Skip to content
  1. Do it online
  2. Login
  3. Have your say
  4. My Durham

About the County Durham Early Years Healthy Settings Framework


The Early Years Healthy Settings Framework aims to address health needs, reduce health inequalities and to teach healthy behaviour in children aged 0-5 years and their families.

The overall aims are to improve the health and wellbeing of children, staff, parents and the wider community.

The focuses is on six key themes. These are:

Pledging to focus on a theme

As an early years provider, you can become a 'healthy setting' for the above themes by pledging to work towards them.

In each of the above sections, you can find details of what is required when pledging to focus on a specific theme. You can make a pledge towards more than one theme per year, and these pledges will be evaluated on an annual basis.

After pledging, you will receive a pledge certificate detailing the theme you are focusing on that year. We encourage you to display pledge forms in your setting.

You can access guidance, information and a suite of evidence-based training and resources to support you in achieving the pledge.

If you are a provider and would like to get involved, visit the individual theme pages (linked above) that you are pledging to work towards.

Why we need the framework

Across County Durham, children and young people have different experiences of health and large health inequalities remain. For example, recent data from Public Health England indicates that:

  • 25% of reception age children (4-5-year olds) in County Durham are overweight or obese compared to the England average 22.4%.
  • emergency hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in children are worse in County Durham '152 per 100,000' compared to England's average '96 per 100, 000'.
  • There are 26% of children in County Durham with one or more decayed, missing or filled teeth compared to England's average 23%.

Across County Durham there are 457 early years settings including childminders, maintained nursery schools, council day care nurseries and group care providers. The framework will help you to create an environment to make the most of opportunities for improving and influencing the earliest healthy behaviour and reducing health inequalities.

The framework will support you to highlight principles such as good practice, support offers, policies and workforce development needs, reflecting both public health and early year's priorities.

To access more data relating to children and young people please see Durham Insight: children and young people.

How the framework will benefit children in your care

When you sign up to our framework, we'll support the children you look after and their families to:

  • eat a healthy lunch, packed lunch and healthy snacks
  • drink water and milk, not fizzy drinks
  • work towards 180 minutes of physical activity every day through indoor and outdoor play
  • encourage children to walk, scoot and cycle to the setting with their parents/carers
  • have plenty of tummy time
  • have plenty of sleep
  • learn how to brush their teeth and how important going to the dentist is
  • learn about their feelings and ways to express them
  • live in a smoke-free home
  • live in a safe home free of hazards
County Durham Healthy Settings Branding County Durham Healthy Settings Branding - mobile version
Contact us
Early years
03000 268 917
Our address is:
  • Early Years Workforce Development Team
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • DH1 5UJ