Parenta Magazine February 2020

Last month, we took a look at the different ways children as young as toddlers can benefit from having quiet, reflective time and even yoga and meditation. The mental wellbeing of these young children in our care is of paramount importance and has been the subject of much news coverage in recent years. This month, Children’s Mental Health Week, running from 3-9 February highlights the increasing concern about children’s mental health which, according to statistics, has deteriorated over recent years. All the news stories, advice, and craft activities in your free Parenta magazine have been written to help you with the efficient running of your setting and to promote the health, happiness and wellbeing of the children in your care. Please feel free to share with friends, parents and colleagues.

Last month, we took a look at the different ways children as young as toddlers can benefit from having quiet, reflective time and even yoga and meditation. The mental wellbeing of these young children in our care is of paramount importance and has been the subject of much news coverage in recent years. This month, Children’s Mental Health Week, running from 3-9 February highlights the increasing concern about children’s mental health which, according to statistics, has deteriorated over recent years.

All the news stories, advice, and craft activities in your free Parenta magazine have been written to help you with the efficient running of your setting and to promote the health, happiness and wellbeing of the children in your care. Please feel free to share with friends, parents and colleagues.


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

Issue 63





The importance and

benefits of messy play

The power of signing

and singing



+ lots more

Help build a


for children in deprived

areas of the world

page 8


Storytelling Week

National Storytelling Week celebrates all things storytelling, including folk tales,

fairy lore, phantoms, serpents, storms, dragons, and anything that can transform

from a figment of someone’s imagination.



Joanna Grace asks if

neurotypical paradigms

are damaging people on

the autistic spectrum and

delves into the danger

of gender stereotypes in

children’s stories.



welcome to our family


Tamsin Grimmer

discusses why using

an emotion coaching

approach is a great way

to de-escalate situations

and support the children

in your setting.

Hello and welcome to the February edition of the Parenta magazine!

If January is anything to go by, we are sure to be in for a wet winter!

What better time than now, to spruce-up and make cosy your ‘story corner’ and encourage everyone in your setting to

get involved with National Storytelling week, running from 1-8 February. As nursery professionals, you already know the

educational importance of stories and how they tie into the EYFS, so… if you’re sitting comfortably, turn to page 10 and we

shall begin!

Last month, we took a look at the different ways children as young as toddlers can benefit from having quiet, reflective time and even yoga

and meditation. The mental wellbeing of these young children in our care is of paramount importance and has been the subject of much

news coverage in recent years. This month, Children’s Mental Health Week, running from 3-9 February highlights the increasing concern about

children’s mental health which, according to statistics, has deteriorated over recent years.

On pages 31 and 32 – we celebrate all things apprenticeships as we take our annual dive into National Apprenticeship Week and explore ways

for employers and learners to get involved. We talk to some of our own learners and find out what it means to them to be a Parenta apprentice.

Congratulations to Joanna Grace, our guest author of the month for December. Her article “Alternative Sensory Spaces” gives some costeffective

ideas on how to create a sensory space within your setting without breaking the bank. If you’ve got a topic you’d like to write about,

why not send an article to us and be in with a chance of winning a £50 voucher!

To celebrate Valentine’s Day on 14th February, we have a wonderful craft for the children to make – a special sign language “I love you” card.

This craft allows the children to use child-friendly scissors and is a great way to practice their fine motor skills.

All the news stories, advice, and craft activities in your free Parenta magazine have been written to help you with the efficient running of your

setting and to promote the health, happiness and wellbeing of the children in your care. Please feel free to share with friends, parents and


Have a great month and please do send in photos of your Valentine’s card craft!



Signing & Singing


Galina Zenin explains that signing and

singing go beyond inclusivity, adding

another powerful dimension to the way

we communicate.




24 Write for us for a chance to win £50!

24 Guest author winner announced

26 Rainbow packed lunch idea!

27 Sign language ‘I love you’ card

38 What our customers say


4 Early years news & views

6 “Childcare means caring for families, not just

children” - says Cheshire nursery

7 Double success for UK’s largest early years

training provider

8 Parenta Trust news


10 National Storytelling Week

14 Children’s Mental Health Week

19 Book review of “What’s My Child Thinking” by

Tanith Carey

22 How to deal with rude people

31 National Apprenticeship Week is here!

32 National Apprenticeship Week 2020 – let’s

celebrate our learners!

36 LGBT History Month

Industry Experts

12 Using an emotion coaching approach and not

making mountains out of molehills!

16 The importance and benefits of messy play

20 The power of signing and singing

28 Processing feelings and emotions in early years

34 Neurotypical narratives

National Storytelling Week 10

How to deal with rude people 22

Rainbow packed lunch idea! 26

Gina Smith shares the importance and benefits of messy play 16

Early years news & views

Early years

news & views

There is no need to

teach phonics before

reception, says Ofsted

Ofsted have said there is “no

expectation” that early years providers

should teach phonics before children

reach reception, reports Tes. Ofsted’s

specialist adviser on the early years and

primary school, Phil Minns, revealed

that Ofsted is aware that the reading

method is taught to some children

before they start school. Mr Minns told

Tes: “In the first four years of the EYFS,

we wouldn’t necessarily see phonics,

and we wouldn’t expect phonics to

be taught. We know that some places

choose to teach phonics early on, but we

would hope that that’s always because

those children are ready for it, and it’s

done appropriately, and it’s done in

negotiation with [whichever] school or

setting they are moving on to. So it’s

actually part of a curriculum.”

Read more here.

Duchess of Cambridge

launches nationwide

survey on development

of under-fives

The survey will ask “five big questions

on the under-fives” which will guide her

future work, after she made the subject

one of her main focusses. The online poll

is conducted by Ipsos Mori. on behalf of

the Royal Foundation. It is thought to be

the biggest survey of its kind and aims to

encourage a nationwide conversation on

early childhood.

The nursery where the

children are studied by


Stirling University houses the UK’s

only “research kindergarten”. The

childcare facility is based in the

psychology department and children

are often observed by researchers

and students. Recently the team ran

a pilot intergenerational scheme with

adults living with dementia, in which

the children enjoyed music sessions, art

and gardening. Dr Line Caes, lecturer

in psychology at Stirling, said: “Our

pilot demonstrated that it is possible

to bring together these two vulnerable

populations. While previous studies have

brought together young children and

older people, this is the first to assess

the impact of nursery-aged children and

adults living with dementia meeting in a

new environment for both groups.”

Read more here.

From as young as 4,

children see males as

more powerful than


As early as 4 years old, children

associate power and masculinity, even

in countries considered to be more

egalitarian, like Norway. This is what

scientists at the Institut des Sciences

Cognitives Marc Jeannerod (CNRS/

Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1) report,

in collaboration with the Universities of

Oslo (Norway), Lausanne and Neuchâtel

(Switzerland), in a study published

on 7 January 2020 in Sex Roles. They

also show that in some situations the

power-masculinity association does not

manifest in girls.

Read the report here.

Education doesn’t start

at 5 and end at 16

Amanda Spielman acknowledges

that education does not start at 5 and

end at 16. The Ofsted Chief Inspector

launched Ofsted’s annual report on 21st

January. The report recognises that the

work of nurseries and childminders is

a fine balance between education and

care and it can sometimes be hard to

separate the two. Spielman said, “We

know that many nurseries are very

good at caring for children and keeping

them safe – and quite rightly. But we

have always championed learning at a

young age and, with the new inspection

framework in place, we are seeing more

discussions about what an early years

curriculum should be aiming to achieve.”

5 ways to get more men into EYFS

There is a major gender imbalance within the early years sector. In January, Tes

shared 5 easy steps you can take to address it:






Be clear on why you want men to work in your setting

Focus your strategy on improving representation; you want your workforce to

better represent the community it serves, not because you want men to bring a

special gendered ingredient.

Put yourself in men’s shoes

“Feminised” job titles such as “nursery nurse” could be off-putting (or at least

not encouraging) to potential male team members. “Early years practitioner”

and “early years educator” sound much more professional and gender-neutral.

Prepare your team

Keep an eye on sexist workplace “banter”: talk about men not being good at

multi-tasking, being “useless” with children or women being better at caring

should be challenged, for example.

Take positive action

It is not uncommon for employers to include a statement in job adverts saying

they welcome applications from people in under-represented groups (in this

case, men), this is permitted in the UK under the Equality Act. Take steps to

encourage men to apply; you could hold an open day targeted at men.

Reach out

Start having conversations with men and boys about what they could bring to

the early years sector. Actively encourage their interest in taking up careers in

early years and education to increase the chances of gender diversity now and

in the future.

