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On three occasions in recent weeks, in far-flung counties, I have been thrilled to hear practitioners presenting passionately to a group of their peers their own learning journeys, and the impact on the children and families they support.

It's not surprising that early years practitioners who study and gain qualifications are most likely to be able to offer positive support for developing children.

It's difficult to know where best to focus these words, since I am still reeling from so many of the misconceived suggestions in Elizabeth Truss's proposals.

If an early years practitioner gains a higher level qualification, will she be effective in supporting more children?

Policymakers may need reminding that actions speak louder than words. The focus of the foundation years is on child development, proclaimed the Government in its document, 'Supporting Families in the Foundation Years'.

It's time to sweep away layers of paperwork along with the autumn leaves, with the EYFS now telling us to limit paperwork.

The Olympics and Paralympics brought cheer to millions, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the pageantry of the opening ceremony and much of the sporting drama. But what are our priorities? Would we rather pay for entertainment, or support the life chances of several million children by improving the essential skills of communication and language?

A recent international study found that UK pre-school provision is among the best in the world (Starting Well, The Economist Intelligence Unit 2012), says Nancy Stewart

With just one month before the EYFS revisions come on stream, it would be fantastic if we were all pulling in the same direction. But instead there is a serious mismatch in some of the messages coming from forces that affect services for our youngest children.

'Narrowing the gap' has been a central focus of investment in early years, aimed at decreasing the divide in life chances between those children who are the haves and have-nots.

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