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.
“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 rightly […]
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.
“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 […]
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
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 […]
I delivered an inset day training session recently to a nursery group. The session was called: ‘Are you listening to me? Really, listening to me?’ In short, looking how educators need to be tuned into children in order to effectively support them with their learning and development.
One of the delegates, who I know from previous training and who follows me on Twitter, said: ‘Laura, I know your son works for Arsenal. What does he do? Love Thierry Henry, best player Arsenal had. If your son ever meets him, please ask for a photograph and autograph!’
I then burst out into The Thierry Henry song. I am an Arsenal supporter as well and I remember going to a game and singing the ‘Thierry song’, loud and clear with the rest of the fans!
She then went on to say how a child in the nursery was an Arsenal supporter and that […]
Listening to others is indeed a unique skill and it is extremely important that educators are able to listen to children effectively to support their needs.
In fact the United Nations Rights of the Child states: “A child’s opinion should be taken into account on anything that affects them.” And “Children should have information disseminated in a way that enables them to make choices and decisions. “
If you would like to book this course, please email me:
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This weekend was very busy for early years colleagues in the sector including taking part in many professional development activities such as the Nursery Show and the Flourish Summit.
It was busy for me too as I attended the Professional Development Day at Reflections Nursery, in Worthing. I have visited before and was inspired then and even more inspired now. As a trainer, it is a truly reflective experience to be a delegate and soak up new knowledge. On arrival we were treated to apple juice, which was heated up on the garden fire. The fire is surrounded by pebbles which have been sourced from Worthing sea front.
Image copyright to Reflections Nursery
We were then treated to a tour of the nursery by an Educator at Reflections. I was fortunate to be in the group of the Co- Director, Martin Pace. Martin explained that we were only allowed to take photographs of the outdoor […]
Part of children being able to create and think critically is that they should be given the opportunity to be reflective. This gives them time to make connections and create. To foster this practitioners should, at times, stand back and allow children to be quiet in their play, as this can be an indication that they are thinking, processing information and planning their next steps in their play.
I remember this thought provoking anecdote from Vivian Hill, Director of Educational Psychology Training at the Institute of Education when she recalled the time she was called into a school to assess a four year old boy in the nursery department who spent his whole time day-dreaming, head in hands and looking out of the window. “His teachers were worried. I asked him what he was thinking about. ‘I wonder why it’s harder to pedal uphill than down?’ he replied. He was thinking about elementary physics.” ~ The […]
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 […]
I am a parent of two boys and an early years specialist and have worked within the early years sector for over twenty –six years.
I am writing to you because I want to raise your attention to a government proposal that might affect your child’s learning and development opportunities if you use childcare.
You may have heard that the Minister for Childcare, Ms Truss, is proposing changing the adult to child ratios in early years settings. For daycare settings this will mean that for your children who are aged two – three there will be one adult for six children and within home based settings childminders will be able to have up to four children aged five and under.
The majority of early years settings, academics and experts are against these higher ratios as, like me, they care about your children and the negative impact this will have on their learning and development. One provider said […]
Like most of the nation, I have been glued to watching Sir David Attenborough’s new documentary titled ‘Africa,’ which is on BBC1 at 9:00pm on Wednesdays.
I am fascinated by the filming and the profound images of nature which in part, to the human eye, seem very cruel. David’s narrative during the documentary is balanced throughout and thought provoking.
During a recent episode they showed a herd of elephants walking through Kenya, desperately seeking food as a result of the recent drought.
The most heart pulling clip for me was when the baby elephant could no longer go on, as she was too exhausted and weak. Her mother, rather than continue with the other herd of elephants, stayed with her and tried to encourage her; stroking and rubbing her calf – demonstrating an instinctive mother- to- baby bond.
Her mother remained with her until the calf passed away and one could clearly […]