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 […]
“Children are the most powerful source for a better world” Martha Llanos
It’s great that the government commissioned Cathy Nutbrown (click to view review) Foundations for Quality to review early years qualifications and that they have now set up a Childcare Commission to look at costs involved. However I feel that the government need to consult with a wide range of early years/childcare/education providers, specialists and parents.
The cost of childcare has always been a catch 22 situation, as quality childcare is expensive and parents want to pay less. As a single parent, who used childcare previously, I found that childcare costs made a huge dent in my monthly outgoings but felt that this was a sacrifice worth paying for.
I work with providers across the UK and know that financial investment in early years makes a considerable impact on children’s outcomes. The cliché ‘quality childcare costs’ is not […]
I am delighted to have Ruth Phillips Ferrier as my guest blogger. Ruth is the Co-ordinator of the Roving Caregivers Programme, St. Lucia. Here Ruth gives an overview of their outreach project which is very similar to the UK’s Outreach Sure Start programme.
ROVING CAREGIVERS PROGRAMME (RCP)
Saint Lucia Chapter
The Roving Caregivers Programme (RCP) is an informal early childhood development initiative that seeks to reach children from birth to three years of age who do not have access to any formal early childhood development programme. The RCP aims to strengthen the care environment for these children through the provision of early stimulation educational sessions for children and their parents. The RCP addresses the developmental needs of the very young in disadvantaged conditions so that children can benefit from quality care and attention, development of basic skills, better health and nutrition and at the next level, better performance in pre-school and future education.
The RCP […]
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 […]
…We all know it, but it’s a brave (or stupid) person that takes on an issue like this with a team of 230+ – of which probably a good 15% are smokers!
Over the years, Kids Allowed has tried all sorts to reduce the impact of smoking on children and non smoking colleagues.
When we first opened, 8 years ago, we had a team garden for all colleagues and this doubled up as a smoking area for colleagues.
Colleagues who had had a cig on their break had to spray perfume and use a mouth wash / spray to try and disguise the smell, but we all know this is totally ineffective.
We moved to colleagues, in addition to the above, having to put on a jacket so that the smoke did not make their clothes smell – a little better but still not good enough.
We then moved to a total change of clothes – this helped somewhat but […]
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 […]
It’s time to step up our game: Promoting ‘Baby Love’
Guest Blogger: Catherine Rushforth: National Consultant and trainer in Safeguarding and Child Protection.
It is an exciting time in the early years’ sector. Key publications, point to us as those who will be instrumental in making the shift into new ways of working possible. Central to this change is way that we :
– recognise strong emotional attachment between very young children and their parents
– intervene early where we see that this attachment is shaky, perhaps inconsistent or appears to be missing completely.
In this blog I will run through why a strong attachment is so essential for children’s development, outline our professional role in assisting parents to build on this key relationship and make a call for all early years’ practitioners to upgrade their practice in this vitally important area.
We know from rapid development in neuroscience that a baby’s brain development is directly effected by the quality of […]
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 […]