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Thank you for your interest in the Southampton Healthy Early Years Award (HEYA). Undertaking the award offers a unique opportunity for settings to work towards a quality assured programme, helping to improve the health and wellbeing for under 5s’. Helping families to make healthier choices remains a national focus. In Southampton, obesity rates are similar to the England average, but these levels are still unacceptably high.  Therefore, addressing obesity, through healthier nutrition and physical activity choices in addition to improving oral health is a priority for the city. Participating in the award will help you to provide a healthier environment for children in your care.  It will help families to make positive choices and provides practical support (and CPD) for early year’s practitioners.

You can find out more about the award and the views of some Southampton settings by watching the Southampton Healthy Early Years Award video under the 'Video' heading on the left hand side of this webpage.

Southampton’s HEYA was originally developed in 2009 and in 2017 was redesigned and piloted, to make it more accessible and practical to achieve. There are six stand-alone awards at three progressive levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Settings begin with bronze awards in Healthy Eating and / or  Physical Activity. Once both have been achieved settings can, if they wish, choose to move on to silver. At this level there are three awards to choose from, Healthy Eating,  Healthy Mouth and  Physical Activity. Settings who undertake and complete all three awards will have the opportunity to move on to obtain the HEYA Gold award. All awards are valid for three years and all progression steps must be taken within the 3 year period. 

All awards paperwork and guidance are accessible online.  Completion of a self-assessment form is the main piece of evidence required for the initial bronze level.  At silver level, attendance at training is required in addition to submitting all relevant evidence. On this page, you will find the information to undertake each level of the award. Please read all flow charts and instructions prior to commencing any of the awards and contact the HEYA team to advise them of your interest.

All correspondence and submissions must be sent to:

Email:   Tel: 023 8083 3014

Submissions will be passed to the relevant assessor who will aim to provide feedback within one month.

What settings have said about the award

"The process is very clear and seems less ‘heavy’ than the previous award. I like the ability to get recognition as you move through the awards."

"Did not believe we would be able to do it so quickly."

"If motivated - it is really possible to complete in half a term."

"Really positive feedback from parents and seen a real change in the content of the children’s lunchboxes."

"We really enjoyed completing the bronze healthy eating award and have noticed a positive impact on the setting in regards to food being offered and provided from home."

"The information on the website was easily accessible"

"The forms were descriptive and easy to use."

"An excellent template for policy which really helped."

"A very positive experience."

You can hear more views of the award from our providers by watching the Southampton Healthy Early Years Award video under the 'Video' heading on the left hand side of this webpage.

Why should I consider working towards the HEYA?

Working towards the HEYA will help you to:

  • Create a healthier environment for children by meeting standards on good quality nutrition, oral health and physical activity.
  • Improve outcomes for children through healthy eating, positive oral health and physical activity
  • Follow a clear structure to meet best practice guidance and advice
  • Support your staff to increase their own knowledge and awareness of under 5s nutrition, oral health and physical activity.
  • Role model healthy behaviours and  good practice
  • Provide clear and consistent messages to parents /carers and children on healthy eating, oral health and physical activity to benefit in the home environment
  • Provide evidence to support the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory requirements and enable reflective practice for self-evaluation, with links to ECERS-R, ITERS-R and FCCERS-R
  • Build on a whole healthy setting approach.
  • Complete the Healthy Eating bronze level of the HEYA to progress towards the Healthy Mouth Award.

Healthy Early Years Award Achievers

The following providers have achieved one or more awards:-

Paint Pots Pre-school & Nursery Sholing
Ladybirds Pre-school (Porchester Road)
Ladybirds Pre-school (Parkside)
Rosegarth Nursery
St James Nursery and Pre-school
Startpoint Sholing Nursery
Startpoint Northam Pre-school
Kanes Hill Pre-school
Stephens Early Years Centre
YMCA Pre-school Newtown
Jane’s House – Jane Cook Childminder
Brambles Pre-school
Over the rainbow childminding – Toni Southwell
Chloe’s Childcare - Chloe McKell  Childminder
Sticky Fingers Pre-school @ Newlands
Sticky Fingers Pre-School @ Redbridge
Sticky Fingers Pre-School @ MP3
Little Berries Pre-school @ Bassett
Happy Bunnies Pre-school
Claire Warrington                   
Christine Lawley                     
Little Berries
Taplins Nursery SGH
Redbridge Pre-school
Hardmoor Early Years Centre
Stacy Hutton - Little Dragons Childminding Southampton
Rainbow Pre-school 1
Paint Pots Pre-school and Nursery Swaythling
Paint Pots Pre-school at Woodlands
Paint Pots Pre-school and Nursery Portswood
Olive Tree Pre-school
The Mulberry Bush, Bitterne Park
Brook Pre-school
Rachel Owens - Rachel's Childcare's
Bevois Town Pre-school
Deborah Hunter

HEYA Bronze Award

Bronze Award: – is designed to be a simple way for settings to start with the award by making changes to their nutrition or physical activity provision through completing a self-assessment form without the need to first attend training. Please ensure that you read through the flow chart and theme standards. Settings need to consult with the relevant groups (including staff and parents), download the relevant themes and standards and review these in light of their current practice. Once required changes have been identified, the setting should make the necessary changes to their practice.  Following this, the setting needs to complete the self-assessment form and submit, along with the necessary additional evidence, all of which is clearly listed on the flow chart. Depending on the size of the setting and the number of changes required, we anticipate the bronze level to be worked on over a period of a term (although this may be quicker, particularly for settings already meeting the required standards)

Bronze Award Flowchart Feb 2020 (PDF 325KB)

HEYA Silver Award

HEYA Silver Award – to move on to this level, you will have completed both healthy eating and physical activity at Bronze level within the last three years.

