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Liam Donnison appointed Best Practice Network managing director

liam donnison

Liam Donnison has been appointed managing director of Best Practice Network, a provider of accredited training for leaders, teachers, support staff and governors in schools and early years settings.

 

He will focus on expanding BPN’s national delivery partnerships with schools, as well as school improvement work and opportunities to apply UK expertise overseas.

 

Liam joins BPN from Hong Kong, where he headed a team of 200 staff, delivering learning for 10,000 pre-school, primary, secondary and adult learners across 12 sites. 

 

“I’m delighted to have this chance to develop BPN‘s strengths in school partnerships, leadership and professional development,” he said. “What really strikes me

New funding to champion childminding

Thanks to a grant worth almost £400k, PACEY will be able to support many more registered childminders to consider how to make their small businesses more sustainable and whether they could deliver funded early education places.

 

PACEY knows that many registered childminders in England are currently deciding whether to deliver funded early education (including the extension to 30 hours) or not. Two questions are key to many childminders trying to make this important decision. Firstly how funded early education might impact on their long term business sustainability? Secondly how likely it is parents will choose a childminder to access their funded place?

 

Busy Bees training academy receives shining report from Ofsted inspectors

Busy Bees training academy

Busy Bees Training Academy is celebrating after receiving a glowing report following its latest OFSTED inspection. The Staffordshire-based training provider was inspected by OFSTED in February 2017 and received an ‘Outstanding’ report from inspectors across the board.

Busy Bees Training currently oversees over 1,500 childcare, management and catering apprenticeships, as well as 20 short courses delivered at each of its 12 venues throughout the country. It joins an elite group of training providers to achieve the accolade, as only four learning and skills providers achieved outstanding in the 2015/2016 academic year. 

Let your pupils get inspired by this year’s Kiddiwash Clean Hands Competition

 Kiddiwash

Nurseries and pre-schools across the UK have another chance to win a key piece of equipment to help their young pupils learn the importance of proper handwashing through the 2017 Kiddiwash Clean Hands Competition.  At the same time, it offers a fun activity for enthusiastic, young artists using their own clean hands as their inspiration.

 

Hoping to repeat the success of last year’s competition, TEAL Patents will award a free Kiddisynk to one winner and a Kiddiwash Xtra to two runners-up.  Kiddiwash is a range of portable, warm-water, hand washing basins specifically designed for use without mains plumbing – either water supply or drainage.  Simple to enter, the competition can be easily incorporated into a hand-washing lesson, making it both fun and memorable. 

72% of parents unaware that confidence development begins before 5 years old

Dance pre school

As a report reveals that 72% of parents are unaware that confidence development begins before the age of 5, Anne-Marie Martin, Founder of diddi dance, the much loved preschool dance classes, is urging parents to take action and help develop their child’s confidence from a young age with early interaction in activities.

Record numbers attend Childcare Expo London

Childcare Expo London

Thousands of early years practitioners descended upon London Olympia on 3 & 4 March for two days of breaking news, exclusive features and special guests. With a 30% increase in visitor numbers from 2016, exhibitors were welcomed with a surge that did not cease throughout the day. Stands for the show had sold out two weeks in advance, the first time this has happened, filling the room with a variety of resources and services specifically designed for the sector. Inspiring conversations and impressive sales taking place after the show had closed proved that the organisers of Childcare Expo truly outdone themselves this year.

S is for Starting School!

books

New Personalised Early-Learning Alphabet Book

Is your child starting school or nursery this year? If so mark this all-important milestone with a beautifully illustrated personalised Alphabet book from Itsyourstory. Not only a fantastic teaching aid which brings the alphabet to life by making them the star – but also a perfect keepsake which includes a personal message from you to the child at the front.

Building solutions manufacture and deliver new early learning facility

London Borough of Hounslow Council has appointed offsite building specialists, Actavo | Building Solutions, to manufacture and deliver a brand-new, modular, early learning facility to care for children aged 2-3 years. 

This new early year’s provision is being established as part of the Council’s statutory duty to provide sufficient free early learning and childcare places for disadvantaged 2-year-old children.  

The new, single-storey facility was manufactured and built by Actavo | Building Solutions in just 11 weeks. The new early year’s centre was completed at the end of December 2016.

Parents share their advice to new mums and dads in the just launched e-book

What the Parenting Manuals Don’t Tell You front cover

What the Parenting Manuals Don’t Tell You – from Bepanthen

To support new parents in the sometimes tough but wonderful transition into parenthood, nursery staff can direct new mums and dads to a brand new resource from leading nappy care ointment Bepanthen. What the Parenting Manuals Don’t Tell You, is a new e-book that gives an honest depiction of modern day parenting from those in the know. 

