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Editor's letter

    News
  • Wednesday, April 30, 2003
There was a time when softplay was not generally around in nurseries, particularly because it was so expensive. Yet, now it's seen as essential equipment. It really comes into its own in the baby room, as it's the best way to provide a safe and colourful environment in which the youngest children can crawl, explore and test their physical skills without danger of harm. Whether you want to set up a softplay area or just need individual pieces, turn to page 12 for suggestions. This issue we have taken a distinctly summery theme, by concentrating on outdoor activities. If you are taking the babies out for a picnic, you'll need something in which to carry all the essentials, including their bottles. We have tracked down some really cool containers in the most literal sense. See page 14.

A tailor-made solution

    News
  • Wednesday, April 30, 2003
East-West Education (EWE) is a Sussex-based charity that sells ethnic dressing up clothes and dolls' clothes. The costumes are representative of different regions in Asia, Africa and China. Director, Daya Durai, and her fellow parishioners at a Sussex church have had a long-term collaboration with Oasis India, which promotes education and vocational training for disadvantaged young people living in Bangalore. Daya Durai's family originates from this area and she is a frequent visitor there. It occurred to her that the tailoring trainees, mostly young women from a nearby slum who have had limited education, could, after a year's training, make ethnic costumes for export to Britain where they are in so much demand in nurseries, playgroups and schools. They began with three Indian costumes in 2000 and became a registered charity the following year. EWE sponsors the trainees and employs them in the sewing workshop where they earn money to help support their families. The women gain experience in the workshop for two years before moving on to make room for the next trainees. However, with the new skills learned, they have a better chance of finding a job. EWE also supports other disadvantaged groups in a similar way. It orders wooden hangers and clothing labels from a boys' training facility, and kurta pyjamas, made at a school and training centre in Orissa for the deprived daughters of prostitutes, convicts and unmarried mothers.

Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit delays

    News
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Delays may affect applications for the new Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit received by the Inland Revenue after 31 January this year. A spokesperson for the Inland Revenue said it was making every effort to process applications as fast as possible. The Revenue had received a total of 3.9 million applications for the tax credits by 9 April, of which approximately 2.6 million were received by 31 January. A further 1.3 million will receive payments without having to apply because they are also receiving Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance. The Revenue spokesperson also said an extra 700 people have been employed to answer calls on its helpline on 0845 300 3900 or 0845 603 2000 for Northern Ireland only.

CACHE secures training funds

    News
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2003
CACHE, the Council for Awards in Children's Care and Education, has secured funding from the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) to maintain the services of the Early Years National Training Organisation (NTO) until March next year. The awarding body has received a grant of Pounds 49,100 to implement the revised Modern Apprenticeship programme in early years care and education, advise employers on recruitment and training, advise Government and its agencies, and promote the use of the Early Years National Occupational Standards. The SSDA was set up to underpin the network of UK-wide Sector Skills Councils which replaced NTOs in April 2002, and is responsible for providing minimum cover for essential functions in sectors without an SSC - such as early years.

Project guide

    News
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2003
This project recognises that: * settings should be constantly resourced and organised to offer learning opportunities across all areas of the Foundation Stage curriculum

Tired of being a political football

    News
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2003
As a classroom assistant in Scotland undergoing university education in childhood studies paid for by my local education authority, I am developing as a paraprofessional, by undertaking ever-increasing responsibilities that include some teaching input on my behalf. Although I am trusted by the teachers with whom I work, I am treated like a political football by my local education authority, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), and other teaching unions, and as a 'quick-fix' solution by the Government.

Make a stand

    News
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Yet again, another letter from a disgruntled childcare worker in a school ('Show respect', 3 April). As a Unison steward, I have advised workers in nursery units and reception classes to take a harder line with employers and not to undertake teachers'

Toilet training: A wee problem

    News
  • Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Parents are likely to turn to their child's nursery for advice and support when potty training time comes, and your setting's good practice can give them a helpful lead towards this important milestone, as Penny Tassoni explains

Quote of the week

    News
  • Wednesday, April 16, 2003
'You can see the attraction for head teachers and governing bodies. A teacher leaves and they replace him or her with a cheaper person. We cannot understand how the ATL and NASUWT want to go along with that.'

Nursery World/Community Playthings

    News
  • Wednesday, February 18, 2004
The winner of the Nursery World/Community Playthings competition to win a solid maple glider chair for the baby room worth Pounds 353 is Mrs H A Wilson of First Steps Nursery in Brighton. The competition was in the 22 January edition of Nursery World.

Labour might extend free childcare hours

    News
  • Wednesday, February 18, 2004
The Government is looking at extending the child tax credit scheme to enable parents on low incomes to have more than the two-and-a-half hours a day of universal free provision they receive for their three- and four-year-old children. The Sure Start Unit at the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) said last week that the Government was set to announce that from April all three-year-olds would have a free part-time nursery education place of five two-and-a-half-hour sessions a week for 33 weeks - six months ahead of Labour's election pledge of universal provision for three- and four-year-olds by October 2004.

