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Why Attend an Early Years Exhibition?

We prepare to celebrate our 8th birthday, we launched our EYFS nursery software at Childcare Expo, and we will be back again this September. I thought I would reminisce...

The sparkPRO EYFS Observational Journey

What we do, continues to evolve. Every book we read and every conference we attend will bring a ‘tweak’ to improve what spark offers. spark has evolved over the...

One method doesn’t meet all

Families’ needs are as diverse as the children’s.  Is that considered when we try to engage parents with their child’s learning? Recognising research that states, the quantity and quality...

Flick.

Investing in our early years teams supports what our vision at spark to ‘get it right’ for every child.  As a consequence and in association with Flick we are...

Observations Transposed to Useful Information

Regular observations are made, there is a breath of satisfaction. But what happens to them? Are they cross-referenced to the Areas of Learning, Development Matters Statements and Characteristics of...

NMT Finalist – Product Innovation Award

Building bridges with parents Our focus over the last 18 months has been to improve and develop a range of software functions that will support the provider in building...

Introducing the Early Learning Stage (EYFS) of the English National Curriculum

For International Interest The curriculum is based upon research in how children naturally develop and learn. The EYFS has age-appropriate targets (Development Matters Statements) in chronological stages, organised within...

Join the conversation… you may wish to get involved

On Monday 21 November at 4.30pm, MPs will debate e-petition 132140 on free childcare for working parents. The debate will be led by Helen Jones MP, Chair of the...

Asian Preschool Education Annual Conference – October 2016

Asian Preschool Education Annual Conference in China I was invited to talk at the Early Years conference ‘Asian Preschool Education Annual Conference’ out in China; the invite came due...

We have been shortlisted by NMT Nursery Magazine!

We are very proud to have been shortlisted for the 2016 NMT Nursery Magazine Awards, this time in the Product/Innovation Award. A fantastic honour and justifies all the hard work...

Practical Pre-School Awards Silver

National Practical Pre-School Awards for EYFS resources. As I write, it is ‘lunch break’ time, for delegates attending one of the two National Conferences; Early Years Premium: Innovation and...

Evaluating EYFS Practice

EVALUATING EYFS PRACTICE Evaluating EYFS practice is often defined as assessing the ‘Quality of Teaching’. It is about analysing how learning is delivered. In an operating setting this starts...

EYFS Learning Stories

Learning Stories may describe each Learning Journey. This might show how a child has developed since they began at a setting and will generally comprise of observations, artwork and...
spark-essential

The Early Years people at spark launch sparkESSENTIAL to their range of EYFS software.

With the lack of government funding and a decreasing pool of suitably qualified staff, spark understands this current squeeze on the industry.  Funds are tight and the ability to...
NMT Top 20

Catherine has been nominated for the NMT 2016 Top 20

Catherine has recently been nominated for the NMT 2016 Top 20, this time for the ‘Top 10 Most Influential’. It is always great to be put forward for an...

Researched: Could spark@HOME make a difference?

Confident that spark@HOME makes a difference, we are pleased to publish this report. Much to my surprise three years ago I fell so in love with the nursery my...

Sadie has joined us ….

Introducing me… I am Sadie and have recently joined the growing team at spark. I have joined the team to maintain the good relationship spark has with existing customers and...

Customer Service

spark is about making life easier and ‘to get it right’ for every child. In our nurseries, we found out the hard way and bought expensive software to find...

What should I consider when buying your online Learning Journey?

The Learning Journey decision… We encourage you as a potential user to consider what you want to achieve now and later as you consider Learning Journey sofware. Then to try...

Sustained Shared Thinking Strands

Are you considering the children’s Sustained Shared Thinking capabilities? Our sparkPRO EYFS software has a unique observational journey that supports educators and practitioners in helping children’s learning and development...

EYFS Curriculum Challenges – The Chicken and Egg Scenario

Which comes first in each of the lines below: To use time for paperwork or time for children? To make observations or plan for outcomes? To record or evaluate?...

EYFS PLANNING – Can it all be relevant to meet each child’s needs?

Planning, many settings do a handwritten plan a week in advance, often as a chart to show what activities will be presented at different times of the day. These...
track the childs growth with our software

10 Ways Software Can Make Your Nursery Better

Saves staff time – By minimizing the paperwork associated with providing EYFS learning, staff can save many precious hours over the course of the year. Saves money on print...
Learn with your baby and eyfs

Child Development Birth to 11 Months

In these early stages of development, babies are learning to understand the world around them and their place in it. We take a look at what children of this...
Become a happy parent with spark nursery software

How EYFS Learning Software Can Make You A Happier Parent

As a parent the needs of your child, or children, come second to none. You ensure that they are warm, well fed, and well looked after – but what...
Efficient Nursery Software

Ofsted Reports Decline In Early Year Childcare Providers

According to the latest statistics from Ofsted, the number of both nurseries and childminders on non-domestic property has fallen since March 2015. The number of nursery places available has...

Parental involvement in learning boosts motivation, according to a study

Recent findings have suggested that parental involvement in education has a significant impact on the success and achievements of a child’s education. It is difficult to define the optimal...

