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Big Issues

Ofsted Education Inspection Framework

Ofsted's new inspection framework for early years, schools and colleges comes into force in September 2019.

Closing the Gap

The latest news, features and views on closing the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children and the literacy gap.

Child Poverty

Figures suggest the number of children currently living in poverty in the UK is growing. We look at the reasons behind this, its impact on children and their families and explore what can be done.

Intergenerational Care

The co-location of nurseries and care homes is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. We look at the thinking behind intergenerational care, the latest developments and examples of best practice.


The latest news and features on apprenticeships, including the sector's first-ever Early years Educator apprenticeship standard, at Level 3.

Reception Baseline

The latest news and views on the Government's controversial decision to introduce the Reception baseline. Due to become law in September 2020, following a trial and a pilot in 2019, our coverage includes pros and cons from both sides of the debate.

Tax-Free Childcare

The Government's Tax-Free Childcare scheme was launched in April 2017 and allows working parents to claim back £2,000 a year on childcare costs. Follow the progress of the scheme.


The Education and Childcare T-Level is one of the first of three T-levels coming in from 2020. The new two-year vocational college-based course will be equivalent to three A-Levels.

Mental Health & Well-Being

A look at how mental health and well-being affects early years practitioners and young children.

Maintained Nursery Schools

Local authority maintained nursery schools' fight for survival amid underfunding and council cuts.

Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

The topic of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in the early years, including the Code of Practice, legislation, support and funding.

30 Hours Free Childcare

From September 2017, working parents of three- and four-year-olds have been eligible for 30 hours of free childcare. Follow the progress of the Government's flagship policy as it develops.

Level 3 Early Years Educator

We take a look at the latest on the Level 3 qualification, including apprenticeships, recruitment and the Government's consultation on the GCSE rules.

Child Obesity

With childhood obesity on the rise, we look at the research behind the headlines, what can be done to reverse the trend and the Government's obesity strategy.

Childminder Agencies

Launched in September 2014, we look at the thinking behind the introduction of childminder agencies and how they have progressed.

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 on how childcare can be made more affordable. Follow the story here as the Childcare Commission prepares to release its recommendations.

Children's Speech & Language

What are the problems and what action is being taken to solve them?

Free Schools & Academies

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.


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.

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.


Management Guides

EYFS Training 2019

How do practitioners need to improve their skills to meet the requirements of the EYFS? In an update to our highly popular series on this topic, Charlotte Goddard revisits the issue now the EYFS is established and in light of new developments such as the new inspection framework

Managing Equality & Diversity

How do good managers address inclusion? What are the legal frameworks they need to be aware of? Framed around the protected characteristics under the Equality Act, Gabriella Jozwiak provides this comprehensive guide.


Recruitment is a major issue for many nurseries. In this series, Charlotte Goddard pulls together the sector's most creative approaches to tackling the problem - from attracting staff at all levels and ages to more men, minorities and staff from abroad.


What are the current challenges in social care, and how does this impact on the early years practitioner? What about recent reforms? Safeguarding expert Rachel Buckler provides this guide to safeguarding in the current climate.

Inspecting Ofsted Reports

What can be discovered from a systematic analysis of Ofsted reports? Pennie Akehurst, former head of the early years and childcare service at Derbyshire County Council, pulls out the key themes from thousands of inspections in this invaluable guide.

Children & Social Work Act

Your guide to this legislation which gained royal assent in 2017 and covers changes to local safeguarding and the social work profession, relationships education, and the concept of corporate parenting.

Managing SEND

What do setting leaders need to know when it comes to SEND? This guide covers funding, navigating the local offer, training, legal framework, complex needs and managing parents.

Universal Credit

What is Universal Credit, and how does it work? How does it affect settings, families, and does it need to be reformed? This comprehensive six-part guide by David Finch of the Resolution Foundation gives the lowdown on this new benefit.

Workforce Strategy

The Government’s long-awaited workforce strategy is about a lot more than just the re-acceptance of Functional Skills at level 3. In this series, Charlotte Goddard looks at each of its aspects: from level 3 and EYTs to CPD and supporting children with SEND.


