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Young children may tell untruths because they want them to be true, and adults can help by modelling desirable behaviour, says Annette Rawstrone.

The experiences young children have with their carers can shape the development of their brains and influence the sort of people they become, says Maria Robinson.

Early years practitioners get to grips with the latest resources for children's emergent writing, letter recognition and fine motor skills and give Sue Hubberstey their verdicts.

Give children plenty of opportunities to measure and compare quantities, and develop the vocabulary to describe what they are doing, with more activity ideas in our series by Sheila Ebbutt and Carole Skinner.

The impressive efforts at enjoyable healthy eating being made by early years settings around the country are being revealed and rewarded in the Nursery Food Awards. Melanie Defries finds out about the winners.

Mincemeat

Give children a sense of privacy and quiet to help them enjoy the time they spend in your setting's book area.

Practitioners should be alert to children in their care who may lack the sense of secure attachment they need for emotional development, and offer their families whatever support they can, says Anne O'Connor.

Promoting healthy eating to the children and families in a diverse community is part of a project engineered by Alison Tonkin, Cath Alderson and Gill Roberts.

To an infant, moving into group care from the familiar relationships of home can be like arriving in a foreign country. But a practitioner's thoughtful, personal interactions can bridge the gap, says Rod Parker-Rees