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Laura Henry

Posts byLaura Henry

Me do it! Me do it!

I was in the supermarket the other day when I overheard a child say to her dad ‘Me do it, me do it, Daddy!’ as she tried to help him with the shopping. I smiled to myself as I remembered my eldest son saying the same to my mum when he was little and she was trying to put his coat on him.

These incidents illustrate how, from a young age, children want to be independent, yet, for some reason they are not given the opportunity to be independent. I am not only talking about being physically independent, for example children being able to dress themselves, but more importantly having an independence of mind to make decisions. By this I mean having a choice, even in something as simple as choosing which socks to wear or choosing between an apple or a banana.

Our job as parents is to give our children the tools and skills to [...]


The little red book and the revised EYFS 2014

Scanning the revised EYFS 2014 I noticed Section 2.5: “Practitioners should encourage parents and/or carers to share information from the progress check with other relevant professionals, including their health visitor…… Providers must have the consent of parents and/or carers to share information directly with other relevant professionals.”

To support this requirement I am sharing a few pointers, which I disseminate during training and consultancy visits with educators and teachers, regarding the importance of the child health book. This book is one way in which parents can communicate their child’s development with the key person.

The “little red book” contains important information that the setting could use to identify the child’s starting points and determine how to further support the child both in the setting and at home.

It is also a positive way to start to build a long term, positive relationship with the parent.

Of course, parents have the right not [...]


H.A.P.P.Y!

I was extremely delighted to see that the United Nations acknowledges happiness and well-being via the International Day of Happiness on the 20th of March each year. In support of humanitarian efforts around the world.

This U.N. Resolution identifies the pursuit of happiness and well-being as fundamental human goals. Let us celebrate this day with the children and families with whom we work. The day strongly links to supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development.

I for one will be celebrating!

I am equally excited that Pharrell Williams is a leading ambassador for the United Nations Foundation. Linked to his international hit song ‘Happy’, Pharrell has called this ’24 hours of happiness’. He has asked his fans to donate to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.

On a recent flight I watched the film ‘Despicable Me 2‘, where [...]


Supporting our most vulnerable children

I am a firm believer that children deserve a holistic education, in which we educate their mind, body and soul.

The late great Nelson Mandela, famously quoted: ‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.’

With this in mind, I am therefore pleased to have Jane Evans as my guest blogger. Jane has built up a wealth of parenting and early-years knowledge throughout her career as a parenting worker for a domestic violence organisation, a respite foster carer, a childminder, a children’s practitioner in a family centre and a support worker in a child-protection team, whilst also working in and with schools and pre-schools.

She now uses this as the basis for her writing, speaking and the training she delivers on attachment in early years, on parenting and children affected by trauma ‘Tuning In To Children and Parenting Beyond Trauma’.

Jane writes:         

“I am passionate about Early Years, its where my [...]


Ready to learn

“You can never be too curious. Pursue at least one new idea or learn one new thing every day!” Source unknown.

 I have been a trainer and a facilitator – in some shape or form – for over twenty years; in that time I have encountered a wide range of individuals and situations. Recently, when delivering a course, a number of issues arose: these issues were not new to me, so I was able to handle them. As I am a solution-oriented person, I want to share these solutions with you.

 Over the years, as we know, training budgets have been squeezed; this is a shame for educators and a travesty for the young children and families with whom they work.

 It is vital educators make the most of the training courses available, that they come away feeling inspired, with a bucket load of ideas and suggestions that will help them grow – both personally and professionally [...]


Money Matters for Children

As parents ‘tighten their belts’ in the current economic climate, they also want to know what are the best saving schemes available for their children.

It therefore gives me great pleasure to share an informative guest blog by Kalpana Fitzpatrick who is a leading UK financial journalist with over 12 years’ experience in consumer and personal finance. She is the founder of Mummy Money Matters, a family finance website. Kalpana regularly appears on TV, radio and in the press as an expert commentator on family finances as well as a consumer expert.

Her aim is to keep finance simple and accessible, as well as helping families make the most of their money. When not doing that, she is Mum to two boys: one aged four years and the other 9 months.

As a parent too, I believe it is important we sow the seeds of positive financial management with our children [...]


Read Between The Lines

My first guest blog for 2014 is Dr. Jo Verrill, who is the Director at Ceeda. Dr. Jo started out life in academic research before founding an independent research agency in 1999; Jo has a passion for delivering research that makes a real difference for early years businesses. Ceeda specialises in customer and employee research for early years childcare providers, working with large national groups and small owner managed businesses across the country.  

I passionately promote self-evaluation and reflective practice and, within this blog, Jo explains how carrying out parent and staff surveys can help you to continuously develop your provision.

 Jo writes:

 “Putting families at the heart of your provision

Staff build relationships with families on a day to day basis as a fundamental part of high quality care. Whether it’s feeding back on the day or sharing information about children’s progress and development at home and in the setting, staff working at the grass roots [...]


Parks, parents & settling in

 

It is always inspiring to hear of a setting delivering outstanding practice with their children and families. With this in mind I am pleased that Lotte Hunter, Operations Director of Building Blocks Nurseries in Wimbledon, has shared her setting’s stance on how to promote positive attachments between child and Educator during the settling-in period.

Lotte writes:

 

“A year and a half ago I attended a conference on attachment which inspired me to review our procedures. Forming secure attachments within the nursery is important for a variety of reasons: 

 

When a child feels secure he or she is able to freely and openly engage both with activities and with others in the environment. 

 

Strong attachments during childhood help form ‘attachment models’ in the brain that are called upon when children enter into relationships later in life. These models form the basis of a self-identity of someone who is loveable and worthy of care. 

 

Our settling-in used to take place within the [...]


Made In Chelsea: Literally!

I am very excited to share that I will be leading a training session at the world renowned Chelsea Open Air Nursery School.

Delegates will have the opportunity to have a tour of the amazing learning environment at Chelsea Open Air Nursery.

Image copyright Chelsea Open Air Nursery

Topic:

Building Parent Partnerships and Championing the Home Learning Environment

Share research about the benefits for the child of positive parent partnerships and a strong home learning environment
Ways to support families to understand that they play a vital role in their child’s education
Listening to parents and valuing their voices
Links to EYFS as it is now a crucial part of the curriculum
What do we currently do? What could we do? How can we promote it? How can we make it meaningful?

Date: Monday 6th January 2014

Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm

Investment: ONLY £30:00 per person!

Places are limited, so please book as soon as possible.

To book a place please [...]


In the heat of the night!

On Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending the Margaret Horn lecture (United World, Entrepreneurial Leaders) which was hosted by LEYF. In brief Margret Horn, was the founder of LEYF when it was then called the ‘Westminster Health Society’.

June O’Sullivan, CEO of LEYF, eloquently chaired the evening.

It was an inspiring event and I listened attentively to three key note speakers; Greg Kyle-Langley who shared his insight on One Young World, an organisation that brings together the young people from around the world, Tom Sweetman, from Sticky Board, shared his dedication on bringing local communities together and finally Paul Spinks, a Manager from Bright Horizons and co-Chair of the London Men in Childcare.  Paul spoke passionately about the importance and challenges of men working with young children within early years.

Paul Spinks – Key Note

Another key discussion was [...]