What can settings gain from collaboration and how can they work more effectively together? Carla Solvason, senior lecturer at the University of Worcester, reports.

Market Outlook

Who are the movers and shakers in the early years property sector? Mark Traynor, of HRC Law, analyses the trends of 2017.

30-hour Pilots

Pilots for the Government’s 30 funded hours childcare scheme started in September 2016. Looking at each of the pilot councils in turn, what can we learn from the different approaches? Charlotte Goddard reports.

In-house Training

In a time of squeezed training budgets, knowing how to lead training that your teams actually remember and use is a vital skill. In this four-part series, Anne Oldfield and Sarah Emerson explain how this can be done.

Ofsted Inspections

Former Ofsted inspector Debbie Alcock covers everything from safeguarding to disqualifications, allegations, preparing for inspections, and understanding Ofsted terminology.


What does leadership look like in the early years? What tools are at leaders’ disposal? Academics and authors Verity Campbell-Barr and Caroline Leeson introduce the concept and discuss how to develop and share your vision with the team, and how those at the helm can reflect on their role.


Budgeting can be a headache at the best of times, but a series of legal changes to outgoings such as business rates and the minimum wage are making the job harder. Karen Faux sets out the key changes in this series, as well as how to get smart with costs.

Sustainable Settings

Created in response to readers who wanted ways to develop their sustainability credentials, this series, written by two Liverpool John Moores University academics and a practitioner, covers everything from sustainability as a form of global citizenship to energy saving techniques, funding, and the Passive House movement.

Multi-Agency Working

Sharing information and working effectively with other services is much easier in theory than in practice. In this comprehensive guide, Hannah Crown speaks to industry leaders on the key hurdles, progress on data sharing within Government, best practice, and training.

Early Years Pupil Premium

How are settings using the EYPP? Charlotte Goddard speaks to settings across the country on the key themes of transition, early language, supporting parents and attendance, as well as ICT and staff training.

Common Inspection Framework

A five-part series on Ofsted's new inspection framework which runs across early years, schools and further education colleges.

Social Media

Expert Kate Tyler guides you through creating a social presence online, starting with why you should bother to drafting a strategy, communicating with parents and digital safeguarding issues.

Early Years Teachers

A series looking at all the training options available for Early Years Teachers. By Charlotte Goddard.

Staff Retention

How can you keep your staff happy? Childbase's Sarah Rotundo gives the low down on staff engagement, retention, recruitment and rewards.

Business Models

The array of business models available to nurseries are set out in this six-part series by Hannah Crown.

Policies & Procedures

A five-part series by Laura Henry on creating and implementing the policies and procedures you need for your childcare setting.

Early Years Educator Level 3 Courses

Gabriella Jozwiak takes a look at all aspects of the Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification.

Safe & Effective Recruitment

Laura Henry gives advice on effective and safe recruitment of staff for early years settings.

Safeguarding & 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.


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: Managing The Free Entitlement

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.

Business Development

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

Inspections: Achieving Outstanding

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

Ofsted's New Inspection Framework

Lena Engel 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.

Ofsted: best practice guide

We take key areas where settings underperform in Ofsted inspections, and present models of best practice on each key area. Covering themes including monitoring and evaluation, planning for challenge, suitable people, management of staff, safeguarding and managing risk, and working with parents.




Outdoors in Winter

Creative approaches to outdoor play when it's cold, wet and windy, by Julie Mountain.

The 7Cs Approach to Early Years Outdoor Space

A four-part series by Julie Mountain, exploring the innovative 7Cs approach to outdoor space design for young children, including character, change and challenge.


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.

Treasure Baskets and Heuristic Play

Elinor Goldschmied developed treasure baskets for babies who can sit up and the heuristic play approach for toddlers. Her ideas are still helping to provide a rich and nurturing environment for babies and young children 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.

Outdoors and Active

A four-part series by Julie Mountain on the London Borough of Newham project supporting movement in two- and three-year-olds.

Essential Experiences

Penny Tassoni shows how to provide a range of experiences to support young children’s learning and development.

