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News & Analysis
Early years education and childcare news, analysis & comment, including government policy, child health and development, EYFS and nursery business news.

Comment
Expert advice and commentary on early years education and childcare from the Nursery World team and columnists including Nick Pearce, Nancy Stewart and James Hempsall.

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A list of RSS news feeds that deliver the latest childcare and early years education headlines, practice articles and activities straight to your inbox

Community Noticeboard
See what nurseries, childminders, children's centres and schools around the country have been up to

   

Big Issues

Big Issues
Nursery World Big Issues give you a quick, easy way to find articles on important topics. New articles are added regularly to many of the sections, so do check back if you are following a particular issue.

Free early education for disadvantaged two-year-olds
Twenty per cent of two-year-olds will become eligible for an early education place from September 2013, rising to 40 per cent in 2014-15. Follow the progress of the Government's programme.

Childcare costs
Politicians, think-tanks, parents and those in the early years sector all want their say about the cost of childcare and how it can be made more affordable. As the Childcare Commission prepares to release its recommendations about cutting costs to parents, follow the story here.

Free schools
The free school programme has proved to be controversial. Will it add parental choice or disadvantage existing schools? Follow the Government's plan to establish free schools around the country

Review of the Early Years Foundation Stage
News, views and advice as the Government reviews the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Men in Childcare
All the latest news and views on moves to attract more men to working with young children. Will fresh initiatives to increase the proportion of males in childcare have a significant effect?

Synthetic Phonics
Read the views of fans and critics of synthetic phonics as the Government insists on its rigorous use for teaching young children to read.

Fathers
News, tips and guidance on working with fathers, covering everything from paternity leave to ways to encourage Dads to join in at nursery.

Cuts to Sure Start Children's Centres
As local authorities struggle to deal with budget cuts, children's centres around the country are at risk of closure.

Children's Speech & Language Delays
What are the problems and what action is being taken to solve them?

Nursery Food
After sustained campaigning about nursery food, the Government has launched a major review. Follow its progress here.

More great childcare reforms
The Government has made far-reaching proposals for reform in its 'More Great Childcare' report. Find detailed analysis of the plans and the sector's reaction

Nutbrown Review
Professor Cathy Nutbrown is leading the independent review of early education and childcare qualifications for the Department for Education. What will this mean for the early years workforce?

Vanessa George nursery abuse case
What should nurseries and practitioners be doing to protect children from paedophiles? We look at the issues surrounding the Vanessa George abuse case.

Practice

Practice
Nursery World's Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Centre contains a wealth of ideas, advice and information for working with birth to five-year-olds under the EYFS framework, all linking into the four themes - A Unique Child, Positive Relationships, Enabling Environments and Learning and Development.

A Unique Child
All aspects of the EYFS theme A Unique Child, covering inclusion, child health, nutrition, safeguarding in the EYFS and other topics.

Enabling Environments
All aspects of the Enabling Environments EYFS theme, including provision for birth to threes and three to fives, outdoor play and learning, and equipment and resources. Regular features include Let's Explore… and Collections.

Learning and Development
The Learning & Development theme of the EYFS, including child development, Prime and Specific Areas of Learning and activities. Regular case studies showcase best practice from early years settings

Positive Relationships
All aspects of the Positive Relationships theme of the EYFS, including child behaviour, attachment, the key person system, staff relationships, and working with parents. Regular features include Behaviour and Parent's Guides

Observation, Assessment and Planning
Articles and guides to all aspects of the Observation, Assessment & Planning strand of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.

Behaviour
Expert advice on the most frequent behaviour challenges faced by early years practitioners working with young children

Recipes
Early years settings share their favourite recipes for nursery mealtimes

Equipment & Books
Reviews, roundups and advice on how to choose nursery equipment and resources.

Children's Books
Nursery World reviews the pick of the new books for young children.

Practice Guides

Practice Guides
Nursery World's acclaimed guides to practice in early years education and childcare, covering the EYFS themes of A Unique Child, Enabling Environments, Positive Relationships and Learning & Development.

Learning & development

Prime Areas of the EYFS
Expert advice on the new Prime Areas of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage - Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, and Communication and Language. Focus on three to fives and under-threes.

Specific Areas of the EYFS
Leading experts on the new Specific Areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage - Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, and Expressive Arts and Design - and how to achieve best practice.

How Children Learn
In a three-part series, Jan Dubiel considers the meaning of the characteristics of effective teaching and learning - Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creativity and Critical Thinking - highlighted in the revised EYFS.

