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Best Sellers

  • An invaluable bilingual book for any setting. It contains room to record 25 separate incidents and accidents on carbonless paper, enabling you to provide a parent or guardian with a copy. Type: A4 Booklet
  • The Wales PPA Attendance Register is an essential tool for keeping precise records of attendance at your setting. This bilingual publication as a high visibility cover and provides space to register up to 48 children and 10 staff, for 52 weeks of the year. Its format is designed with shorter pages, eliminating any need for folding to align with names. It allows for plenty of other useful information to be kept including: term dates, emergency contact details and children’s details. The Register also features a sample Child’s Signing in and Out Sheet; to be completed by the person dropping off and collecting the child. This supports your safeguarding procedures. The sheet has been designed to be easily photocopied & purchasers will also receive access to a downloadable version.

Membership

Why become a member?

Join Early Years Wales and become a member of the largest organisation representing the sector in Wales and benefit from our range of services and support.

Join/Renew Here

Resources

  • The Wales PPA Attendance Register is an essential tool for keeping precise records of attendance at your setting. This bilingual publication as a high visibility cover and provides space to register up to 48 children and 10 staff, for 52 weeks of the year. Its format is designed with shorter pages, eliminating any need for folding to align with names. It allows for plenty of other useful information to be kept including: term dates, emergency contact details and children’s details. The Register also features a sample Child’s Signing in and Out Sheet; to be completed by the person dropping off and collecting the child. This supports your safeguarding procedures. The sheet has been designed to be easily photocopied & purchasers will also receive access to a downloadable version.
  • An invaluable bilingual book for any setting. It contains room to record 25 separate incidents and accidents on carbonless paper, enabling you to provide a parent or guardian with a copy. Type: A4 Booklet
  • This important resource is for providers wanting to ensure they have up-to-date policies and procedures* that clearly match CIW’s National Minimum Standards. Included in the pack is a book with 29 comprehensive policies and procedures in template format, a CD containing editable Word documents of the templates featured in the book, and guides to help you tailor them. Available in English and Welsh. *Revised in accordance with NMS 2016 Type: A4 Booklet & CD
  • Early years providers can use this comprehensive new pack to help them with all aspects of recruiting. There are template recruitment procedures; job descriptions and person specifications; staff induction checklists; continuing professional development records; plus many more. The pack includes a book for reference and a CD with Word document templates for you to adapt.

Training

Quality Assurance

Quality for All (QfA) is Early Years Wales’ quality assurance scheme. It is available to any type of child care service and involves a written self-evaluation of the service and an assessment of practice.

QfA helps providers of children’s day care to think about and demonstrate how they plan and improve their service. The award aims high. It considers more than minimum standards, giving providers the opportunity to gain recognition for the investment and contribution they and their staff make to children’s day care.

For more info on how QfA works: download our Factsheet here

For those with three or more settings there is a 10% discount for the second (and each additional) setting. Please call us on 029 2045 1242 or email qfa@earlyyears.wales to claim your discount.

  • Our downloadable guidance and evaluation packs explain what an assessor is looking for, and some suggestions for you to consider when you complete the evaluation form. You complete the initial assessment for accreditation. The form asks about your service, your plans to improve it and how you operate on a day to day basis. Once accredited, you complete a shorter, re-accreditation form each year which focuses on your continuing improvement. The evaluation of your provision and practice is continued over time by updating and amending your improvement plan and action points as circumstances change. This commitment to continuous reflective practice and improvement enables you to meet regulations and local authority demands effectively and economically. To get started, order your guidance and evaluation packs here, upon which you will be prompted to save or download the links.
  • Once you have completed the evaluation of your provision, you will need to submit it for assessment. Book your initial assessment here, upon which you will be prompted to upload your evaluation.
  • To stay accredited you will need to complete and return your self-evaluation form, detailing the progress, changes and future plans that have been made before the expiry date on your certificate. Book your re-accreditation here, upon which you will be prompted to upload your evaluation.

