It’s been another busy month in the world of nursery news.
We know it’s never easy to keep up with everything that’s going on when you’ve got a to-do list as long as your arm. That’s why we’ve broken it all down into a quick, 5-minute guide.
This month we’ve covered the new Early Years workforce guidance, more 30 hours news, and a feel good story about some practitioners that went the extra mile just to support their parents.
So go get yourself a cuppa, find a comfy chair, and read away.
GCSE Requirements Scrapped
The government has released a new Early Years Workforce Strategy to help the growing recruitment crisis across the sector.
The main talking point is the scrapping of A* – C requirements in Maths and English at GCSE level, which were both required to undertake level 3 qualifications.
The move is a big win for the sector, which has been applying pressure for months over requirements that were seen as obsolete and unnecessary, with as little as 4% believing they actually improved quality.
++ Other highlights from the document include plans to recruit more graduates, incentives for working in disadvantaged areas and £3m in extra funding for the early years teaching school grant. Read the whole report here.
Does ‘Outstanding’ matter?
A new report published by LSE suggests that the effect of nurseries rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted has a limited effect on children’s attainment.
The report matched a number of factors to the level of attainment at the end of a child’s first year of schooling. Some are calling for the government to shift focus towards interactions and child development and away from what may be an outdated ranking system.
++ The report also suggests that the impact of a qualified teacher or Early Years Professional on a nursery setting is also negligible.
++ The report seems to go against existing studies that suggest that Early Years Professionals can increase attainment by more than 10%.
It’s that time again. So what’s changed this month?
The institute of Economic Affairs has produced a report calling for universal free childcare to be scrapped entirely, on the basis that regulations effectively make childcare more costly by under-representing the true costs to nurseries.
They argue it should be replaced with a scheme that focuses on more disadvantaged families. Labour MP Lucy Powell agrees.
++ Meanwhile, four councils, Dorset, Leicestershire, North Yorkshire and Tower Hamlets have joined the eight other early implementer areas.
++ A national TV debate on the subject caused great fury across the industry when it was suggested nurseries were ‘running off into the sunset with bags of taxpayers cash’.
Parents don’t know…
A YouGov poll for Save the Children has found that a third of parents don’t actually know if their nursery has a qualified early years teacher.
Interestingly, the same survey found that 71% would prefer to have a qualified teacher. It begs the question, are nurseries communicating with parents enough?
A little help with PR?
Each month, we want to toot our own trumpet as well and share with you the most popular article from Famly.
Numero uno this month was our PR guide for nurseries. Read our how-to, and start improving your occupancy by popping over here.
Not such a Sure Start…
The government has been accused of failing to back promises to protect the Sure Start scheme, as 350 nurseries have closed down since 2010.
Labour MP Dan Jarvis has tabled a bill to tackle child poverty, after reporting that the spending on the centres in 2015-16 was down 47% in real terms.
++ Lucy Rigby – Sure start worked. So why kill it?
London’s pollution problem
A report issued by London Mayor Sadiq Khan has found that over 800 schools, colleges and nurseries in London have been exposed to illegal levels of air pollution.
To check if your nursery is in a problem area, this is a list of all of the institutions affected.
Silicon Valley nursery comes to London
A nursery chain that started in the start-up epicentre of the US, Silicon Valley, is launching a hi-tech nursery in Clerkenwell, London.
Safari Kid will focus on science and technology, with lessons on robotics, mandarin and public speaking all part of the program.
++ Is this focus on highly academic provision missing the point? Why kids should be allowed to just muck about.
And the good news
++ Two members of Bright Horizons Bumpers Day Nursery in Derby learnt sign language in their spare time so that they could communicate with a deaf couple who had children at their nursery. Now that’s going the extra mile.
++ Struggling to make your nursery look warm and welcoming on a budget? This might just be the answer.
++ We loved this post from a daycare asking parents to stay off their phones when picking up their kids from the nursery.
++ Experts have made a song scientifically designed to make babies happy.
++ It turns out babies are primed to be superhero fans before they can even speak their first word. Up, up and away!