Practitioner Role
A four-part series by Julie Fisher, with advice for practitioners on better understanding their role in supporting early learning and identifying what helps interaction with young children.

School Readiness
The phrase 'school readiness' is taking a high profile in Government reports and policy, but what does it mean, and how should early years practitioners respond? David Whitebread and Sue Bingham look at perspectives that can inform planning for children's learning.

Your Guide to The Revised EYFS
Ann Langston examines the proposed changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage, giving an overview of progress so far and focusing on observation, assessment and planning.

Supporting Boys
Advice, information and ideas for supporting boys to become confident and competent learners.

Physical Development
Freedom of movement is essential for children's developing minds and emotions as well as their bodies. Anne O'Connor and Anna Daly give expert advice on physical development.

Transitions
A three-part guide to supporting children to make a successful transition from the Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage 1, by Julie Fisher.

The Developing Brain
How babies learn, both in the womb and after they are born, by one of the UK's most eminent experts in infant cognitive development, Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith.

Schemas
Practitioners from Pen Green Nursery, Corby, share their observations of different children and the schemas that they are exploring.

Young Children Thinking
A guide to understanding how young children think and how best to support their developing skills, by Marion Dowling.

Observation, Assessment and Planning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
An eight-part guide to one of the most challenging aspects of the EYFS framework, by renowned early years consultant Helen Bromley. The pack includes further reading suggestions and discussion points. Themes include enabling environments, planning for achievement, observation, listening to children, record-keeping and reporting and describing progress.

Child Development
A 10-part guide to child development in the early years, covering language, communication, awareness, behaviour, memory, relationships, the brain and physical and emotional development.

Communication
A six-part series by Helen Moylett on how to promote communication skills in babies and young children, with an overview of the essentials of good early years practice and a focus on particular themes including bilingualism and working with parents.

Early Years Pioneers
Nursery World's series on the early years pioneers that have shaped current practice, including Piaget, Froebel and Margaret McMillan - an essential resource for students and practitioners alike.         

Enabling environments    

Collections
This series aims to help practitioners be more responsive to children's interests and reflect on how thoughtful resourcing can truly broaden and progress their learning. It sets out what to include in a core collection for everyday use, and gives examples of how to build up resources that support children's interests and special play opportunities.

Treasure Baskets and Heuristic Play
Elinor Goldschmied developed treasure baskets for babies who can sit up and the heuristic play approach for toddlers.Her practical ideas are still helping early years practitioners and parents to provide the rich and nurturing environment that babies and young children need if they are to thrive mentally, emotionally and physically.

Outdoor Provision & Play
Ideas, support and information for best practice in outdoor provision and play in the Early Years Foundation Stage. With a wealth of articles on all aspects of the outdoors, including forest schools, gardening and the best early years resources for your setting. An invaluable guide to this vital area of early years practice.

Around the Nursery
What is 'continuous provision', why is it so important and how does it fit into Early Years Foundation Stage practice? A guide to what practitioners need to be providing on a daily basis in every area of the early years setting to ensure they are offering a truly 'enabling environment'.

Continuous Provision
What is meant by continuous provision, and what does it require of early years practitioners? Anne O'Connor explains the key elements in this four-part series.     

A Unique Child    

Inclusive Practice
Your guide to being a fully inclusive setting. A four-part series based on the themes and principles underpinning the Early Years Foundation Stage

Gender
What influences gender differences in the early years, and how can we ensure that gender stereotyping does not limit opportunities for boys or girls?

A to Z of Inclusive Practice
A guide to all aspects of inclusive practice from early years consultant Mary Dickins.

Equality & Diversity
An eight-part guide for early years practitioners on successfully implementing anti-bias practice and supporting young children to value equality and diversity, by Anne O'Connor.

Well-being
A four-part series in which Marion Dowling explores aspects of children's personal development that enable them to grow up and lead happy and satisfying lives

Practice In Pictures
Observation and assessment of young children is the starting point for supporting their individual needs and development. Anne O'Connor shows how, with the help of stills from Siren Films' video series.

A Doctor's Diary
Dr Raj Thakkar offers expert medical advice for nursery practitioners on a range of common childhood illnesses and conditions

Positive Relationships    

Challenging Behaviour
A series on how to support children who cannot stay in control - the ultimate challenge for practitioners. By Pat Gordon-Smith

Attachment
An understanding of attachment is central to delivering the Positive relationships strand of the Early Years Foundation Stage. A five-part series by early years consultant Anne O'Connor.