Smalltalk

Magazine

  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 28-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. Welcome to Early Years Wales   …apologies for the slightly later publication date but we have a very good reason for the delay. Since we announced in October that Wales PPA had become Early Years Wales, we’ve been a little busy crossing the i’s & dotting the t’s. Or is the other way around?!   The process of rebranding has been a very exciting one and we are delighted to be able to reveal our new look to you throughout the content of this issue. To paraphrase the glossies ‘new year, new us’, we hope you like it as much as we do.   As with every issue, we have so much to say, here’s a sneaky peak as to what’s in store this quarter…   Jane Alexander outlines her vision for Early Years Wales as we begin a new chapter on page 4. What is a brand? Early Years Wales is more than just a name change and a new logo – we invited Joe Brown from our brand agency, designdough, to explain the process behind creating our new look (page 5).   To celebrate, we’ve collaborated with Pete Moorhouse & Cosy to give one lucky reader the chance to win the perfect woodworking starter pack worth over £200.00. See page 10 for details.   Our cover story focuses on Childcare Apprenticeships. Essential to our economy, apprenticeships enable more people to achieve their full potential and are a valuable route into employment. We bring you all you need to know about supporting a workbased learner on page 12.   It may seem obvious but getting to know your local community can be invaluable. Rachel Davies from Llandogo Early Years discovered this when she wanted to improve the outdoor learning opportunities for her setting. She shares her experiences in Foundation Phase: Talking Point. We bring you more community partnership working on page 11, where we hear all about one members visit from their local lollipop man.   We welcome three new contributors to smalltalk this issue; Louise Wilkinson – Head of Information & Learning of the Child Brain Injury Trust, highlights the prevalence of a head injury sustained in the early years and gives us a brief overview of their newly launched Early Years Awareness Project (page 16) and on page 24 Claire Beynon, a specialist registrar in Public Health with Public Health Wales shares her findings from a recent trip to Japan where she has been researching childhood obesity levels. Mike Cassidy gives us some best practice advice when it comes to reducing the risk of slips and falls this winter (page 26).   Last but not least, we are delighted to welcome back Vicky Quigley and ‘the workie’ on page 20. They are here to remind you that the minimum contributions under Auto Enrolment are increasing in April 2019.   So, without further ado…
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. What does social networking mean to you? Nowadays social networking seems to focus more on ‘expanding the number of one’s business and/or social contacts via social media sites’ making it easy to forget about all the ‘real-life’ individuals we connect with throughout our lives. At Wales PPA we enjoy connecting with our members, stakeholders, other organisations & individuals via social media as much as the next person. As convenient as the internet is, you can never beat the personal touch. Wales PPA members are invited to attend many events throughout the year which are designed to connect you with likeminded professionals. Our members forums are a great opportunity to network with other providers, staff and guest speakers from across Wales. We hold one a year in each county and every forum is open to every memberwith the content varying in each one. That’s a potential 22 forums to attend each year! We give you an update from the latest round on page 4. Did you attend one of our Foundation Phase Excellence Network (FPEN) events that took place recently? Kelcie Hurley our Early Years Project Coordinator gives you a round-up of the agenda items on page 14. Don’t worry if you were unable to attend, we’ll be exploring the topics in more detail in the next few issues of smalltalk and have more events in the pipeline. Watch this space! Talking of future events, we reveal some exciting news on page 5. Go on… turn over now. We know you want to! So how can you keep up to date with all our events and forums etc? Social media is the obvious platform of course We’d be delighted to connect with you to help grow yours and our social networks. There is no denying that it’s an incredibly useful tool when it comes to marketing and sharing information. Be sure to visit our website on a regular basis too. It is constantly being updated with what’s going on in the sector and make our What’s On page your first port of call for forums, events and training that could hold the key to your success?
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. What do we have in store for you in this issue? We are pleased to welcome back Chris Thomas (page 6), who we met in our Foundation Phase: Talking Point this time last year. Her setting, formally Canal Playgroup, has moved from having to ‘pack away’ in a multi-use hall, to having sole occupancy of a room in a local primary school. We hear how Chris has been able to realise her early years vision. In 2017, Little Acorns Nursery, Milford Haven were the first early years setting to take part in a programme developed by the National ASD Development Team aimed at increasing recognition, understanding and acceptance of children with autism in their early years. We hear more about the programme on page 8. In this ever-increasing digital world that is designed to make our lives easier, there is nothing more frustrating than when it doesn’t. We asked uCheck, providers of discounted DBS checks for Wales PPA members, to run through some of the most common mistakes they see on completed applications and how to avoid them. Conversely, have you ever looked at your bookshelves and filing cabinets and wondered how much space is taken up by the many policies and guidance documents that you are required to have? We put the case forward for a digital bookcase on page 16. This ties in nicely with our review of the 5 best free Welsh apps, that we believe will be invaluable to your setting (page 12). Do you agree with our reviewer? Let us know…
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. In this issue we speak to Welsh Government about their aspirations to develop a highly skilled, early year's profession through their 10 year Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce Plan that was published in December. They provide some very open, honest & re-assuring answers to some of the questions you have raised during our consultations. Alongside aspiration, comes inspiration...Ellie Curtis is a young lady that has uses her own experiences and personal issues to be able to support children in her setting. Read about her achievements on page 4. In our summer 2017 issue we reported on the proposed changes to the current system that supports young people with SEN and learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Six-months on, the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill has been passed and granted Royal Assent. We update you with what happens next on page 10. What does GDPR mean to you? Those 4-letter words are probably very familiar to you, but you're not alone if you don't know what they stand for and what it means to your business. The truth is, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means a lot to your business, and no matter how small you are, you have to comply with the new regulations regarding the secure collection, storage and usage of personal information. Turn to page 6 for our sector specific guide to preparing for the GDPR which comes into force from 25 May. We are delighted to feature an extract from Pete Moorhouse's new book; Learning through Woodwork as our Foundation Phase: Talking Point feature this issue. We share with you the delights of introducing creative woodwork into the early years, focussing on mathematical development whilst demonstrating how intrinsic numeracy is to woodwork. Lisa Owen, Manager of Chuckles Nursery in Newport, is testament to that. She seized the day after taking part in a workshop that Pete ran at our AGM last year. Turn to page 16 to hear her story...  
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. In this issue we round up a very hectic year and update you on some important changes that are happening in the first half of 2018. We welcome back Vicky Quigley a Pension & Benefit Specialist from Demna Consulting Ltd to update you on the changes that are taking effect in April to the increase of minimum contributions that must be paid into your pension scheme for Auto Enrolment. (See also: Auto Enrolment - ignore it at your peril!) We give you a brief overview of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is replacing the Data Protection Act in May. Watch out for further updates online and in the spring 2018 issue. We also give you a more in-depth update on the Active Offer: how and why you should be delivering it. The Childcare Offer for Wales is currently being piloted in seven local authority areas. We have received many questions from you recently regarding the offer which we put to officials at Welsh Government, please see page 10 for the answers. In Foundation Phase: Talking Point this issue we tackle the subject of well-being in the early years. Kelcie discusses how putting some simple steps into practice through the foundation phase can make the world of difference to the well-being of the children in your care. A subject that has made the news a few times recently but not the headlines, has been the subject of underinsurance. Robert Lewis reports on the consequences of being underinsured. We encourage you to check your policies.