Developed in collaboration with parenting expert and midwife, Lisa Clegg, the tips that form the book were crowd-sourced from parents via social media and paired with humorous and warm-hearted sketches by illustrator and mother, Alyana Cazalet.

Cubetto, the smart learning toy that teaches young children ages 3-6 how to code

Cube to playset

School children as young as 3 are now mastering the universal language of coding with the help of a Montessori-inspired wooden robot powered by a coding language you can touch. Cubetto develops STEM skills through hands-on play and has become the coding standard for early years across 92 countries.

Cubetto is an education tool where learners can explore problem-solving, without the fear of failure, and inspires the younger generation to develop coding skills, an important 21st century literacy, essential for future creators, inventors and innovators. 

Pregnant women can test for leading cause of life threatening infection in newborn babies

Strepelle testing kit

Strepelle – a new DIY group B Strep test available in the UK

 

National charity Group B Strep Support is delighted to announce a partnership with healthcare company HiberGene Diagnostics to help pregnant women to test for group B Strep – the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies.

One in four pregnant women is unknowingly carrying group B Strep bacteria, which causes meningitis, sepsis or pneumonia in more than 500 newborn babies a year. 

On average, one newborn baby a week dies from group B Strep infection.

How will a 30-hour entitlement impact on parent partnerships?

Jo Verrill

Parent satisfaction with the quality of their relationships with nursery staff is high, as evidenced by continuous national benchmark research carried out by Ceeda on behalf of nurseries across the country. Here Dr Jo Verrill, Ceeda MD, shares the latest findings and explores how a 30 hour offer may bring about new challenges in building effective parent partnerships.

Measured across a range of questions from receiving a warm welcome to feeling involved, consulted and informed about their child’s progress, the average rating for this vital aspect of provision is 8.98 out of a possible 10.00, based on feedback from 9,034 surveys in the last twelve months. 

Supporting Children’s development is one of six new free online courses

adults and children running

Supporting Children’s development is one of six new free online courses developed by the Open University-managed Social Partnerships Network, for anyone looking to improve their skills and knowledge, move up in their career, or take a new direction. 

Supporting children’s development may be of particular interest to Teaching Assistants, Nursery Nurses, Nursery Assistants, other support staff in schools and nurseries, as well as childminders, parents and those considering a career working with children. It will help learners to develop a deeper understanding of children's development. Topics covered include the development and management of relationships, encouraging reading, behavioural management, special educational needs and the importance of reflective practice.

Music hubs: A welcome cash injection but don’t ignore the early years…

Music

It’s great news to hear that practical music teaching in England, delivered by a network of 121 hubs, is secure for another four years following the Government’s recent announcement of a cash injection of £300m.  This is a great relief to many industry educators, despite previous earlier concerns that music hubs were failing to make a decent enough impact on the quality of music education in schools.  Removing the focus on music education would have a detrimental effect on the younger generation’s current and future educational opportunities. 

Helping children with SPD in nurseries

child with digger

Working to help children with sensory processing disorders (SPD) at a young age can have an invaluable, positive impact on their ability to cope in education as they grow older. The relative freedom that the nursery and pre-school environment affords children makes it the perfect place to help them to learn both the intellectual and practical skills that will set them up for primary school and beyond.

Diagnosing SPD

SPD is not one thing, rather, it describes a group of similar sensory disorders. To make matters more complicated, it is not yet recognised as an officially diagnosable illness by psychiatrists - they are not convinced at this time that diagnosing SPD is the best way to treat the symptoms. 

Two Coventry nurseries are first in UK to receive national award for quality

Sue Burrows - AfA Deputy Regional Lead, Patricia Watt – Nursery Owner, Caroline Taylor – Nursery Deputy, Linda Cramp Nursery Manager

Hope Nursery and Playdays Pre-school in Coventry are the first two early years’ settings in the non-maintained sector to receive a national award for improving the progress and wellbeing of all their children.

The Quality Mark Award, developed by national education charity Achievement for All, has been presented to both settings in recognition of the impressive work being done to ensure all children are given the best possible start in life and the foundations for a smooth transition into school.

Pirates Ahoy!

Pirate ship

Your school play area or play ground might never be the same again – it will be much more fun with one of our pirate ships!

The high seas are raging and the children are all aboard this latest play facility at Longshaw School in Blackburn. The boat, made from Robinia wood, set sail earlier this month. Whales and fish have been spotted and we are sure that a pirate was seen walking the plank.

Sophie, a pupil, commented ‘this is the best day of my life’, when we took a series of photos for the opening event recently, what more could you want out of a scheme.