National Training Provider Teams up with Children’s Charity and

Calls for All to Put ‘Child Safety First’
Busy Bees Early Years Training Academy, part of the Busy Bees childcare group, has teamed up with national independent charity Ronald McDonald House Charities, to campaign for more people who regularly care for under 5s, including parents, grandparents and childcare professionals, to become sufficiently skilled and confident in the basics of Paediatric First Aid.
Coinciding with Child Safety Week (6th-12th June 2016), an annual awareness week hosted by the Child Accident Prevention Trust, ‘Child Safety First’ campaign is designed to raise awareness of the importance of Paediatric First Aid training for anyone who cares for children under 5, whether that is a parent in the home or a childcare professional in a nursery setting.

A recent study conducted by a number of credible sources revealed that, although 65% of parents say the thought of their child needing immediate first aid intervention makes them feel worried, 70% of mums and dads in the UK lack first aid skills that would allow them to help their child in a medical emergency.
The campaign also precedes new legislation due to come into effect in September 2016, meaning that all new recruits who hold a Level 2 or Level 3 qualification in Childcare must present an Emergency Paediatric First Aid or a full Paediatric First Aid certificate if they are to count towards the staff/qualification ratios under the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
As part of the campaign, Busy Bees Early Years Training Academy and Ronald McDonald House Charities have created a handy A5 booklet containing important information on Paediatric First Aid Training, over 1000 copies of which will be distributed across the West Midlands. It will also be available for all to download from the Busy Bees Training Website ( 
Throughout the campaign, Busy Bees Training Academy will be working with organisations including Ronald McDonald House Charities, the campaign’s official partner, Merry Hill Shopping Centre’s ‘Mummy Morning’ group, and Birmingham & Black Country’s Wildlife Trust to develop a series of Paediatric First Aid training workshops around the West Midlands, free to anyone who feels they would benefit from the experience (see Notes to Editor for details of times and locations). Donations will be encouraged, and all contributions from the workshops will go towards Ronald McDonald House Birmingham which provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation to families with seriously ill children being treated close by at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
As well as detailing the key skills needed to effectively administer Paediatric First Aid, delegates will be provided with an information booklet and First Aid Kit, developed by Busy Bees Early Years Training Academy, to take away following the workshop.

Talking about the campaign, Fay Gibbin, Training Manager at Busy Bees Early Years Training Academy said:

“We’re incredibly proud to launch this campaign as it is a cause that we, as a company, are incredibly passionate about. Nothing is more precious to a parent than their child’s safety, and nothing is more important to us than the safety of the children that we care for in our nurseries.

“We hope that by raising awareness of the importance of Paediatric First Aid training throughout the campaign potentially thousands of additional adults will be equipped, knowledgeable and confident in delivering the right treatment quickly and efficiently should the situation ever arise.”

Libby Aston, House Manager at Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham, commented on the partnership: “Paediatric First Aid training is an invaluable skill for families with young children so it’s really exciting to be partnering with Busy Bees Training Academy for this campaign. There will be several training workshops around the West Midlands, including two at our 66 bedroom Birmingham House, and we really hope that parents, grandparents and carers will find the sessions useful.

“We’re extremely thankful to anyone who makes a donation as it will go directly towards the running costs of the House and help ensure we keep our doors open to families with children in hospital. We had 1,274 families stay with us last year and without the generosity of supporters we would be unable to continue our work.”

Fay concludes: “Of course, we hope that no one will ever find themselves in a situation where they need to administer first aid, but, as figures from St John’s Ambulance reveal, 140,000 lives are lost each year that could have been saved by basic first aid training. We are committed to maintaining quality standards of childcare in the UK and, by sharing our industry experience with as many people as possible through campaigns such as these, we hope to provide all those who regularly care for children with the knowledge they need to help save lives.”
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The North welcomes Childcare Expo Manchester

In Manchester this month, an event for childcare practitioners will be taking place at EventCity on the 17 & 18 June. The show offers access to 1000s of products and services from big brands to bespoke independent suppliers to try before you buy.  There are also educational seminars for your CPD points, free hands-on workshops to take part in and lots of fantastic features to explore to pick up new ideas for your setting.  With the ongoing pressures of the recent Government announcements of additional ‘free’ childcare, there’s no time like the present for the childcare sector to come together and unite.