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  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. What does social networking mean to you? Nowadays social networking seems to focus more on ‘expanding the number of one’s business and/or social contacts via social media sites’ making it easy to forget about all the ‘real-life’ individuals we connect with throughout our lives. At Wales PPA we enjoy connecting with our members, stakeholders, other organisations & individuals via social media as much as the next person. As convenient as the internet is, you can never beat the personal touch. Wales PPA members are invited to attend many events throughout the year which are designed to connect you with likeminded professionals. Our members forums are a great opportunity to network with other providers, staff and guest speakers from across Wales. We hold one a year in each county and every forum is open to every memberwith the content varying in each one. That’s a potential 22 forums to attend each year! We give you an update from the latest round on page 4. Did you attend one of our Foundation Phase Excellence Network (FPEN) events that took place recently? Kelcie Hurley our Early Years Project Coordinator gives you a round-up of the agenda items on page 14. Don’t worry if you were unable to attend, we’ll be exploring the topics in more detail in the next few issues of smalltalk and have more events in the pipeline. Watch this space! Talking of future events, we reveal some exciting news on page 5. Go on… turn over now. We know you want to! So how can you keep up to date with all our events and forums etc? Social media is the obvious platform of course We’d be delighted to connect with you to help grow yours and our social networks. There is no denying that it’s an incredibly useful tool when it comes to marketing and sharing information. Be sure to visit our website on a regular basis too. It is constantly being updated with what’s going on in the sector and make our What’s On page your first port of call for forums, events and training that could hold the key to your success?
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. What do we have in store for you in this issue? We are pleased to welcome back Chris Thomas (page 6), who we met in our Foundation Phase: Talking Point this time last year. Her setting, formally Canal Playgroup, has moved from having to ‘pack away’ in a multi-use hall, to having sole occupancy of a room in a local primary school. We hear how Chris has been able to realise her early years vision. In 2017, Little Acorns Nursery, Milford Haven were the first early years setting to take part in a programme developed by the National ASD Development Team aimed at increasing recognition, understanding and acceptance of children with autism in their early years. We hear more about the programme on page 8. In this ever-increasing digital world that is designed to make our lives easier, there is nothing more frustrating than when it doesn’t. We asked uCheck, providers of discounted DBS checks for Wales PPA members, to run through some of the most common mistakes they see on completed applications and how to avoid them. Conversely, have you ever looked at your bookshelves and filing cabinets and wondered how much space is taken up by the many policies and guidance documents that you are required to have? We put the case forward for a digital bookcase on page 16. This ties in nicely with our review of the 5 best free Welsh apps, that we believe will be invaluable to your setting (page 12). Do you agree with our reviewer? Let us know…
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. In this issue we speak to Welsh Government about their aspirations to develop a highly skilled, early year's profession through their 10 year Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce Plan that was published in December. They provide some very open, honest & re-assuring answers to some of the questions you have raised during our consultations. Alongside aspiration, comes inspiration...Ellie Curtis is a young lady that has uses her own experiences and personal issues to be able to support children in her setting. Read about her achievements on page 4. In our summer 2017 issue we reported on the proposed changes to the current system that supports young people with SEN and learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Six-months on, the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill has been passed and granted Royal Assent. We update you with what happens next on page 10. What does GDPR mean to you? Those 4-letter words are probably very familiar to you, but you're not alone if you don't know what they stand for and what it means to your business. The truth is, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means a lot to your business, and no matter how small you are, you have to comply with the new regulations regarding the secure collection, storage and usage of personal information. Turn to page 6 for our sector specific guide to preparing for the GDPR which comes into force from 25 May. We are delighted to feature an extract from Pete Moorhouse's new book; Learning through Woodwork as our Foundation Phase: Talking Point feature this issue. We share with you the delights of introducing creative woodwork into the early years, focussing on mathematical development whilst demonstrating how intrinsic numeracy is to woodwork. Lisa Owen, Manager of Chuckles Nursery in Newport, is testament to that. She seized the day after taking part in a workshop that Pete ran at our AGM last year. Turn to page 16 to hear her story...  
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. In this issue we round up a very hectic year and update you on some important changes that are happening in the first half of 2018. We welcome back Vicky Quigley a Pension & Benefit Specialist from Demna Consulting Ltd to update you on the changes that are taking effect in April to the increase of minimum contributions that must be paid into your pension scheme for Auto Enrolment. (See also: Auto Enrolment - ignore it at your peril!) We give you a brief overview of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is replacing the Data Protection Act in May. Watch out for further updates online and in the spring 2018 issue. We also give you a more in-depth update on the Active Offer: how and why you should be delivering it. The Childcare Offer for Wales is currently being piloted in seven local authority areas. We have received many questions from you recently regarding the offer which we put to officials at Welsh Government, please see page 10 for the answers. In Foundation Phase: Talking Point this issue we tackle the subject of well-being in the early years. Kelcie discusses how putting some simple steps into practice through the foundation phase can make the world of difference to the well-being of the children in your care. A subject that has made the news a few times recently but not the headlines, has been the subject of underinsurance. Robert Lewis reports on the consequences of being underinsured. We encourage you to check your policies.