Early Years Digest

21st November, 2023

Arabic Muslim mother playing and taking care of her baby-1

The Independent - Growing number of toddlers fail to reach ‘expected level’ of development

More than a fifth of two-year-olds were not at or above the expected level across all five areas of development in 2022/23, according to data collected from health visitor reviews.

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The Guardian - Poorer families ‘locked out’ of big expansion in free nursery hours, analysis finds

Almost a third of not-for-profit nurseries in England, which play vital role in caring for children with special education needs, closed or taken over by private firms.

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Happy portrait of a mother and daughter smiling

The Early Years Educator - Government claims of ‘substantially’ uplifted rates amount to just a few extra pence in hourly funding for providers, analysis finds

Analysis by NDNA of the base rates that nurseries and other providers are receiving from their local authority reveals that in many areas, ‘providers are not receiving the money they are entitled to’. The Government’s childcare funding announcement has left providers with ‘a very small increase’, averaging just 32p per hour for three and four-year-olds, the analysis has found.

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First steps in math education,childrens office

Nursery World - 30 hours expansion 'likely to fall flat on its face' as Ofsted stats reveal a 'plummet' in childcare places

The number of early years places has fallen by 17,800 in the last year, according to the latest Ofsted data, raising further questions over how the expanded 30 hours will be successfully delivered.

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

The Independent - Councils call for 20% uplift for Healthy Start to meet food inflation

The scheme, which helps pregnant women or families with children under the age of four, does not currently cover the cost of formula, councils said.

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Cute kid with Tablet-1

The Huffington Post - Screen Time Might Change The Shape Of A Child's Brain. But What Does That Actually Mean?

A new study has revealed time spent watching television or playing computer games has measurable and long-term effects on children’s brain function. The review of 23 years of neuroimaging research showed there are negative and positive impacts to screen time.

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Cute baby brinking from a bottle

Sky News - Baby formula prices a 'catastrophe' for families that 'cannot be ignored', MP says

The WHO's lead on infant feeding has said formula companies are "exploiting" families with high prices and pleaded with the government to take more action to support parents.

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

The Guardian - Why are so many UK families missing out on a £2,000 childcare benefit?

It is estimated that 1.3 million families are eligible for up to £2,000 a year per child, or £4,000 for those with disabled children. But just 36%, or 470,000 families, claimed in June, according to the latest data from HMRC.

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The Independent - Kate to speak about her foundation’s early childhood research

The Princess of Wales, who launched her early years Shaping Us campaign in January, will host the event at the Design Museum in London.

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reception children classroom

Daily Mail - I'm a furious primary school teacher… why should I change a six-year-old's nappy just because their middle-class mums are 'too busy' to teach them to use the loo?

Teachers find nappy-changing the norm, leading them to wonder how parents can be too busy to potty train their child, something that, if ignored, will hinder their physical and emotional development.

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happy family playing together outdoor  in park mother with kids  running on grass

The Independent - One in 10 mums returning to work within 4 months of birth due to financial woes

One in 10 mothers are forced to go back to work within four months of having a child due to being unable to afford to stop working for longer, a new study has found.

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Teacher and pupils working at desk together at the elementary school

Bloomberg - France Offers the UK a Lesson in Affordable Child Care

The country places a huge emphasis on at-home daycare, also referred to as childminders, at a price that parents are willing to pay.

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Young school girl reading a book at the library

Motherly - Reading for pleasure has major benefits for kids, according to new research

A recent study published in The Journal of Psychological Medicine found that children tend to do better on cognitive tests and have better mental health when they’re adolescents, if they start reading for pleasure before age 9.

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Portrait of a girl drinking from her baby bottle-1

The Independent - Increase in babies being ‘combi-fed’, figures show

The proportion of new mothers who feed their babies with a bottle and also breastfeed has increased.

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reception children classroom teacher

BBC News - Childcare: Mum-to-be given two-year wait as demand rises

Jasmine Johnson thought she was planning ahead when she rang her local nursery at 20 weeks pregnant to arrange a place for her baby - only to be told it was full until September 2025. Experts are warning nurseries and childminder places are becoming even harder to find for parents because of the plan to expand government-funded childcare hours for working parents in England over the next two years. BBC News analysis estimates demand is likely to rise by about 15% - equivalent to more than 100,000 additional children in full-time care.

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Mother and daughter portrait with a teddy bear-1

The Mirror - 'Parental bond helps children's mental health in later life'

Dr Miriam Stoppard shares research from Cambridge University that points to the importance of mums and dads spending quality time with their kids and responding to their emotional needs.

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Newborn baby first days with his father

Phys Org - Hunter-gatherer approach to childcare suggests that the key to mother and child well-being may be many caregivers

Infants and toddlers may be psychologically wired to thrive with high levels of "sensitive care" and personal attention, according to a study conducted with contemporary hunter-gatherer societies.

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Happy group of school kids having fun

The Mirror - 'Why reading and drawing with dad regularly gives kids a head start at school'

Issues with recruitment and the retention of staff are contributing to a childcare crisis affecting young children and their families.

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Happy kid on green meadow driving a car

The Guardian - ‘Major anxiety’: parents describe nightmare of England’s childcare crisis

From being forced to cut working hours to moving, lack of nursery places is having wide-ranging impact.

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Politics Home - Tory MPs Want Tax Relief And Top Up Payments To Help Nurseries Fund Free Hours

A top-up payment scheme and tax relief for nurseries are among measures Conservative MPs would like to see in the Autumn Statement to support the government’s extension of free childcare hours from next year.

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Portrait of child sitting in living room with Teddy bear-1

Children and Young People Now - Early years settings 'turning away one in five parents of children with SEND'

One in five parents and carers of children with special education needs or disabilities (SEND) are being turned away by early years settings due to a shortage of places and a “tsunami of need”, a charity survey has found.

