Network Whispers - Perils of electronic toys, PVI insults, therapy dogs

Nursery World and National Day Nurseries Association join forces for a behind-the-scenes column

WATCH OUT New electronic toys are being used to record video and speech and take photos in settings. ‘Today one of our children arrived with a VTech watch on (aged three),’ a practitioner told Nursery World.

‘We had assumed it was a digital watch like the ones us dinosaurs had in the 80s. However this little girl showed us a video she had taken of her best friend in the pre-school room.’

Whispers would like to hear of anyone else who has realised that parents are giving children technology that contravenes a setting’s safeguarding procedures.

CLASS DISMISSED A petition put out by School Cuts on underfunding for nursery schools said they are required to hire ‘better qualified staff’ and ‘take on care for children with disabilities and special educational needs.’

According to NDNA the numbers of children with SEND attending PVI nurseries has risen by over 54 per cent in the last five years. After an outcry from practitioners, the wording now reads: ‘Nursery schools are required to hire teachers with qualified teacher status (QTS) and thereby incur higher costs than other providers.’

Some PVI providers have refused to sign it. ‘I thought we were all in this together?’ said one.

TOP DOG! Nurseries in Carlisle have decided to club together and raise £5,000 to pay for a puppy to be trained as an ‘assistance dog’ to help support children with autism or disabilities.

Working with charity Dogs for Good, the NDNA Carlisle network are now getting their heads together to come up with fundraising events to hit their target – and a name for the pup.

One nursery manager said, ‘£5,000 means that we can name the puppy, receive information about its progress and actually meet it!’

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