant

Beth Osborne, Early Years Consultant

Ali Carrington, Early Years Consultant

Anna Morgan, Early Years Consultant

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