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The Government's graduate targets mean nurseries will tread a fine line between meeting requirements and protecting morale, says Mary Evans.

Parents' call for flexible daycare has been answered by nursery networks that offer emergency places and extended opening hours. Simon Vevers investigates.

With a government report presenting a mixed picture of the industry, Simon Vevers asks professionals for their take on the big issues, from pay to the EYFS.

Inevitably, the current economic climate is now deepening concerns around the sector's well-documented market challenges.

A successful approach to recruiting and retaining staff is having a balance among age groups, as one nursery demonstrates.

Some nurseries fall back on Mickey Mouse solutions for keeping children occupied. Derek Hayes urges them to think again.

Lynn Brydon is business and finance support officer at Sure Start Strategic Partnership Tyne & Wear (www.northtyneside.gov.uk).

A leading role is being taken by today's school business managers who learn all about the education on offer, says Crispin Andrews.

George Perkins Day Nursery in Birmingham enjoyed a healthy turnout of parents when it presented an open evening on the EYFS. Parents were impressed with the efforts of staff to engage the children in a diverse range of activities, says manager Sarah Presswood.

It's not just being artistic - a creative person finds solutions by emulating the approach of young children, says Tina Jefferies.