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A commitment to 'better inspections' under the Early Years Foundation Stage was made by David Hart, Ofsted's director for children, speaking at the fourth annual conference on The Future of Early Years Inspection and Regulation, in London last month.

In an extract from her book Essential Nursery Management, manager Susan Hay advises that success is a matter of getting priorities right.

A big hungry crocodile lives in the river. Can you think of a way to get across so you won't be eaten?

Practitioners could add a string to their bow with training in a play-based child-and-parent therapy. Karen Faux reports.

The children and staff at Cockfield Primary School nursery class are enjoying the benefits of a half-day visit from a professional musician from The Sage at Gateshead. The aim was to develop the children's love of singing and playing instruments, and introduce musical activities into the setting's regular themes.

Ways to incorporate safety issues in health awareness are considered by Alison Tonkin, Cath Alderson and Gill Roberts.

Evidence is mounting that private and voluntary nurseries' participation in the Nursery Education Grant scheme is at crisis point, with a survey from the Federation of Small Businesses (see News, page 4).

Music sessions will stimulate and build on one of the most powerful natural resources, says Steve Grocott.

In response to the Open Eye campaign, the Pre-School Learning Alliance would like to reassure parents and carers that the Early Years Foundation Stage will not be damaging our youngest children.

Children who have suffered a lack of care and nurture at a young age can benefit from special attention in an early years setting, says Anne O'Connor.