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When the Early Years Pupil Premium comes in this April, it will be up to providers how they channel the funding. Charlotte Goddard looks at what settings should be thinking about

Children at a primary school in rural Derbyshire have been making the most of the weather to explore the properties of snow and ice. Marianne Sargent paid them a visit.

Well-chosen activities, heuristic play resources and a number-rich environment can help practitioners to support children's understanding of numbers and counting. Nicole Weinstein looks at some useful approaches and suggests some ways to aid learning.

Making a bug hotel to protect insects during the winter can help children learn about the natural environment, while also building physical and team skills. Viv Hampshire explains.

A yurt in Hebden Bridge, Calderdale, has become the base for two childminders providing funded early education places. Leah Findlay and Peter Findlay explain the thinking behind the unusual set-up.

Self-care is an essential life skill, but it can also help children grow in confidence. Nicole Weinstein suggests some supporting resources.

Risk-taking is a key ingredient of healthy development, but its place in practice can still be limited by how it is perceived, says Kathryn Solly.

A dinosaur theme can enhance imaginative play and teach about change over time.

Identifying different themes within the topic of furniture can provide insights into day-to day living and inspire creativity in learning. By Diane Rich, Mary Jane Drummond and Cathy Myer