Read more here.


can get an


free loan to

help with



A new childcare employee benefit scheme, Catapillr, has launched claiming that it can help

parents cope with the increasing costs of childcare. Families can face paying up to £12,000

a year for a full-time place for a two-year-old.

The online portal, created by Catapillr, enables companies to provide financial support for

their employees’ childcare costs. It is a similar concept to workers buying their season ticket

via an interest-free loan at work, with payments deducted at payday. Through the scheme,

parents are able to borrow to pay for childcare via a 12-month, interest-free loan.

Read more here.

Read the report here.

Read more here.

4 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 5

“Childcare means caring for

families, not just children” -

says Cheshire nursery

“Childcare means caring for

families, not just children”

- says Cheshire nursery

A day nursery in the heart of Hale, Cheshire, has now won multiple awards for their

dedication to children’s health and wellbeing, as well as partnerships with parents

and carers. These achievements have not only demonstrated a focus on caring for

children, but nurturing relationships with all the family.

Double success for UK’s largest

early years training provider

Double success for UK’s

largest early years training provider

Parenta Training started 2020 with not one, but two successful outcomes under its

belt – from an Ofsted inspection and from a matrix Standard audit.

Last year was a huge year for Elmscot

Broussa Day Nursery and Nursery

School. The childcare setting achieved

four prestigious awards for their

commitment to providing the best start

for children under five. These awards

were presented for the nutritious food

provided and for special educational

needs provision – in addition to the

incredible partnerships they build with

parents and families.

The Food for Life Award from the Soil

Association and Trafford’s Healthy

Setting Award that the nursery

achieves year-on-year, are given to

childcare settings that demonstrate

they provide healthy, varied menus,

as well as emotional support and the

best opportunities for effective physical

activity for children in their care.

Being reaccredited has allowed Elmscot

Broussa to show parents and the

local community that the health and

wellbeing of children continues to be of

utmost priority.

Trafford’s Giving Voice Award and the

Leading Parent Partnership Award (LPPA)

are specialist awards that focus on

special education needs and working

in partnership with families. They are

achieved through having effective

communication strategies accessible by

all children, as well as ensuring parents

and carers are involved in their child’s

learning by working together with the

childcare setting.

Elmscot Broussa has been awarded

the Giving Voice Bronze Award after

ensuring a designated Communication

Champion and Special Education Needs

Coordinator are in place. These roles

have been provided with extensive

training and have attended advanced

courses in communication, speech and


For the LPPA, the team showed they

fully supported and included families in

their child’s development and learning

while at nursery. Clear guidance,

smooth transitions and home links were

all integral areas in this achievement.

“We love building bonds with local

families,” said Annette Derby, Nursery

Manager at Elmscot Broussa Day

Nursery and Nursery School.

“This is something the team and I have

always continued with every day and

gaining these awards is a way for

us to demonstrate this to the wider

community. Being recognised for our

hard work and dedication is fantastic

and we will keep working towards

further improving the care we provide.

“We believe the true meaning of

childcare means caring for families,

not just children within the setting. This

ensures the best outcome for the child

and families have the confidence and

security in our abilities to care for and

nurture their child.”

Elmscot Broussa Day Nursery and

Nursery School is part of Elmscot Group,

which provides exceptional childcare

and education to over 1,800 children

across Cheshire.

The UK’s largest training provider of

early years childcare apprenticeships

passed its Ofsted inspection, achieving

‘reasonable progress’ across the

board – an impressive outcome for

a first inspection under Ofsted’s new

Education Inspection Framework (EIF).

For a training provider, ‘reasonable

progress’ indicates that a provider is

not only taking actions that are having

a beneficial impact on apprentices,

but making improvements that are

sustainable and ensuring that these are

based on thorough quality assurance


In the official report, remarks from

Ofsted include the fact that the vision

at Parenta is very clear: to support Early

Years provision and to develop well

qualified apprentices. It notes that the

leadership and management teams

have worked hard to ensure expert

knowledge and skills are also being

developed and supported through its

Continuing Professional Development

(CPD), in addition to the core

apprenticeship. The report identified

that leaders have ensured that early

identification of Additional Learning

Support (ALS) requirements enables

support to be available, so that those

with additional needs can progress and

achieve well.

When talking to employers and

learners, inspectors noted that

employers were positive about Parenta

and the progress updates they receive.

They value the impact that apprentices

have on their business and there is

effective employer engagement. They

recognised that Parenta apprentices

are safe and feel safe and know who to

inform when they have a concern.

The feedback from the matrix Standard

assessment was just as positive. This

international quality outcome-based

standard is for companies that deliver

information advice and guidance

(IAG) and when assessing Parenta’s

submission, the auditors commented

that the quality of both data and

resources that have been developed

across all areas of the learning journey

were of a very high quality. They noted

that Parenta’s main strength is very

loud and clear through the overall

feedback sought from learners and

employers – its assessors are ‘firstclass’.

Parenta CEO Allan Presland said; “We

could not have possibly achieved this

without the immense hard work of the

team. The inspection and assessment

both highlight our commitment here at

Parenta and our assessors do nothing

less than a remarkable job with our

learners. Their professionalism and

competency shine though, something

that is evident in their expert use of

questioning to assist our learners

in gaining a deeper knowledge and

allowing them to develop stronger skills

in their roles. After all, that is why we

are here! These results clearly confirm

that the quality of our work and the

clear vision we have pave the way for

successful training delivery.”

6 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 7

Parenta Trust news

Parenta Trust news


Although five months’ away, our charity, Parenta Trust, is gearing up for its annual

fundraising car rally from Maidstone to Monaco and is calling for teams to take part in

a “road trip of a lifetime”.

EYFS Learning

Journey Software

14 DAY



From 24 to 28 June 2020, teams in

both two- and four-wheeled vehicles

will travel 2,000 miles through eight

countries, traverse the Alps and

negotiate the winding roads of the

Furka Pass. This annual five-day

adventure involves camping under the

stars and taking part in challenges -

before reaching the final destination of

glamorous Monaco.

All funds raised from the rally go

towards building pre-schools for

children in need of a quality education

in deprived areas of the world.

Parenta Trust founder and trustee,

Allan Presland said; “The Maidstone to

Monaco rally never fails to disappoint.

It’s a fantastic way to bring people

together for a great cause and have

loads of fun along the way. Motorbikes,

as well as cars, are welcome and all

two- and four-wheel enthusiasts unite

on this five-day journey of fun, laughter

and exploration. We already have a

few teams signed up who had such a

fantastic adventure last year that they

can’t wait to do it all over again!

Footsteps 2 is the only EYFS tracking software that allows you to

blur children’s faces, helping to ensure you are GDPR compliant!

And guess what? It comes with a 14 day FREE trial.




Footsteps 2 is designed to make EYFS

tracking easy in your busy setting!

Here are some of the great features:

Unlimited Users & Children

Photo Tagging & Blurring Technology

Group Observations

Characteristics Of Effective Learning

2 Year Check Assessment

Parent Portal With Newsfeed
















“The support we receive every year is

nothing less than astounding; but we

are always looking for more people to

get involved, so we are appealing for

more teams to come and join us and

help us with “the drive to build a school”!

From this year, Parenta Trust, working

hand-in-hand with Parenta Group,

is aligning itself with the UN Global

Goals for Sustainable Development,

in particular, Goal No. 4, Quality

Education, which sits perfectly within

Parenta’s values and ethos, allowing

greater synergy between the training

provider and the Trust. Find out more

about Parenta’s alignment with Global


Click here to find out more and to sign

up for Maidstone to Monaco rally!

About Parenta Trust

Parenta Trust supports disadvantaged

children across the world by providing

quality pre-school education. It was

founded by Allan Presland in 2013

after a life-changing trip to Kampala

in Uganda. The stark reality of poverty

and lack of education for pre-school

children hit him hard on the day

he found a young girl on a rubbish

tip on top of a cemetery in an area

known locally as ‘Kosovo’. She was

scavenging for food and Allan found

it heartbreaking that she clearly had

to fend for herself to even find food

let alone be given an early years

education. He returned to the UK to

set up a charity, leveraging his existing

network of contacts in the early years

sector, and his ambitious quest to build

one pre-school per year began.

Approval Process

Individual & Group Progress Report

Learning Journey Report

Flagging Overachievers & Underachievers

Suggested Next Steps

Next Steps Report

Report Emailing

+ so much more!

See the full list on our website:


8 February 2020 | parenta.com

Start your free trial today at parenta.com/eyfs


National Storytelling Week

Storytelling Week

As nursery professionals, you already

know the educational importance of

stories in your setting, and the way

we all begin our learning journeys

by listening to stories that are either

read to us or orally presented to us

by storytellers, be they our parents,

teachers or professionals.

