The Famly Briefing

All the important nursery news, none of the fuss.

Got 5 minutes?

Perfect. Just enough time to catch up on all the news from the nursery world this month. This time around we feature more 30 hours news, the ultimate guide to promoting your nursery, and Lego tape. That’s right. Lego tape.

‘Illegal’ pay for 20,000 workers?

A report by the Family and Childcare Trust claims that 10% of nursery staff are being paid less than minimum age. The trust has called on the government to make sure that the nurseries it subsidies are not paying their staff illegally.

++ Are the press unfairly laying the blame at the feet of ‘greedy nurseries’? The Pre-School Learning Alliance think so, arguing that the report started a month before the National Living Wage came into effect.

A million Hours

It’s certainly starting to feel like it anyway.

Another month, another mountain of 30 hours news. Less than half of nurseries and preschools have said they will offer 30 hours of free childcare, with hundreds stating they would have to increase their costs or limit available times to make up for the shortfall in funding.

++ In worrying news for the full roll out, thousands more parents choose to access the pilot scheme than first thought.

++ The government have launched a new initiative to give eligible families up to £2000 in tax-free childcare. The announcement coincided with the launch of a new website to help parents understand their options.

++ Is this nursery owner saying what we’re all thinking?

Is your maths up to scratch?

A report by the Fair Education Alliance has come out, raising concerns about the attainment gap in maths. It contains a number of case studies on how to develop good practice mathematics development in your early years setting. (Psst: Scroll to page 46)

How to Promote Your Nursery

This month, we’ve got something special of our own to share with you.

Our whole team has been working hard on creating the ultimate guide to promoting your nursery. It covers everything from social media to open days, with expert advice, top examples, and helpful checklists for success.

So go check it out. You can thank us later.

Stop hiding those veggies

“You want the child to look at the vegetable, taste the vegetable, get used to the vegetable and eat that vegetable when they’re 7 or 8”. Oh bother.

A great read from Sujata Gupta about why sneaking vegetables into children’s food might be missing the point. It charts some fascinating studies, and useful advice on how to combat any problems you’re having. The bottom line? Making sure children understand and see what they’re eating will work long term.

Busy Bees buzzing

The UK’s biggest nursery chain just got a lot bigger. They’ve bought the 61 Setting Treetops Nurseries, which provides over 4,400 places throughout the South-East of England.

That brings Busy Bees to a whopping 329 settings. Crikey.

Good news? OUTSTANDING news.

Whether it’s concerns about funding, or worry over the recruitment crisis facing nurseries, it would be easy to feel downbeat about the nursery sector. And yet, the number of childcare providers rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted has reached an all time high. Nice work guys.

++ If your nursery is one of the 93 % now rated as good or outstanding, don’t forget to update the logos you’re using. Ofsted has just launched new ones.

Childminder updates

Mixed news this month for childminders. One the one hand, Ofsted have reported a further decline in childminders. In fact, since August 2012, childminder numbers are down 25%. However, the remaining childminders in the UK are feeling much more positive about their financial prospects than nurseries. Funny old world.

Cry babies

That one child who won’t stop cryin? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It turns out UK babies cry more than any other country, besides Canada and Italy. On the flip side babies in Denmark, Germany, and Japan were found to be much calmer. What’s the trick? Well, many think it has something to do with the impressive maternity leave…

In other news…

++ Lego Tape? Lego Tape. Yes, you heard right. A roll of tape with lego pieces on the outside. Game changer.

++ Sesame Steet have introduced a new muppet, teaching kids how to better understand autism. Good move, Big Bird.

++ “One little boy who has been coming here has become really fond of one resident, so much so that his parents have asked if he could still be brought to visit when he moves up from the nursery group.” A touching story about how one nursery have made a difference in their community. By teaming up with an elderly care home. I swear it’s just something in my eye…

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