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Category Archives: Early Years

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 […]


The Work of Family Information Services in England 2013/14

New research published today shows a growing number of local authorities across England are failing in their legal duties to families to provide outreach and childcare brokerage services.

 


Values & Choices in Early Years Education

Often on my travels practitioners will ask me do I know of any nurseries in the UK that have adopted the Reggio Emilia philosophical practice. Straightaway I say ‘Reflections Nursery, in Worthing!’ Having visited Reflections myself, I am well aware of their inspirational practice and the positive impact that this has on children’s learning and development. Therefore, I am very excited that Martin Pace, the owner and Director of Reflections Nursery, is my guest blogger writing about their approach to early learning.

Martin has worked in the childcare sector for 20 years. Reflections Nursery is a 115-place nursery; Winner of UK Nursery of the Year 2009/10; Worthing Business of the Year 2010/11 and Southern Business of the Year 2011/12. The nursery was awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted at its last inspection in 2010.

Martin has attended eight study tours of the infant-toddler centres and pre-schools of Reggio Emilia since 2003 and is studying for an […]


Putting the Quality Back into Qualifications!

Putting the Quality Back into Qualifications!

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have been asked to produce my certificates for a provisional contract and as I looked through them I took a walk down memory lane.

One of my reflections was looking with pride at my Nursery Nursing Examination Board (NNEB) Nursery Nursing Certificate. How at the time completing and achieving this qualification meant so much to me! I still have the exam paper from 1989. If you would like a copy, please contact me.

I left school at 16 with hardly any qualifications. I was dyslexic and this condition was rarely picked up during the late seventies and early eighties. I always knew that I had a learning challenge; I only had this officially recognised six years ago.

When I left school I worked in a busy solicitors’ office, as a clerk typist, and enjoyed my […]


Hire people who are better than you are……….

In the pass and currently I have worked with clients who have a real issue with delegating. They then wonder why their staff do not perform and are not creative/practical thinkers. Which reminds me of this quote ‘Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.’ David Ogilvy-Scottish born British Military intelligence officer and later top advertising executive 1911-1999. Clarity around individual roles and responsibilities is also key. Within my accredited level 4 Leadership and Management course the managers complete this  task. How is leadership distributed in your setting:

Identify different key roles and responsibilities.
Explain how these are shared effectively amongst the team?

 Delegate a task to a member of your team.

Describe the process and implement it.
Evaluate the effectiveness of your decision to do this.

So, if you are micro-managing your staff and do not […]


Practitioner and Child; Positive or Personal Relationships?

For a while now, I have been reflecting on what we in the sector mean by the term ‘positive relationships’ and its impact on interactions between children and practitioners. With this in mind, my thoughts are on whether we should change the term to ‘personal relationships’ and more importantly how we should look at personal relationships between the practitioner and child in our day-to-day practice?

For instance, I have a positive relationship with the staff in my local bank, but this is not a personal relationship. Indeed practitioners need to have a positive relationship with children in order for the relationship to be personal and meaningful. Time and time again, when carrying out my mock inspection visits, I observe practitioners having positive relationships with children, but not on a deeper personal level.  If done on a superficial basis and as part of the daily routine, the relationship is one where it is routine led rather than […]