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. In this issue we bring you the highlights from our 30th Birthday Celebration in Cardiff, with a fantastic range of guest speakers and workshops we introduce you to Helen Hastle, Regional Director of the Dollywood Foundation UK.  She is on a mission to bring the Imagination Library to Wales. Her article on page 6 gives some very simple ideas as to how you can fund an Imagination Library for your setting. Don’t forget your local Wales PPA team are here to support you through any grant application processes too?! Delivering the Welsh language throughout your daily practice is now mandatory as well as providing your service in Welsh without a Welsh speaker having to ask for it. We bring you the first in a series of articles on the Active Offer. How cyber-aware are you? We feature a series of articles on this theme. We guide you through the essentials of cyber-security and how to keep your business safe on page 13, Kelcie Hurley focuses on Hwb – the digital learning platform for all 3 to 19-year olds in our Foundation Phase: Talking Point and Robert Lewis, Corporate Director, CCV Cardiff talks to you about the differences between a standard Crime insurance policy and a Cyber & Data liability policy. Last but not least, tax-free childcare is now available in Wales. We put your questions to HMRC and they have answered them on page 22.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. In this issue we get you energised with Vicky Bowen and Busy Feet before helping you prepare for SASS part two! We're all feeling like we could do with a well-earned break but at the same time are all striving towards the same goal; to continuously improve the quality of care and early years education you provide. We also need to be thinking about the future, whether it's of your business or of the childcare provision in your local area as a whole. Glenn Bowen, Director of Enterprise at the the Wales Co-operative Centre talks to you about sustainability on page 6. Foundation Phase: Talking Point finds out what happened when the children are allowed to take control! Canal Playgroup in Powys trialled a Mystery Box as part of their foundation phase planning. Turn to page 10 to immerse yourself into the children's imaginations. Wales PPA has been actively participating in the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill on your behalf. Find out how it will affect you on page 12. Cardiff Deaf Creative Hands is a group that supports the needs of children who are Deaf or hard of hearing and their families. They have been campaigning hard and getting their voices heard, we join them at their official opening, where we gave a lesson on sensory play (see page 17).
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. The Birthday issue!! 2017 marks Wales PPA's 30th Birthday as an independent childcare organisation. In this issue Tessa Morgan a Senior Health Promotion Practitioner with Public Health Wales tells us about the '10 steps to a healthy weight' programme and how it is working in Powys, and Kelcie Hurley follows on in her Talking Point with how it can be put into practice within your provision. The Welsh Governments Progress for Success programme was launched in 2016. The scheme funds professionals within the early years, childcare and play sector to gain nationally recognised qualifications at levels 2 and 3. To find out how to apply see page 12. Being Quality Assured works! We hear from Childsplay Nursery in Carmarthen who have been received their Quality for All accreditation for the fifth year running. Rebecca Davies, Deputy Manager, explains why she thinks it is important to be quality assured and lays to rest any apprehensions you may have with regards to being quality assured. For more info email: clairet@earlyyears.wales As it's at this time of year that the majority of our members renew their membership, we invited Robert Lewis, Corporate Director of CCV Cardiff Insurance Brokers to explain to you some of the additional cover options that may be available to you on page 20. ...& Finally. Your business is our business! We update you on the result of the Cwlwm 2016 Business Assessment survey "Meningitis is the disease that is feared most by parents" say Meningitis Now. Despite the success of vaccines, the disease is still not beaten, which is why the charity is calling upon all nursery staff & parents to remain vigilant towards the signs and symptoms and not become complacent. Visit www.meningitisnow.org for more info.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. Delivering high quality childcare is obviously at the forefront of everything that you do as childcare providers. This issue is packed full of inspirational articles that we hope you can add to your 'to-do' list, if they're not on there already! Now then, are you sitting quietly?! We begin by sharing your news and ideas and would like to thank all who have contributed over the past 12 months. Please continue to keep us up-to-date with your accomplishments, and the children's, whether it’s through smalltalk or via social media. This issue we have a tale of overcoming adversity. In September, the Digital Competence Framework was made available to all settings. In our Foundation Phase: Talking Point. Kelcie Hurley tells you what you need to know in order to familiarise yourselves with it. This leads nicely to our feature from The Fern Partnership in Rhondda Cynon Taf, who are using a parachute to strengthen links between generations in their community. We also speak to Cathryn Evans from Afan Playgroup in Neath Port Talbot, which recently became Quality for All accredited. Don’t forget to enter the competition on page 22. We have three fantastic prizes from the folks at Cosy to give away. Of course, while spring is full of hope and regeneration, this time of year comes its pitfalls. We have invited Robert Lewis, Corporate Director of CCV Cardiff Insurance Brokers, to talk about risk management and how to steer through the potential hazards this winter. We round the issue up with some hints and tips on introducing children to the magic of storytime.