smalltalk - May 2024

smalltalk…supporting the early years sector in Wales for over 30 years.

Published since spring 1986, and mailed free of charge to all Early Years Wales members. smalltalk is the must-read title for early years education and early years childcare providers in Wales.

Whether you are looking for ideas to implement within the setting or to help you with your training and development, wanting to keep up to date with the latest curriculum changes or changes in legislation, our 64-page, fully bilingual, 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 the May 2024 edition of smalltalk

What’s on the cover?

The Sustainability Issue

  • We open the issue on page 4. with Derek Walker, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales. He talks to us about how we can all play our part in leaving the world better than we found it.
  • On page 6, we focus on the role nature plays in helping us support the next generation to be more efficient and sustainable
  • Sarah Sharpe, owner of Poppins Childcare takes us on a guided tour of her allotment on page 10.
  • Cydweith Cymraeg; our Welsh language project gives families the confidence to use Welsh at home on page 14.
  • Nesta Cymru reveal the findings of thier recent research into how low-income parents engage with Flying Start services in Cardiff on page 16

Read on for a full list of contents...

4. How we can all play our part in leaving the world better than we found it

Derek Walker, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales reminds us of our responsibility to be good ancestors.

7. Curriculum Focus: How can we support the next generation to be more efficient and sustainable?

Kelcie Stacey considers how practitioners can inspire children’s positive interactions with the outdoors.

10. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Sarah Sharpe, Poppins Daycare in Barry gives us a guided tour of her allotment.

13. Competition time with TTS

Win an Eco Sand & Water Kit (worth £54.99) courtesy of TTS.

14. Have fun with the language!

Following a successful pilot, we’re ready to roll out Cydweith Cymraeg. Our Welsh language project that brings parents, practitioners, and children together.

16. Lessons from parents – 7 ways we could further engage families in early years’ services

A recent study between Nesta and Cardiff Flying Start explored families journeys through early years services.

18. It’s good to talk

Do you make time to talk? Talking is a fundamental aspect of leadership and can impact performance and morale. Turn to page 18 to find out why you should make time to talk to your teams.

19. Sustainable fundraising: unleash the power of easyfundraising

Align your fundraising efforts with your commitment to sustainability with easyfundraising.

20. Managing Food Allergies in Early Years Settings

Sarah Knight, founder of The Allergy Team opens up about the importance of understanding food allergy and offers some practical guidance on allergy management in the setting.

23. Supporting a child with a visible difference so they can thrive

Anyone working with a child with a visible difference needs to be aware of how it can affect that child both physically and emotionally. We invited the charity Changing Faces who advocate for individuals with a visible difference to talk to us about their work.

26. Embracing Uniqueness: My Journey to Empower Children with Birthmarks

Growing up with a visible difference can have a profound impact on a child’s self-esteem. Jaziea Farag, author and mother of three talks to us about her experiences growing up and why she felt inspired to write a story that encourages representation, empathy and imagination.

28. Early Years Optometry

Uncorrected refractive error can have lifelong impact on children, which is why it is important for parents and families to know that eye examinations and spectacles for all children in Wales are free. We invited Chris Evans an Optometrist in South Wales to tell us more.

30. What is Professional Curiosity?

In order to give the children in our care and their families the best experience we need experience we need to develop our Professional Curiosity. Nicole James tells us how…

32. Paper Pot Plants

When we are looking to cut back on single-use plastics and watching our budgets, these biodegradable plant pots are a great way to encourage sustainability in the setting.