Outdoors in Japan

Kindergartens in Japan have some innovative approaches to outdoor provision, especially with risk-taking and resilience. Julie Mountain shares the findings from her visits.



SEND Code of Practice

Best practice under the new Special Education Needs and Disability Code of Practice is explained by Dr Kay Mathieson.

Integrated Review

Dr Kay Mathieson looks at the new Integrated Review and its implications for early years practitioners.


Nursery World’s special report on all aspects of young children’s health, from physical fitness to emotional well-being, immunisation and more.

Nursery Food

Expert advice on providing healthy food in early years settings and educating young children about eating well.

Inclusive Practice

Your guide to being a fully inclusive setting. A four-part series based on the themes and principles of the EYFS.


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, by Anne O'Connor.


A four-part series in which Marion Dowling explores aspects of children's personal development.

Practice In Pictures

Observation and assessment of young children is the starting point for supporting their individual needs. Anne O'Connor shows how.

A Doctor's Diary

Dr Raj Thakkar offers expert medical advice for nursery practitioners on a range of common childhood illnesses.

Nutrition: How to make the most of…

Tasty ways to get young children loving common foods.


Case studies of individual children with different needs and the inclusive practice of the early years settings that care for them.

Sensory Processing

Sensory experiences are vital to healthy brain development. Anne O'Connor and Dr Kath Dickinson look at common difficulties and show how to support sensory development.



Early Years in School

Nursery World’s special report on school early years provision to inspire and support learning.

Two-year-olds by Penny Tassoni

This 12-part series by Penny Tassoni, renowned early years expert, author and trainer, offers invaluable advice on all aspects of learning, development and behaviour of two-year-old children.

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.


A complete guide to supporting young children and their families accessing early learning under the funded places programme.

Music in the Early Years

Music is important in promoting young children’s cognitive development, well-being and enjoyment. Linda Pound’s series examines how music can support early learning across all areas of the curriculum.

Computational Thinking

Computational skills need to be reflected in curricula and practice, as Marc Faulder shows in this series about teaching computational thinking in the early years.

Learning from Froebel

A six-part series looking at Froebel’s continuing importance as an early years educator and thinker, which makes links between Froebel’s approach and the EYFS, and demonstrates Froebel in action at Yellow Dot Nurseries.


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.


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.


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.


Best practice articles on supporting young children who speak more than one language.

Personal, social and emotional development

A three-part series by Marion Dowling explains why PSED is the top priority for supporting children to grow and learn.

Communication & Language

A six-part series from the team at the University of Liverpool and ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD).

Starting Points – Child Development

A 12-part guide to meeting the emotional and learning needs of the unique child, by Julia Manning-Morton.


A six-part guide by Judith Dancer, exploring the different elements of EYFS maths, with practical ideas for babies, toddlers and young children.

EYFS Best Practice in Schools

A twice-termly focus on different aspects of early years best practice in schools.

Speech & Language

Penny Tassoni and Anne-Marie Tassoni answer questions about children's speech and language development at different ages and stages

Non-Verbal Communication

A five-part series on the importance of non-verbal communication with babies, young children, colleagues and parents, by Charlotte Goddard



Working with Parents

Nursery World articles on different aspects of maintaining and developing relationships with the most important people in a child’s life.

Challenging Behaviour

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


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.

Two-Year-Olds' Behaviour

Julia Manning-Morton's series on the development and behaviour of two-year-olds.

Parenting Programmes

A series on different early intervention projects to help parents support their children’s learning and behaviour.

The Adult Role

A four-part series on the adult role in supporting early learning, by early years consultant, trainer and author Julie Fisher




A four-part series on introducing music into the everyday practice of early years settings, by MERYC UK.

Let's Explore

Activities inspired by popular early years themes.

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.

Mathematics in the EYFS

An 11-part series on helping children to begin exploring mathematical ideas, by Sheila Ebbutt and Carole Skinner.

Science in the Early Years

Force, friction, electricity, sound, and light are explored by Linda Thornton and Pat Brunton.







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