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. Communication is key in this issue: we have put together some fascinating articles that discuss the importance of language development on a variety of levels. So, without further a-do let’s get the new term off to a flying start with some of your news from the past couple of months. Turn to page 4 to get your taste buds tingling with Border Pre-school’s menu du jour served up from their new mud kitchen! We are delighted to introduce Family Sign, a Cardiff-based Facebook networking group that aims to bridge the gap in communication for families of deaf or hard of hearing children. To find out more about the work they are doing and the obstacles they are having to overcome, turn to page 8. Matt Anthony’s article follows on nicely from this, as he discusses the importance of play in language skills development. We welcome back Darren Lewis from Ignite UP to give us an update on how the nature-based pedagogy Skogsmulle is settling into Wales and being embedded into the Foundation Phase and through the medium of Welsh. Talking of the Foundation Phase, we hand over to St Winefride’s Playgroup in Flintshire to showcase the importance of working with parents when it comes to understanding children’s schematic behaviours. The impact of having a parent in prison is huge. Jo Mulcahy from Pact Cymru tells you of the support being given to families and how you, as childcare providers, can access advice and guidance. The folks at COSY have come up trumps again. We have an amazing 20-piece Mobile Mud Kitchen to be won.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. ‘SLIP, SLOP, SLAP! SLIP, SLOP, SLAP! Wear a T-shirt, sunscreen and a hat!’ This is the message that Sun Safe Nurseries have for you on page seven. Have you signed up to their accreditation scheme? Of course, no issue of smalltalk would be complete without finding out what has been going on in member groups and regionally. But to kick start the issue Kelcie Hurley has put together an easy-to-use guide on the Foundation Phase Profile. The four areas of learning have been broken down to enable you, as practitioners, to assess the development of children in your care. Have you attended one of our Play to Learn training sessions? Sarah Wiggin explains the importance of physical literacy in early years on page 10. The CSSIW are back to inform you of the new inspection framework, the main areas of consideration and what will be done differently. We also provide you with some important information relating to storing data electronically (see page 14). We are pleased to introduce Kirsti Moore from Afasic Cymru on page 15. She would like to talk to you about the support they can offer to parents of children with speech, language and communication difficulties. Our latest regular contributor, Matt Anthony, follows up his first article with a demonstration of how our basic Welsh language course, Un, dau, tri – hwyl y sbri has been implemented in a member setting and the benefits it has brought. Play Wales’ latest information sheet aims to support early years practitioners to provide physical activity through outdoor play in their settings. Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales has very kindly provided us with an excerpt. The folks at COSY have come up trumps again. We have two sets of Uber steering wheels up for grabs. Great for developing communication skills.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. So, let’s start as we mean to go on. Our first issue of 2016 is going to be no exception, it is jam packed. We kick start the issue however with some important thank-you’s. Feel free to pat yourselves on the back! In Foundation Phase: Talking Point, Kelcie Hurley showcases sector-leading practice and celebrates Aberporth Playgroup’s recent Estyn inspection. On page 8, we welcome Vicky Quigley from Denma Consulting Ltd to give you a step-by-step guide to Auto Enrolment. If you haven’t already, her advice is to start dealing with it ASAP. We are offering you the opportunity for continuing professional development. Jane Alexander, CEO, invites nominations from individuals to be on our Board of Trustees. Are you looking to learn a new skill? Matt Anthony talks about the benefits of being able to understand and speak more than one language on page 14, and how this can be implemented in your setting with our Un, dau, tri – hwyl a sbri course. Available exclusively to Wales PPA members. After you’ve ticked everything else off your ‘to do’ list, including the Urgent Appeal from the CSSIW regarding the changes to staffing ratios. You may want to just curl up with a good book. Sarah Wiggin discusses the importance of reading and exploring stories with babies and young children on page 18. The folks at COSY have come up trumps again. We have 3 sets of Natural Number Line Tracks up for grabs.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. If you’re looking for inspiration, then look no further than page 4. We share news on two very different Graduation ceremonies and prove that all it takes to succeed is a bit of determination and commitment. In Foundation Phase: Talking Point, Kelcie Hurley showcases the benefits of Forest School and how its principles are being embedded in a member setting. Imagination + Mud = Clay Monsters (what else!) Whilst we’re on the subject of imagination, it’s not just children that have one. Read about Wales PPA’s new Learning through Play programme. If you run a parent and toddler group get in touch. Perhaps you would like to see your business grow in 2016? The online world is becoming increasingly important for businesses and the early years sector is no exception. Check out our guide to making the most of the resources available to you on the internet to promote your business, without spending a penny. Finally, sticking with our theme (don’t all groan at once!) find out how to encourage independence, creativity and problem-solving skills by bringing woodwork into your early years setting, with expert advice from Pete Moorhouse, an Artist Educator based at St. Werburgh’s Park Nursery School in Bristol. You’ll be surprised at how low-risk this activity is too. If all of this talk of being at one with nature is too much for you, we have a fantastic prize to give away on page 18. The only downside is that it is child size…
