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Category Archives: Childminders

What has eating your toes got to do with child development?

Waiting in the Apple store to be seen by a tech expert, I noticed a mother with her baby in his buggy. He was doing what my mother always called “eating his toes!” when my son did the same! In fact, my son was with me.

I noticed the baby lifting his toes in a very sophisticated way to his mouth and sucking away.

I entered into a dialogue (turn-taking) with him, “Ooh, I can see you’re eating your toes!” He was laughing and in-between ‘sucking’ was talking back to me.

At that point, I knew I wanted to write a blog about this although I didn’t want to ask for permission to take a photo or to film this unique moment. I am mindful of boundaries and I did not know the mother.

His mother smiled at me and I said, “This is my son and he did the same when he was a baby and he is nearly 25! My mother calls this eating your […]


2017 Safeguarding & Protecting Every Child Conference Recordings

We are pleased to announce that the recordings of the Keynote Speakers, Present and Panel plus the exclusive filmed interview with Stuart Shanker are now available.

They are accompanied by the Presentations from the day and are an invaluable resource for CPD and Staff Training.

It was a thought provoking and inspiring day for all who attended.

The recordings are available FREE of charge to *delegates and Early Years Club Members.

For all others, a small fee will be charged.

*A small fee will be charged for delegates who want to use the recording and materials for their own commercial and financial gain

Please visit our dedicated webpage for more information


New Jo-Jo and Gran-Gran Book: Twelve and a Half Days of Christmas

We are pleased to announce the long-awaiting second book in Laura’s Jo-Jo and Gran-Gran series based on a pre-school child and her grandmother, showing the special and loving relationship that they have. 

In this book, The Twelve and a Half Days of Christmas, Jo-Jo and Gran-Gran talk about, reflect on and plan what they are going to do as they count down the days to Christmas Day. They remind us again about the special bonds that grandparents have with their grandchildren, focusing on the intergenerational and loving relationships that are central to positive community living.

For more information on both of the books, please visit our dedicated webpage

Special Offer! Reduced pricing on the Jo-Jo and Gran-Gran books for My Family Week.

Especially for this celebration week, we have reduced the pricing of both books to £5.99 each. 

Note: This special offer pricing is only available from Laura’s online shop


Launch of My Family Week

There are just over three weeks to go until the launch of the first international celebration of the family!

Children around the world will get the opportunity to celebrate the uniqueness of their family, irrespective of circumstances including children with same-sex parents, those who are fostered, disabled, have step families or half brothers and sisters, are bereaved, blended, those who are adopted or who live with grandparents and other family members.

International Early Years expert, Laura Henry, has been busy creating resources for My Family Week, providing fun and educational activities for settings, schools and parents.

There will be a soft launch on Friday 13th October, 2017, before the week-long celebration from Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd October.

Laura is delighted to announce the University of Northampton as the academic partner for My Family Week, with support from other organisations including NEyTCO, the Pre-school Learning Alliance and Gingerbread.

At the launch on 13th October, settings, schools and parents will be […]


Launching Laura’s Early Years Club

Due to several requests from clients, international award-winning trainer, consultant and author Laura Henry has decided to start a club for the sector.

In short, Laura and her team of experts will become your setting’s operations and quality department, providing a range of online and offline support including a range of documents, services, podcasts and webinars.

Laura, in her role as an expert witness working with solicitors and barristers and as an ex-Ofsted inspector, knows the importance of making sure that settings are legally compliant and Ofsted ready. She regularly supports settings with her creative and bespoke ideas, helping them to raise standards and fulfil their potential.

With the changing role of support from local authorities, settings are increasingly in need of more direct and quality support.

Documents will be updated regularly and new documents, systems and processes will be provided in line with good practice and made available to coincide with updates to legislation.

Laura fully understands that all […]


Getting it right for SEND Children

I’m delighted to have Cristina Gangemi, disability consultant, as my guest blogger. Cristina holds a master’s degree in this field and is director of The Kairos Forum, which focuses on enabling communities to be places of belonging for people with a disability. She has extensive experience in Special Educational Needs (SEN), offering training across a range of settings including schools and Early Years as well as parental support. Cristina has undertaken innovative and creative research with the University of Aberdeen in collaboration with people with an intellectual disability. Her research ‘EveryBody Has a Story’ (2010) has produced approaches to SEN that involve and celebrate the whole person, body, mind and spirit. Cristina is a national adviser to the bishops of England and Wales and works closely with Vatican Councils. She has also worked closely with Baroness Sheila Hollins, both on her advisory board and the series ‘Books beyond words’. Her work is recognised and valued […]


Schemas for Parents

I’m delighted to write about the Schema Guru, Stella Louis MA. As her profile on Early Education states, Stella is a freelance Early Years consultant who has worked as a nursery nurse, nursery manager, diploma in childcare and education course coordinator, Early Years training coordinator and local authority Early Years consultant.  She wrote her first book in 2008 on understanding children’s schemas and has had articles published in Nursery World and Early Education.  Stella has developed a sustained interest in working with parents and is involved in research on sharing knowledge and understanding young children’s schemas with parents.

“Children have a natural urge to do the same thing again and again, whether it is throwing things, hiding things all over the house in bags, or emptying all the toys out of the toy box.” Stella Louis

In September 2016, Stella launched Schemas for parents, published by Suffolk County Council. This 29-page full colour booklet is designed […]


Nursery World Awards 2016

Delighted to have been a judge again at the (Please click here for information regarding the evening and photographs) Nursery World Awards, present an award and receive an award for my colleague Jan White, in my role as Vice President, of The British Association for Early Childhood Education.

Hosted by Dave Benson Phillips and a big thank you to the Mark Allen team for organising yet again an inspiring evening.


It feels like very cold ice-cream on your teeth!

A colleague posed a question on a social media forum that I belong to as to whether other colleagues had heard of using sensory immersive approach within a coaching session. A number of colleagues asked him to clarify, he then showed a picture of a school’s ‘sensory room’.

My reply was to be cautious when using this approach, as some individuals may have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  As many of you know, my son is on the autistic spectrum and one of his conditions is SPD.

It made me think about children who are on the spectrum within Early Years settings who are displaying SPD, as educators may think it is due to something else.

In his own early years, my son would not step on leaves – a real challenge in autumn!

I recently spoke to a specialist in autism-related behaviour and explained how my son displayed hyperactive behaviour within his early and primary […]


Look through the window and what do you see?

“Windows mean light, wisdom means Windows!” ~ Mehmet Murat ildan

On a recent Twitter chat called #Kinderchat Geoff Billing, an Early Years colleague, wrote this tweet.

“I remember @LauraChildcare tweeting once about not being a fan of stuff covering windows..stuck with me and changed my practice! #kinderchat

I responded:

“I sure did! Even my sons point out settings that have painted windows. Blocks out natural light & looks tacky! #Kinderchat

Other colleagues also tweeted their thoughts on painted windows within settings.

My views are very clear that windows are there for one to see outside and connects the outside in! So I’m often surprised when I still see settings that have painted their windows with either tacky paintings and/or worse still, with the paint peeling off the window.

Some settings have said to me they paint their windows so that passers-by can’t look in. If this is the case, it’s better to ‘frost’ the windows half […]