What is storytelling?

Oral storytelling is an ancient form of

passing on knowledge for survival,

education and recreational purposes.

It is one of our oldest art forms and

there is a society dedicated to its

promotion and development. The

Society for Storytelling (SFS) was

founded in 1993 to support and

promote storytelling in England

and Wales and is now the go-to

place for advice, workshops and

practitioners alike. Every

year, they organise

and promote National

Storytelling Week,

which this year runs

from the 1st to the

8th February and has

events all around

the country to get

involved in.

“Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.”

Most of us have heard this phrase and understand that it refers to starting storytime,

even if we are too young to remember the original children’s BBC radio programme

“Listen with mother” that it came from. For over 30 years, it was the cue for children all

over the country to settle down and listen to songs, nursery rhymes and of course, stories.

National Storytelling Week was

conceived in 2000 with the aim of

increasing public awareness of the art,

practice and value of oral storytelling.

It is held during the first week of

February every year – a week that is

not too close to Christmas but which

coincides with Candlemas on the 2nd

of February. This old church festival

traditionally included a blessing on

the throat, one of the prime tools in

the arsenal of nearly all storytellers of

every belief and culture.

National Storytelling Week celebrates

all things storytelling, including folk

tales, fairy lore, phantoms, serpents,

storms, dragons, and anything that

can transform from a figment of

someone’s imagination into

a vivid and exciting auditory

and sometimes, sensory

experience. The SFS say:

“Wherever the

events take place,

the web of stories will be spun

with sufficient magic between

the breath of the teller and

the ear of the listener.”

The week is also aimed at all ages

and will be delivered by practitioners,

storytelling groups, libraries, theatres,

schools, nurseries and educational

establishments in many different ways.

There are workshops and live events

to attend, and the SFS has produced

a video and resource pack to help

interested parties get involved.

You can get a copy of the resource

pack by emailing membership@sfs.

org.uk. It will be full of tools to teach

storytelling to children including how

to understand the essence of a story

in only a few words or key moments

which can help in mapping out story

structures and as a starting point

for drama. It will also look at the

difference between simply reading a

story, and the engagement with an

audience that storytelling induces.

Remember too that one of Parenta’s

main expert contributors, Stacey

Kelly is an expert in stories, using

storytelling techniques to promote

learning in children. Joanna Grace

is another of our experts who

creates stories, especially for

children with sensory or special

needs. You can access more

information about Stacey Kelly’s

work at www.earlyyearsstorybox.

com or Joanna Grace’s work at www.


Where can I find events near me?

The official website lists various events

throughout the year and you can filter

them by postcode, date and keyword

so there’s plenty for everyone to

choose from.

Links to the EYFS

Storytelling can be used to enhance

many of the areas outlined in the EYFS

for a number of reasons. It links directly

to the areas of:

• communication and language, and

• expressive arts and design

Because you can cover a wide variety

of subject matter in stories, it can also

link to:

• personal, social and emotional


• understanding the world, and

• literacy

But storytelling and storytime are

not necessarily the same thing. And

storytelling and reading are also

different, although related, activities.

The new Education Inspection

Framework recently introduced

by Ofsted is placing importance

on communication and language

development for children, including

storytelling in your settings, so this is

a great week to explore the genre and

find out more.

How you can get involved

The best way to get involved is to tell

some stories. Everyone has a story

to tell and you don’t need to be an

expert in anything to tell your own

story. Most of us tell stories to our

friends, neighbours and even complete

strangers sometimes, in one way or

another, every day. And you really have

nothing to lose by having a go.

Other things you could do to promote

the week are:

• attend events – libraries and

theatres are a good place to start

your search as well as on the SFS


• why not start a local storytelling

group? It doesn’t just have to be for

children either; you could have one

just for the adults

• organise your own events –

perhaps you could get together

with other local nurseries or run a

‘story-a-thon’ to raise money

• hire a professional storyteller to

visit your setting and deliver a

workshop or storytelling session

• encourage the students to tell

their own stories and share them

between friends and families

National Storytelling Week runs

from 1–8th February, but the four

days immediately before and after

those dates are part of the festival

of storytelling too. They are equally

important as they are its fringes or

preferably its “Coat Tales”, so make

sure you’re sitting comfortably, and

then begin!

10 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 11

Using an emotion Using coaching an approach

and not making mountains out of


and not making mountains out of molehills!

emotion coaching approach

You may have heard of the phrase, ‘Making a mountain out of a molehill’ – referring to

people overreacting and situations escalating. This so easily happens at home, and for

many of us, in work too. For example, you notice that the cups haven’t been washed in the

staff room again. You stayed late yesterday washing up and even made a note reminding

everyone to tidy up after themselves, but to no avail. The cups are there… again!

In a magazine quiz, it would say, do you:





Make it VERY clear how unhappy

you are and refuse to go in the

staffroom in protest?

Moan and grumble but not

confront anyone directly;

Ignore the cups – they’re just not

worth the hassle;

Explain that you understand how

busy everyone is and yet the

staffroom cups are getting you

down so you want to find a way

of sorting it so that everyone is

happy and ask to spend a minute

talking through some solutions in

the next staff meeting.

Some of these responses would

escalate the situation and possibly

lead to more bad feeling, most would

leave you feeling really bad and

not resolve the issue, but option d)

would acknowledge the feelings of

all involved and, hopefully, lead to a


This last option is using an emotion

coaching style of response which is

based on the work of John Gottman.

An emotion coaching style considers

the emotions that underpin behaviour

and responds in the moment,

acknowledging feelings and finding

a way forward by setting limits,

and problem solving if appropriate.

It accepts all emotions, but not all

behaviours, seeing behaviour as a form

of communication (Digby et al., 2017).

Gottman’s research found that parents

responded to their children in 4 distinct

styles: disapproving, dismissive,

laissez-faire and emotion coaching. He

proposed that most parental responses

do not take into account children’s

emotions but using an emotion

coaching style accepts all emotions

as valid whilst at the same time

acknowledging that how we behave as

a result of having these emotions may

need to be supported or discussed.

For example, it’s OK to feel cross when

your brother takes a toy away from you,

but it’s not OK to hit your brother and

snatch it back.

Although his research centred around

parents and the home, we can use

this approach in our settings too. For

example, imagine that a child has

spent a long time drawing a picture

and then at snack time, a full cup

of milk is spilled all over it. It would

be easy to respond in a way that

dismisses the child’s feeling: “Don’t

worry about it – it doesn’t matter. We

don’t cry over spilt milk...” or even

respond in a disapproving way, “Oh no

– what did you think you were doing?

I told you to move your picture before

snack time.”

Neither of these responses are helpful

to the child at that moment and both

offer no empathy, so sometimes we

might respond in a slightly more

empathetic way saying something like,

“Sorry about that” from across the room

but this laissez-faire response offers no

guidance or support to the child. So, in

using an emotion coaching response

Questions you could ask to support your children emotionally:

• What helps the child to feel calm?

• What makes them excited?

• What makes them anxious?

• When do they feel confident?

• Who do they like to be with?

• What are they frightened of?

• When might they feel cross?

• Which adult are they most securely attached to?

• Do they have any objects or special toys that might help them to

feel secure?

• How can you support this child and respond sensitively to their


in this scenario, the adult offers both high

levels of empathy, and guidance, so that

the child has their feelings acknowledged

and at the same time feels supported

about what they need to do next. “You must

feel really upset, you spent a long time

drawing that picture. Let’s find some paper

towels and mop it up and then when it’s

dry we can colour it in together.”

This last response validates the child’s

feelings and offers them emotional and

practical support. In our settings we are

really good at following the child, keeping

their interests and needs central in our

planning. But we also need to cater for

the emotional needs of our children too.

If you think about your key children, do

you know what makes them feel excited,

or is there anything that they are anxious

or worried about? Does anything frighten

them or make them feel cross? What

helps them to feel calm? Including these

sorts of questions into our settling-in

procedure can help us to better get to

know the children’s feelings and emotional


So emotion coaching relies on our being

aware of emotions, tuning into our own

feelings and those of our children and sits

within the context of a trusting relationship

where we actively listen to children and

value what they say and do. This response

does not take sides or apportion blame,

instead it remains non-judgemental and

practises acceptance of the children and

their feelings.

