It is stressful being an early years provider, but spark will give you the control back, so all adults involved can strive for outstanding EYFS practice in order to get everything right, ultimately for every child at this time of rapid brain development.

It is stressful being an early years provider, but spark will give you the control back, so all adults involved can strive for outstanding EYFS practice in order to get everything right, ultimately for every child at this time of rapid brain development.
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We don’t know what we don’t know, do we? Also, we can’t Google it without knowing what we don’t know!

As resourceful humans, we might think we can emulate something that we see and teach the children without maybe, asking the experts and might take the subject at face value.

Let me tell you a short story.

I passed my English exam at 17, which allowed me to get into a posh college to do my NNEB. I was one of those children that ‘missed out’ on being an achiever in infant and primary school! I had two more shots at passing, by staying on at school for an extra year. The third-time lucky results came out in November.  So, I missed the September intake and had to wait for the next group to start in January.

While waiting, I worked as a ‘live in Mother’s Help’. I got my keep and £5 spending money, which got me home for the weekend. I had already worked in a day nursery but never had children to look after on my own. One was just four, and the other six.

As a babysitter, I took the children out, did the housework and the school run and prepared the pre-organised lunch and their tea. The little boy had lots of toilet accidents.  I dealt with these based on my own experience of ‘family life’ and as set by his rather harassed parents. They were both professionals working long hours.

Once at college, I learnt about Freud, Erikson, Montessori … and the practicalities of how to support children with potty training.  I felt very guilty about how I had treated that little boy.

My whole upbringing suddenly came into question as I analysed everything! I guess, reflecting on this now, I found there was a different way that was better and ‘getting it right’ for the child was really important. It was a revelation in many ways and fueled my passion.

Having that record of failing at school at college, I had at last found something I could be good at, in addition, to enjoying the children and their activities.

Moving on ten years, I was told it was essential to teach French correctly with the proper accent from the start. French was the ‘fashionable extra-curricular subject’ being offered in many nurseries and preschools. There were team members across my nurseries with A Level French, but with this knowledge, I decided not to go down that route. (I will tell you what we did instead in another blog!)

I understand the influence we have as early years educators on children. How the early years of a child’s life set the blueprint for how great the rest of their life will be. So, I have become a bit of a stickler ‘to get things right’.

Now, I know little about Yoga. It seems to be one of the ‘fashionable extra-curricular’ activities in day nurseries and preschools of late. Often Yoga falls in the ‘well-being’ bracket of the settings curriculum.

In January 2023, I learnt how Yoga is taught will determine if children can carry more than Yoga postures through into their future. You can watch the event in full, HERE.

An excellent example of how ‘getting it right’ by providing a researched programme delivered on how children learn, and by stage-appropriate methods, meeting learning needs based on progress. Yoga can be much more than maybe it is currently being presented in many settings across the country.

Watch “How significant can yoga be for EYFS provision?” – the full sparkDEBATE between myself and Susan Hartley, professional Yogini, HERE.