Early Years Digest

8th November, 2023


The Guardian - Staff exodus could hinder expansion of free childcare in England, providers say

More than half of all nursery workers surveyed by the Early Education and Childcare Coalition (EECC) said they were considering or planning on leaving the sector in the next 12 months. The recruitment and retention crisis means only 17% of nurseries say they could offer extra entitlement.

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Happy portrait of a mother and daughter smiling

BBC News - One in 10 mothers with under-fours quit work over childcare, says charity

About a quarter of a million mothers with young children have left their jobs due to childcare pressures, research by an equal rights charity the Fawcett Society suggests.

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Portrait of a happy young woman sitting on the city stairs and using laptop computer outdoors

The Telegraph - Give women the choice to have more babies

If fertility rates don’t rise, the UK faces economic stagnation or vastly higher levels of immigration. Miriam Cates discusses.

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

The Guardian - The true cost of childcare: how much parents have to spend in England – interactive calculator

The government has promised to make childcare easier to afford for working parents. But how expensive is it? The Guardian’s tool promises the answers.

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Cute kid with Tablet-1

The Mail - Kids under two shouldn't be allowed any screen time, say Swedish doctors

The Swedish Association of Paediatricians recommends that children under two shouldn't be allowed any screen time and that three to five-year-old's should have screen time limited to just an hour a day.

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First steps in math education,childrens office

Early Years Educator - Government announces £100m in capital funding to support expansion of early years provision

The Department for Education has announced that £100m in capital funding is being made available to support childcare settings to expand their provision, along with regulatory changes to the EYFS.

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

The Telegraph - Europe is in the grips of a birth rate crisis – and Britain is heading the same way

The fertility rate is in decline, but a better childcare system and more affordable housing would enable more young people to become parents.

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Happy group of school kids holding notebooks outdoors

Sky News - Cardiff revealed as UK's first child-friendly city

The globally recognised UNICEF status aims to celebrate communities where children's rights are at the centre of policies and services.

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reception children classroom

Mail Online - Nine in ten reception teachers say they have at least one child in their class who is not potty trained, report reveals as MP claims children are starting school still wearing nappies because working parents are too busy to toilet train them

At a recent conference, Tory MP Miriam Cates discussed the role of parents in their child’s development, highlighting research around school readiness.

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

The Guardian - ‘Cost of children crisis’: UK parents on coping with half-term on a shoestring

As food and heating costs rise with children at home, compromises range from washing less to cancelling holidays.

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Teacher and pupils working at desk together at the elementary school

The Independent - Nursery places and wraparound childcare plans announced

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said he wanted all schools to be able to offer care either side of the school day by September 2026.

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Arabic Muslim mother playing and taking care of her baby

The Standard - The Standard fertility survey: how children became the ultimate luxury good for Londoners

A third of people say they're feeling pressured to remain childfree because of the cost of living. Alexandra Jones delves into The Standard's first fertility survey in partnership with Peanut.

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reception children classroom teacher

Financial Times - Falling pupil numbers add to primary school budget pressures in England

Number of students in early education set to fall by 13% by 2032, leading to schools receiving less funding.

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Mother and daughter portrait with a teddy bear-1

Daily Mail - British women would like one more child but cost of having them, affordability of care and anxiety about overpopulation put them off, study suggests

According to a recent poll commissioned by Tory MP Miriam Cates for the New Social Covenant Unit, the average number of children that women aged between 18 and 35 wished to have was 2.35. Fertility data, however, from the Office for National Statistics showed the number of babies that mothers in this age group had averaged out at 1.55 in 2021.

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Happy group of school kids having fun

BBC News - Lack of staff contributing to childcare crisis

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

Huffington Post - Parent Left Baffled After In-Laws Keep Shushing Toddler

What happens when some people think your toddler is playing a little too loudly and relatives suddenly start to shush them?

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Thinking woman in glasses looking up with light idea bulb above head isolated on gray wall background

The Metro - Unaffordable nursery fees forced me to quit the police – now I offer cheap childcare instead

Many working women are giving up their jobs because of the cost of childcare. One mother explains her change of career with the company 'tiney'.

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

BBC News - Welsh ministers lack ambition to tackle child poverty - MSs

Some 28% of children in Wales are living in relative poverty - more than Scotland and Northern Ireland. A committee of the Senedd has called for the Welsh government to reinstate targets, seven years after they were scrapped.

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Cute baby reading with his mother

The Independent - Mom explains how to raise your first baby like it’s your third

‘You can’t take care of your baby if you can’t take care of yourself,’ mother says. The Independent explores how to treat having your first baby as if it is your third.