It follows 3 main steps:

1. Acknowledging and validating feelings,

labelling them and empathising with

everyone involved;

2. Talking through the situation, exploring

the issue further and setting limits on

behaviour if appropriate;

3. Resolving any conflicts, looking forward

to the future, and problem solving as


Emotion coaching is a powerful strategy

to use and works effectively because it

validates everyone’s feelings and accepts

all emotions, whilst at the same time

recognising our natural ways of responding

and providing a calming way out. This

approach believes children to be competent

and capable and supports them to ‘own’

any problems, enabling them to become

more independent and emotionally resilient

in the future. In addition, because this

approach doesn’t take sides, it can really

defuse a situation and allow the molehill to

be viewed as just that – a small molehill.

When we find ourselves responding

emotionally to our children, colleagues,

family and friends, let’s remember to use

an emotion coaching response. This will

de-escalate the situation, acknowledge the

feelings of all involved and resolve conflicts

through problem solving. That way we

won’t make a mountain out of a molehill…

Tamsin Grimmer

Tamsin Grimmer is an

experienced early years

consultant and trainer and

parent who is passionate about

young children’s learning and

development. She believes

that all children deserve

practitioners who are inspiring,

dynamic, reflective and

committed to improving on their

current best. Tamsin particularly

enjoys planning and delivering

training and supporting

early years practitioners and

teachers to improve outcomes

for young children.

Tamsin has written two

books - “Observing and

Developing Schematic

Behaviour in Young Children”

and “School Readiness and

the Characteristics of Effective












Digby, R., West, E., Temple, S.,

McGuire-Snieckus, R., Vatmanides,

O., Davey, A., Richardson, S., Rose,

J., and Parker, R. (2017) Somerset

Emotion Coaching Project Evaluation

Report: Phase Two, Institute for

Education, Bath Spa University.

Gottman, J.M. and Declaire, J. (1997)

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent

Child: The heart of parenting. New

York: Fireside.

12 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 13

Children’s Mental

Children’s Mental Health Week

Health Week

It is important to be aware of the

problems not only nationally, but within

your setting. Your focus on the mental

health issues affecting your staff and

children is also something that Ofsted

will look at too.

How to support Children’s Mental Health Week

There are many ways to get involved in the week and the official website

has a number of resources, aimed at school assemblies that you can adapt

for your setting. You could also:

Children’s mental health has been the subject of a lot of news coverage in recent

years, and there is increasing concern about children’s mental health which has

been deteriorating according to statistics.

In 2018, the NSPCC reported that over

the previous three years, there was an

increase of more than one third in the

number of referrals made by schools

in England requesting mental health

treatment for their pupils. Requests to

the NHS Child and Adolescent Mental

Health Services (CAMHS) were 31,757

in 2017-18, equivalent to 183 referrals

for each school day. 1 Interestingly, more

than half (55%) of referrals were from

primary schools. 1

Barnardos 2 have reported that one in

10 children have a diagnosable mental

health condition, which equates to about

3 children in every classroom. Children

with mental health problems can find

it difficult to make friends,

manage in everyday

settings, and many

do not feel

good about


and have

low selfesteem.

There can also

be an ongoing

pressure on other

members of the

family. There are also

many children who

do not have diagnosed

conditions but just feel

upset or lack

confidence a lot

of the time, but

no one should

have to go through

these times on their own.

Although it is difficult to pinpoint exact

reasons for the increase in prevalence,

researchers have identified possible

contributing factors including 2 :

• Increased pressure at school

• Effects of social media

• Cyberbullying

• Increased levels of children

growing up in poverty

• Reduction in early intervention


• Cuts to youth-related services

Whatever the reasons, something

needs to be done to address the

situation and raising awareness

with as many people as

possible, is a good place

to start. In 2015, the first

Children’s Mental Health

Week was started by

Place2Be with the aim of

raising awareness of the

problem of mental health

in younger people. This

year, the organisers want

to encourage as many

people as possible to

get involved and spread

the word. Nurseries,

schools, youth groups,

individuals and


can help by

promoting good

mental health in their

groups, raising

money and supporting those who need

it the most. The week runs from the 3rd

to the 9th February.

Place2Be is a “children’s mental health

charity that provides counselling and

mental health support and training in UK

schools, using tried and tested methods

backed by research.” They have worked

with 639 schools in England, Scotland

and Wales, helping as many as 364,080

children and young people. They train

people who deal with children with

mental health issues and offer support

to those suffering.

The theme for this year’s week is

Find Your Brave. Being brave and

courageous can take many different

forms; some require obvious bravery

such as bungee jumping off a bridge,

but other types of bravery can be more

subtle, such as finding the courage

to ask for help when you’re feeling

low, or pushing yourself beyond your

comfort zone when you are fearful.

We all have times when we feel lonely

or depressed, and it is then that we

need to find our own bravery the most

– not by suffering in silence, but by

finding positive ways to overcome the

challenges we face.

Nursery-aged children can have mental

health problems too, perhaps due to

trauma, family situations or abuse, but

early intervention can help. The Harvard

University Center on the Developing

Child published a report called “Early

Childhood Mental Health” saying:

“Most potential mental health problems

will not become mental health problems

if we respond to them early.” 3

According to the NSPCC website, some

of the symptoms to look out for in

young children include:

Signs of depression in children

and teenagers can include:

• persistent low-mood or lack of


• not enjoying things they used to like


• becoming withdrawn and spending

less time with friends and family

• experiencing low self-esteem or

feeling like they are ‘worthless’

• feeling tearful or upset regularly

• changes in eating or sleeping


Signs of anxiety in children and teenagers can


• becoming socially withdrawn and avoiding spending

time with friends or family

• feeling nervous or ‘on edge’ a lot of the time

• suffering panic attacks

• feeling tearful, upset or angry

• trouble sleeping and changes in eating habits

Being present and encouraging children to talk about their

feelings is important, as well as trying to understand what

causes the children to feel the way they do. Some mental

health issues can be related to abusive situations so if

you feel that children within your setting are displaying

related symptoms, you should contact your Designated

Safeguarding Lead (DSL).

Other organisations providing support to

children and families include:

• Mind

• Rethink Mental Illness

• Samaritans


• Childline (0800 1111) at any time 24/7.


1. Nuffield Trust News

2. Barnardos

3. Harvard University

Spread the word – the website has several ready-made banners and

suggestions for tweets and other social media messages that you can use

to advertise the week and raise the profile of children’s mental health. Use


Talk about feelings - since this subject can be a difficult one to introduce

to younger children, think about using stories, feelings cards or emojis to the

children to help them describe how they feel

Fundraise – the website has lots of ideas for ways to raise vital funds to

help the organisers continue their valuable work. You could have a cake

sale, jumble sale, bring and buy stall, sponsored activity or just ask for


Make an emotions board – get the children to draw something that

describes how they feel at different times and display them. Then use them

as a starting point for discussions

14 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 15

The importance and

The importance and benefits of

messy play

benefits of

messy play

Many of us provide early years children

with messy play experiences on a regular

basis, but have you ever wondered why it is

so important? Messy play, or ‘sensory play’

engages a child’s senses, including balance

and movement. Types of messy play might

include playing with slime, gloop, dough,

flour, foam, tea leaves, lentils, water, mud –

anything really as long as it is safe! Children

are able to get their hands/feet/possibly

whole bodies stuck in so that they can

experience everything there is to offer.

We know that children learn through play. The more senses

that a child uses in play, the more they are going to learn.

Messy play, therefore, is a fantastic learning opportunity

because it allows a child to learn through lots of their senses

at once. Here are some of the other benefits of messy play:

It provides opportunities for language

I cannot stress enough how important it is to encourage

language development in young children, and messy play

is a perfect opportunity do this. As children use their senses

to experience all the different textures and sensations on

offer, ask them about it. What does is feel like? What colour

is it? What does it smell like? Model extending language by

telling the children what you think it feels like and what is

reminds you of. Can you think of any other words to describe

it? Keep going with this and children will end up extending

their vocabulary.

Develops fine motor skills

In messy play, children can be found patting, squeezing,

scooping, gripping, pouring and picking up lots of different

materials. All of these actions are developing the muscles in

the child’s hand as they make small movements and coordinate

these movements. These skills are the foundations

for future handwriting.

Builds creativity & self-esteem

The great thing about messy play is that there is no right

or wrong. Children can explore their curiosity, use their

imagination and they can’t go wrong. This is going to build

their confidence to just play however they see fit.

Builds cognitive development

Children file away the things that they experience in their

memories and build on them each time they come back to

revisit that experience. They then use these memories to gain

understanding and knowledge. So, if a child plays with slime

a few times, they will gradually remember features such as

the fact that it is slippery and feels wet (whether or not they

can verbalise this). They can then draw on this knowledge

when faced with new situations.


