smalltalk - Summer 2020

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

Published quarterly 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 28-page, full colour, bilingual 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 summer edition of smalltalk

None of us will disagree that the past few months have been hard - even the most optimistic among us have struggled at times to stay positive when the only news being reported is all doom and gloom.

Of course, it has been serious, our lives will never be the same again and we need to know how to take care of ourselves and our loved ones but dwelling on the negative is counterproductive. So, to paraphrase Tracy Nevitt of Marford Little Explorers in our cover story (page 5) let’s put our positive pants back on…

Undoubtably the ‘new norm’ will bring about new ways of doing things and having to be innovative in our daily practices. The settings in our Childcare on the front-line case studies feature are already doing just that. As a result of having to adapt quickly to new ways of working during Covid-19, they are already seeing so many positive changes in the way the children are learning and developing.

You can download the case studies in full here

For us at Early Years Wales, even though our new norm is that we have been and continue to work at home we haven’t let it slow us down either. Have you checked out our new look website yet? It allows you to amend your own data, post job vacancy adverts and access exclusive member content.

…& we haven’t stopped there. Even smalltalk has gone digital! As every issue is focussed on how we can provide supported and structured creative learning opportunities for the 0 – 5’s, we would be delighted if you could share it with your staff and families too.

This issue is no exception, our Foundation Phase: Talking Point (page 20) focusses on oracy, and to complement this we invited Booktrust Cymru to talk to us about their Pori Drwy Stori programme and how it also supports the development of children’s Welsh and English language skills in the Foundation Phase on page 17. We are also delighted to be able to update you on our new Active Together Wales 4-week multi skills programme (page 11) which has been developed with parents and babies in mind.

We would love to know what you think.

No, we didn’t run out of ink for the cover! Most of you will have either seen or spread your own messages of hope by displaying colourful images of rainbows in your windows. Join us by taking part in #rainbowartprojectwales - we’d like to create a lasting record of the hope and positivity you, your staff, children and their families have felt during lockdown – all will be revealed on page 15.

On that note, I just want to reinforce the words of Dave Goodger, Early Years Wales CEO on page 5 and say a huge thank you to you all for everything you’ve done to support the early years sector recently and we look forward to celebrating your hard work at our Early Years Wales Awards in 2021 (see page 4).

Best wishes



Email: [email protected]



4. Let’s make it a night to remember…

Exciting news about our postponed 2020 Early Years Wales Awards celebration.

5. Childcare on the front-line – your stories

Member settings share with us how they have overcome the challenges they have faced whilst remaining open during Covid-19, but also the many positives that have arisen.

11. Sowing the seeds

An introduction to our Active Together Wales programme – supporting adults with their child’s physical development from birth.

14. Fundraising made easy with easyfundraising

With its roots embedded in community fundraising, the easyfundraising team give their top tips on how to raise money for your setting.

15. Cover competition

Take part in #rainbowartprojectwales

16. Do you want to make a difference to the lives of future generations?

Early Years Wales is looking for new Trustees to strengthen and diversify their current Board.

17. Pori Drwy Stori: Oracy, reading and rhymes

Booktrust Cymru supports the development of children’s Welsh and English language skills in the Foundation Phase.

20. Foundation Phase: Talking Point – Oracy

We look at how children’s oracy is being developed in two member settings and how a simple puppet can be a good mediator.

23. Moving Children Safely

Transporting children safely is a responsibility which must never be taken lightly. Michelle Harrington RoSPA’s Road Safety Manager for Wales, looks how to keep children safe on the move.

26. Quality for All (QfA)

Gain the recognition you and your staff deserve.


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