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In the first of a series of features on different subjects with 'cut out and photocopy' guides for parents, Patricia Slatcher sizes up Baseline Assessment It looks like the thumbs-up for Baseline Assessment. Two years since its introduction, the general view is that the scheme has been integrated smoothly into school practice and is achieving at least one of its main aims - providing a useful tool in planning for children's learning needs.

In the run-up to Ofsted taking over daycare inspections, minister Margaret Hodge is anxious to consult with the public, and childcare providers, as widely as possible

In a rural area where families face poverty and isolation, Julian Grenier finds a centre whose outreach work with pre-schools provides vital support

We can't be happy all the time but, writes Dr Richard Woolfson, a child who has a low self-worth will need help to overcome pessimism

Plans drawn up south of the border to allow childminders to smack the children in their care have been met with derision in Scotland.

Fairy stories can unlock complex feelings and emotions in children in therapy, say Hessel Willemsen and Elizabeth Anscombe

Local authorities are changing their interpretations of the Children Act ahead of the new arm of Ofsted taking over regulation and inspection, says Annette Rawstrone

The Government's proposal that half the staff in all daycare settings should be qualified to NVQ2 level - rather than NVQ3, as is already the case in many local authorities - has been roundly condemned by organisations representing inspectors of both the educational and care aspects of early years provision.

A new cookery initiative aims to give children some food for thought, as well as useful skills.

Tracking the progress of a toddler requires methods which go beyond a simple reliance on words, says Jennie Lindon

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