Lots of children find sensory experiences such as messy play

very calming. In fact, if you have a child that becomes very

upset or angry and you struggle to find ways to help them calm

down, then try engaging them in a sensory experience such as

messy play. They quickly become so absorbed in what they are

experiencing that they are able to move on from how they were

feeling to focus on what they are doing now.

Social interaction & spatial awareness

It is likely that your child will be involved in messy play

alongside other children, therefore they are very likely to

engage with others and gradually develop their social skills.

They are also going to need to work out boundaries & respect

one another’s personal space.

Now you’ve heard many of the benefits of messy play, but we

haven’t mentioned the fact that it is also just really good fun!

Lots of children are drawn to messy play, therefore here is a

fantastic opportunity to engage reluctant learners. If you have a

child that is extremely shy and needs encouragement to speak,

try engaging them through chat over the messy play. If you have

children that rarely engage in mark-making, let them mark-make

in the messy play. Whatever the area of learning that you wish

to work on, take it to that child’s area of interest so that they

want to be engaged. You may find that some children won’t like

certain types of messy play, especially children with sensory

Gina Smith

Gina Smith is an

experienced teacher with

experience of teaching

in both mainstream and

special education. She

is the creator of ‘Create

Visual Aids’ - a business

that provides both homes

and education settings with

bespoke visual resources.

Gina recognises the fact

that no two children are

the same and therefore

individuals are likely to

need different resources.

Create Visual Aids is

dedicated to making visual

symbols exactly how the

individual needs them.





difficulties. In this instance you will need to work carefully to find

the type of sensory experience that works for them.

So, in offering messy play, you are offering a lot of different

learning experiences at once, hence why it is considered such

an important activity to offer. To give children the best possible

learning opportunities, try mixing up the different sensory

experiences that you offer so that they

get a variety of different types of

messy play over

time. Your children

will benefit from

each one by

using different

skills, language

and muscles to


plus they will

love it!

16 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 17

Book review of

Book review of “What’s My Child


Thinking” by Tanith Carey

My Child


by Tanith Carey

The tag line for this book is “Practical child psychology for modern parents” and it is

written by Tanith Carey with input from Dr Angharad Rudkin, a clinical psychologist.

It’s aimed at the parents of children aged 2–7.

After an initial chapter questioning what

parents want for their child(ren) and

where their own values may stem from,

there is a chapter devoted to explaining

how children learn, how their brain

develops and the milestones parent’s

should expect at various ages in terms of

their child’s thinking, relating, feeling and

doing. However, this is not the remit of

dry, clinical, scientific papers; it is easy-toread,

written in plain English with a clear

layout and diagrams that assist those

readers who are visual learners. This is a

Dorling Kindersley book after all.

The book then splits into 3 sections


• 2–3-year olds

• 4–5-year olds, and

• 6–7-year olds

Each of these chapters is further split into

explanations of common things children

say, such as “I want a cuddle” or “I’m

scared of the dark”, and some everyday

situations you might find yourself in, for

example, a car journey or a meal out.

There are over 100 scenarios which most

parents will recognise, and the book is

designed so you can easily dip in and

out as the situations arise. Under the

banner of “Parents’ survival guide”, the

book really comes into its own when it

offers parents some valuable, practical

tips and advice for both ‘in the moment’

and in the ‘longer term’, suggesting

appropriate responses to each

situation. Responding from a place of

understanding and knowledge can help

parents teach and nurture their child,

without resorting to knee-jerk reactions,

heavy-handed discipline or the parents

losing control, which generally stem from

a lack of understanding or an adult’s

desire to control.

In the foreword, Carey says that

this is “the first parenting book that

simultaneously brings together the

thinking of both the parent and the

child” and it’s a good reflection on what

the book achieves. There was a time

when society assumed that parents

would know automatically how to bring

up children, simply because they had

conceived and given birth to a baby.

Those days are long gone, and the age

of ‘modern parenting’ is truly upon us.

When couples fall pregnant, most of

them go to antenatal classes to prepare

for the physical aspect of giving birth.

But what happens next, in the child’s

most formative years? 90% of a child’s

brain growth occurs prior to their 7th

birthday, having been ‘wired according

to the experiences she has had and the

kind of care she has had since birth’.

With many parenting classes having

been closed due to lack of funds in

recent years, Tanith Carey’s book will be

a lifeline to many parents, with it’s easyto-follow,

practical advice, giving an

insight into the child’s view of the world,

it could make the difference between

parents being just ‘good enough’, or

being exceptional. But don’t be fooled,

this book is not just for parents, but

everyone who works with children,

including all nursery professionals.

Published by Dorking Kindersley

Limited, 2019. London.

ISBN: 978-0-2413-4380-7

18 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 19

The power of signing The power and of singing

signing and singing

Through learning sign language, children

and adults are taught to pay attention to

expression and movement. This skill can

extend to better visual learning and social

awareness for children.

française) and Auslan in Australia. While

there may be some similar attributes across

them, they are in fact different languages,

so learning your home country’s dialect is

likely the most advantageous.

How can your pre-school or school be inclusive if one of your students or their parents

are deaf or hearing impaired? A very obvious solution when it comes to communication

would be to get an interpreter. But what would you do if you were organising a special

event, or celebration to be remembered by children and families for years to come?

There is more that we can do to be inclusive.

During my teaching years at Korowa

Anglican Girls’ School in Melbourne,

Australia, where I was Head of

Junior Music, I was organising and

conducting a graduation night for year

6 students. This was a very important

event in the life of the school and every

family involved.

In one of my classes I had a student

who was a delightful young girl whose

family members were all deaf, except

for her.

The school had organised an

interpreter for the upcoming event, but

I wanted to make this occasion more

personal and memorable for each

and every family whose children were

graduating that night.

Long before the event, I started

looking for other ideas and searching

for appropriate songs, and came

across a choral piece by British

composer Bob Chilcott, called

‘Can You Hear Me?’. The lyrics and

music were beautiful but what struck

me most was the use of sign language

incorporated into the song.

The school graduation night was

coming to an end. The speeches had

concluded, and the combined junior

school choir started singing…

Picture this: 350 young children

singing... signing...telling a story...

touching everyone’s hearts. Can you

imagine this?

After 20 years, I still get emotional.

I remember the power of this

performance, the tears of joy on this

family’s faces and all the audience.

Truly memorable!

Signing and singing benefits all


Music has long been thought of as a

universal language and adding sign

language to further express what we

sing only strengthens it further. Signing

and singing goes beyond inclusivity,

adding another powerful dimension to

the way we communicate.

Sign language needn’t be just for

those who are hearing impaired and is

not only for the benefit of those on the

receiving end of our communication.

Learning and using sign language

has been proven to have a range of

benefits for children, and even for

babies as young as six months old.

Incorporating signing into your preschool

curriculum can enrich your

programs and extend children’s

development in many ways, including

the following:

Rapid language development:

Sign language can be the perfect tool

for babies as they develop and learn

to communicate more effectively.

According to one of the latest studies,

2-year-olds who learned signing

as babies had on average a larger

vocabulary when compared to those

who had not learned sign language.

More effective communication:

If a child is feeling upset or

uncomfortable, they may find signing a

useful tool for communicating in some

situations. For babies and children

who are non-verbal, sign language

enables them to express themselves

and ask for what they need.

Learning a second language

grows the brain: In 2012,

researchers at Lund University,

Sweden discovered that learning an

additional language makes the brain

grow. Furthermore, learning a second

language is thought to enhance the

memory and protect against mental

decline as we age.

Improved awareness of body

language: Sign language uses the

whole body, including the face.

Creating an inclusive learning

environment: With sign language as part

of the curriculum for all children, you are

creating an inclusive learning environment

where all children, families and educators

(verbal, non-verbal, hearing and hearingimpaired)

can communicate and thrive.

Have a skill for life: The ability to

know sign language and communicate

non-verbally with those who are hearing

impaired is beneficial for personal reasons

and can be useful professionally too.

Sign language is here to stay

With a long history, there’s no doubt

that sign language is a means of

communication that is here to stay.

Publications on the use of sign language

date back to the 1600s and 1700s, at which

time, or perhaps earlier, deaf communities

created these visual communication styles.

It is even thought that early humans used

signs to speak to one another before verbal

communication and spoken language was


Today there is not one single, universal form

of sign language. British Sign Language

(BSL) is used in the UK, ASL (American

Sign Language) in the USA, French Sign

Language in France (LSF - langue des signes

Enriching education and lives with


A few years after that school graduation

night, I started writing my own music and

incorporating sign language. In 2009 I

was organising a Christmas concert and

once again, I was looking for opportunities

to maximise inclusive communication to

ensure family members and children get

the full enjoyment of this special event.

