A quality curriculum doesn't come from a box...

Playing and learning

It can not be purchased or delivered to your door. It’s not pre-cut pumpkins or circles for snowmen. It’s not two dimensional colouring sheets or outdated dittos. It certainly isn’t hours of teacher directed activities or forced participation. It’s not an end product. It isn’t rigid detailed schedules hanging on the wall. It doesn’t have to come from a school or classroom setting. It doesn’t mean designer furniture and perfectly landscaped playgrounds. Quality preschool curriculum is much more than that.


It’s about engaging in meaningful conversations and every day experiences. It’s developing a relationship with each child and embracing their individuality. It’s allowing them to use all of their senses. It’s child led and driven by their desire to understand more. It trusts them as capable learners and supports their choices. It’s about exploration and freedom of creativity. It allows them to accomplish goals in their OWN time.


It’s about respecting them where they are developmentally. It understands the value of play. It’s unhurried and embraced. It’s being in the moment. It’s taking the time to pick the dandelions and dancing in mud puddles. It’s mixing paint just for the sake of mixing it. It’s play dough in their hair and grass stained knees. Some may argue that the parents want to see “proof” of learning.


I say, if they want to see proof tell them to look in the eyes and hearts of their children. It’s there they will find what they are looking for.

~Melinda Marshall,


From September 2017, the Department for Education rolls out a new policy of extended entitlement of up to 30 hours funded childcare for eligible children aged three and four.

A child is eligible from the term that begins following their third birthday if the child’s parent(s) meets the eligibility criteria set out below:

  • The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the funded childcare to enable them to work.
  • The parent of the child (and their partner where applicable) should also be in qualifying paid work. Each parent or the single parent in a lone parent household will need to expect to earn the equivalent of 16 hours at the national living wage or their national minimum wage rate over the forthcoming quarter.
  • Where one or both parents are in receipt of benefits in connection with sickness or parenting, they are treated as though they are in paid work.
  • Where one parent (in a couple household) is in receipt or could be entitled to be in receipt of specific benefits related to caring, incapacity for work or limited capability for work that they are treated as though they are in paid work;
    where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’, (ie they are newly self-employed), they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for twelve months in order to qualify for the extended entitlement.
  • If either or both parents’ income exceeds £100,000 they will not be eligible for the extended entitlement.







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