With free entry and free parking, the show is a great opportunity for anyone working within education to procure new resources, get the latest sector updates and gather new ideas. This fantastic show will also feature a ‘Make & Create Stage’ hosted by popular children’s presenter Dave Benson Phillips. Visitors are to take part either as a contestant or audience member to make or vote on the best resource created from recycled materials in the limited time slot. Ready, Steady, Create!  If you consider yourself a dab hand when it comes to arts and crafts, come along and show off your skills with a glue stick and paper cups along with other interesting items found in your Bitzbag. Be sure to get snapped with Dave too, why not visit the Snap & Share Zone which provides the perfect back drop along with funny props for those snap happy fans.

For those looking to find some new ideas for their settings, TTS will be creating an interactive and exciting Learning Location packed full of activity ideas which encompass all areas of the EYFS and focus on the creative and curious child. Attendees can enter an icy landscape of glowing glaciers, experience innovative approaches to ICT and mix, stir and conjure up creative concoctions! Be sure to get hands-on in the interactive workshops including Sensory Awaking Perfume Making and a fun Makaton Nursery Rhyme workshop from Dave Benson Phillips.  There is also the chance to access special onsite offers and discounts from market leading suppliers and enter exclusive show competitions to get your hands on some awesome prizes.

Whether you are looking for new play equipment, the ideal resources or want to find out more about the latest in early years’ technology, Childcare Expo is the place to be. To see the full seminar and workshop programme, further details about the event and to register for free tickets visit

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Tired parents need more help getting their children to sleep

Over three quarters (78%) of parents say that lack of sleep is the hardest aspect of being a new parent.
Some mums, dads and carers claim they would pay more than £10,000 to put an end to sleepless nights.
  • Nearly 80% of mums and dads say lack of sleep is hardest part of being a parent
  • Parents would pay thousands to end sleepless nights
  • 3 in 5 parents want guidance and advice 
More than a third of parents (35%) view getting their child to sleep at night as one of the most challenging things about being a parent. Half of parents say that their child wakes up at least three times a night on average. Because of these concerns and dilemmas 3 in 5 (60%) of parents want guidance on having a consistent and successful routine to get their child to sleep at night.

The findings came from a BookTrust survey of a thousand parents with children aged three. In order to try and combat concerns, we have teamed up with parenting expert Jo Frost to launch Bath, Book, Bed. The campaign aims to encourage parents to stick to a simple bedtime routine with a soothing story to help their little ones sleep.

Additional research shows that regular language-based bedtime routines are associated with children's increased sleep duration. Singing, reading and storytelling can help sleep in young children. Positive outcomes from a regular routine include less wakings during the night and longer sleep durations.

Jo Frost, who has been a nanny for more than 20 years, said:
Sleep deprivation is the most common complaint I hear from parents of young children. Tired parents and tired children is a recipe for disaster. But the solution doesn't need to be complicated regimes or expensive gizmos. A routine as simple as bath, book, bed can get young children to settle so that everyone can benefit from a good night's sleep.
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Celebrating Early Years Apprentices Across the UK

Busy Bees Training Academy celebrated the success of childcare apprentices across the UK at a special graduation ceremony, as they were joined by special guest, television presenter and life coach, Anna Williamson.

Over 100 graduating apprentices of all levels from Busy Bees nurseries across the country gathered at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on Saturday (14th May) to celebrate the completion of apprenticeship programmes in catering, childcare and management over the last 12 months.

The event recognised and rewarded the hard work and dedication displayed by learners in Busy Bees nurseries every day, as well as promote the exceptional value that Apprenticeships can bring to other businesses and the wider UK workforce.

