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Early years settings should weigh up the benefits of outdoor play against the risks and include children in their assessment so that valuable opportunities are not lost, play experts have advised following the death of a child at a nursery's outdoor area.

Early years settings can apply for a grant of up to 5,000 to fund projects that promote vitamin D and encourage children under the age of five to take supplements.

The British Skin Foundation has launched a petition calling for a standardised sunscreen policy in nurseries and primary schools to stop children getting sunburnt.

A group of early years practitioners and health experts working together in Cambridgeshire has developed a new staff role to lead on physical activity and nutrition and is piloting a qualification to support it.

The importance of early education for vulnerable children has been recognised in new draft guidance developed by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The Equality Act became law in October 2010, replacing previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995). To comply and ensure fairness and consistency, nurseries need to have in place an equal opportunities policy, says Jacqui Mann, managing director of HR4Nurseries (www.hr4nurseries.co.uk)

HENRY (Health Exercise and Nutrition for the Really Young) is helping busy practitioners to study at their own pace by offering its Childhood Obesity and HENRY course online.

Snack time is more than just getting fed quickly and moving on to the next part of the daily routine, say Nicola Bushell and Hayley Cannell, joint managers of Oakey Dokeys Pre-school in Great Oakley, Essex.

Child health experts have welcomed the first-ever nutritional guidelines for early years settings in England, while taking issue with the fact that they are not mandatory.

The first ever nutritional guidelines to support early years settings in providing healthy meals for children under five have been launched today by the School Food Trust.

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