This inspired me to write “Ring the Bells” -

a song incorporating Auslan so that deaf

and hearing-impaired children (and adults)

can get into the Christmas spirit too. It has

now been sung by thousands of children

across Australia, spreading the message of

Christmas, community and inclusivity for all.

Similarly, combining signing with singing

has immeasurable rewards for all

involved, and expanding ways of how we

communicate with others can only be a

good thing.

Sign language is a powerful tool. When

it is combined with song, not only does it

bring a sense of inclusion but also creates

more awareness and an amazing and

memorable experience.


Galina Zenin

Galina Zenin (B.Mus. Ed.,

Dip. Teach.) is a presenter,

early childhood educator and

qualified music and voice

training teacher, author,

composer and storyteller.

She writes her own music

and brings to her programs

a wealth of European and

Australian experience,

together with a high level of


Her Bonkers Beat® programs

are breakthrough, multiaward-winning

music and

wellbeing programs for early

years that enrich the lives of

young children and boost

settings’ occupancy at the

same time. They have been

introduced in many settings

across Australia, empowering

educators and enhancing

the wellbeing of hundreds of

children and families.

Galina is a recipient of the

2015 National Excellence in

Teaching Award by Australian

Scholarships Group (ASG)

and the creator of Bonkers

Beat Music & Bonkers Gym

Wellbeing Programs. From

keynote address to small

group workshops, she has

inspired audiences on 4

continents and has been

widely featured in the

national media.

You can follow Galina on

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

and LinkedIn.

20 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 21

How to deal

with rude


Don’t you just hate rude people? You know

the ones – always pushing in front in the

queue or talking over you; and they never

listen to anyone but themselves. And boy,

do they think they’re right all the time.

Going on and on about how terrible you are

and how they would do things differently.

It’s enough to turn the milk sour! They’re

the ignorant ones, right? They’re the

ones who need to grow up. They’re just


OK, OK, we’ll stop now.

It’s interesting though isn’t it

- how many of us start off on

a seemingly ‘innocent’ rant

like this, and before long,

we’re being as rude or as

disrespectful as the people

we’re originally complaining

about? Often, we’re worse.

And yet we know deep

down that this is not our

preferred way of speaking

or responding. We know

it only escalates matters

but at times, (especially

when confronted by the

very same, ‘rude people’),

we often forget how to

respond appropriately,

and everything goes pearshaped!!

In a nursery setting, it

could be whilst speaking

to a parent, a child or a

colleague. So how do you

deal with rude people? Here

are some tips to help you


How to deal with rude



Recognise that we

can all be rude at

some time

Most of us, if we are honest,

will admit that we have

been rude to someone at

some point. Usually it’s

when we’re annoyed or

frustrated by something

and we allow our emotions

to get the better of us and

speak without thinking, so

it’s important to recognise

our own part in rudeness,

as it affects us all. Even the

most mild-mannered person

can, at times, express their

emotions in a way that is

not wholly appropriate, so

try not to judge people too

harshly, lest you become

the hypocrite.


Take a deep breath

and stay calm

This is the key to a lot of

emotional control – giving

yourself space to offer a

considered response to

something, rather than a

‘knee-jerk’ reaction. Even a

slow count to 10 and some

deep breathing can give

you the time to think more

clearly about what your

response will be. The next

question is then, “Is it worth

getting upset about, or can

you let it go?” Try to set a

good example with your own

emotional regulation so that

you avoid escalating things

and turning the problem into

a slanging match.

We are not saying it is

wrong to have emotions

– they are incredibly

important – but there are

always ways of expressing

emotions which are more

considered, and potentially

less-damaging to anyone

on the receiving end. The

goal of an emotionally

intelligent person would be

to express emotions in ways

that people take notice of,

but don’t consider rude. So,

if you are confronted with

someone you consider to

be rude, think about how

emotionally intelligent you

can be in return.


Empathise and


Most people are not rude

intentionally; this is usually

the action of only a few

people. Another good

response to perceived

rudeness might be to

empathise and offer to

help. For example, if

someone cuts in front of

you in the shopping queue,

by accident or genuinely

they didn’t see you there

(we’ve all done it), perhaps

all you need to say gently

is “I’m not sure if you

were aware, but there’s a

queue here”, to which their

response will most likely

be: “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t

see that”.


Look carefully at the

problem – do YOU

need to apologise?

One thing to ask yourself

too, is whether there is

a genuine complaint,

regardless of how badly it

might be being expressed.

And if so, do YOU need to

apologise first? Life often

holds up a mirror for us, to

show us our own foibles

and faults, so if you have

done something that you

feel you need to apologise

for, don’t hesitate to do it.


Use your best batting

to deflect or duck

Sometimes, humour can

be a great way to diffuse

or deflect rudeness, but

you need to be careful that

you don’t come across

as flippant or dismissive

of a genuine problem as

that would escalate things

further. Humour is often

a good way to deal with

rudeness in children who

might not realise that what

they have done or said,

is rude. Depending on

the situation, if you make

light of the matter and

laugh, you can highlight

the inappropriateness of

their behaviour in a lighthearted

way that doesn’t

lead to more conflict. You

have to be discerning here

though and use humour



Reframe it – don’t

give them the power

to upset you

Reframing something is a

term derived from neurolinguistic


(NLP) whereby you look

at the situation from a

different point of view or

perspective – like putting

a different frame around

the situation. For example,

if you feel someone is

being rude and ignoring

you deliberately, you might

start to feel worthless or

develop a lack of confidence

in yourself. Reframing this

would mean considering

whether the person is really

ignoring you, or whether

they might be in awe of you

instead, and find it hard

to speak to you directly;

or they may, in fact, have

difficulty with social skills

themselves, so they are

not really being rude at all,

but have a problem that

they are struggling with



Call them out – but


Finally, you can challenge

the person on their

rudeness, but do it in a kind

way. One example might

be to use a phrase like: “I

can see that you are upset

by this, and I’m sure you’re

not meaning to be rude, but

when you say X ,I feel Y.”

It acknowledges the other

person’s emotions, without

being confrontational and

also lets them know the

impact that their behaviour

is having on you – without

accusing them directly.

Most cases of rudeness

stem from a lack of

communication or a

miscommunication, which

can easily be resolved by

taking a metaphorical step

back from the high emotion

of the situation, talking

things through calmly, and

clarifying the issues without

accusations or insults. If you

do that, you’ll find that you

can deal effectively with

whatever comes your way.

22 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 23


Write for us for a chance to win £50!

Write for us!

We’re always on the lookout for new authors to contribute insightful articles for our

monthly magazine.



If you’ve got a topic you’d like to write about, why not send an article to us and be in with a chance of winning? Each

month, we’ll be giving away a £50 voucher to our “Guest Author of the Month”.

Here are the details:


Choose a topic that is relevant to early years childcare


Submit an article of between 800–1,000 words to marketing@parenta.com


If we choose to feature your article in our magazine, you’ll be eligible to win £50


The winner will be picked based on having the highest number of views for their article during that month

This competition is open to both new and existing authors, for any articles submitted to feature in our Parenta

magazine. The lucky winner will be notified via email and we’ll also include an announcement in the following month’s

edition of the magazine.

Got any questions or want to run a topic by us? Get in touch via marketing@parenta.com

Guest author winner announced


Joanna Grace

Parent Portal is a FREE APP that works

hand-in-hand with Parenta’s other software

solutions and it gives parents:

A newsfeed of their child’s day

including photos and videos

Their account balance and invoice


The ability to download invoice and

payment receipts

A calendar view of past, present and

future sessions booked

View and request changes for

information about their child including

allergies, illnesses and medication

+ lots more!

Congratulations to our guest author

competition winner, Joanna Grace!

Joanna’s article in the December edition of the

Parenta magazine, “Alternative sensory spaces”

was very popular with our readers.

Well done, Joanna!

A massive thank you to all of our guest authors

for writing for us.

You can find all of the past articles from our

guest authors on our website: www.parenta.


We’ve worked with thousands of settings, so we

know exactly what tools you need to make your

business successful. We believe delivering great

childcare means working closely alongside parents;

and with Parent Portal, they can stay involved in

their child’s day.

Interested? Speak to our team to find

out more on 0800 002 9242 or email us

at hello@parenta.com.

24 February 2020 | parenta.com


packed lunch idea!

Rainbow packed lunch idea!

Sign language ‘I love you’ card

Sign language

‘I love you’ card

You will need:

• Lunch box

• Heart-shaped cookie


• Yellow pepper

• Carrots

• Strawberries

• Kiwi

• Blueberries

• Bread

• Butter

• Cheese

• Cheese slices

• Healthy snack bar (we

used Nakd blueberry


You will need:

• Thick paper for the card (we used white, but you

can use any colour you like)

• 2 colourful pieces of paper (we used red and


• Glue

• Child-friendly scissors

• Pencil

Using childfriendly


is a great way to

practice children’s

fine motor skills!