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Happy family doctor at the hospital looking happy

National Health Executive - NHS launches new national paediatric early warning system

Paediatric care is set for a boost as the NHS launches a new early warning system so doctors and nurses know when children and young people’s health is quickly deteriorating. The system allows medical staff to progress care and act on concerns from parents –if a parent believes their child’s health is worse than their system score shows, care will be immediately escalated.

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Education Endowment Foundation - Early Years Evidence Store

Developed to support the DfE’s Stronger Practice Hubs programme, the Evidence Store has been designed to support Stronger Practice Hubs work with early years providers, but it can be used by everyone working in the early years.

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The Royal Foundation - The Princess of Wales joins 'Dadvengers' as part of Shaping Us campaign

The Princess of Wales joined a meeting of ‘Dadvengers’ in North London to highlight the important role that Dads play in their children’s earliest years.

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BBC Future Planet - How forest schools boost children's immune systems

At a Helsinki nursery, children spend all day in the forest. Erika Benke explores how outdoor learning benefits children's health and teaches them to value nature.

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Department for Education - Before and after school childcare: Everything you need to know about wraparound care

The DfE have announced that they are expanding wraparound care for primary school children across England by increasing the number of places available to support working families.

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Nursery World – LONG READ: NW's cost of living survey finds low pay places even highly qualified staff in dire straits

Nursery World’s cost-of-living survey reveals the financial plight of most sector workers, who say they are worried about paying for rising bills.

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Reception classroom teacher

Childrens Commissioner - Who are ‘children in need’?

The latest statistics, which show 403,090 children in need on March 31st 2023, equate to about one child in every class (1 in 29) being classified as a ‘child in need’.

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

New Food Magazine - Four million UK school children start the day hungry, Arla reveals

An Arla report has uncovered that the UK could have a shortfall of nearly half a million doctors and nurses by 2043 if child hunger is not addressed.

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nursery kindergarten teacher

Early Education and Childcare Coalition - Retention and return: Delivering the expansion of early years entitlement in England

New research by the EECC, the University of Leeds, and the Women’s Budget Group combines modelling focused on the additional demand likely to be generated by the expansion in government-funded childcare support, with the working conditions and experiences of those currently employed in the sector and those who have recently left. This new report aims to better understand the conditions of the current early years workforce (those working in group settings and childminders), the implications of the extended entitlement, and what is needed to ensure any expansion of access can be successful while delivering the high-quality provision that children deserve.

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Confident female designer working on a digital tablet in red creative office space

The Fawcett Society – Paths To Parenthood: Uplifting New Mothers At Work

The second of two reports from the Fawcett Society and Totaljobs demonstrates the disproportionate impact childcare responsibilities have on women and their careers.

Read the report here
Small group of children eating apples together, shallow DOF

Department for Education - Press release: Investment in childcare boosted by new resources and online tools

More nursery and early years places and spaces to be delivered, with an online childcare eligibility checker to give information about new support.

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Portrait of a girl drinking from her baby bottle

University of Kentucky - Toddler 'formulas' provide no nutritional benefit for the great majority of children

The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee of Nutrition addresses the claims made by the manufacturers of so-called “toddler formulas," purporting to bolster the immune system and improve brain development. Simply put, a nutritionally complete super formula that gives your child a brain boost and protects them from diseases is too good to be true.

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Neuroscience News - History of Childhood Adversity Tied to Higher COVID-19 Mortality Risks

A recent study reveals that individuals who experienced childhood adversity, such as neglect or abuse, faced higher chances of COVID-19 hospitalization or mortality in adulthood.

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Kindred Website

PsyPost - Nurturing parent-child relationships in early years boosts mental health and prosocial behaviour, study finds

A recent study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Development has shed light on the importance of nurturing warm and close relationships between parents and children in their early years.

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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

University of Essex - Why parental pressures are taking the fun out of children’s play

Modern day parenting pressures and expectations are leading to the end for children enjoying spontaneous play, according to a new study from the University of Essex.

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Close-up image of doctors hand pointing at x-ray results

Nature - Normative spatiotemporal fetal brain maturation with satisfactory development at 2 years

New research is the largest study depicting normal early human brain development, using 3D ultrasound scans. The research takes place across eight geographically diverse study sites in a cohort of healthy fetuses, born at term, appropriately grown, with satisfactory growth and neurodevelopment at 2 years of age.

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Portrait of child sitting in living room with Teddy bear

Education Statistics - Children in need

This annual release contains statistics on children in need in England, including child protection plans, and referrals to and assessments completed by children’s social care services.

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