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FREE ARTICLE from the latest issue – Focus

Kirsty Jackson from Kids Collective, providers of award-winning out-of-school care, explains why a rise in demand for wraparound care could be a great opportunity for expansion for nurseries

PHE urges African and Caribbean parents to vaccinate their children against flu this winter


  • Over three million children are being offered the free flu vaccination this winter
  • Last year’s flu vaccine reduced the risk of flu in children by 65%
  • This year’s programme includes children in school year 4 for the first time

Public Health England (PHE) is encouraging parents and carers to help protect the three million eligible children from flu this winter.

This year, the vaccine, administered in the form of a nasal spray, is being offered to 2–3 year olds, those in school years, 1, 2, 3 and for the first time, children in year 4. Children aged over 4 in reception will also be eligible to have their vaccine done in school this year.

New data published in August of this year showed that last year’s flu vaccine nasal spray reduced the risk of flu in vaccinated children by 65% across the UK last winter, meaning 65 children in every 100 were protected from flu.

Flu can be very serious illness for little children. They have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headaches and a sore throat. Some children also develop a very high fever and complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis which may require treatment in hospital.

Dr Paul Cosford, Medical Director for Public Health England, said:

“Young children’s bodies can find it hard to cope with flu, so it is especially important to protect them with the vaccine. The nasal spray is a quick, effective and painless alternative to needles. Once ill, children also tend to spread infection more to other vulnerable family members, such as grandparents, so protecting them is a good way to protect the rest of the family.

“Getting the vaccine is the best way to help protect against catching flu. So I urge all parents whose children are eligible for the free nasal spray not to put it off. It’s free because your family needs it.”

Whilst seasonal flu can be an unpredictable virus, the vaccine is the best form of protection against flu. Vaccinating those who are most likely to suffer the worst from flu also offers a protective effect for the rest of the population by reducing the overall spread of the virus.

The free flu vaccine is also available for pregnant women. Research shows that under half (48%) of pregnant women got their jab last year. Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system, and as a result it can cause serious complications for both mother and her unborn baby.

Mabinty Esho, a mother of a two-year old, said:

“I had the flu jab when I was pregnant. I think it’s better to be safe than sorry and wanted to protect myself and my baby against the flu. I felt perfectly well after having the flu vaccine.”

“My son will be two soon and has been offered the free nasal spray, I will be making sure he gets vaccinated so that he is protected.”

Dede Efueye, Midwife, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation, said: 

“As a midwife I’ve seen first hand the serious complications flu can cause for pregnant women and their babies. The safest way to help protect them both is the flu vaccine.

I fully support this campaign and would encourage all African and Caribbean pregnant women and parents with children aged 2 – 8 to get the flu vaccine. This will help protect them and reduce the risk of spreading the flu to others.”

Flu can be particularly dangerous for people with long-term health conditions. These include: chronic respiratory disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis or emphysema; heart, kidney or liver disease; chronic neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy; and diabetes. Vaccinating children, who are super-spreaders of the virus, can offer indirect protection to other, more vulnerable family members.

Those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine should contact their GP, pharmacist or midwife now, for more information. Parents of children in reception and school years 1, 2, 3 and 4 are encouraged to give permission for their children to receive the free nasal spray vaccination.

Visit for more details on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.

LEYF releases new video

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LEYF releases new video

The London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) is an award-winning family of 38 nurseries across London. As a charity and social enterprise they really care about early childhood, childcare and helping families from all backgrounds achieve the best for their under-fives. Working in their nurseries means being part of a passionate team, helping children learn and develop in a fun and caring environment. It can be exhausting and challenging, but LEYF believe working in early years is the most important job in London, and have released a new video showing what it’s like to be a part of.

For more infomation visit

NMT Christmas Lunch 2017

We are delighted to announce that this year’s NMT Christmas Lunch will take place at the Amba Charing Cross Hotel on 6th December from 12pm to 4pm. The lunch will be a three course extravaganza starting with a drinks reception. This event is a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues in the sector and celebrate Christmas a bit early!

for more details

MP visits local nursery to discuss childcare funding

On Tuesday 21st June, a local nursery welcomed Michael Tomlinson, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, to a meeting to discuss their concerns over the childcare funding rates currently being offered across the South.  Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director for Tops Day Nurseries, was joined by Jeannette Pike and Louise Speer from Merley Pre-School and Caroline Marks from First Steps Nursery, to discuss the future for Early Years providers.

Mr Tomlinson MP was invited to the Wimborne setting of Tops Day Nurseries, which currently has 17 nurseries across the South.  He was first given a tour of the busy nursery, helping the children play, paint and also read a story to one group of children before moving on to discuss the current restrictions nurseries are facing in terms of funding rates.Tops2

“We were delighted that Mr Tomlinson was able to join us so we could take the opportunity to explain the situation early years providers are facing,” explains Cheryl.  “Currently parents of 3 and 4 year olds receive a maximum of 15 hours free childcare each week for 38 weeks of the year.  The government subsidise these free hours, however their rates do not come close to covering the costs we have, which works out as an average of around £5 per hour per child.  This includes staff costs, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, resources, food; the list goes on.  An announcement was made in April regarding new funding from local authorities and in some cases the amount of funding we receive has been reduced from before, with our Poole nurseries hit the worst where the funding was reduced from £4.16 per hour to just £3.71 per hour.”

