Early Years Digest

13th February, 2024

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GOV.UK - Childcare recruitment campaign launched

A major new national recruitment campaign has been launched by the Department for Education on 2 February 2024 alongside a trial of £1,000 cash sign-on bonuses, to give nurseries and early years providers the workers they need and offer more childcare places for parents.

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young children drawing together in a room

BBC News - Cash offer for new childcare workers amid shortage

A £1,000 cash incentive and a campaign to raise the profile of childcare workers in England are part of government plans to recruit more staff.

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Teacher reading her pupils a story at the elementary school

Sutton Trust - Lack of policy action risks widening attainment gap and worsening the quality of education for all young children

Education and social mobility experts at the Sutton Trust have warned of a major deterioration in the education of disadvantaged young children.

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Student doing maths on abacus at elementary school

Children and Young People Now - Councils still face ‘difficult decisions’ despite children’s services funding boost

Local authority and children's services leaders have welcomed a £600m government funding boost to relieve pressure for support services but say it "does not negate the need for a sufficient long term funding settlement for children".

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Happy parents spending time with baby on the couch at home in the living room

Daily Mail - Childcare does not give youngsters the 'best start in life' with love and attachment absent from the discussion on what is best for children, report claims

Claims that formal childcare gives youngsters the 'best start in life' are not backed up by evidence, a report out today argues. Concepts of love and attachment have been largely absent from the discussion on what is best for children, it is claimed.

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Woman playing with plasticine with children

BBC News - Gillian Keegan: I'm confident of 15 hours of free childcare by April

The education secretary has said she is "confident" free childcare for two-year-olds in England will be ready in time for its April rollout.

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Children brushing teeth

Children and Young People Now - Parents to be offered tooth brushing advice as part of £200m dental care plan

The government is to roll out a programme offering advice to parents on the importance of regular tooth brushing for children, as part of its plans to improve the UK’s crisis-hit dental care system.

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man with red nose playing with children

Nursery World - Early years settings encouraged to 'take silly seriously' this Red Nose Day

Children are being urged to ‘get reddy to let loose’ and do something funny for money this Red Nose Day (Friday 15 March).

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The Independent - Families sending children to school without food amid cost-of-living squeeze

Hundreds of families outside of London are sending their children to school without food amid soaring costs, according to a new survey.

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Cute baby brinking from a bottle

Nursery World - Employers moving backwards in enabling parents to balance their work/family life

There has been an increase in the number of employees who feel their employer is not supportive of family life, reveals new research.

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family of four in kitchen

Nursery World - Cross-party Parliamentary group set up to champion flexible working

A new cross-party parliamentary group has been launched to champion better flexible working for families in the UK.

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happy little child play game and have fun, education lessons in colorful kinder garden playground indoors

Big Issue - ‘Mummy can’t afford it’: Families worry about coping as DWP cost of living payments come to an end

Families have been left worrying about “how they are going to survive” as the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)’s cost of living payments come to an end.

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happy child kids group have fun and play at kindergarden indoor preschool education concept with  teacher-1

Hackney Citizen - ‘Hands off our nurseries’: Parents kick off new battle against council plans to close children’s centres

Parents are once again fighting to save children’s centres from closure after Hackney Council revealed fresh plans to swing the axe.

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Small group of children eating apples together, shallow DOF

The Guardian - Experts lament ‘appalling decline’ in health of under-fives in UK

Academy for Medical Sciences report highlights rising infant mortality, obesity and tooth decay

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Early Years Educator - Experts warn of ‘major deterioration’ in the education of disadvantaged children

Lack of policy action risks widening the attainment gap and worsening the quality of education for all young children, educational charity the Sutton Trust has warned.

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Reception classroom teacher

The Guardian - Government’s £6.5m early years plan for England a ‘drop in the ocean’

Nursery leaders say recruitment drive comes too late and does not go far enough

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family of four in living room

BBC News - Families won't miss out on expanded free childcare despite delays, says minister

No families will miss out on an expanded free childcare system despite challenges in the rollout, the government has insisted.

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young father and child

The Independent - How to talk to your toddler so they actually listen, according to the experts

The toddler years come with a whole set of new challenges – and for parents, communication skills during the most difficult times can be key.

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children playing tug of war

HuffPost - I Don’t Want To Babysit My Grandchildren, Is This Wrong Of Me?

Although we have just entered February, a lot of us are still feeling the post-Christmas slump and are generally feeling worn down from the weather, work, life in general.

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mother and son at a leafy park

The Guardian - Motherhood is saying ‘I can’t do this any more’ – then doing it

What if we reminded each other that our lives are not naturally unbearable but they are made so by the powers that be?

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Early Excellence Podcast - Redesigning EYFS Environments: Interview with Emma Hudson

Emma Hudson, Early Years Lead at Willerby Carr Lane Primary School, discusses the impact of the redesigned EYFS environment on children and staff. She highlights the importance of stripping back and refining provision to focus on core continuous provision and interactions. Emma also shares the school's approach to peer coaching and the ongoing process of skill progression within each area of provision.

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Kindred Website

Nursery World - Developing a framework for Family Hubs – Jo Casebourne

An upcoming Planning Framework will help local authorities ensure that Family Hubs meet the needs of their communities, says Jo Casebourne, chief executive of Foundations – What Works Centre for Children & Families

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Middle Eastern Muslim mother playing with her little baby in green park and holding him in arms

Department for Education - Wraparound childcare guidance for schools

Explains the role of schools and academy trusts in supporting parents to access wraparound childcare.

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little girl picking up toy

News Medical - Study shows distinct patterns of brain connectivity between pre-term and term babies

A new King's College London scanning study of 390 babies has shown distinct patterns between term and pre-term babies in the moment-to-moment activity and connectivity of brain networks.

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smiling babies playing together

Education Endowment Foundation - New trial will find out if helping early years staff to support young children to manage their emotions can support early development

A new trial, launched today by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), will find out if training early years staff to conduct responsive relationships with young children – helping them to build their understanding of the different emotions they experience, why they occur, and how they can handle them – can boost early development.

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group of children at school

House of Commons - Summer-born children: starting school

This House of Commons Library briefing paper provides an overview of the flexibility for parents of summer-born children in England to request for their children to be admitted to school outside of their normal age group, and potential future changes.

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Childcare & Education Expo London - 1st & 2nd March 2024

Childcare & Education Expo offers a wide range of features and opportunities for attendees to enhance their professional development, network with peers and explore innovative products and services.

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