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. A new term is starting, and you’ll have lots of new faces at your setting. So, with this in mind, we have some quality articles providing you with ideas for activities to try with them. We also have a Reading Shed (worth £285) to give away. We know, a shed! More on that in a bit. But first, we have news that you’ve shared with us over the past couple of months. Turn to page 4 to find out what’s been happening. (Some children milk a fake cow, seriously, take a look.) In Foundation Phase: Talking Point, Kelcie Hurley explores practitioner and child-initiated learning, and we see how a provider applies these concepts to a recent activity involving tie-dye and blackberries. Really cool. Now, those activity ideas. Our main feature this quarter is all about cooking. Richard Shaw from Cooking Together shares some culinary advice for utilising whatever space you have to encourage children – and you – to don whites and get to grips with the spatula. And we all like a sing-song in Wales, don’t we? Plus, we like to celebrate Welsh culture, so we’re providing you with five Welsh language nursery rhymes, complete with the phonetic pronunciation, for you to learn with the children in your care. All together now… Talking about celebrating Welsh culture, we give you a taste of our Welsh event, Gwyl Fach, held earlier in the year. There are some of photos of the event and a setting shares an account of the day. Dr Susan Davis from Cardiff Metropolitan University is back writing for us, this time on your role in shaping children, and Meningitis Now update us on developments on vaccines to help combat the infection. Back to that shed. It’s a unique item, and the largest prize we’ve ever offered in a comp. We think it would look great in an outside space – if you’re intrigued, flip to the details on page 19.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high- quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. To sum things up in a summery summary: we have a mix of yours and our news, an update on changes within the Foundation Phase and some in-depth features on children’s emotional wellbeing and everyone’s favourite topic: play. In more detail: on pages 4 and 5 we find out about a setting’s recent Ofsted inspection, the Care Council for Wales update us on early years qualifications and their new resource, and our chief exec informs you on current projects here at Wales PPA. For Foundation Phase: Talking Point, Kelcie Hurley shows you changes in the early years curriculum in the coming months and how they affect you and your setting. There’s a useful flowchart for you to visualise developments. In our special feature this quarter we welcome the return of Deborah Fielden who has written an interesting piece on schemas: what they are, how to identify them and how they can help you in your work. Do you know what Skogsmulle is? Well we didn’t either until the people at Cyfleon Ltd got in touch. It’s a forest creature that teaches children in Sweden. Intrigued? Flip to pages 12 and 13 to find out more. There are these articles and much more, so before you head to the beach pack your copy to soak in the info as well as the sun. Oh, and don’t forget to enter our comp on page 18: you could win one of four sets of Hanging Number Cookies. You can’t eat them, mind.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. Are the days getting lighter and longer yet? We hope so. We’ve suffered too long in the dark and need the seasonal change to renew us with sunshine and, hopefully, warmth. Talking about renewing, we’ve been revamping the membership form and have one for you to complete in the centre pages. You’ll need to ‘spring’ into action (pun intended!) and complete one to remain a member with us. But enough about forms, what’s inside your edition of smalltalk? Well, lots. We have some news from the settings: two of you have achievements to share, and another has fundraising success; turn to page 4 to find out more. On page 6 there’s some important information for you: The Food Standards Agency in Wales supply us with news relating to allergens in foods, and health protection nurses from Public Health Wales highlight guides to infection prevention and control. In Foundation Phase: Talking Point on page 11, Kelcie Hurley talks about mud kitchens and how you and children at your setting can create them. They’re lots of fun, see for yourself. Later on, in the mag, the British Dental Health Foundation discuss new Nice guidelines, provide activities to try at your setting, and recommend tooth brushing techniques. On page 18 you can find out about the spring comp: Cosy has provided us with not one, not two, but three sets of Removable Number Bunting to give away. You could ‘count’ yourself lucky if you receive one (OK, we’ll stop with the puns now).
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. To start things off, a Wales PPA member provides insight into goings on at her provision and the excellent work Faith in Families do with their local community. We also have details of activities little ones can take part in during British Science Week, and beyond. Kelcie Hurley, our new early years co-ordinator, writes her first piece for us based on language and literacy skills. It includes a story activity that children at Myrtle House Nursery enjoy, get wordy and give it a go. What makes a good place to be two? In one of our special features this quarter we’re taken on a journey exploring how small children see their surroundings. We hope you can take inspiration and apply some ideas in your provision. Come and get your hands dirty and learn about fruit and vegetables in our green-fingered feature on eating and growing seasonal produce – it includes a guide to the easiest five veggies to grow. Finally, there is a sombre but important message from Children in Wales on nicotine poisoning; find out how cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapies can be potentially fatally damaging. Now for the winter themed comp: our buddies at Cosy have supplied us with a cool snow camo net and a brrrilliant set of 50 igloo bricks to give away to two members. Flick to page 18 for details.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. The seasons are changing, and at Wales PPA we’re also going through some changes as we bade farewell to our CEO Sian Davies and welcome Jane Alexander, who will be leading us from 22nd September. Jane is currently the national training manager for Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Club, having worked there for 13 years in development and training roles; prior to her current position, Jane managed a successful out of school childcare setting. We look forward to seeing her in action later this month. So, what’s in store for you in smalltalk this quarter? We have news about a new childcare partnership called CWLWM; a setting shares news of a recent carnival; easyfundraising show tips for raising money for your provision; and we have a special feature on our Welsh Festival, Gwyl Fach. There’s no Foundation Phase: Talking Point this edition, as we’ve recently taken on a new early years co-ordinator, Kelcie Hurley; however, she will soon be sharing best practices she’s discovering from you in future issues. Deborah Fielden is back and has written a fabulous feature on helping children (and parents) settle in for the start of term. Jeni Hooper also returns for an insightful piece on how parents and pre-school can work together. In addition, we have great advisory articles this issue with Dr Avad Mughal sharing best practice for looking after warts, and the Food Standards Agency in Wales explains why you shouldn’t wash raw chicken. All this and lots more waiting for you, including a chance to win storyline scenes or wooden plaques from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – perfect for outside adventures. What are you waiting for?
