Teacher recruitment crisis highlighted in new white paper

Teacher recruitment crisis

A new white paper, Driving the Performance Agenda in Education, from Affinity Workforce, explores steps that school and MAT leaders are taking in order to tackle the teacher recruitment and skills crisis, and to attract high-quality teaching staff.

As many as 85% of school and MAT heads report that they regularly compromise or deviate from their original recruitment specification simply in order to get teachers in to fill vacant positions. Examples of this include compromising on qualifications and skills (46%), cultural fit (44%), experience (44%), or subject specialism (44%).

Bloomsbury Early Years: new online resource for EYFS practitioners

Bloomsbury Early Years Alistair

Bloomsbury Education has launched Bloomsbury Early Years, a subscription website for Early Years Practitioners. 

With over 2,000 activities, written by trusted authors and linked to the EYFS and Development Matters, Bloomsbury Early Years aims to ease the burden of planning, save time and help practitioners to inspire the children in their care. 

The activities on Bloomsbury Early Years are easily searchable by topic, curriculum objective, age or time of year, which means that those working with children from 0-5 in settings and at home can filter the website by early learning goals or ensure that they are clearly linking to curriculum and Ofsted requirements. 

Queen’s birthday present for Busy Bees Childcare

Queens Award

Busy Bees, the leading provider of childcare in the UK, has been announced as the recipient of the inaugural Queens Award for Enterprise: Promoting Opportunity.

The royal accolade, handed out in honour of the Queen’s 93rd birthday, recognises the organisation’s social mobility programme and commitment to quality training for its early years apprentices.

The first Busy Bees nursery was opened in Lichfield in 1984 by six teachers who wanted to make a difference in the early years sector after feeling frustrated with the lack of good quality, flexible care available for their own children.

Makerspaces: encouraging creativity in the Early Years

Makerspaces teachers experiment

Joslyn Adcock from LEGO Education on how we can encourage EYFS children to be creative through the use of "makerspaces" using the famous, brightly coloured building blocks...

Currently, we’re seeing a push for effective ways to encourage creativity and innovation in the classroom. With fast-paced changes in technology, the future workforce is certainly unpredictable, making it ever more important for children to be prepared for whatever lies ahead. Therefore, equipping them with foundational knowledge and key skills from an early age will mean that they are able to use their talents and apply themselves to any field of work.

Monkey Puzzle Nursery officially opens in new cross with HSBC funding

Monkey Puzzle

Monkey Puzzle Nursery opened on Friday in New Cross bringing a new premium childcare offering to the area.

The nursery was founded by Arlind Marku, owner of neighbouring Monkey Puzzle Bromley, which was voted in the top-10 day nurseries in London and achieved an Ofsted rating of Good in 2016. This second location for the local entrepreneur, who grew up in New Cross, will be run by his brother Jon. Monkey Puzzle New Cross was made possible with a £145,000 funding package from HSBC. The loan was used to refurbish the rented building and fit it out with top of the range equipment and facilities for the children. 

Q&A with Dr Lin Day, early years expert and founder of Baby Sensory

Baby Sensory Toddler Sense sessions

Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense sessions are a popular way to encourage babies' learning and development. Here, the founder of Baby Sensory Dr Lin Day talks to QA Nursery editor Victoria Galligan about how the sessions can improve communication and coordination from birth onwards…

What is Baby Sensory/Toddler Sense and how are sessions delivered?

Book review - Apes to Zebras: An A-Z of Shape Poems

Apes to Zebras review by Zachary and Edward

Apes to Zebras: An A-Z of Shape Poems

Roger Stevens, Liz Brownlee and Sue Hardy-Dawson

QA Nursery were excited to receive a copy of Apes to Zebras: an A-Z of Shape Poems – a gorgeous collection of short animal poems from Roger Stevens, Liz Brownlee and Sue Hardy-Dawson.

The publisher of the poems, Bloomsbury, promised the book would “entrance and delight in equal measure” – and it did just that during bedtime reading with Zachary, Edward and mum Hayley! 

Never Too Young To Grieve book launched to support EYFS children

Never Too Young To Grieve boy looking out of window

A book called Never Too Young To Grieve has been launched for EYFS staff to support bereaved children under the age of five. 

The initiative is a partnership between childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish and leading childcare provider Busy Bees. 

Never Too Young To Grieve targets individuals and professionals who support young children during and after the loss of a parent or carer. It draws on the 25 years’ experience of Winston’s Wish supporting bereaved children, young people and their families. The book offers information, guidance and activities specifically to support the ‘forgotten mourner’ generation, often left behind in the grieving process.

World’s Creepiest Lullabies


Sweet dreams or nightmares – are we scaring our children to sleep? Have you ever thought about the lyrics sung in lullabies? Although it’s proven that singing help babies get to sleep, if you pay attention to the words sung within these traditional songs, they are often more unsettling than soothing.

Looking into songs from around the world, creepy lyrics are a universally common theme - despite originating from a time before global communication. As we all know, persuading babies to sleep isn’t always an easy job, and any parent will tell you of their desperation to soothe a restless baby. The traditional lullaby has stood the test of time as a way of relaxing at bed time, but are we scaring children to sleep?

Morton Michel Annual Childcare Survey 2018

Childcare Survey

Morton Michel invites you reflect on these issues in their 2018 survey and your answers will enable them to paint a picture of where the childcare industry is and provide an indication of where it is going. 

Last year has been momentous for the childcare industry. The introduction of 30 Free Hours in England and the beginnings of similar policies across the rest of the UK may herald a change in the way childcare is delivered. At the same time, questions of recruitment and retention have raised their heads and will necessarily affect the future of childcare. These concerns all take place against the background of the increasingly digitised world and the UK’s forthcoming exit from the European Union.