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There are just a few days left to apply for a PhD bursary in the field of early years education, offered by the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC), in Birmingham.

Nikki Fairchild describes how this month's learning journeys have been thought provoking and stimulating for candidates across the four pathways. Meanwhile the university gets ready to welcome its next cohort of budding EYPs

By the Child Action Development Trust (CAPT, 12, order through sales@capt.org.uk)

During your inspection it is important to show that children are confident about communicating with staff. Laura Henry suggests undertaking an audit to gauge the quality of interactions.

Effective supervision is essential under the EYFS and there is plenty of theory to guide practitioners. But how easy is to put theory into practice? In a new online series, Julie Coakley, manager at LEYF's Colville Nursery in west London, provides a personal account of her own learning journey.

The best early years provision overall is found in group settings, Ofsted's annual report on early years has found.

Having a development plan is key to realising the professional and personal aspirations of staff and will result in a high-quality setting, says Rebecca Miller in the concluding part of her series.

While the Government's response to Cathy Nutbrown's review of qualifications is still awaited, no one working in the sector - whether new or experienced - can afford to stand still. How can practice and job prospects be developed in an uncertain world? Here we've gathered together four training experts to address the key questions that our readers have raised.

Taking on an apprentice provides the opportunity to potentially grow and mould a loyal worker - so why aren't more nurseries adopting this approach to tailor-made talent? Mary Evans finds out.

Although there has been no response yet from the Government to the Nutbrown review of early years qualifications and workforce, there have been some interesting clues emerging as to what some of the decisions might be.