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The importance of the home learning environment

In this strange time when young children have never spent more of their waking hours at home, the home learning environment has never been more important. But what is it, and what should it look like? The term “home learning environment” (HLE) might conjure up an image of a child sitting at a table or …

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Time use in trying times

Last week the Institute for Fiscal Studies published a report called Trying times: how might the lockdown change time use in families?. It’s had us thinking about what changes the current lockdown is having on how children and parents are spending their time. Perhaps the most obvious one is that currently most children aren’t at …

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Extending the early years curriculum to seven years old

This week we’ve been reading about a petition that is gaining traction at change.org, having originally started back in 2016. Elaine Bennett, co-founder of grassroots organisation Keeping Early Years Unique, is petitioning to extend the Early Years Foundation Stage so that it covers children from birth to seven years old. Currently the EYFS is the …

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Home-schooling via YouTube

We are experiencing strange and difficult times at the moment. Across the UK, schools have closed to the vast majority of pupils and instead, parents are taking up the baton to home-school their children. For those with younger children, nurseries have closed and stay and play groups have stopped running for the time being. Yet …

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Where are the babies? A report on babies’ and toddlers’ engagement with the outdoors

We hope our readers are doing okay in these difficult times. We know that it must be especially hard for those of you with young children; you will want to ensure that they get both some exercise and also fresh air. Those with gardens can at least enjoy some of the sunshine we have had …

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From novice talker to human dictionary: pretend play’s role in vocabulary.

This week’s blog post has been written by Tasha-Ro Granger, a Year 3 Early Childhood Studies student. She’s focussing on how pretend play can support children’s language development. ‘Play’. A concept that flips the well known saying “easier said than done” on its head! Play is one of those words that baffles people when asked …

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A new book! Understanding Gender and Early Childhood: An Introduction to the Key Debates

We were delighted to receive through the post this week several copies of our new book; we were even more delighted to see it displayed in the university bookshop. We began thinking about this book in 2016, in fact we submitted the proposal the day after we finished the final draft of our first co-authored …

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