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Caught up with the excitement of Christmas, we needed to ensure our children stay happy and calm, say Hayley Cannell and Nicky Bushell of Oakey Dokeys Pre-School, in Essex

Nikki Fairchild describes how this month's learning journeys have been thought provoking and stimulating for candidates across the four pathways. Meanwhile the university gets ready to welcome its next cohort of budding EYPs

During your inspection it is important to show that children are confident about communicating with staff. Laura Henry suggests undertaking an audit to gauge the quality of interactions.

Effective supervision is essential under the EYFS and there is plenty of theory to guide practitioners. But how easy is to put theory into practice? In a new online series, Julie Coakley, manager at LEYF's Colville Nursery in west London, provides a personal account of her own learning journey.

Having a development plan is key to realising the professional and personal aspirations of staff and will result in a high-quality setting, says Rebecca Miller in the concluding part of her series.

You may have booked the venue and be looking forward to your staff Christmas party, but have you considered all the potential pitfalls? Jacqui Mann provides a guide to ensuring that the festivities are problem-free

Versatile software systems are enabling nurseries to fine tune their services and sharpen their marketing strategies. Karen Faux finds out about the capabilities of the latest systems and talks to one nursery about the benefits of an app which has been tailored to the needs of its business

The extension of the free entitlement to around 40 per cent of all two-year-olds from 2014 will need a significant increase in the number of places so that approximately 260,000 children will be able to benefit. James Hempsall urges childcare providers across all sectors to look at the opportunities this will bring

While the Government's response to Cathy Nutbrown's review of qualifications is still awaited, no one working in the sector - whether new or experienced - can afford to stand still. How can practice and job prospects be developed in an uncertain world? Here we've gathered together four training experts to address the key questions that our readers have raised.

Taking on an apprentice provides the opportunity to potentially grow and mould a loyal worker - so why aren't more nurseries adopting this approach to tailor-made talent? Mary Evans finds out.