* Two specialists in the education of children aged four to 11 have joined the Institute of Education's School of Early Childhood and Primary Education. Roger Beard from the University of Leeds will become chair of primary education. Andrew Pollard, professor of education at the University of Cambridge, has also been appointed to a chair in the School.
* The Jancett Group of day nurseries has been awarded the Investors in Excellence standard in a ceremony at the House of Commons. The standard is designed to bring improvement in all areas of an organisation, including leadership, processes, people and customer results. The Jancett Group owns five nurseries based in Surrey.
* Playgroup leader Rhiannon Fagan from Ceredigion in Wales has been named Lifelong Learner of the Year in the Modern Apprentice of the Year awards, organised by Education and Learning Wales. Ms Fagan left school with no qualifications and was concerned about completing her NVQ 3 in early years care and education. She said, 'I am dyslexic and exam-phobic. However, with help and support I realised I could do it.'
* Susan Gorman, manager of the Teddy Bear Club Nursery in Dundee, has won an award from the Women Ahead Business Network. The award was presented for outstanding achievement and excellence in her management of the nursery.
* Five childcare providers in London have completed a 'Celebrating Quality'
quality assurance scheme organised by Westminster City Council and the London Borough of Camden. They are: Ready Steady Go nursery, Primrose Hill; Ready Steady Go, King Henry's Road; Ready Steady Go, St John's Wood; WCS Marsham Street Community Childcare Centre; and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Day Nursery.
* Childcare expert Tracy Hogg, dubbed 'The Baby Whisperer' by a Hollywood executive, has died of cancer aged 44. According to her website, the British-born paediatric nurse 'cultivated an uncanny ability to understand what babies need by listening to their cries and tuning in to their body language'. Famous clients whose children she cared for included Cindy Crawford, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael J Fox and Calista Flockhart.