Famly Briefing

All the important nursery news, none of the fuss.

Are you prepared for GDPR? Not quite finished with the paperwork? Don’t even know what it is?

Don’t worry. Even if you’ve left it a little late, we’ve got the latest updates, along with a few helpful bits to make sure that you’re ready to go on May 25th.

And that’s just for starters. We’ve also got news on a £2billion cash injection in Scotland, reporting on the gender pay gap, and a bumper section on the latest updates in child development from around the world.


We’re now only a few weeks away from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in the EU. The new data protection laws will come into force on May 25th, and all businesses throughout the EU will need to comply. That means childcare businesses too.

This is a little primer we wrote on the GDPR a few months ago, and the UK government has released a full GDPR toolkit for nurseries and schools that will help to make sure you’re prepared.

++ The Pre-school Learning Alliance has been vocal in seeking clarification on whether new ICO registration fees will apply to all childcare providers. Turns out that they do and not everyone is happy about it.

2. £2billion for Scotland

The Scottish government has agreed what has been described as a ‘landmark deal’ with councils in order to fund their flagship childcare policy.

The deal has come after criticism from the opposition and spending watchdogs, who claimed that the initial agreement would leave local authorities massively underfunded. Scotland will now push ahead with their plans to almost double the funded hours for 3 and 4 year olds by 2020.

++ And how will they pay the grandparents? A new study has revealed that more than half of Scottish grandparents get called on to help provide childcare.

3. Underpaid and undervalued

This brilliant piece from Eva Lloyd helps to explain many of the staffing problems we’re currently facing in the early years sector. She uses studies and examples from other countries to detail exactly why the early years workforce is underpaid and undervalued in the UK, along with some of the steps we can make to rectify the problem before it’s too late.

++ A recruitment drive in Scotland has been criticised after it dismissed childcare workers as ‘non-teachers’ who have not embraced professionalism.

++ A recent survey from PACEY has raised concerns about the pay and status of early years teachers as they struggle to find appropriate graduate-level employment in the sector.

4. How to be outstanding

Worried about the next Ofsted inspection? Not sure where to turn your attention to next? Well, we’ve got just the thing.

We interviewed five outstanding managers from across the UK and compiled their tips, advice and guidance into a free 49-page guide on how to be outstanding.

There are 12 separate sections in the guide, covering everything from parent partnerships to safeguarding. Get your completely free copy now.

++ What else could help you to achieve that outstanding grade? Well, maybe a little more risk-taking might just do it.

5. 30 Hours shortage

The government might have validated over 377,000 new 30 hours codes, but the number of codes that have gone unvalidated tell a different story. Almost 50,000 codes have still not bee validated, raising concerns that there are simply not enough 30 hours places availabile for parents.

What’s more, almost one in four schools feel that it is poor children who are missing out most as a result.

++ A new report has found that the 30 hours programme may also be hitting the number of two-year-old places available as it becomes more cost-effective for providers to cater more for older children.

++ What are you doing to make 30 hours work for you? Nursery World details the desperate measures some owners are taking to ensure their childcare settings are surviving.

++ Want to have your say? The NDNA has launched an annual survey on funding while Pre-school Learning Alliance is running a survey on the wellbeing of practitioners in the sector.

6. The Gender Pay Gap

Just because the sector is dominated by women doesn’t mean that the gender pay gap isn’t a problem in early years too. A new study has revealed that despite the higher volumes of female workers, some nursery groups have women earning as much as 20% lower than men.

Despite the mixed news, many nursery groups are still leading the way, with women paid 2% more at Tops Day Nurseries and 1.1% more at Childbase Partnership than their male counterparts.

++ LEYF have announced their action plan to recruit more men to the early years. It includes the recruitment of male early years role models, the formation of an advisory group, and new professional development programmes.

++ Want some ideas to introduce gender equality to the children at your setting? Here’s 12 ideas from us to get you going.

7. The studies that matter

Here’s our monthly round-up of all the stories, studies, and reports that matter in child development:

  • Reading reduces hyperactivity and agression – A study from the U.S has shown that children who were read to more by their parents showed a reduction in hyperactivity, agression and internalising their problems.
  • A new way for autistic children to communicate – A new tool that can translate emotional states into music is being trialled as a way to help children on the autism spectrum communicate their emotions better. Early studies are showing that adults can use the sounds to understand the emotions of the children in their care.
  • The dangers of baby wipes – A new study researching the development of food allergies in children is pointing the finger firmly at baby wipes. It turns out that the soap commonly found in baby wipes can erode an important barrier against allergens.
  • Watching out for baby gestures – Researchers are helping parents and caregivers to understand the importance of the signals babies use and how they can be used as prompts that are crucial to development.
8. Can robots learn like babies?

This fascinating long read from the Guardian delves deep into the way children learn – and why robots may never be able to replicate it. In essence, it’s yet another argument for the importance of play in child development, and why the human brain responds so well to it.

++ If that long read was right up your alley, then this piece from the BBC about how we are able to get these insights into a child’s brain is just as fascinating.

10. In other news

++ Check out this £10m Fife nursery and care home with a groundbreaking approach.

++ What the answer to better mathematics attainment in the early years? Well, this owner thinks that speaking Mandarin holds the key…

++ Never quite sure where they get all that energy from? It might be because children are basically endurance athletes.

++ Childcare shortages in the UK are one thing, but the 55,000 strong waiting list for nursery school places in Japan is on another level…

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