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QuILT: Covering every aspect of quality

Judith Twani, independent early years consultant, trainer and early education improvement officer for Thurrock Council, explains how a modular quality assurance and improvement scheme is proving both versatile and enduring for a range of settings

Management round table: implementing a smoking ban

Manager's dilemma:'I would very much like to ban smoking from my nursery but as quite a large percentage of our staff are smokers I am not sure where to start. I understand that it is legal to request that no-one smokes on the premises but I am worried about enforcing this, and the ill-will it might cause.'

To the point - How flexible can we be?

The Daycare Trust report, 'Open All Hours? Flexible childcare in the 24/7 era', published last week (News, 24 March), found that parents struggle to find childcare at weekends, evenings and overnight.

In My View - Once in a lullaby

There is something truly wonderful about the fact that children and carers today still love to sing 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'. The first written version of this song appeared in a book of nursery rhymes back in 1744. That makes it a very old sheep indeed. In a world where huge technological changes are occurring on an almost daily basis, it's comforting to know that some things last.

In my view - Centres work on work

Parents on benefits have to be actively seeking work when their children turn seven; next year it goes down to five. I run a programme that helps parents find work, and many say they are not ready for employment at this point. Some believe their children are too young; most, however, are not confident in their abilities, their skills or their chances of finding a job in the current labour market.

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