Theory: From strong roots

Drawing on key early years theorists Kathryn Solly outlines a thoughtful comparison between trees and children. She emphasises the importance of effective observation to ensure they receive the encouragement and nourishment they need to grow strong and prosper.

News analysis: Play to their strengths

Rather than prioritising on ‘perceived deficits’, a ‘strengths-based’ approach to learning and development needs to be kept in focus as children begin returning to school and nursery, says Sue Allingham.

Policy: Testing times

Early years sector organisations have campaigned hard for providers to have access to Covid home testing to give them parity with maintained settings. While the Government has now promised to deliver this by 22 March – the next battle is to ensure that childminders are included in the frame.

Inspection: Keep up the good work

With lockdown restrictions beginning to ease and the promise of more positive times ahead, early years providers must continue to prioritise children's safety until routine inspections resume.

Early Years Teacher Diary: Keeping the buzz

In the first of a new series, Emily Francis reviews her working month and shares her latest ‘to do’ list. Planning for children's return to school means thinking about how they can be supported to settle in.

Sustainable education: According to plan

Find out how a pre-school in an area of disadvantage has embedded a sustainable ethos which is giving children the knowledge and confidence to become eco-citizens of the future.

Research: Shared experience

Kay Heslop outlines how the implementation of a ‘Research Circle’ created a dynamic space for practitioner research into intergenerational practice in an urban forest school.

Training: All within grasp

Understanding how physical development links to children's readiness for school is a priority for trainees on the EYITT programme. Sian Marsh describes how one trainee is using the Movement Environment Rating Scale to support colleagues to develop children's fine and gross motor skills.

Opinion: Seeing yourself on the page

Diversity in children's books has improved but still has a long way to go. The under-representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic characters means that many young readers struggle to connect with story lines.

Business: Plot your route to success

Creating a business plan that navigates change and supports sustainability is vital for providers in the current climate. James Hempsall explains how a new business tool can identify new opportunities.

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