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... Or in the pink? Colour-coding and crass gender signalling persist even in these times of presumed equality. Anne O'Connor helps practitioners to negotiate the minefield of bias.

Schemas - patterns of repeated behaviour - are key to how young children learn and early years practitioners must respond to them, says Stella Louis.

Adults should not impose their own preconceptions of what is natural or innocent on children's play, argue Sue Grieshaber and Felicity McArdle.

The role of play in young children's learning is finding new defenders around the world. Ruth Thomson hears some of the latest thinking.

Building on children's use of cues, practitioners can work with them to engender greater playfulness in their learning.

This extract from a new book, 'Play Is What I Do', explains the different aspects of young children's play and activities.

Practitioners need to rethink how they regard boys and girls, whether as equals or as naturally different, to support their learning, writes Maria Robinson.

Should childcarers allow aggressive play, and where does the line have to be drawn? Elaine Lee considers the views of various professionals.

Strategies to engage the third partner in the key person approach - the parent - as a child enters and settles in to nursery are explained in our continuing series on key caring by Anne O'Connor

Children go through recognisable developmental stages in their ability to make friends, which nursery life can foster, writes Philip Erwin