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Getting enough sleep - and the right sort of sleep - is a crucial component for development. Natasha Kirkham explains why, and considers what advice practitioners can give to parents

What next for literacy project Making it REAL? Joyce Connor, from the National Children's Bureau's Early Childhood Unit, looks at how the training has been enhanced for two-year-olds.

Adopting the dialogic approach to reading with a child will help parents, and practitioners, to advance the child's oral language. Joan Kiely explains the method and its importance.

How can early years settings reduce the risk of financial crime? Robust procedures and trustworthy staff are key, finds Katy Morton.

Learning to get dressed is a skill that children need to master. It takes time and practice. Here are some activities that not only help children learn about dressing and caring for their clothes, but also help other aspects of their development.

Parents can play an important part in helping children learn to dress, but how might settings support them in this? Penny Tassoni offers some suggestions to help smooth the process.

Children benefit enormously language-wise when practitioners and parents dedicate time to meaningful interaction, says Michael Jones.

Zero hours contracts provide flexibility but also have their downside for nurseries, says Jacqui Mann.

Whatever new criteria are given to us, assessment remains an essential expression of our values as practitioners and defines how we support children as learners, argues Jan Dubiel of Early Excellence.

In seeking to ensure children are always busy, have we overlooked the value of simply doing nothing? Dr Natasha Kirkham considers the issue.