1. Wash your fruit and vegetables and cut them up to your liking.

2. Arrange your fruit and vegetables in the lunch box starting from the

lightest to the darkest.

3. Use the cookie cutter to cut out a heart shape in your bread and cheese.

Butter the bread and arrange a sandwich.

4. Cut up your healthy snack bar or leave it whole.

5. You are finished!

You can let the

little ones help

with cutting up

the ingredients,

using child-friendly

implements. It’s a

fantastic way to not

only practice their

fine motor skills but

to encourage them to

eat their fruit and veg

too! We hope your

children will love it as

much as we did!


1. Pick up the thick piece of

paper and fold it in half.

2. Now take one of the colourful

pieces of paper to create

a handprint. Put your hand

on the paper and using the

pencil trace your handprint

and then cut it out. Put it

away for later.

3. Next, we create the heart.

Use the remaining piece of

paper, fold it in half and cut

out a half-heart shape.

4. Bring your thick piece of

paper and your handprint

back to the table. First, glue

your heart shape to your

handprint cut-out and then

glue the 3rd and 4th finger

on top of the heart (see


5. Secondly, glue the handprint

onto the card.

6. You are done!

26 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 27


Processing feelings and

emotions in early years

feelings and emotions

in early years

In a child’s early years, they learn about themselves and about the world.

They also gain internal programming that influences their actions, reactions

and decisions later in life. What we hear, see and feel on a consistent basis

throughout our childhood creates beliefs, values and patterns of behaviour that

then shape our future. If we want children to grow into emotionally stable adults

who can process their thoughts and feelings, we need to make sure that what they

experience in their younger years is conducive to this happening.

Our subconscious mind

(that guides up to 95%

of what we do on a daily

basis) is programmed

through the information

it regularly receives when

we are younger. It is very

literal and therefore cannot

distinguish between good

and bad or right and wrong.

As a parent, practitioner

or teacher, we have good

intentions. However,

sometimes (and for all the

right reasons), our actions

can unintentionally create

programming that doesn’t

support children to process

their thoughts and feelings

in a balanced way.

It is never easy to see an

upset child and when we

do, we might say things like

“awww don’t be sad” or

“you’re okay”. Our intention

here is completely from the

right place and is driven

by our desire to reduce

their pain or minimise the

problem. However, if we

look closely at the literal

message of our words, we

will actually see that it is

teaching children that:

They shouldn’t be sad ܚܚ

To act okay when they ܚܚ

are not

If this message is given

to them regularly, there is

a chance it will become a

default setting for how they

subconsciously process

their feelings later in

life. If we want children

to acknowledge their

emotions when they are

older, we need to teach

them how to do this when

they are little.

It is important to look at

how we want children to

act when they grow up and

then to ask ourselves if the

literal message of our words

and action will result in this

happening. Our heart will

always be in the right place,

but like I said previously, the

mind cannot interpret our

intentions, only the direct

information it is receiving.

When children get older we

want them to:

Know that no problem ܚܚ

is too big or small

Come to us when ܚܚ

they have made a

mistake or are worried,

rather than isolating


Know that it is okay to ܚܚ

not be okay

Know that it is okay to ܚܚ

express their feelings

Face things, rather than ܚܚ

burying their head

Let things out, rather ܚܚ

than holding emotions


If this is the case, we need

to look at our consistent

words and actions and

ask ourselves if they are

programming children

with this message now. It

can be hard if we realise

that we need to tweak

a few things that we are

doing. Our heart is always

in the right place and it is

important to move forward

without reproaching

ourselves and feeling bad.

We are always on a journey

of development and when

we know better, we do

better. I still catch myself

saying things now that

have a dodgy message,

but having this awareness

allows me to change and

reframe things before they

become a habit.


our problems

seeming small

when we look

back, they are

big at the time

and hurt just

as much.

Something that I think

is important for children

(and adults) to know is

that no problem is too

big or small. At times,

children can seem to get

upset about the most

trivial things. However,

if we look at the world

through their eyes, we will

often see that although to

us their problem seems

small, to them, it is huge.

Cast your mind back to

the issues you had when

you were a teenager.

Most of us will look back

and think that they were

nothing compared to

what we face now as

adults. However, if you

remember how you felt at

the time, you will recall

that the feelings were

just as powerful. This is

because problems are

relative. As we get older,

we gain more experience

and responsibility and

because of that the issues

we face become bigger.

Nevertheless, at each

stage in our lives, despite

our problems seeming

small when we look back,

they are big at the time

and hurt just as much.

When a toddler loses it

because they have been

given the wrong pen, to

us it may seem ridiculous.

However, to them it feels

like the end of the world.

Not only are they facing an

issue relative to their age

and therefore MASSIVE in

their eyes, they also quite

often don’t have the skills

to articulate how they are

feeling, so have a huge

amount of frustration

added to the mix too.

When this happens, if we

can try to understand that

through their three-year-old

eyes, this is devastating,

we will deal with them in

a very different way. If we

support them through their

sadness and screams, help

them to find a solution and

acknowledge how they

feel, we will truly teach

them that:

It is okay to express ܚܚ


No problem is too big ܚܚ

or small

We are there to support ܚܚ

them no matter what

Now sometimes (and I

have been there many

times), they are too far

gone and nothing you can

do will make them feel

better. This can be difficult

because they can get out

of control and start having

a huge tantrum. However,

it is crucial when this

happens to understand

that when a child goes into

meltdown, they are not

being defiant. They are not


with the ability to bring

themselves back, and it is

at these times when they

need us the most.

It can be hard to sit

through a raging tantrum

and to see a child so sad,

but if we can just give

them the space to process

their feelings in their own

time and in the safety

of our presence, they

regulate more quickly. They

will also learn, little by

little, how to process their

emotions whilst knowing it

is safe to do so.

A child isn’t born with the

ability to regulate and

process their emotions.

They learn how to do this

over time and through their

experiences. Without a

shadow of a doubt, we put

children and their wellbeing

at the heart of what

we do, but by having a

deeper understanding of

how our words and actions

impact them, we can

truly give them a strong

foundation and the ability

to have emotional balance

later in life.

Stacey Kelly

Stacey Kelly is a former

teacher, a parent to 2

beautiful babies and the

founder of Early Years Story

Box, which is a subscription

website providing children’s

storybooks and early years

resources. She is passionate

about building children’s

imagination, creativity and

self-belief and about creating

awareness of the impact

that the early years have

on a child’s future. Stacey

loves her role as a writer,

illustrator and public speaker

and believes in the power of

personal development. She is

also on a mission to empower

children to live a life full of

happiness and fulfilment,

which is why she launched

the #ThankYouOaky Gratitude


Sign up to Stacey’s premium

membership here and use the

code PARENTA20 to get 20%

off or contact Stacey for an

online demo.













28 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 29



funding is


The Level 3 Childcare Early Years Educator apprenticeship is changing from

‘framework’ to ‘standards’. But what does this mean for employers and learners?


Duration*: 12 months

Cost: £2500

Non-levy contribution**: 5%

*For all learners who are employed full-time. **For all 19+ learners

30 February 2020 | parenta.com

Apply now for limited

funding for Level 3 Childcare

EYE apprenticeship. Get in

before the new standards!



Duration*: 18 months

(15 months + 3 months for End Point Assessment)

Cost: £6000

Non-levy contribution**: 5%

To help settings like yours, we have secured LIMITED funding for the

current Framework apprenticeship. Hurry, the price increases from Feb/

March with the new standards!

Simply give us your details here: bit.ly/3aNAcRp

and our training team will contact you without

delay - or if you want to discuss this with us,

please call us on 0800 002 9242.

National Apprenticeship

Week National is here! Apprenticeship

This week-long celebration, Week organised every is here!

year by the National Apprenticeship

Service, aims to unite everyone who is passionate about apprenticeships, to

encourage more young people to choose this path as a first step (and often fast-track)

to a great career, and for companies to promote growth and personal development.

In short, it’s a fantastic opportunity for

everyone in the industry – apprentices,

employers and training providers

alike - to shout about how great

apprenticeships are!

This year’s theme is ‘Look Beyond’

which looks to showcase and celebrate

the true meaning of ‘diversity’ within

apprenticeships, with a focus on:

• calling on young people to look

beyond traditional routes into

employment and explore the

diversity of career options and

industries now available to them

through apprenticeships;

• calling on employers to look

beyond traditional hiring routes

and shout about the value they

already see from diversifying their

workforce by employing apprentices

calling on parents and teachers to

look beyond old preconceptions

around apprenticeships, building

understanding of the true value

they bring, and sharing this with

young people.