Since April’s announcement, Cheryl has spent the last two months seeking support from other early year’s providers affected by the rates, as well as canvassing the local MP’s, which led to the visit on 21st June from Michael Tomlinson MP.  “Things will only get worse later in the year with the introduction of the 30 hours free funding, with several nurseries around England already stating they will not be offering this new structure of funding as they will not continue to be sustainable businesses.”

As well as discussing these two points, other topics included the impact that paying VAT and business rates has, the repercussions should the apprenticeship levy be implemented as planned, and the block to professional development for nursery practitioners being made by the government insisting on GCSE C grades in Maths and English before doing a Level 3 course.  Cheryl concluded, “As well as these areas of concern, Mr Tomlinson will also be taking our petition to the Minister.  We created the petition following the announcement in April to encourage government to review the funding rates now and not wait for the next round of changes in April, and to date we have over 27,000 signatures.  This is the time for Early Years providers to come together and fight for what we deserve as childcare providers to be able to provide the best for our future generations.”
Michael Tomlinson MP said of the visit, “I was delighted to be able to meet with local childcare providers to hear their concerns. Tops Wimborne is an excellent local nursery and I was pleased to be able to see the facility for myself. I am meeting with Ministers and will ensure that the views of childcare experts are well known and listened to. Early years funding is hugely important and I am working for a good deal for Poole & Dorset.”

To find out more details about the petition from Tops Day Nurseries you can visit their website

NMT Nursery Agenda returns to Scotland

The NMT Nursery Agenda, a regional speed-dating and networking event held over 24 hours, was staged in Scotland by NMT magazine on 1st September 2017 at the Hilton Glasgow Hotel.

The day proved to be a tremendous success, with great feedback from all involved.

CLICK HERE to find out more

Scottish NMT Nursery Awards 2016 – Host Announced!


We are delighted to announce that the host for this years Scottish NMT Nursery Awards will be Edward Reid.

Edward shot to fame after appearing in Britains Got Talent back in 2011 and impressed the judges and public with his wonderful twist on nursery rhymes. Since appearing on the show Edward  has been engulfed with success and performs regularly at corporate and charity events around Scotland and the UK. Edward’s extensive range of songs are captivating and he has enjoyed entertaining not only in his first passion musical theatre, but in comedies,  cruise ships, theatre, production cabaret and pantomime. He scooped Radio Forth’s Best Fringe in 2012 Show for his one man show ‘Living The Dream One Song At A Time’ and was awarded Bighearted Scotland’s Entertainer of The Year in 2013. We cant wait to hear to welcome him to the stage for the 2016 Scottish NMT Nursery Awards!

CLICK HERE for more information and to book your place!

Preparing your evidence!

If you haven’t already gathered and submitted your evidence for the government’s Call for evidence: review of the cost of providing childcare time is running out, as the deadline is 10 August.

FundingPerhaps, you are finding the task too demanding at a busy time of year, but the need is even greater now the new national Minimum Wage will make breaking even considerably more difficult for nurseries. But if you are struggling, do not despair – NDNA has a range of tools to make the task easier and more accurate.

  1. a pro-forma + explanatory notes, devised by the research company that is carrying out the research into the costs of funded places for the DfE. This will help you pull together the details you need in order to calculate your costs
  1. the NDNA break-even template, which will enable you to demonstrate the profit or loss of the individual rooms in your nursery. NDNA also provides easy-to-follow online notes on using it.  

NDNA also advises you to provide background on your nursery, eg your history, ethos, Ofsted rating, any quality awards, partnership working and how you contribute to your local community.

To access this support, go to

Nursery Agenda Midlands – A great success!

midlands_agenda1The tenth NMT Nursery Agenda arrived in the Midlands once again to a glorious sunny day and proved to be the biggest and best Agenda yet.

Held at the luxurious Ettington Chase Hotel and Spa in Stratford-upon-Avon, nurseries from far and wide gathered to engage in discussion, share ideas and explore innovative products and services presented by leading suppliers to the childcare sector.

The action packed day was kicked off by Paul Miller, chief executive of main sponsor Redwoods Dowling Kerr, who provided insight into the current state of the childcare sector. He said that the sector was looking positive with corporates actively searching for acquisitions and a steady stream of new entrants boosting the market. Redwoods had sold eight nurseries that week, for example.


The positive tone of the meeting was confirmed by a poll of the nurseries held at the end of the day. This showed that, without exception, nurseries felt optimistic about the future for their own business but also for the future of the sector – a more optimistic response than last year.

One of the joys of the timing and location of Nursery Agenda Midlands is that there can be an outdoors Drinks Reception which this year was sponsored by Santander, and a very popular cheese tasting featuring exotic and delicious cheeses sponsored by EASYsolution 4 NURSERY EDUCATION.
Another favourite at NMT Nursery Agenda is the BBQ also held outdoors – thanks to sponsor One File Primate for the delicious meats, salads and desserts.