Management Guides

Research nurseries

Like research schools, some nurseries use research to inform their everyday practice and train staff. From a multi-agency project co-funded by Save the Children to another which is located in the psychology department of a university, Gemma Goldenberg looks at the various models across the country. With Nicole Weinstein

Business integration

How can nursery groups best integrate new settings they have bought? This series covers communicating with staff and parents, staff conditions and training, and establishing a brand.

Management Queries

Do you have a tricky management issue to resolve? Tap into the expertise of a range of experienced nursery managers who provide a solution and approach to a different dilemma every month.


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.

Early years leadership qualifications

What early years leadership qualifications are out there? From DfE funded National Professional Qualification in Early Years Leadership to qualifications for those working in baby rooms, Charlotte Goddard reports

Market View

Arun Kanwar, managing partner at Cairneagle, on M&A activity within the early years sector.

Anti-Racist Leadership

In this four-part series, Liz Pemberton sets out how early years leaders can instil anti-racist practice

Safer Practices

A six-part series going back to basics with policies and procedures in early years settings, covering mealtimes, sleep and contagious diseases.

Qualification Levels

In a six-part series, Charlotte Goddard explores early years qualifications from Level 1 to Level 6

Staff health and wellbeing

Children won't have good health if those taking care of them are unable to be healthy and well themselves. In this ten-part series, Charlotte Goddard looks at each stage of a practitioner's life and the various factors, including inequality, intersectionality and society, which affect how healthy they are.

Childcare Counsel

The team from Morgan LaRoche Solicitors on legal issues impacting early years and childcare settings.

Business support

How can settings adapt their businesses to this new normal? This series, by the Early Years Alliance, is designed to help settings unpick key pandemic guidance, including restrictions, inspections and sources of financial support. With an FAQs section.

Social Leadership

What is social leadership, and how can it help a setting improve both internally and achieve wider social change? Mona Sakr, senior lecturer in early childhood at Middlesex University, explains

Outdoor CPD

Outdoor learning is more popular than ever, and the benefits extend not just to children but adults too. In this new series, which spans the whole of 2021, we consider everything from evidence-based CPD to practitioner confidence, parents, resourcing and action research

CPD under Development Matters

The new Development Matters guidance, which accompanies the EYFS, puts greater emphasis than ever before on understanding what effective, high quality CPD looks like. Annette Rawstrone looks at the key points, including how to pick good online training, in this two-part guide

Rebuilding your staff team

This series, written by a former Ofsted inspector post-Coronavirus lockdown, covers how to refocus on staff wellbeing and training, team development, evaluation and the challenges posed for staff on supporting the most vulnerable children.

Opportunity Areas

What can we learn from the Government's Opportunity Areas, a programme tackling disadvantage in deprived areas? Charlotte Goddard reports on the raft of early years interventions being tried and tested across the country

Leadership under the EIF

How has the new Education Inspection Framework affected leadership and management? Annette Rawstrone has this comprehensive series

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.

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.

Management scenarios

A series troubleshooting some common headaches for managers, from transitions to staff to trips. By Laura Hoyland

Market Outlook

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


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.

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.

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.


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

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.

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.

Business Models

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

HR Update

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


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.

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.

Common Inspection Framework

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

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 Development

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

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.

Policies & Procedures

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

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.

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.


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.

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.

Ofsted Inspections

Ofsted inspection covering everything from safeguarding to disqualifications, allegations, preparing for inspections, and understanding Ofsted terminology.

EYFS Training

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


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.

HR Guru

Imogen Edmunds, managing director of Redwing Solutions, talks about HR in early years settings.

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