Author Archive

Baby, You Are Fantastic

Nov 05 2022
mum and baby looking at each other reading posing for mums magazine

I love babies. They are amazing, little geniuses observing and exploring as their brains flood with neurotransmitters and their synaptic connections fizz with learning. So why don’t we pay more attention to them?

In the Early Years policy world, babies are the silent group. It is almost as if children were born aged three.  Yet babyhood lays the foundations for a happy and healthy life and knowing how to support babies is critical because their wellbeing is strongly linked to better outcomes later in life. This includes educational achievement, progress at work and physical and mental health.

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It’s good to listen

Dec 25 2020

Whilst 2020 has been a time of upheaval and reflection for many, what did we really learn from our children during these unchartered times? Children know more about themselves and our world than we often give them credit for.  It was therefore wonderful to observe the comfort and ease felt as they returned to nursery after the first lockdown earlier this year.

The sheer strength of the relationships, the friendships they had built and the familiarity of the environment made the transition back to nursery much smoother.

Interestingly, Covid-19 became a background noise for many children. Once they arrived at nursery, they just wanted to get back and play with their friends and be in a safe cocoon.

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Dads Matter!

Dec 07 2020

We have known for decades that the bodies and brains of mothers are transformed by the dramatic hormonal changes of pregnancy and childbirth.

Now, new research is showing that men are also biologically transformed by the experience of becoming a father. They have a strong hormonal response including increased oxytocin, oestrogen, prolactin and glucocorticoids which creates a natural protectiveness towards the baby and is strengthened the more time they spend holding their new-born.

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Home Alone – It’s not who you are but what you do that makes the difference to your child’s home learning

Nov 29 2020

Home Learning became a big issue during our first lockdown. The importance of connecting with children and families, the offer of teaching support and the nurturing of friendships was a surprisingly powerful wake up call for so many. This lockdown is a bit different because nurseries are still available for anyone who wants to use them. However, there were some lessons that we learnt during lockdown that we need to consider and develop further.

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What is the ‘Write’ way for our children?

Nov 22 2020

The other day, my neighbour stopped to chat and introduced me to her 4-year-old granddaughter. Before I could say hello, she said proudly that she can count to 100 and write her name.  This is not unusual and resonant of a growing pattern where adults seem to feel it is important to want their children to be able to read and write almost before they can speak.

So, what has prompted this urge?  Do we need children to be able to sign their names by the age of three? Do they have their own chequebooks?  I suspect it is part of our modern urge to teach children complex concepts far too early.

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