Professional and picture book reviews

Richard Willis, visiting professor at the University of South Wales, reviews a book about technology in early childhood education. Meg Barclay, educational consultant and early years reviewer for the School Library Association, reviews seasonal picture books which introduce children to winter and Christmas, as well as how to cope with and understand anxiety in an age appropriate way.

Editorial: A time to reflect

It hardly seems possible to be already writing this editorial for the final edition of 2023! It's been such an exciting year for me, joining EYE, and a year of many developments for the sector too. As the year draws to a close it's a good time to consider what our sector has experienced over the last few months and what we would like to see for next year.

A manifesto for real change

2023 has been a year in which early years settings have had to cope with extraordinary amounts of change and development, on top of the wider pressures society is dealing with from the cost of living crisis and the legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the year draws to a close, we ask key voices in the early years space what they would like to see in an Early Years Manifesto which would set the direction of the sector from next year; their hopes and aims for the sector, and what they think would...

FOCUS From Minecraft to minefield: Navigating technology use in early years education

Susan Borland, associate lecturer and ULT, Graham Bell senior lecturer and Philippa Thompson, principal lecturer from Sheffield Hallam University explore the multiple dilemmas for early years practitioners in the digital age. While screen time continues to be a cause for concern for many, there can also be many benefits for creative exploration. How do we find a balance?

FUNDING: Helping parents navigate the funding changes coming in 2024

The Government's announcement earlier this year of changes to the funding for early years education and care has been widely reported. However, with more complexity coming into the system next year, supporting parents to navigate the new funding entitlements can be challenging. To help settings understand the changes, Louise Jackson, Educational Content writer for Blossom Educational, outlines what funding will be available in 2024 and how to support parents from their initial application...

Dental health: Why we need to look after baby teeth

A recent survey by the National Dental Epidemiology Programme revealed that almost a quarter of five-year-old children in England have experienced tooth decay, and that there is a link between these problems and deprivation. Dr Linda Greenwall, founder of Dental Wellness Trust - a charity promoting children's oral health through education and intervention programmes, outlines why good dental health is so important in early years and how settings can support children and families to look after...

Remembering the forgotten: How can we help looked-after children's social and emotional development in the early years?

The development of looked-after children (LAC) is greatly ignored in early years research, with few interventions designed specifically to tackle the issues that may arise as a result of becoming a LAC. In the final instalment of this three-part series, Emma Gillespie, early years educator, discusses the importance of understanding the factors that may contribute to poorer social and emotional development for LAC than their peers. She hopes that greater understanding will enable practitioners to...

Sector update: Exploring the Institute of Fiscal Studies report on sector funding

In September 2023, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published a report analysing the changes in early years spending over the past 25 years. The report also looks ahead to the implications of the major reforms to early years entitlement funding which were announced in the last Budget. Sue Cowley examines the details and considers what the changes mean for settings.

How artificial intelligence could shape early years education

As technology continues to play an increasing role in our lives the development of artificial intelligence (AI) is leading to new opportunities for the education sector. Dr John Siraj-Blatchford, independent early years educational researcher and consultant, discusses some of the issues around AI as well as the potential benefits for early childhood education.

Speech and language: Supporting children with speech and language needs in early years

A new report in September from the charity Speech and Language UK found that 1.9 million children – at least one in five - are behind with talking and understanding words. Chief executive Jane Harris explores the report's implications for the early years sector and Amy Loxley, Lead Speech and Language advisor for the charity, shares how settings can help under-fives develop their language skills.

Covid-19 pandemic: Supporting children born during the Covid-19 pandemic now coming into early years settings

Children who were born during the pandemic are now at an age where most of them will be entering early years education. However there have been many reports about the unique needs and experiences of this cohort, due to the effect of the lockdowns in the earliest months and years of their lives. Chloe Webster, early years practitioner and writer, explores these and discusses ways practitioners can provide additional support to children who were born during the pandemic.

Editorial: Prioritising well-being

Well-being is the focus for this month's edition of EYE, which is increasingly coming to the fore as something early years settings need to prioritise. Lucy Lewin, founder and CEO of The Profitable Nursery Academy, discusses how to create an environment which fosters holistic well-being for both children and staff.

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