Key People
A guide to the concept and practice of the now mandatory key person in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

A Parent's Guide To…
Nursery World's popular series of guides for parents, to everything from tantrums to sleep to tooth brushing.


Curriculum & Activities

Activities
A huge stock of ideas for best practice and activities across the Prime Areas of Learning - Personal, Social & Emotional Development, Communication & Language, and Physical Development; and the Specific Areas of Learning -  Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; and Expressive Arts & Design. Includes our Let's Explore... series, plus great ideas for birth to threes for sensory play, messy play, music and rhymes.

Music & Rhymes
Great ideas for using music, rhymes and poetry for learning and development in early years settings.

Under 3s Activities
Simple ideas for activities with children under three, using everyday resources to engage all the senses.

Mini Topics
From bubble wrap to paper plates - fascinating activities based on commonly available resources and popular themes.

Music
A four-part series on introducing music into the everyday practice of early years settings, with advice and ideas from members of MERYC UK (Music Educators and Researchers of Young Children).

Let's Explore
Activities inspired by popular early years themes, from Nursery World's Let's Explore series.

Art in the Early Years
Best practice in helping young children to develop their creativity.

Visits and Visitors
A guide to best practice in organising group visits with early years children, by foundation stage teacher Tessa Fenoughty.

Mathematics in the EYFS
An 11-part series on helping children to begin exploring numbers, shapes, measurement and other mathematical ideas, by Sheila Ebbutt and Carole Skinner.

Science in the Early Years
Force, friction, electricity, sound, light and many other things are explored in Linda Thornton and Pat Brunton's series on early years science.

Management

Management
News, advice and information about managing nurseries, children's centres and other settings.

Inspections
Nursery World's guides to preparing for and shining in Ofsted inspections.

Books For Professionals
Nursery World reviews the pick of the new books for nursery & childcare professionals and their managers.

Legislation

Legislation
Legislation and regulation of the nursery, childcare & early years education sector, including Nursery World's tracker of current consultations and legislation in progress as well as policy guides to the most important laws affecting the sector.

Policy Guides
Handy guides to the most important policies and legislation affecting the early years and childcare sector

Management Guides

Management Guides
Nursery World's guides to managing early years education and childcare settings, written by early years experts.

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements
A four-part series on the key areas of change for safeguarding and welfare requirements under the revised EYFS, including risk assessment, child protection and suitable people.

Supervision
Why supervision is such an important focus of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage and what it means for early years settings. Karen John of Pen Green Research Base provides expert advice.

Take Twos
James Hempsall examines how settings can meet the challenges in the expansion of the free entitlement to disadvantaged two-year-olds, and shares examples of excellent practice.

EYFS Training
Advice and information about training the nursery team on all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

HR Update
Your staff are your most important asset. Jacqui Mann of HR4Nurseries explains the latest employment best practice and legislation

Achieving Outstanding
We showcase the excellent practice of early years settings that have earned the top grade in their Ofsted inspection.

Business Development
See how a range of childcare providers are growing their businesses and expanding their services.

Ofsted's new inspection framework
Laura Henry provides expert guidance on the new Ofsted early years framework, taking you through each stage of making sure that you achieve the best grade possible in your inspection

Self-evaluation for Early Years Leaders
How nursery leaders and managers developed their self-evaluation skills to improve their settings' practice.

Careers & Training

Careers & Training
Information about the workplace, pay and conditions, training, qualifications and how to start and build a career in work with babies and young children.

Students' Zone
Information and study material for early years education and childcare students.

Early Years & Childcare Job Roles
Fancy a new career direction? Find out what it takes to work in a range of early years jobs, with advice from Anne Hayes on skills, qualifications and training.

EYFS Training
Advice and information about training the nursery team on all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Early Years Professional Status
The latest news, views and case studies on Early Years Professional Status.

The Level 3 Diploma for the Children & Young People's Workforce
A module by module guide to tackling the Level 3 Diploma for the Children & Young People's Workforce.

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Supplements

Nursery Management
Nursery World's twice yearly supplement for managers of childcare settings, covering the latest issues from finance to staff retention to the Early Years Single Funding Formula.

Nursery Equipment
Nursery World's annual Nursery Equipment special report looks at the latest in resouces to promote enabling environments.

Nursery Chains
The UK's top private sector childcare providers ranked in Nursery World's special report, plus analysis of how the top nursery chains are coping with the recession.