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Professional Boundaries

An interesting Social Media post came up on my timeline:

“Question from a member: I would like to know what people would do if a member of staff began a romantic relationship with a parent of a child who is one of their key children; parents only separated very recently (within the last 4 weeks) and mom is totally unaware of the situation. Thank you.”

I was intrigued and concerned that a few commented that they felt it was fine for a member of staff to enter into a sexual relationship with a parent from the setting. I have had over 30 years’ experience working within Early Years, in a variety of roles, and I also work as an expert witness. I have seen where negative organisational behaviour of a setting can have a lasting damaging impact, and, more importantly, can fail to keep children and their families safe and protect them from harm.

Safeguarding and protecting children […]


All about professional development…

I have at times read with interest on social media and heard on my travels, that providers believe that if they don’t undertake training then they will be penalised by Ofsted, with a few claiming that this was the reason they didn’t get Outstanding. To clarify, Ofsted do not require you to have undertaken face-to-face training.

I have said many times that language is important and that it is the term Continuous Professional Development (CPD) that should be used.

Training makes up only a small percentage of CPD. There are many other areas of CPD, including: reading research, journals, papers, blogs, visiting other settings, taking part in webinars, listening to podcasts and attending workshops, briefings and conferences. Training also includes connecting on social media chats, such as #EYTalking on Twitter, watching Facebook lives, inspirations from Pinterest and Instagram. It can even be watching a television documentary or listening to a radio broadcast.  I’m sure there is […]


Professional Generosity (being good at sharing!)

I’m delighted to have Sarah Vickery, the assistant head of the Exeter Children’s Federation, writing as part of the Exeter series. When I heard Sarah speak about professional generosity at the conference I was punching the air! Sarah mentioned #EYTalking on Twitter, which I set up four years ago and I’m also known as the ‘Queen of Early Years sharing’.

Sarah writes:

“I’ve been teaching for twenty years now, starting off in a primary school in Tottenham, North London, before returning home to teach in Devon (and get married, start a family etc.!). It was here I discovered a love of all things Early Years in my first Reception class role, and I never looked back! I hope if you met me you’d realise how joyful and rewarding I find teaching in Early Years. I’m a hands-on, out-in-all-weathers, get-messy, get-stuck-in and get-the-glitter-out kind of teacher. Loving Early Years has, I believe, helped me lead successful Early Years teams […]


Off the shelf training….

My new resource supporting professional development:

Bespoke Early Years Training:


Learning from you, learning from me

“The real system of education is one where the children of rich and poor, of king and subject, receive education through crafts.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

It was a pleasure to be invited to Mumbai, India, by my friend Swati Popat Vats Director of Jumbo Kids, Podar Education Trust.

I have known Swati for many years from working together in our roles as National  representatives for the World Forum for Early Care and Education.

One of the values of Jumbo Kids is ‘the heart, hands and the head’ which I love; it links into the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning. The curriculum is also influenced by Reggio, Montessori and Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences.

I was also excited to hear that one of the first trustees of Podar Education was Mahatma Gandhi! He had signed the minutes of […]


Managing Behaviour – seriously?

I continue to be intrigued by the way the EYFS talks about ‘managing children’s behaviour’. Considering what we now know about how a child learns and develops, is ‘managing children’s behaviour’ still a useful term to use within Early Years?

My views are that we can’t manage children’s behaviour, as we need to give all children the skills and tools to regulate their own behaviour, so they can resolve conflict and be emotionally grounded both within their early years and beyond.

Educators can indeed help children with self-regulation, which is different from the traditional training in ‘behaviour management’ within Early Years.

Educators require skills such as recognising a child has suffered a trauma and supporting the child sensitively to help them communicate how they are feeling; assisting children to resolve conflict through negotiation and giving them the language skills to do so; helping children know they have a voice and are able to contribute […]


NMT – Childcare Power 20

Croydon-based international award winning Early Years expert Laura Henry has been included in the “power 20” list of the most influential people in childcare in the UK, as compiled by Nursery Management Today (NMT) magazine. NMT is the childcare sector management bi-monthly journal.

Paul Birley, Head of Public Sector & Healthcare at Barclays, stated: ‘It is therefore important we recognise those people that have made a real difference…they have had a major influence on others. By show-casing these people who have made a difference, we believe we are helping to inspire others to continue to drive up quality in the sector.’ The award was sponsored by Barclays Bank.

As one of the 20 most influential people in childcare, Laura was invited to the awards dinner at Barclays’ head office in Canary Wharf on Thursday 29th May 2014.

Laura was surprised to be nominated by her peers; she commented: ‘There are many talented colleagues working within Early Years […]


Ready to learn

“You can never be too curious. Pursue at least one new idea or learn one new thing every day!” Source unknown.

I have been a trainer and a facilitator – in some shape or form – for over twenty years; in that time I have encountered a wide range of individuals and situations. Recently, when delivering a course, a number of issues arose: these issues were not new to me, so I was able to handle them. As I am a solution-oriented person, I want to share these solutions with you.

Over the years, as we know, training budgets have been squeezed; this is a shame for educators and a travesty for the young children and families with whom they work.

It is vital educators make the most of the training courses available, that they come away feeling inspired, with a bucket load of ideas and suggestions that will help them grow – both personally and professionally […]


Made In Chelsea: Literally!

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

Topic:

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 as soon as possible.

To book a place please […]


Through the Decades!

One of my missions for the Easter break was to finish a book called ‘Bath Times & Nursery Rhymes-the honest memoirs of a nursery nurse in the 1960s’ written by Pam Weaver. My inquisitive nature drew me to this book. I was interested in reading about the life of a nursery nurse in the sixties as I wanted to compare my nursery nursing training and early work life in the 1980s to Pam’s experience.

Even though I have acquired further qualifications and worked in a variety positions within the sector, I am still an NNEB nursery nurse at heart. I say once a nursery nurse, always a nursery nurse!

The book was an honest and a heartfelt memoir from Pam. There are a few points that I wish to share: Pam remembers meeting up with a man, when he was in his twenties, who she had looked after as a child. He recalled ‘You used […]