So we come to the end of 2007 - another packed 12 months for the early years and childcare sector. It's always interesting to look back at the stories Nursery World has covered and to be amazed at just how much has happened.
The Early Years Foundation Stage has obviously been a major theme of 2007, with the revised framework released in January, the final pack distributed in spring, training rolling out, and then the backlash of the Open Eye campaign against the EYFS springing up at the tail end.
The first half of the year saw pondering about what the Comprehensive Spending Review would contain; the second half was spent dissecting just what that £4bn could do. Money remained at issue for those taking the Nursery Education Grant, with the row over funding continuing all year despite the Government saying a fairer formula would be forthcoming in a few years' time. The dispute looks set to continue next year.
Childcare's mixed economy was much discussed; Helen Penn and Eva Lloyd set up an institute to study its effects. Among the nursery chains, the biggest stir was caused by Australian giant ABC Learning Centres, which snapped up Busy Bees at the turn of the year and then added troubled Leapfrog to take the UK number one spot in August.
2007 was also notable for ongoing national debate about some fundamentally important issues - child poverty; children's happiness and well-being and the UK's poor performance in this regard - resulting in the newly-released Children's Plan (see Analysis, pages 10-11). These concerns must be kept firmly on the agenda.