Silver Award: – this level involves settings sending 1-2 staff representatives to a 2 ½-hour training session for each aspect of the award; healthy eating and physical activity. Settings are required to cascade the training to other team members. Support and training will be provided in your setting for the Healthy Mouth Award. Each session is provided free of charge for Southampton providers. Settings are required to produce an action plan to identify and address development areas highlighted at bronze level, or in the self-assessment form or during the training. This would include more challenging aspects of provision, such as the setting’s approach to birthdays and addressing portion sizes for healthy eating, achieving good oral health habits or making changes to identified areas for physical activity.

The setting then works through the identified areas, making the required changes before completing a silver self-assessment form and submitting along with the necessary evidence for assessment by the HEYA team. Please see the flow chart for all evidence required to assess the submission.

Depending on the size of the setting and the number of changes required, it is anticipated that the silver level to be worked on over a period of 1-2 terms (although this may be quicker, particularly for settings already meeting the required standards).

Silver Award flowchart 2018 (PDF 396KB)

HEYA Gold Award

HEYA Gold Award – to move on to this level, you will have completed Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Healthy Mouth at silver level within the last three years.

By working through all of the awards, settings will progressively make positive changes impacting on the setting, the practitioners, the parents and families, helping everyone to make healthier choices and changes for life.  Completing the gold award will enable settings to take this further, really making a measurable difference to families. The gold award is one overarching award, incorporating one or more aspects of the award and demonstrating an ongoing commitment to all aspects: nutrition, oral health and physical activity.  The focus of the Gold Healthy Early Years Award will be centred on Parental Engagement and must:-

  • Show an impact on parents and families
  • Take a holistic view of wellbeing incorporating all aspects of the award.
  • Demonstrate how the activity or project impacts on the families and has made a measurable difference.
  • The setting will also develop an action plan identifying plans to further improve nutrition provision / oral health and / or physical activity opportunities during the course of the next year.

The assessment involves the HEYA team reviewing your project and action plan, and carrying out a brief telephone ‘interview’ with you to confirm all requirements are met. The self-assessment forms for the bronze and silver awards will have already determined your ‘baseline’ provision / practice, and the team will be on hand to confirm a suitable project with you. We anticipate the gold level to be worked on over a period of 1 term.

Following successful completion of the award, HEYA leads may, if they choose, become mentors for other settings progressing through the awards. Achieving the award will not only support the positive changes to healthier choices for all, but will also assist with providing evidence to demonstrate to Ofsted how settings work in partnership with parents and other professionals and have high aspirations for children and families.

Gold Award Flowchart 2018 (PDF 216KB)

Training Dates

Attendance at a relevant training session is required for a Silver award and must be cascaded to your teams in order to successfully pass Silver Healthy Eating or Physical Activity Awards. This training is subsidised and is delivered FREE to Southampton Early Years providers and will be held at Startpoint Sholing. Healthy Mouth training is delivered in your setting. Anyone currently working at bronze level is also welcome to join a training session. Training sessions are arranged according to demand. Please contact FIS if you would like to be added to the list for the next training. We will arrange a date when there are sufficient delegates. Email

The HEYA Team

The revised Healthy Early Years Award was developed in 2017 by a number of individuals and organisations including Solent NHS Trust, Annemarie Aburrow RD BSc (Hons) PGDip Expert Dietitian, Southampton Early Years and Childcare Team and Southampton Oral Health Educators. HEYA resources were adapted for the Healthy Mouths theme by Dr Devika Vadher (Clinical Fellow in Dental Public Health) and Dr Jeyanthi John (Consultant in Dental Public Health).

The HEYA quality assurance panel is made up of a selection of representatives from these various organisations.

Charges for settings outside of Southampton City

Assessment of Bronze HE or PA   £40.00
Assessment of Silver HE or PA     £60.00
Attendance at pre-arranged training already running for other Southampton settings (per person)   £40.00
Silver training Physical Activity ( 2.5 hours) at provider setting for team £160.00
Silver training Healthy Eating ( 2.5 hours) at provider setting for team £160.00
Charges per hour for any additional support in the form of email or telephone support, site visits or for any resubmissions.   £40.00
Charges will be made for mileage @ .45p per mile and travel time at £20.00 per half hour for any training outside of Southampton City

Contact us

For all queries and submissions, please contact the Family Information Service who will pass on your requests or submissions to the relevant professional service.


Tel: 023 8083 3014

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