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Recruitment crisis, 30 hours, rising costs… for those in the early years sector, it’s easy to feel beaten at the moment. But there are ways to challenge authority if you know how, as campaigner Jo Parkes reports

What role does mentoring play in maintaining a quality early years workforce? Annette Rawstrone looks at what’s available for trainee Early Years Teachers

Making sure standards don’t slip and morale remains high amid change in a setting is a vital leadership skill. By Katy Morton

Jackie Musgrave explains how using the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network to submit papers can enhance students’ professional development

What characteristics are required for those working in the early years? Verity Campbell-Barr sets out the findings of her research on the subject

We know that pay and prestige are a problem for early years staff in the UK, but how does the workforce fare in other countries? Meredith Jones Russell investigates

Environment has a major effect on well-being, say Anthony Boulanger and Yeoryia Manolopoulou, directors of AY Architects, who offer some advice to those planning to build or refurbish a setting

Four years after the first employer ‘trailblazer’ group was formed, the new Level 3 apprenticeship standard has finally been approved. Charlotte Goddard reports

Job-shadowing in settings both at home and abroad can be a great way to share best practice, reflect on one’s own way of doing things and encourage CPD. Annette Rawstrone reports

The Integrated Review has received a mixed response from settings in terms of the effectiveness of its impact on identifying developmental problems early. Charlotte Goddard reports