The New York-themed event was facilitated by Coventry and Warwickshire’s Free Radio Breakfast Presenter, John Dalziel, who introduced the crowd to guest speakers, Busy Bees MD Marg Randles, HR Director Claire Phizacklea and TV Presenter Anna Williamson.

Talking to the crowd, Anna, who is also a life coach, shared her experiences and wise words with the young apprentices. She explains what she wanted to achieve with her inspirational talk;

“Some of the Apprentices’ I addressed today are young and are still dealing with all the insecurities and worries most of us at that age faced. I really wanted to take this opportunity to try and impart some of the lessons I have learned along the way. One of those would be to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks of you and the decisions you make. We spend a lot of time trying to please others, second guessing our instinct. Just remember who you are, what your values are, and what you want from life, and don’t let others influence you too much. Of course, it’s good to take feedback and advice, but eventually we have to go for what we believe is right. Once I realised that, I was a lot happier and better at my job because of it.
“Today is about empowering these fabulous young men and women who are achieving, sometimes in the face of adversity. I do a lot of work in my role as mentor with The Princes Trust, as a ChildLine Councillor, and an ambassador for Mind, a charity that deals with mental health issues. As someone who has suffered with my own metal health issues, I understand how much it impacts on your work. Today isn’t about me at all, but I wanted to share a bit about my life as a TV presenter, which looks glamourous, and it can be, but there is also a really human side to me and my life and behind my confidence I’ve battled my own issues with anxiety. Hopefully people will realise they’re not alone and if I can overcome it, then so can they.

“It’s also about learning how to celebrate their achievements, and hopefully they’ll come out of today feeling very chuffed with themselves and the things they have achieved so far.”

Talking about learning, and Apprenticeships in particular, Anna goes on to say;

“I think it’s really important to keep learning and challenging yourself, and I’m genuinely a fan of Apprenticeships. I’m fairly academic, but I was far more interested in performance and vocational subjects but I was never encouraged to explore that because it was seen as substandard compared to areas such as Maths or Science. I really disagree and I believe there should be do differentiation between academic and vocational studies. When we’re at school we sometimes get pushed down a route we don’t necessarily want to do, but it’s important to do what you have a passion for and enjoy. Whatever you’re interested in and feel you have a natural talent for you should be encouraged to go for it, and you really can’t get a worthier job that as a childcare professional.

“I enjoy learning because it gives me more credibility and passion for what I’m doing. So keep learning, and developing. You only get one chance in life, so go out and do something you enjoy!”

As well as enjoying a selection of ‘mocktails’, a celebratory lunch and posing with various ‘cuts outs’ of famous celebrities, a series of individual awards were presented to a number of the highest achieving apprentices, sponsored by local businesses and associates of Busy Bees Training Academy (see notes to editors for full list of sponsors).

The chosen categories this year were: Intermediate Apprentice of the Year (Childcare), Advanced Apprentice of the Year (Childcare), Management Apprentice of the Year, Catering Apprentice of the Year, Traineeship Learner of the Year, Outstanding Achievement Award, Recognition of Career Progression Award, Best Nursery Support of the Year and Training Officer of the Year (see notes to editors for list of winners).

Each of the winners received a special gift and award as well as a certificate to proudly display at home.

Training Manager at Busy Bees Training Academy, Fay Gibbin, explains:

“The graduation ceremony is a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate our apprentices and a means of rewarding them for the quality of work they have displayed throughout their training programme to date. A huge congratulates goes to them and to all of our winners on the day.

“We also hope that the afternoon supports and promotes the benefits Apprentices bring to a team. We have found that their ‘hands-on’ experience, enthusiasm and fresh-thinking has added a great deal of value to the care we provide within Busy Bees nurseries.”