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Cute baby reading with his mother

The Telegraph - Childcare costs ‘forcing women to give up on their careers’

The freedom to choose between work and raising children has been eroded by economics, says top girls' school head Marina Gardiner Legge.

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The Independent - Charities sound alarm over migrant parents being denied vital childcare

Many working parents of children who are British citizens are blocked from accessing extended free childcare due to their immigration status.

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Cute little kid sleeping

Nesta - Family income and child development: why we need better discourse and better implementation of policies

If we want to reduce inequality in child development for families living on a low income, we need a change in narrative and better policy implementation that reflects the incredible value of the earliest years of a child’s life and the experience of families living in poverty.

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Education Endowment Foundation - Promoting Positive Partnerships with Parents

Sinead McMahon, Early Years specialist at EEF, considers the importance of communicating with and supporting parents and carers.

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Young boy concentrating on his schoolwork sitting at his desk in the classroom with his head in his hands reading his class notes

The Conversation - Around a million children in the UK are living in destitution – with harmful consequences for their development

Millions of people in the UK are unable to meet their most basic physical needs: to stay warm, dry, clean and fed. This is known as destitution. For these children, this experience of hardship at a young age will have consequences that last throughout their lives.

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Chad - Drive to get more children ‘school ready’ in Mansfield area dubbed 'one of the most deprived in Nottinghamshire

Families in a Mansfield area described as ‘one of the most deprived in Nottinghamshire’ are being helped to get children ‘school ready’ so they don’t fall behind in their education. Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is working on the project with parents and organisations on the Oak Tree Lane Estate in Mansfield.

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Nursery World - How the International Baccalaureate framework can complement the EYFS – webinar

A panel of experts discussed how the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme can work with children in the EYFS in Nursery World’s webinar.

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Happy cute child playing and having fun at kindergarten with colorful balls

Nursery World - Nursery World's Physical Development in the Early Years conference – report

Delegates were dancing in the aisles at Nursery World’s Physical Development in the Early Years conference as they learned how movement is fundamental to young children’s cognitive functioning and their forming of emotional connections.

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

Leeds Council - Celebration of early childhood kicks off this November in Leeds

Baby Week was set up in Leeds in 2016 with one clear aim to make Leeds the best place to grow up and has now expanded throughout the UK, with events being held across nine different locations.

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Nursery World - Can we double the number of men in childcare?

Just 3 per cent of the Early Years workforce are men – but London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) is bucking the trend with over 8 per cent of their workforce being male.

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Small group of children eating apples together, shallow DOF

Bond - Ending preventable deaths starts with nutrition

Ten years after the first N4G Summit, the UK government is playing an important role in putting nutrition high in the international development agenda, by both hosting the Food Security Summit and dedicating the first session on Ending Preventable Death of children.

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New Economics Foundation - A Fair Start For All

A universal basic services approach to early childhood education and care. Nearly half of children under five now live in “childcare deserts”. Areas where there are more than three children for every early year’s place are more likely to be in most deprived local authorities.

Read the report here
reception children classroom teacher

Education and Skills Funding Agency – Guidance - Early years teachers' pay additional grant 2023 to 2024

Guidance for local authorities and early years providers on the early years teachers' pay additional grant (EY TPAG) for September 2023 to March 2024.

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Charming mother showing images in a book to her cute little son at home

Pregnant Then Screwed - Only one quarter of mothers take their full maternity leave due to soaring cost of living

New research from Pregnant Then Screwed has uncovered that the majority of mothers who are cutting their maternity leave short are doing so due to financial hardship, with just 1 in 4 mothers able to take their full maternity leave entitlement.

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Cute baby on the carpet with tablet at home-1

Early Education and Development - How Early Digital Experience Shapes Young Brains During 0-12 Years: A Scoping Review

In this review, 33 studies on children’s digital use (ages 0–12) were evaluated. The evidence revealed that (1) digital experience does have positive and negative impacts on children’s brains, structurally and functionally; (2) it could cause structural and functional changes in children’s frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes, brain connectivity, and brain networks; and the most vulnerable area is the prefrontal cortex and its associated executive function, and (3) early digital experience has both positive and negative impacts on children’s brain structure longitudinally.

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Kindred Website

Psychological Medicine - Early-initiated childhood reading for pleasure: associations with better cognitive performance, mental well-being and brain structure in young adolescence

This is the first study to reveal the important relationships of early reading for pleasure with subsequent brain and cognitive development and mental well-being.

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Businesswoman sitting at her desk navigating the internet on a laptop computer using the trackpad, over the shoulder view of the blank screen

Ofsted – Main findings: childcare providers and inspections as at 31 August 2023

The main findings report is now available for the childcare providers and inspections as at 31 August 2023 release. The following are also available: underlying data, methodology and pre-release access list.

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Happy child next to a doctor in hospital ward

NHS Digital - National Child Measurement Programme, England, 2022/23 School Year

This report presents findings from the Government's National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) for England, 2022/23 school year. The report contains analyses of Body Mass Index (BMI) classification rates by age, sex, deprivation and ethnicity as well as geographic analyses. For reception children (aged 4-5 years), obesity prevalence was 12.4% in the most deprived areas compared with 5.8% in the least deprived.

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Portrait of child sitting in living room with Teddy bear

Early Years Excellence Conference

A Early Years Excellence conference to share good practice and network with other professionals within the Early Years Sector. Key Speakers: Early Years Ofsted Inspectors, Helen Battelley - Let’s Get Moving in the Early Years, Linda Baston-Pitt – Wellbeing within Early Years, Carol Nice MBE – SEND Provision and Resources

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