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EARLY YEARS: valuable ends and effective means

New informative report from the Centre Forum: Sets out ways that early years policy can narrow the opportunity gap between disadvantaged children and their peers.


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 […]


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.

 


Working Parents

I am pleased to be the expert guest on ‘Women Like Us’, the multi-award-winning social enterprise that provides career advice and support to women and works to build a better future for working parents.

Please feel free to share this link with your parents if they have any questions on work life balance, childcare issues and looking for a school, etc.

http://www.womenlikeus.org.uk/conversation/managing-work-family-life/childcare-issues/

Remember that sharing with parents links into your ongoing commitment to parents as partners and compliments the EYFS 2012: ‘how parents can access more information.’

I look forward to hearing from your parents.

Best wishes

Laura

Follow the conversation on:

Twitter: @IamLauraHenry

Facebook: @LauraHenryConsultancy

Instagram: @LauraHenryConsultancy

 


Whose Voice Should We Listen To?

On Twitter I follow Huffington Post Parents and I read a tweet with the introduction, ‘Parents of a 7yr old boy in a wheelchair were shocked when they saw his class picture…’  With such a headline I had to click to read the article in full. Please read the article to get the background information on this story.

Like most people reading this, I was shocked by this story and then reflected on a few points.

The mother said the image was discriminatory. The father’s view was that although it was upsetting and hurtful the photographer and/or school did not intentionally discriminate against their son.

The photograph was retaken and this time Miles was sat on the bench with his peers. An expert on disability found this to still show a lack of awareness of Miles, as the wheelchair is part of him. Miles’s father commented that when he […]


Steps Into School

We have all been through different transitions in our life, for example moving home or starting a new job. Or can we clearly remember when we started school? These transitions in life all bring a variety of emotions (perhaps excitement, happiness, sadness,loss etc) and whether they are positive or negative we, as adults, have a degree of choice to go through a certain transition. However, a child doesn’t have a choice when starting school and it is therefore imperative that we support them through this transition to school with the best of our intentions.

Image: Starting School. By, Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Involving your child in the process will help them to feel a degree of ownership and settle well into their new school.

The majority of schools, in the term before new children start, arrange a visit for all new children. The children are then able to meet their new teacher […]


Ten Low-Cost Smart Marketing Moves

The current economic climate has had an impact on budgets, especially marketing and promotion. I am therefore pleased that my friend and colleague from across the pond, Julie Wassom, has taken the time out of her busy schedule to be my guest blog. Julie gives an overview of her 10 unique effective marketing tips.

Julie is a trainer and consultant who has helped thousands of directors and managers worldwide build significant enrolment in their early care and education programmes. An internationally recognized authority on marketing child care services, Julie is president of The Julian Group, Inc., a marketing firm specialising in the early care and education industry. She is the author of The Enrollment Building Success Library of training resources, and the free online newsletter, Wassom’s Child Care Marketing Wisdom.

Julie states:

“How do you generate more enrollment inquiries when you have little time and even less budget for marketing? By making Smart Marketing Moves.

I define Smart Marketing […]


Night, Night!

 “Sleep is the best medication.” Dalai Lama

We all know, as adults, that if we do not get enough sleep this affects us the next day – with symptoms that may range from feeling tired to being really irritable. Therefore, these signs of sleep deprivation may have the same effect on children and can have a negative impact on their day.

To ensure that pre-school children have a decent night’s sleep, they need on average about 12 hours sleep per night. If your child is not ill and your house is not too cold or too hot, (it’s always best to have a thermometer in your child’s bedroom) there is no reason why this can’t be achieved.

It is important that young children have an evening routine and become familiar with this. Children should be given enough notice that bed time is approaching; this can be developed by stating the following “We have five minutes before bed […]


Changes to Childcare-For Parents

Dear Parents

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 […]