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Mary Dickins is an early years consultant (All Together Consultancy/London Met. University)

Tuning in to children's imaginative play will encourage language development, says Anne O'Connor.

Confidence may follow from practitioners giving special attention to the children in a setting who rarely speak up for themselves. Michael Jones explains one approach.

In the absence of governmental criteria for nursery meals, Mary Whiting recommends checking out the Caroline Walker Trust, which has a wealth of good advice and resources on eating well for under-fives.

Eye infections in children are common and usually resolve with simple measures. Nevertheless, there are less common conditions that without treatment can have serious consequences.

The ways infants learn to make speech and understand languge give fascinating insights into brain function, says Annette Karmiloff-Smith.

There is 'overwhelming' support among most early years practitioners for the EYFS framework, new research by the Institute of Education suggests.

Collections of natural objects offer children rich sensory experiences and are a great way to nourish their brains, says Anne O'Connor.

Early years practitioners can do a lot to challenge gender stereotypes and avoid limiting the choices for both girls and boys, says Phoebe Doyle.

'Doctor, my son has awful nappy rash! It is red raw and he screams every time I clean him. I just can't get rid of it, I feel like a terrible mother!'