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. This time around we’ve got some fun features, news from you, the settings, and free resources to download; also, bilingual books are available in the comp and in the centre pages your invite to our AGM can be found. In the news section, we hear from early years providers in the regions: Dragonflies celebrate Chinese New Year, St Winefride’s achieve ‘Highly commended’ in our QfA scheme, and Wick and District become the first independent playgroup in Wales to receive the Eco-Schools Platinum Award for long term achievement. For Foundation Phase: Talking Point, Sharman Morgan writes for us for the last time, as she’s sadly leaving the association; she takes a look at what makes an effective early years leader. We wish her all the best for the future. Looking for some activities to try out in your provision or at home? Nicola Manley returns to show us some sizzling summer activities to explore; and Lecturers at Glyndŵr University share their recent research on future practitioners and outside play. Other highlights this quarter include getting technical with Barclays relationship support manager, Sarah Johnson, explaining QR codes and the Pingit app, the Care Council for Wales show us their new early years recruitment app, and easyfundraising look further into how you can raise free funds. Want to win a bilingual book? Turn to page 17 for your chance to secure one for your setting in this edition’s competition.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. This issue we’ve got some super features, informative news items, free resources to download, and £50 is available to one lucky reader. Also, your membership renewal form is nestled in the centre pages – you’ll need this to continue membership with us. In the news section, easyfundraising provides a lemon squeezy way to raise funds for your setting from simply buying things on the net, and The Communication Trust talk about their free downloadable resources on children’s communication. For this issue’s Foundation Phase: Talking Point, Sharman Morgan examines continuous play environments and offers practical tips to assist the delivery of the curriculum in pack-away provisions. Loose parts play is a phrase we’re hearing more and more of, but what is it? In our special feature starting on page 10, Deborah Fielden delves into the topic of open ended resources that stimulate children’s learning and development. Using person-centred planning and one-page profiles is important to support pre-school children, early years additional educational needs advisory teacher Anne Drewett explains why on page 14. Other articles include detailed advice on creating safe sleeping environments for babies; the dangers of colourful liquid laundry capsules, with warning posters to download and display; and promoting your business online while keeping your provision’s details updated in real-time. Want to win a £50 shopping voucher? Turn to page 17 for your chance to secure one for your setting in this edition’s competition.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. In the news section, Shirley Hughes writes about her setting’s recent open day and how wood carvings have brought educational fun to their group; and Vicki Neale from the Care Council of Wales discusses the launch of the revised childcare qualification list. This quarter’s Foundation Phase: Talking Point, Sharman Morgan explores the benefits of information and communications technology in childcare settings, plus things to consider when deciding what electronic equipment to buy. Our special feature starts on page 8 where Jane Evans takes a look at childhood trauma and the importance of support in the early years. On the other side of the spectrum, Susan Davis examines the importance of looking after yourself as well as others in your role as a child carer on page 11. Play Wales has stacks of new free information sheets and a toolkit available for you to download, take a look what’s on offer on pages 14 and 15. Roy Frances from the Woodland Trust asks people to go wild in the woods and find trees planted for your children, visit page 16 for more info. Nicola Manley shares some cool activities for you to try out in your setting, pages 12 and 13; Flick to page 18 and you’ll see the Wales Centre for Behavioural Change is offering free workshops for nursery owners and staff to help improve childcare businesses. Want to witness the magical lifecycle of butterflies? Turn to page 17 for your chance to win a Butterfly Kit for your setting in this edition’s competition.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. This issue is chock-a-block full of play activities and ideas, free resources to download, grant info and news. In the members’ news section, Julie May writes about her setting’s recent award, Nicola Manley discusses the Super Box programme – we also have a giveaway from the organisers on page 15 – and Gill Munro provides a background to developments at her provision. On pages eight and nine, Christine Thomas offers an insight into an activity at her playgroup and the Care Council for Wales talk about their new free resource for first year early years managers. Flick to the centre pages and you’ll see a whopping 26 play activities and games to inspire you in your setting. A few pages further, the Welsh Government discuss their recent ‘Building a Brighter Future: The Early Years and Childcare Plan’. We also provide some considerations for maintaining registration with CSSIW and preparing for inspection. Can you raise awareness of vitamin D? The Feeding for Life Foundation have launched a grant scheme where you can apply for up to £5,000 to fund projects that support best practice on page 17. Also, further on, Barclays have developed an app to make transferring money more convenient, and the Meningitis Trust discuss their new campaign. For this issue’s comp we have five bilingual books donated from the organisers of the Super Box programme: Booktrust Cymru. Turn to page 15 for your chance to win.