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That boy was just scared

I’m currently reading Michelle Obama’s bestselling book, Becoming. Michelle reflects on her childhood throughout the book.

She shares how during the lead-up to the 2008 election she was supporting her husband’s presidential campaign by delivering speeches across the USA. These speeches, as you can imagine, where dissected by the press and at times she was not only misquoted but became the subject of some unkind reporting on her and her family.

Michelle reflects on this and recalls an incident from her childhood, where out of nowhere and seemingly for no reason a boy punched her in the face. Her mother, on returning from a meeting with the school about the incident, explained, “That boy was just scared and angry about things that had nothing to do with you…. He’s dealing with a whole lot of problems of is own.” Her mother’s non-judgemental words were telling her that when others do you harm, physically and verbally, it’s […]


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 […]


My Family Week 2017 #MyFamilyWeek

Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd October 2017

My Family Week celebrates families of all shapes and sizes, allowing children to tell their own story, about their own family in their own voice.

My Family Week is a reflection on what family means in the modern world and is the brainchild of international Early Years trainer, author and consultant, Laura Henry, who has worked with children and their families for three decades.

My Family Week is celebrating the uniqueness of every family, using the characters from Laura’s popular children’s book series Jo-Jo and Gran-Gran as inspiration.
As part of the week, settings, schools, parents and wider families can take part in a range of activities to help children to tell their own stories.
Stories will be shared and developed online using a variety of social media platforms.

Support for My Family Week:

“I simply ADORE this idea! Families come in all shapes and sizes and celebrating diversity and variety means we accept and […]


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.

 


Achieving Two Year Olds’ Update

It’s a great pleasure to have James Hempsall returning as my guest blogger. In this blog, James gives an update on the Government’s  ‘Achieving Two Year Olds’ incentive. James is  Director at Hempsall’s and is the National Support Director/Central Region Lead regarding the provision of support for ‘Achieving Two Years Olds’ to local authorities.

James states,

“Achieving Two Year Olds: the statutory duty comes into force – an opportunity for providers to develop new provision to reach the least advantaged two year olds and their families.

Now seems a great opportunity to update everyone on two year olds.  September 2013 saw the statutory duty on local authorities to provide up to 15 hours per week of early learning for the 20% least advantaged two year olds.   We are pleased to report progress has been growing steadily over the past 12 months.  Local authority confidence in delivery has been high overall for 2013 and this is reflected […]


Staff Behaving (Very) Badly!

I was speaking to my mum on the telephone and she said “Laura, did you see the programme about how funeral staff behave and how they disrespected the dead?” I said “No mum, as I don’t have the time to watch a lot of television.” She then went on to say “You can watch on your computer thing.”

So, on my computer thing, I did watch the said programme. ‘Exposure-The British Way of Death’ http://www.itv.com/itvplayer/video/?Filter=325738

Oh, MY goodness!  It got me thinking about a subject that I embed into my work around organisational behaviour within organisations and how the culture of organisations from the top to the bottom should be one that mirrors the organisation’s values.

The question is, within large organisations, how does the chief executive and the senior management team check that these values are in place and that the organisation’s standards are practiced by staff?

Clearly, these funeral staff […]


Who’s commenting on you? The Good Care Guide

The Good Care Guide www.goodcareguide.co.uk  is a new website and is a joint venture with ‘My Family Care’ and ‘United For all Ages’. The guide will give parents the opportunity to comment on their child’s nursery. In addition, families will be able to comment on elderly care homes. Nurseries will also be able to respond to comments that have been posted by parents.

The Good Care Guide is based on the ‘Trip Advisor’ concept which gives hotel guests the opportunity to rate and comment on their stay at hotels.  It is useful for prospective guests to view comments from previous guests in order that they can make an informed choice whether or not to book. For example, comments are made on a range of issues from the quality of food, cleanliness of their rooms to the calibre of the staff. However, recently Trip Advisor has had negative press, with some […]


Have a Break!

If I am at home early evening I often see a pre-school child and his mum walking past my home. This child has caught my attention as sometimes I notice that he is crying.

On a few occasions, I have had a brief conversation with his mum who looks very tired and unsure what to do. My thoughts are that he is tired and the crying is a reaction to seeing his mum and this is his way of communicating his feelings. (Note to self – add a section in my Supporting Transitions course, around preparing children for the handover to their parents at the end of the day.) In addition, I believe that he is picking up that his mum is tired.

I saw them again as I was walking to my car during the Christmas week and I noticed that he wasn’t crying. When I wished them both Happy Christmas, mum replied ‘I’ll not be […]


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 […]