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 […]
It is an honour to have Kathy Brodie as my final guest post of 2012.
Kathy is an early years trainer and consultant and a lecturer in Early Years at Stockport College. She also undertakes coaching and mentoring, for practitioners with the Early Years Professional Status(EYPS).
Kathy has had articles in many publications as well as a chapter on Personal, Social and Emotional Development in ‘Early Years for Levels 4 & 5 and the Foundation Degree’ edited by Dr. Francisca Veale (Jan 2013: Hodder Education). Her book ‘Observation, Assessment and Planning: Bringing it All Together’ will be published in May 2013 by Open University Press.
“Many people with EYPS are currently worried about the future of status and the impact this will have on their personal and professional development. This is in response to the Nutbrown review which has put forward the suggestion of an early years teaching qualification replacing the EYPS (Nutbrown, 2012:8).
However, even though there […]
I’m so happy to have my friend and colleague, Diana Suskind, guest blogging for me. Diana is an international early childhood consultant and artist who brings her creative spirit to support children with their personal, emotional and social development.
Diana has shared her passion working overseas with colleagues and children, teaching for many years as an associate professor at Fitchburg State University, Boston, Massuchusetts, United States of America.
“This is me and my mom and we are a family and both have a heart” stonework logo
“I guess we can’t be a little rock but rocks, especially stones, can inspire us to play with them for they are simply a natural resource. They do appeal to children and adults alike in any country or culture. No two stones are the same. They have their own shape, their own weight, color and markings. They are one of a kind just like each of us. Different stones, […]
I am launching a new initiative #EYTalking, via Twitter. In short, every Tuesday evening between 8:00pm and 9:00pm we will share national and international news, stories, research, blogs, documents and guidance via Twitter, using the hash tag #EYTalking. If you are a nursery, pre-school, day-care, childminder, out-of school club, nanny, school or you provide a service as a trainer, consultant, publication, organisation, company, college or university with an interest in early years and childcare then this is for you. Also, parents and carers who have an interest in early years will also find #EYTalking on a Tuesday evening the perfect opportunity to connect. There is a wealth of information out there which can be obtained from many sources, I often hear colleagues saying ‘I never have the time to navigate my way around websites and read threads on forums, etc’ or ‘Ooh, I missed that Tweet!’ With #EYTalking once a week, you will have the […]
“Truly great leaders spend as much time collecting and acting upon feedback as they do providing it” Alexander Lucia
As of late I have been very busy delivering supervision training in line with the revised safeguarding and welfare requirements of the EYFS.
One issue that comes up time and time again, irrespective of whether the delegate is a manager or owner, is that they receive no supervision or have a one-to-one with anyone. This is the same whether their setting is in the private, voluntary, independent or maintained sector.
This worries me slightly, as I believe that this should be in place for many different reasons: to discuss leadership and management issues, to focus on their own personal and professional development and, more importantly, to discuss how they support staff to make a difference to children’s learning and development.
Over the years I have coached, mentored and carried out supervision with managers and owners, with a focus on […]
I am very excited to have Sue Gascoyne as my guest blogger. I whole heartedly promote sensory play and multi-sensory learning within early years and education as I believe sensory play impacts positively on children’s learning and development.
Sue Gascoyne is an educational consultant, early years researcher, trainer and author. She runs workshops and speaks nationally and internationally, drawing upon the research which she has instigated to further understanding of the benefits of sensory-rich object play. This is also reflected in her award winning training – Sue was named Nursery World’s ‘Trainer of the Year’ in 2009 for her contribution to the early years sector. Her accomplished books, Sensory Play, 2011 (Practical Pre-School) and Treasure Baskets and Beyond – Realising the benefits of sensory rich play, 2012 (Open University Press) successfully convey both the theory and practical application of sensory play. Sue is the founder of Play to Z Ltd, specialist providers of award-winning sensory […]
As we continue to develop and enhance our practice, in line with the revised EYFS, it is an honour to have Elizabeth Jarman as my guest blogger.
Elizabeth is an internationally recognised education professional who specialises in creating optimum conditions for learning. She is an award winning author. Her work is widely respected and professionally challenges the way that learning environments for children and families are considered.
“When reviewing your environment and the way that it supports your underpinning pedagogy1, pay attention to your children’s stages of development. Create developmentally appropriate spaces that acknowledge where they are at. Here are some ideas to inspire your thinking and help you to audit your context. Consider:
Spaces for one: Children can be egocentric and can’t cope with sharing at first. There are times when even the most mature child needs space and time alone.
Make it OK to be by yourself; a space where adults won’t fit, giving […]
It is a pleasure to have James Hempsall as my guest blogger. James has been the Director of Hempsall’s since 1999, leading a team of 25 trainers, researchers, development officers and consultants in early years, childcare and children’s centres. He has worked with over 100 local authorities supporting them to implement all aspects of government childcare policy at strategic and operational levels.
James writes ”There’s big things happening around two year olds. The government has signalled their importance by allocating significant new funding to the roll out of thousands of new places. At a time when new money is scarce, it is incredible that all roads lead to two year olds and their early education. It is an economic, social mobility, early intervention, poverty and achievement agenda. And one which retains the potential to support families to make sound economic choices, learn and achieve, and close the gap between the least advantaged children and their peers.
I am delighted to have Kierna Corr as my guest blogger. Kierna is the nursery class teacher at Windmill Integrated Primary in Dungannon, Northern Ireland. She is also the Northern Ireland Representative for the World Forum in Early Care and Play. Kierna has been teaching nursery for over 12 years and she is passionate about outdoor learning and the impact that this has on children’s learning and development. She has formed positive links with kindergartens in Norway and Sweden through the British Council’s Comenius Programme. She has adopted a unique approach to outdoor play. Kierna’s class go outside every day, no matter what the weather, as the school provides appropriate outdoor clothing.
Kierna tell us that “June 29th is International Mud Day; this is the second year of this world wide event. The original event came about as a way for some orphans in Nepal to connect with nature and when this story was shared […]