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Parents and a local community association got together and used their combined business acumen to rescue a council-run nursery that was threatened with closure, as Karen Faux reports.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained could be the motto for children taking risks, says Helen Bromley.

If a child relatively new to the nursery shows troubled behaviour, think again about the process of settling in. Penny Tassoni offers some practical tips.

Making time for effective communication benefits everyone involved, say Nicola Bushell and Hayley Cannell, joint managers of Oakey Dokey's Pre-school in Essex.

In line with the Tickell review recommendations, provision for two-year-olds will need to place strong emphasis on involving parents in their children's development. James Hempsall outlines the practical steps one nursery is taking to achieve this.

Early years practitioners are always being urged to get parents involved, yet it can be hard to do this free of assumptions and underlying prejudices, argues Helen Bromley.

Manager's dilemma:'I would very much like to ban smoking from my nursery but as quite a large percentage of our staff are smokers I am not sure where to start. I understand that it is legal to request that no-one smokes on the premises but I am worried about enforcing this, and the ill-will it might cause.'

Anyone involved in working in the early years sector will know that every child has needs and it is our responsibility to support these individual needs, say Nicola Bushell and Hayley Cannell, joint managers of Oakey Dokeys Pre-school.

Meal times at nursery can be stressful, thanks to some adults' attitudes to food or poor planning. Penny Tassoni looks at ways to happy eating.

An observational classroom study by Rachel Holmes, Maggie MacLure, Liz Jones and Christina MacRae can give practitioners some revealing insights.