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Early Years group create new PANCo role

A group of early years practitioners and health experts working together in Cambridgeshire has developed a new staff role to lead on physical activity and nutrition and is piloting a qualification to support it.

A new PANco role would support nutrition in the early years

A group of early years practitioners and health experts working together in Cambridgeshire has developed a new staff role to lead on physical activity and nutrition and is piloting a qualification to support it.

The new PANCo role - Physical Activity and Nutrition Co-ordinator will work in much the same way as a SENCO and is intended to help address inactivity and obesity in young children.

A new Certificate in Early Years Physical Activity and Nutrition (EYPAN), endorsed by CACHE, was offered to a pilot group at the beginning of the year and is taking six months to complete. There are currently 20 students on the course and they will help to shape the final qualification when it is officially launched in July.

Linda Baston-Pitt, director of the Old School House Nursery in Cambridgeshire, and a main mover in the project, commented that it has taken a while to come to fruition.

“Faye Bentley, childhood obesity co-ordinator for NHS Cambridgeshire, and I had been talking for a long while about the need for training and qualifications in early years nutrition, to ensure children develop life-long healthy eating habits. Everyone in the group saw the need to create a complete health and well-being programme, backed up with training and a qualification, covering all areas of healthy living for the early years - including nutrition as well as exercise.”

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