Early Years Digest

26th March, 2024

Young man using a laptop building online business making dollar bills cash falling down. Beginner IT entrepreneur under money rain. Success economy concept

The Guardian - Revealed: the bumper profits taken by English private nursery chains

With more public money on its way, Joseph Rowntree Foundation calls for commitments on value for money and staff pay.

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Happy portrait of a mother and daughter smiling

The Independent- Call to end ‘motherhood penalty’ as women report slower careers returning to work after parental leave

New polling for Fawcett Society underscores post-parental leave disparities between mothers and fathers.

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Chubby kid trying to wear pants

The Daily Mail - Girls as young as FOUR are suffering joint problems caused by being fat

Data on 120,000 children from the National Child Measurement Programme and GP records showed girls were almost twice as likely seek help for musculoskeletal problems than their peers.

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Beautiful Middle Eastern Arabic girl having baby playing with water sprinkler in garden

The Guardian - Charities evoke spirit of Sure Start in call for bold Labour early-years policies

First 1001 Days Movement says five-year decline in toddler development is a ‘ticking time bomb’ for the UK

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Cute baby on the carpet with tablet at home

The Telegraph - How smartphones poisoned our children’s brains – and how to fight back

Jonathan Haidt’s The Anxious Generation is a terrifying assessment of the digital carnage, and a clarion-call to parents everywhere.

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Mother helping her children to do their homework in a living room

The Guardian - ‘Children are being failed’: why more English parents are home educating

Fines, health needs, and a poor learning environment are among the reasons for the rise in children taken out of school

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Schools Week - Ofsted and DfE must open their eyes to the realities of ‘disadvantage’

Thirteen years after additional funding was targeted for improving educational outcomes for ‘disadvantaged pupils’ (namely those eligible for free school meals as well as looked-after children), a regression in outcomes suggests the strategy is failing.

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BBC News - Scottish childminder numbers almost halve in a decade

The number of childminders dropped from just over 6,200 in December 2012 to 3,530 in December 2022. The latest data shows the figure has dropped further.

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The Guardian - The impact of screen time on parent-child relationships

Readers respond to a letter that linked a drop in children’s school readiness to the lack of interaction with the adults in their life

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nursery kindergarten teacher

The Daily Mail - Nursery fees jump by 7% as the shortage of places continues to get worse, report finds 

Nursery costs have risen by 7 per cent in just one year and a shortage of places appears to be worsening, a report has found. A part-time nursery place for a child under two to receive 25 hours now costs an average of £158 per week, compared with just £148 in 2023.

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

The Conversation - Child health is in crisis in the UK – here’s what needs to change

A new report from the Academy of Medical Sciences highlights the “appalling decline” in child health and a need for “urgent action”.

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BBC News - Childcare shortage worsens as costs rise – report

The availability of places at nurseries and childminders has worsened for pre-school children across all age groups in Great Britain, a report says.

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The Daily Mail - Parents want a ban on children in nappies starting school as 90% say pupils should be toilet trained, survey finds

A backlash is growing against the increasing number of parents who are sending their children to primary school in nappies.

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BBC Money Box -Money Box Live: childcare

How are new arrangements for childcare payments that arrive in April going to affect parents in England?

Adorable baby sleeping on white bed with copy space

EEF Blog - Communication and Language in the Early Years – a new summary resource

Making regular reference to research can transform our practice, helping us towards improving children’s learning outcomes.

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Closeup of paintbrush in woman hands mixing paints on palette

Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood

Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood plunges into the joys and heartaches, mess, myths and mishaps of motherhood through over 100 artworks, from the feminist avant-garde to the present day.

More information
Close-up portrait of a cute young boy holding globe at the park

Third Sector Podcast - The End of Charity

In a world where need is spiralling out of control and new, radical forces are shaping the landscape for doing good, can charity be the answer to the world’s social and environmental problems?

Cute little boy and girl with merry smiling eyes reading with their grandparents peering over the top of the book at the camera

The big Issue - Top 5 most important children's books, selected by The School of Life

The best children's books inspire children's curiosity and emphasise the value of hearing the perspectives of others

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children playing tug of war

Teacher Development Trust Blog - Quality early years education crucial for better life outcomes

In the first part of this blog reflecting on the importance of the first five years, Hannah Tyreman, Curriculum Designer, Teacher Development Trust, shares how experiences in the first five years of a child’s life can significantly determine their future.

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little boy playing with a laptop

Education Select Committee Oral Evidence - Screen Time: Impacts on education and wellbeing

This is the final evidence session of the Committee’s inquiry into screen time and its impacts on children’s education and wellbeing.

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

Go Student - SEND Learning in 2024: An Expert Point of View

The landscape of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in the UK is vast and intricate. It involves diverse needs, evolving policies and ongoing challenges.

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First 1001 Days Movement, A Manifesto for Babies

A Manifesto for Babies is published by the First 1001 Days Movement – a coalition of over 200 charities and professionals who believe that babies’ emotional wellbeing and development matters.

Read the manifesto
Cute baby with headphones listening to music

Early Years TV - Sue Newman and Dr Kathryn Murray on Our Sound Environment Matters

Sue Newman and Dr Kathryn Murray share practical strategies for creating positive sound environments that support children's brain function, attention, memory, social-emotional development, and even promote a calm and focused state.

men in childcare

Investing in the Early Years: priorities and challenges

At a time when many household incomes are under severe pressure, there are challenges in the accessibility, affordability and quality of childcare provision.


Foundation Years Live - Online Event (SEND)

Join specialist in neurodivergence in the Early Years, as well as speakers from Dingley's Promise, Coram Family and Childcare, to discuss best practice for inclusion and creating an enabling sensory space.

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