The Sound Foundation Handbook

    News
  • Wednesday, February 18, 2004
The person featured in the photograph of the launch of The Sound Foundation Handbook (News, 12 February) was Jenny Lee, a teacher at Park Hill Infants School in Croydon, and not Sue Nicholls, as stated.

Pictures require parents' approval

    News
  • Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Nursery schools in Aberdeenshire have been told to get the permission of all parents before allowing children to be photographed or filmed during school events. The presence of cameras at school sports days and nativity plays could be reduced following a warning from Aberdeenshire Council that under the Data Protection Act and European Convention on Human Rights, schools must get parents' permission before children are photographed or filmed and the wishes of any parents who object must be respected.

New degree on offer at local Sure Starts

    News
  • Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Students on a new foundation degree course for early years and health professionals will soon be able to study at their local Sure Start centre. De Montfort University in Leicester is offering a foundation degree in Families, Parenting and Community, run in partnership with further education colleges in Grantham and Leicester, and taught at local Sure Start centres from April. The course has been designed to offer Sure Start employees and community members flexible entry routes to work and a way on to an honours degree for 'non-traditional' students.

A month in the life of Harry Tobias

    News
  • Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Harry was born on 3 May 2003 at 00.44am. He is the younger brother of Jasmine, whose development we have previously followed. Over the coming months we will follow Harry's development, noting his milestones and how his development fits in with the developmental 'norms'. Harry is Caucasian and was a full-term newborn whose arrival was induced two days before his due date because he had ceased to grow in the womb.

Service going for a song

    News
  • Wednesday, February 18, 2004
By Susan Stranks, the director of abracaDABra! and leader of the national campaign for children's radio Listen. Here's a sound idea! Songs, nursery rhymes and stories for children should replace birdsong on the national radio network licensed to Digital One.

Play review: Playing fair

    News
  • Tuesday, February 17, 2004

As the Government pledges 200m for developing play facilities for children around the country, will the right thing be done with the money? Simon Vevers canvasses views

Staff pay in private day nurseries in Scotland

    News
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2004
More than one-third of staff in private day nurseries in Scotland are paid less than 5 an hour - barely above the minimum wage of 4.50 an hour for those over the age of 22, according to statistics published last week by the Scottish Executive. Public sector nursery nurses, who are currently locked in a pay dispute with their employers, are the highest earners at an average of 9.50 an hour, compared with 6.20 an hour in the voluntary sector and 5.80 in the private. Patricia McGinty, a director of the Scottish Independent Nurseries Association, acknowledged that there were problems with low pay and said one reason was that local authorities often would not pass on all the childcare subsidy allocated by the Scottish Executive.

Doubts hang over future of NHS childcare

    News
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2004
The NHS childcare strategy is facing an uncertain future, according to a report produced for the Department of Health, despite its proven benefits to NHS staff over the past four years. The report, NHS childcare strategy impact analysis, produced for the NHS by the Daycare Trust, said there was 'some uncertainty and concern' about the strategy's future after this April, when new arrangements will see childcare funded out of local NHS Primary Care Trust budgets. It warned that there was 'a real danger that with the switch to the new funding regime, the NHS childcare strategy will lose much of its momentum'.

Carers warned of protection law

    News
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Day nurseries and other organisations in Northern Ireland that work with children have been given notice of new child protection legislation that is to come into force there this autumn. The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety last week published an information note about the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Order (2003), setting out provisions such as the requirement for them to carry out pre-employment checks on staff and to report individuals who have been found to be unsuitable to work with children.

A taxing problem

    News
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2004
I am writing in support of Helen Dew's comments in her letter ('Help us to finger the tax fraudsters', 8 January). Like her, in the three years since opening our setting, we have had only one telephone call checking up on a claimant. At our setting a high percentage of parents and carers access Working Tax Credit, and we are being left time and time again with outstanding fees.

Doing it ourselves

    News
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Children's health and diet has grabbed the national agenda. The British Medical Journal reported in 2001 that 10 per cent of children under 16 years in England and Scotland are overweight or obese. With such startling statistics there is little time to wait. Children need access to better food, to have more nutritional information and need to be more active - all of which can be delivered, at least in part, through their after-school club.

Headstart Pre-school in Preston, Lancashire, won the Mark Warner/National Day Nurseries Association Day Nursery of the Year award

    News
  • Wednesday, February 4, 2004
(Photograph) - Headstart Pre-school in Preston, Lancashire, won the Mark Warner/National Day Nurseries Association Day Nursery of the Year award last week at a ceremony in London's Savoy Hotel. Nigel Ragg, head of marketing at Mark Warner Holidays (left), joined Geraldine Wignall, co-proprietor of the pre-school, Rosemary Murphy, NDNA chief executive, Anne Wynne-Jones, Headstart co-proprietor, and actress Jacey Salles, who played the nanny Ramona in the popular ITV series 'Cold Feet'. Photograph by Photo Olly Hewitt

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