The Early Years Blog

I gave up the idea of new year resolutions a long time ago and 40 per cent of people give up their resolutions within a fortnight. Setting yourself a resolution is the quickest way to madness. When I decide I won't drink any wine for a week, all I think about is wine. If I decide not to eat chocolate,...

If you are willing to be led by children's curiosity, then you find yourself wandering down many new learning paths. My 12-year-old nephew shifted my knowledge of Lego onto a new plane last week when he introduced me to the Lego Story. I discovered (what I should have known) that Lego is Latin for the...

I am always pleased to be invited to speak about things that matter to me such as social enterprise and the business of childcare, child poverty, pedagogy and wider early years issues such as child obesity or supporting inclusive workplaces. It's always good to come away and see what other places are...

I recently wrote a book with the wonderful Alice Sharpe to celebrate the importance of Dads. With so much negativity about men at the moment its worth bringing some balance to the debate. Getting Dads involved from the start has many benefits. Pleasingly, I am noticing more Dads delivering and collecting...

Every year we have the LEYF annual debate, named in honour of Margaret Horn, student of Octavia Hill and the first paid director of what was then a local charity Westminster Health Society. The organisation has changed immeasurably since then, but we still retain an ethos of belonging and inclusivity...

Yesterday was Kindness Day, and today we are halfway into Trustee Week, a good reason to thank all trustees and to attract new ones. Being a trustee is an altruistic act that can be both rewarding and challenging. Trustees provide a vital volunteering role helping to provide strategic leadership to...

As Chair, I often use the prerogative to introduce a theme or a topic.  This time, I wanted to explore what we understand by self-regulation particularly in light of the reviewed ELGs. Self-regulation is a much-misunderstood concept and one of the LEYF nurseries is involved in a piece of research with...

Everyone says, the free offer is great for parents, they love it. It's just greedy providers who refuse to offer it. Well that is not true. According to the findings from the National Centre for Social Research report commissioned by the DfE about the factors associated with the take-up rate of the funded...

Childcare is too expensive said the Trades Union Congress in their well-timed report. Costs have risen by 50 per cent since 2008 and wages have only increased by 27 per cent. Parents have to top up fees and some cannot afford to return to work - especially those whose children are under two years. ...

I have been somewhat bemused at the interest the press has taken in our efforts to introduce yoga and mindfulness with the children across the whole of LEYF. Interviews with the BBC and various radio shows have moved presenters from initial doubt to the complete acceptance that small children not only...