The four themes of EYFS – Development Matters

sparkPRO is designed to support teaching staff through the Early Years Foundation Stage and curriculum delivery, helping to provide the best possible experience in the children’s learning journey. What...

Statistics show that half of children are unprepared for school when they leave reception

Reports from 2014 suggest that nearly 50% of all children in England are not prepared to begin school by the time that they leave nursery. The report from the...

SUPPORTING GREEN THINKING – GREEN ESSEX AWARDS

Here at spark we’re proud to have developed EYFS software solutions which cut down on paper reporting for nursery settings and therefore freeing up time for practitioners to spend...

Play Iceland 2015

In October I joined the Play Iceland trip as a present to myself; my first nursery is due to be thirty the following month. I had aspired to go for the...

Exciting times for us – Our new brand launch

EASYsolution 4 NURSERY EDUCATION has a new name and new brand, welcome to ‘Spark’. Founder, Nursery Owner, Manager and Early Years Practitioner Catherine Lyon said, “We’re very excited to...

I use the PRO software with @HOME version in my nursery …

The PRO software enables parents to participate with the setting on equal terms by using their own @HOME.  Marc a Practitioner with a Level 2 qualification, has been in...

Who’s fault is it when a parent doesn’t get involved?

Maybe – A Blinding Flash of the Obvious! Parent Involvement ….. how to inspire! Out in China, helping develop a new setting open and use the EYFS curriculum, I...

Eco-friendly….. for those future generations

Being Eco- friendly is the new fashionable thing for businesses to aspire to, and it is definitely, in our opinion something for serious consideration in our world we live...

Last week I received an email

Hello Catherine, Please see the note Karoline sent me regarding comment that a teacher had made about sparkPRO – I thought you too would like to see it! …….. Dear...

From a Parents Perspective

An introduction to Mary Evans who wrote to me wanting to help promote our software! She writes… Ever since my darling son arrived I have felt ever so slightly...

Snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies

For those of you around London, I would like to introduce you to Faik Aktulga from Wild Fangs. We met at Childcare Expo at the show at Olympia earlier...

Is your most valuable resource, your team?

To deliver the EYFS curriculum – good and great provision will keep careful records of children’s achievements, measure their progress against the Development Matter’s stages and continually strive to...

News 2015

Events coming up…. April 2015 Nursery 2 Primary Show- Bournemouth 24-25th April Catherine went to China at the end of March, have a look at her blog… makes a...

China

I was approached when I released our curriculum software by a Chinese lady, Jan, who was planning to open groups for children in China… but the software wasn’t exactly...

A Visit North and the NWEYP Development Day

This year I planned to travel north to meet Kathy Brodie on the Monday, visit settings (both new and current customers) on the Tuesday and the Wednesday and finish...

Reducing the paperwork

Forward by Kathy Brodie as featured on her blog Whenever I visit settings to do training, or ask practitioners what would make their job role more satisfying, the usual response...

Real Partnerships or just Lip Service?

In my view, working with parents is either REAL or a LIP SERVICE. This interesting concept was a great influencing factor for me when deciding how parents could engage...

Taking Full Advantage

Sitting at home at the end of a cold day in February – Brrrrrr – I thought Spring was on it’s way!  I hope it is warmer with you!...
Ofsted

Ofsted arrives – and where was I? In London!

One of my senior team and I were indulging in some quality time together doing a training course about ‘Talent Dynamics’ … but that subject is a story maybe...

All Change for the New Year

We have been busy innovating and updating here at EASY in the autumn term and our most recent addition is the new ‘shop front.’ You may have noticed our shiny...

The Early Years Pupil Premium and Me

Last week I attended the 4Children Conference and it brought up for me an issue close to my heart that has long been debated: there is a consistent gap...

Nursery Chain of the Year – Nursery World 2014

We attended The Brewery in London for this year’s Nursery World Awards as a proud sponsor for Nursery Chain of the Year I was pleased to present the award to...

Plan Well – the curriculum and for improvements in your team

Plan Well – put the rocks in FIRST, all else will follow! Hi there and thank you for dropping by! Whether you are already familiar with ‘EASY’ and what we...

Our 5th Expo in Coventry

Hi there, I’m Catherine and I own and run nurseries in Essex.  Over 40 years of experience as a practitioner has thrown up many challenges – everything from runny noses...

2-3yr Progress Check

I wrote this blog originally in 2012 on another site which is now not accessible, so I thought I would transfer and update it. Although in principle, as the...

And the winner is:

Current customers completed three short surveys and were entered into a free prize draw!  One Happy Winner on Friday 13th June 2014. Our gratitude is sent to all participants.  Your...

What are the challenges when working with parents?

In my experience, I continue to battle to try and engage families in their child’s learning and development.   If I can help them understand that their child will...

2014 nmt childcare power20 and FIVE Most inspirational People

•••  Barclays HQ  •••  Canary Warf  •••  City of London  •••  29th May 2014  ••• Honored to be included.  A BIG thank you to those that nominated and to...

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