Talking about the value of apprenticeships, Fay goes on to say;

“Rather than wrongly assume that apprenticeships are for young people with fewer academic alternatives, as a society we should acknowledge and wholeheartedly welcome vocational study as a credible alternative to university education and as a way to continuously develop our experiences throughout our working life. As education providers, we all need to highlight the benefits apprentices can bring to business owners, as well as school leavers, so more quality places are available in a range of sectors. The quality teams they produce is evident in the fantastic graduates we have here today and in the staff teams that deliver quality childcare within our nurseries every day.”
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Early Years Leaders Speak in Manchester this June

Early years practitioners will have plenty to explore next month at Childcare Expo Manchester. The exhibition will be taking place at EventCity, conveniently located next door to the Trafford Centre on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th June.  With free entry and free parking, the show is a fantastic opportunity for anyone working within education to procure new resources, get the latest sector updates and gather new ideas for their settings.
Expert speakers will be covering a wide variety of current topics throughout the show offering the perfect chance for visitors to top up on their CPD. On the Friday, Jeremy Clarke from Montessori Centre International will start the day off exploring the ideas behind children as leaders of their own learning, looking at areas including freedom, choice, language and risk. For those looking to improve their outdoor provisions, Gail Ryder Richardson will be on hand to guide practitioners and give practical examples.

From Pre-school Learning Alliance, Michael Freeston will be covering safeguarding within Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework and there’s the chance to hear from Ofsted directly as inspector Tim Vaughan discusses how to improve practise for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage in schools and early years settings. Tamsin Grimmer from Linden Learning will also cover the hot topic of school readiness and look at how practitioners can support children and families in this area.

On the Saturday, further educational seminars will take place including ‘Observing, Assessing and Mapping Children’s Progress through the EYFS’ from early childhood consultant Di Chilvers; ‘Helping Children Manage Risk’ by Gemma Pawson from Bright Horizons Family Solutions and ‘Little Scientists Leading the Way’ from NDNA’s Jo Baranek.  Sarah Blackwell from Forest Schools Education will lead an inspirational seminar covering the transformative approach to education available through Forest Schools. The seminars programme will be closed by Therapeutic Consultant, Play Therapist and Author Cath Hunter with a seminar that looks at understanding how and why children communicate through their behaviour and how to respond to and manage this communication.

To see the full seminar programme, further details about the event and to register for free tickets visit
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York nurseries' withdrawal from 30 free hours scheme is early warning for Government, says NDNA

Today, over 30 childcare providers in York said 'no' to the Government's offered rate for the Early Implementers' Pilot in York.

At £3.95 per hour for the second 15 hours of funding for working parents, the rate would mean a loss for providers, says nursery owners and managers in the city.

Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), Purnima Tanuku OBE, said: “It is disappointing but entirely understandable that nurseries won’t commit to the pilot because they aren’t getting paid a fair rate for their business to continue as a going concern.

“We warned the Government that childcare providers might find themselves having to make this decision. When the Government announced a £300 million uplift in funding, this averaged out at an hourly rate of £4.88 to local authorities. Early years funding has stagnated in recent years with hourly rates reducing in real terms. If the starting point for 30 funded hours is too low there is no hope these pilots will succeed.

“But we don’t want a situation where parents cannot benefit from the additional free hours because the funding rate is too low for providers to offer it.

“This pilot was set up to be able to test how the delivery of 30 funded hours would work in practice, but with so many providers prevented from taking part, it won’t give a true reflection of how an authority-wide scheme will work across all settings.

“We are sure that parents will appreciate that quality learning and care does not come cheaply and that providers cannot subsidise free hours offer any further.

“We are hopeful that a workable solution can be found before the pilot is due to start in September. It is an early warning signal that the Government must take this seriously and address the issues before the pilot starts.”

Ken McArthur, owner of Polly Anna's, Haxby and NDNA York network chair, said: "They want me to take less money per hour than I'm getting now. That is unworkable."

Beverley Foers from Daisy Chain nursery, Heworth, said: "At this rate, They're stopping us from implementing this pilot and helping our parents."

Helen Gration, owner of York Montessori Nursery, asked: "Surely a child is worth more than this in an experiment that will go country wide in 2017?"
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