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What is superhero play? Why do children enjoy it? Should adults restrict it? And how can early years practitioners support this form of play? Nicole Weinstein provides some answers

The recession has arrested the decline in childminder numbers as more families choose them over more expensive nurseries, but the support they receive has reduced, writes Mary Evans.

See what an endless number of activities and experiences you can offer young children to develop their understanding of concepts of calculating with these ideas from Stella Louis. Photographs At Little green man nursery, London, by Justin Thomas

How to make the most effective use of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile is explained by Marie Charlton and Jan Dubiel, Early Excellence Development Team.

The principles and practice of one of the most influential thinkers on early childhood are outlined by Froebel scholar and early years writer Tina Bruce.

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

The value of seeking children's opinions and some ways practitioners can initiate it in an early years setting are described by Pat Gordon-Smith.

Using simple tools with simple rules will reward children with a wealth of learning and skills development, says early years consultant Linda Pound.