The Famly Briefing
All the important nursery news, none of the fuss.

It isn’t easy to keep up to date with everything that’s going on in the nursery world.

Lucky you’ve got us then isn’t it?

This month we feature the impact that the general election could have on childcare, new studies on the importance of father figures in a child’s life, and how technology is affecting our kids.

The Early Childhood Brain

“The capacity for children to thrive in spite of bad environments is an incredible feat of biology. We can help children along by providing them many positive role models, physical and mental stability, and many rich experiences in the physical world.”

This short animation is all about the effects of childhood trauma and what we can do to prevent them developing into longer term problems. A beautiful piece, bringing to the forefront the important work that providers do every single day.

The General Election

With the election now over and the Conservatives in minority government, it looks like we’ll see the 30 hours extended entitlement introduced as expected in September. Here’s what each of the parties had to say about childcare during the election.

++ The NDNA took the opportunity to lobby for a ‘childcare passport’ to pool all existing funding streams into one central location which parents would have more control over. Read more about their proposal here.

++ The BBC has looked for inspiration around the globe to come up with six ways that we could solve the childcare problem in the UK.

The Importance of a father figure

A new study has found that babies learn faster if they have an active male role model in the early stage of their development. The study, from researchers at Imperial College London, King’s College London and Oxford University, found that fathers have a significant impact on the infant’s social learning experience from day one.

++ It looks like this is a gap that needs to be resolved too, as new research in Australia finds that stay at home fathers still do less childcare than working mothers.

Vulnerable Children at Risk?

Town hall bosses have warned that a funding shortfall for vulnerable children in England may be worse than expected. In fact, it could be as much as £2bn by 2020, leading some experts to say that children’s social care is being pushed to breaking point.

++ In more 30 hours news, a survey has revealed childminders are set to lose an average of £410.10 per child, per year when the new entitlements are put into effect. One nursery owner told the Today programme, “I don’t know how we will fund staff”.

Technology & Kids

A study has revealed what many of us already thought – that children behave worse when we’re distracted by our phones. Maybe it’s time to keep the phones away from the dinner table.

Tax Free, Not Problem Free

It’s been a bit of a problematic month for the government’s tax-free childcare scheme. The initiative, where parents can claim up to £2000 of their tax back to help pay for childcare, has seen crashes to its website, problems for providers trying to sign up, and miscommunications about how the scheme will affect childcare vouchers.

Reception in the EYFS

Over 4,000 reception teachers, head teachers and school leaders have contributed to a report that gives overwhelming support for reception to stay a part of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Read more about the report here.

Reading, Mindfulness and A Little Bit of Juice

Here’s some things we thought were interesting this month. Is mindfulness meditation good for kids? Why reading to kids in a ‘participatory reading style’ can have a huge impact on the way they learn. And the dangers in giving kids too much fruit juice.

Nursery Business News

There’s been a few big moves in the nursery world this month. First, Tops Day Nurseries, based in Dorset, has acquired the Salisbury District Hospital nursery, meaning it now provides childcare for over 3,000 children. The Childbase Partnership, which runs 41 Settings, has voted to be run solely by its staff, making it the 10th largest employee-owned company in the UK. And Busy Bees has added 77 centres in Canada to its ever growing number of settings.

In Other News…

++ A dad builds his kid a fully working hovercraft. Now that’s what dreams are made of.

++ Hipster babies are here… And they’re very cute.

++ I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of embarrassing child stories. Maybe this list will make you feel a bit better.

++ Playdough that teaches kids about electricity? Sign me up.

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