Tag Archives: Nursery World

Men In Childcare Podcast

Men in Childcare: Interview with Andy Mitchell

AndyMitchellAndy Mitchell has had a very interesting, and almost certainly unique, route into the Early Years Sector. From being on the bone marrow donor register through the Anthony Nolan Trust, he is now a qualified Early Years Teacher.

Have a listen to find out how this happened – and how this career path has been via Norway (see photo)!

Useful references

Anthony Nolan Trust: http://www.anthonynolan.org/

Men in Childcare London: https://www.facebook.com/MeninchildcareLDN

Men in Childcare Ireland: https://twitter.com/menchildcareirl

This is my tenth Men in Childcare podcast. They have all been very different, incredibly interesting stories. One common thread is that all the interviewees are very positive about men coming into the Early Years Sector.

So, if you are a man, wondering if this is a career move for you, do have a listen to the podcasts to see if they can help to make up your mind.


If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a review on iTunes too – it helps to promote the podcast and get it to reach a wider audience.


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Men In Childcare Podcast

Men in Childcare: Interview with Stuart Cloke

Stuart Cloke pictureStuart found he had a natural ability to work with children from a young age. He has worked his way up the career ladder, to be Deputy Manager at Rochford Day Nursery in Rochford, Essex.

His positive attitude and helpful solutions shine through in this interview, epitomised by his thoughts about young children needing to be ‘Happy, Healthy and Safe’.

Here he talks about his research into gender specific toys, being short listed for the Nursery World Practitioner of the Year and gives some good advice for all practitioners who may be considering a career in Early Years Childcare.

You can Follow Stuart on Twitter: @Starburst_stuie

and you can find his setting at http://www.therochforddaynursery.co.uk  


If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a review on iTunes too – it helps to promote the podcast and get it to reach a wider audience.

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Recommended Resources

Fabulous Resources

As a trainer and lecturer, I’m always on the look out for resources that will support best practice in settings as well as resources that will make my lectures and tutorials interesting.

In the last week, just like buses, I have come across not one, but two exceedingly good resources.

The first is from ‘in the picture’, who are already well known for their training and information videos and DVDs. They have now branched out into some eye-catching booklets, the most recent of which is ‘Spot the Schema’*.

Schemas are a fascinating part of children’s development. By spotting schemas practitioners, parents and carers can support children’s learning more effectively and make sense of seemingly unconnected behaviour.

However, some of the standard texts about schema can be highly academic and this can sometimes discourage people from finding out more about this extremely interesting subject.

The “Spot the Schema” booklet produced by in the picture solves this problem wonderfully. The booklet is beautifully produced, in an easy to read format, in bright colours. Eight of the most common schemas are covered, including transporting and enveloping.

Each schema has a double page spread with signs to look out for, irritating behaviours and, most importantly, things you can do to extend learning and thinking. These are laid out in a stylish way and accompanied by some charming photographs of children playing.

But the real beauty of this booklet is its accessibility. Practitioners with little or no knowledge of schema can use this booklet immediately. Each schema is explained clearly with some really practical activities, which can be incorporated into the daily routines. The ‘signs to look out for’ sections summarise the salient points for each schema, including the children’s learning and development opportunities.

Particularly useful are the ideas for outings. All too often the advice given to practitioners concentrates on activities within the setting, without exploring the rich learning opportunities on trips and visits. These ideas are deceptively simple, but are the sorts of things that children would remember for a long time afterwards, such as watching marching in parades or visiting a train station. My son still remembers the elephant weeing at the zoo….

There is also a comprehensive reading list for those practitioners and parents who would like to read further about schema.

This booklet is suitable for those just coming across schematic play for the first time, as well as experienced practitioners, parents and carers who are looking for new ideas to support their children’s learning. The high production quality values will ensure that it will become a resource that I will be using time after time.

The second resource is on another subject close to my heart – the under 3s. Produced with Nursery World, this set of DVDs, entitled Enhance Active Learning When Working with under 3s, is a set of 4 DVDs aimed at supporting sensory play, communication and language, music rhymes and story telling and physical activities.

Each DVD also includes a power point as well as examples of good practice.

I feel these DVDs will bring life and demonstrate good practice well, both on training courses and during lectures. The presentation is very upbeat and not too ‘teachery’ – just what you need on a late night course!

If you have already used either of these resources, why not leave a comment and tell everyone what YOU think about them?

* Disclaimer: Victoria from in the picture sent me an advance, complimentary copy of this booklet to do the review.

The image comes from Jeffrey Beall Thanks, Jeffrey.

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