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Policy makers need to engage more deeply with what research is telling us about young children's development

If new practitioners are trained in a new qualification that doesn't even mention play, will they be the informed professionals that children deserve?

The early years sector needs to stand up and fight the Government's proposed childcare reforms, says Nancy Stewart

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.

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