I remember attending the Day Nursery Policy Group’s first big meeting around a year ago. There were 30 delegates, all pretty fired up about the need to influence whichever party came to power in the interests of non-maintained providers. Then shadow children’s minister Maria Miller even turned up. Read More
Monthly Archives: September 2010
Free schools are increasingly looking like a policy idea dreamt up by ministers who are making it up as they go along and that pretty much anything goes.
Including it seems employing people to teach children who may or may not be teachers. It seems that for free schools, employing qualified teachers could actually be an optional requirement. Where do we go from here?
Opinions about the best way to teach young children and support their learning seem to be increasingly polarised – something that really matters in the context of the current EYFS review.
In one corner, we have Tom Burkard and Oli de Botton, fighting for direct instruction and phonics as the means to raise attainment; in the other, the defenders of playful learning such as Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek and Janet Moyles.
The Pre-School Learning Alliance’s recent survey paints a pretty bleak picture: at least one in ten member settings expect to close if the Early Years Single Funding Formula results in a loss in funding. No surprise then that delegates at the PLA’s annual conference (in June) were hungry for hard information on how to make their money go further. Read More
‘A little bit of dirt is good for you’, didn’t our grannies used to say that when we were young? In fact there are plenty of theories that the rise in allergies and asthma in young children is because they are no longer exposed to germs in the same way as previous generations.
Now Boots is full of hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes and even the ‘quality’ papers run regular scare stories highlighting our daily exposure to new strains of bacteria and fuelling our phobias.
So the story this week that children in Scotland could face losing their outdoor nursery, The Secret Garden, because they have nowhere to wash their hands, despite the regular use of wipes and sanitiser, would probably leave our elderly relatives rather confused.
Have we evolved this far? We invent ‘wonder’ products to keep our hands clean when we’re out and about without the need for soap and water, but apparently what we really need is good old-fashioned soap and water after all?
Confusing, isn’t it?