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. If you go down to the woods today…(well, not the woods, but if you go down to page 13 of this quarter’s smalltalk) you’re sure of a big surprise: we’re giving members the chance to win a Welsh speaking teddy, more on that later. This issue we have an excellent mix of regular articles and new features. In the news section Alison Owen talks about her setting’s recent healthy eating award, Hayley Alexander-Luff and Eleanor Lansley discuss their nursery’s achievements, and Jenine Gill celebrates her provision wining Service Sector Business of the Year. For Foundation Phase: Talking Point, Sharman Morgan explores maths-themed activities outdoors and we get an insight to how three members utilise their unique outside space. In the centre pages, child psychologist Jeni Hooper states 10 important reasons why play is crucial for developing children, and a few pages further the Care Council for Wales are looking for early years ambassadors. We also provide a guide for sharing your news with us and Judy Hutchins updates us on the Incredible Years programmes. Since it began last year we’ve had 22 members complete our quality assurance scheme, QfA, and on page 15 we congratulate their successes. On page 18 we give a breakdown of changes to the national minimum wage taking place in October, and the MPLC asks if you’re pressing play legally. Now back to the teddy bears’ picnic, we’ve teamed up with educational toy retailer Bábógbaby to bring three lucky members a chance to get their paws on a BB bear; turn to page 12 to see reviews from members who trialled them, and page 13 for your chance to win one.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. Spring is here, the days are brighter and outside play is arguably more fun. To make the most of this we’re offering a great prize in this edition’s competition, but more on that later. This issue we have an interesting variety of regular articles and new features. In the news section Michele Brookwell takes a look at Baby Gym in Bangor, Hannah Piontecki provides details of Parents’ Week at Puddleducks and we celebrate Meithrinfa Babinogion being the first nursery in north Wales to achieve our quality assurance award, Quality for All (QfA). For Foundation Phase: Talking Point Sharman Morgan observes the value of pretend play. Our main feature this quarter comes via Mike Greenway at Play Wales who reports on Wales being the first country in the world to legislate for play. Other feature articles include Del Mawdsley and Ann Lyn Robinson from the DHSSC asking if you know enough about children’s rights and CSSIW’s Cerys Gage highlights changes to their inspection process. HM Revenue & Customs is implementing a new reporting requirement for employers, but do you know how this may affect your setting? Payroll director Richard Davies is on hand to provide information. Dr Aideen Naughton examines the important issue of infant mental health and Peninsula consultant Nick Badman delves into the HSE’s Fee for Intervention scheme. Finally, for our spring competition we have two fantastically fun outdoor teepees to give away to lucky members. Turn to page 13 for details on how to enter.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 24-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. This quarter we have the usual mix of regular articles and new features for you. In the news section we take a look at a setting’s Russian-themed week, another’s excellent Estyn report, and a nursery’s 20-year anniversary. In addition, we examine whether you need to register with the ICO. For Foundation Phase: Talking Point Sharman Morgan looks at the benefits of a bilingual provision. Features this edition include: Pembrokeshire Flying Start pre-schools showing us how they celebrated World Sight Day, a pull-out-and-keep tick list of 30 things to do before you’re 3, and sound advice from the British Dental Foundation on children’s teeth and oral hygiene. There’s also guidance from Stop it Now! Wales on protecting children from sexual harm, details on working with your Family Information Service, and a special in-depth feature from the director of the Save Childhood Movement on the erosion of childhood in the UK. Children in Wales provide details of Early Support, the family-focused service for young disabled children, and for our winter competition we have some Inclusion Puzzles to give away to four lucky members. Turn to page 13 for details on how to enter.
  • smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30-years. Published quarterly since spring 1986 and mailed free of charge to all Wales PPA members, smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and childcare providers in Wales. Our 28-page, full colour magazine is packed full of articles to inspire you to embed and inform high-quality practice, whilst continuing to run a successful business. Welcome to Early Years Wales   …apologies for the slightly later publication date but we have a very good reason for the delay. Since we announced in October that Wales PPA had become Early Years Wales, we’ve been a little busy crossing the i’s & dotting the t’s. Or is the other way around?!   The process of rebranding has been a very exciting one and we are delighted to be able to reveal our new look to you throughout the content of this issue. To paraphrase the glossies ‘new year, new us’, we hope you like it as much as we do.   As with every issue, we have so much to say, here’s a sneaky peak as to what’s in store this quarter…   Jane Alexander outlines her vision for Early Years Wales as we begin a new chapter on page 4. What is a brand? Early Years Wales is more than just a name change and a new logo – we invited Joe Brown from our brand agency, designdough, to explain the process behind creating our new look (page 5).   To celebrate, we’ve collaborated with Pete Moorhouse & Cosy to give one lucky reader the chance to win the perfect woodworking starter pack worth over £200.00. See page 10 for details.   Our cover story focuses on Childcare Apprenticeships. Essential to our economy, apprenticeships enable more people to achieve their full potential and are a valuable route into employment. We bring you all you need to know about supporting a workbased learner on page 12.   It may seem obvious but getting to know your local community can be invaluable. Rachel Davies from Llandogo Early Years discovered this when she wanted to improve the outdoor learning opportunities for her setting. She shares her experiences in Foundation Phase: Talking Point. We bring you more community partnership working on page 11, where we hear all about one members visit from their local lollipop man.   We welcome three new contributors to smalltalk this issue; Louise Wilkinson – Head of Information & Learning of the Child Brain Injury Trust, highlights the prevalence of a head injury sustained in the early years and gives us a brief overview of their newly launched Early Years Awareness Project (page 16) and on page 24 Claire Beynon, a specialist registrar in Public Health with Public Health Wales shares her findings from a recent trip to Japan where she has been researching childhood obesity levels. Mike Cassidy gives us some best practice advice when it comes to reducing the risk of slips and falls this winter (page 26).   Last but not least, we are delighted to welcome back Vicky Quigley and ‘the workie’ on page 20. They are here to remind you that the minimum contributions under Auto Enrolment are increasing in April 2019.   So, without further ado…

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