Here are our tops tips to get involved:

• The NAW2020 events map allows

you to search for events happening

near you during the most exciting

week in the apprenticeships

calendar. You can also submit your

event to be featured here.

• Improve staff morale; and keep

your team motivated to continue

their learning by talking to them

about the benefits of what further

training can offer them.

More information on National Apprenticeship Week can be found here: www.apprenticeships.gov.uk

Parenta offers Level 2 Team

Leading, Level 3 and 4

Management and Level 5 Childcare

Leadership as work-based

apprenticeships, in addition to the

Level 2 and Level 3 Childcare.

Help your staff and learners know

their options and realise their

earning power!

• Apprentices can get involved

with the Young Apprentice

Ambassador Network (YAAN)

and talk about the benefits of

apprenticeships in their local

area – this looks great on a CV

and gives invaluable skills for

the workplace.

• Encourage your apprentices to

sign up for a NUS Apprentice

Extra discount card. Not

only will they receive loads

of discounts at hundreds of

shops, they will also receive

emails on how they can give

feedback and help shape the

future of apprenticeships.

Your Parenta assessor will be

able to give so much advice on

how you can best support your

learners in their early career


parenta.com | February 2020 31

National Apprenticeship Week 2020


let’s celebrate our learners!


Week 2020

- let’s celebrate our learners!

We love to celebrate our apprentices and their

achievements here at Parenta. There’s no better time

than National Apprenticeship Week to share with our

readers what it means to our learners to complete a

childcare course with Parenta Training.

Alice Ya Kra completed her

EYE Level 3 in August 2019 and

currently works at Kids Inc. Day

Nursery in Chingford, London.

She said; “Doing this course has

really helped me in my job. Before,

when I wasn’t qualified, I couldn’t

be counted in the ratios and also

wasn’t allowed to be alone with

the children. Now, I am able to

really use the ideas and knowledge

that I have gained during my

Level 3 studies and I can now

plan so many more activities with

the children. My employers are

expecting so much more of me

now that I’m qualified and that’s

a good thing! I now create my

own lists of activities and having

the qualification has given me

confidence to progress my career

within this setting.

“I would definitely use Parenta

again if I was to carry on my

studying (if I was a bit younger!)

and in fact, I’ve recommended

them to a friend who was offered a

job really quickly because she was

on a Parenta course! All in all, I had

a good experience and am happy

with Parenta!”

Farzana Masih completed her EYE

Level 3 in April 2019 and currently

works at Aston University Nursery

and Preschool in Birmingham.

She said; “I was already employed

but really wanted to further my

knowledge and progress my career

so I chose Parenta to do my Level

3. I’ve got so much more in depth

knowledge now and can apply

everything that I’ve learned in

my day-to-day job. I’m planning

activities with the children so much

better now too!

“I’ve really used this qualification

to be able to apply for better

positions within the industry which

I am actively doing at present, and

I am considering doing a higher

level qualification with Parenta in

the future as what this has shown

me is the real potential for career

progression. I would definitely

recommend Parenta, they have

been very supportive and I’ve had

a very positive experience.”

For one Parenta learner, 2019 was

a year she won’t forget for a long

time. Kira Alakija from Noah’s

Ark in Duston, Northants was

shortlisted in the Northamptonshire

Business Awards, in the category of

Apprentice of the Year.

She said; “When the judges came

to visit me at my setting, they told

me that I was the first nominee

Kira Alakija from Noah’s Ark in Duston, shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year

ever to come from an education

background – that made me

so proud! I love what I do and

I couldn’t have done all of this

without the support of my Parenta

assessor and my managers at

work. The organisers made a point

of recognising all the apprentices

and their achievements and said

that this year it had been really

hard to choose one overall winner.

It was an experience I will never

forget and a great way to end my


The year also ended well for

Parenta’s very own apprentice,

Courtney Berryman, who

successfully completed her Level

2 Business Administration. She

was lucky enough to have the

opportunity of attending the firstever

Kent & Medway Apprentice

Graduation Ceremony in October

– an event which celebrated the

apprentices’ achievements in the

same way as a university graduate

is recognised, which is planned to

continue this year.

Parenta is the UK’s largest

vocational training provider

within the early years sector,

offering apprenticeships at

all levels. We train nearly

3,000 nursery staff every year,

helping them successfully

complete their childcare

apprenticeship training.

With 20 years’ experience

in the industry, we work in

partnership with thousands

of settings, supporting them

with upskilling their existing

staff, as well as recruiting

new apprentices.

Ask us about our free

recruitment service and

for advice to help you

invest in tomorrow’s

generation of childcarers.

Our experienced team will

be able to advise you on

‘all things apprenticeships’

- from legislation changes

to funding, contribution,

minimum wage and off-thejob

training. To find out more

about how we work together

with settings and help them

with their apprenticeship

solutions, call our team on

0800 002 9242 or email


32 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 33



Neurotypical narratives

Are neurotypical paradigms damaging people on the autistic spectrum?

I am a purveyor of stories. I know their power. When I got engaged and my mother

warned me, “Just don’t make up too many stories,” she knows their power in my life

too. On my Ambitious and Inclusive Sensory Stories training day, I tell a story that I

heard as a very young child and track its influence on my life now.

We talk about young children as

being impressionable. Stories

seem like little things, but those

first ideas, those first impressions

left in a growing mind, shape it

from its foundations up. At an

age where children are so very

impressionable, we read them

bedtime stories that tell them that

women are passive: the princess

waits for rescue, and that men

are active: the prince rescues.

One story like this would be okay,

especially if there was another

(like the “Paperbag Princess”

by Robert Munsch, or “Princess

Smartypants” by Babette Cole) to

even things out, but generally there

isn’t. Our children are exposed

to, not just one story, but many

that teach them that they fit into a

box: women-passive, men-active,

this does neither gender any

favours. We all need to be rescued

sometimes and we all need to

know we have the power to rescue

ourselves (and occasionally others).

Autistic people grow up in a world

where nearly all the narratives

are neurotypical. These narratives

teach us what is normal and right,

and what is not, and when we

cannot fit ourselves into these

moulds, we feel that we are in the

wrong. We injure ourselves in the

trying, like the infamous square

peg in a round hole. Two current

notable exceptions for children

today are the book “The Cloud

Spotter” by Tom Mclaughlin (that

I discovered thanks to Booktrust’s

Special School Library Pack) and

the TV show, “Pablo”.

When you don’t fit in, it is common

for you to kick back against the

hurt of trying to shave your own

edges off. Some people kick out at

the world, others hurt themselves.

Incidents of self-harm and violent

behaviour are more common in

people with autism than they are

in people with neurotypicism.

When dealing with behaviour, we

tend to think only of the immediate

situation: what happened just

before this behaviour? What should

the consequence, the after, be for

this behaviour? These things are

important of course but we are all

more than the moment we are in;

our history and the stories we are

told shape us. This is something I

touch upon in my course Exploring

the Impact the Senses have on


So what are these paradigms? They

are not necessarily big stories, they

are the little ones: that eye contact

is polite, that parties are fun.

They are contained within other

stories: that we must feel emotions

constantly, that to be solitary is a

sign of something wrong. They are

habituated into our daily rituals:

shoes must stay on our feet and

coats should be worn in the rain.

As with the gender bias paradigms

of the past, they are incredibly hard

to spot from within. As a parent,

I vet the stories I read my son so

that he knows not all women are

wet blankets waiting around for

someone else to have ideas and

that men are allowed to have

emotions and interests outside

of fighting. Yet as a child, I never

questioned why the princess in

the tower simply sat and waited,

I never questioned why I must sit

with my legs crossed always whilst

the boy next to me can sit with his

knees apart.

Escaping the stories that hold

us takes a lot of time, and often

outside perspectives are required

to help us better see the bars of

our own cages. I encourage you

to look for narratives told from

different perspectives. Look at the

start of any minority movement

and you will see the power of

personal stories shared. I am

trying to do my bit by sharing tiny

shards of my life on the spectrum

in a photo album on Facebook. It

can be worth exploring if you want

to increase your awareness of


Joanna Grace

Joanna Grace is an

international Sensory

Engagement and Inclusion

Specialist, trainer, author, TEDx

speaker and founder of The

Sensory Projects.

Consistently rated as

“outstanding” by Ofsted,

Joanna has taught in

mainstream and specialschool

settings, connecting

with pupils of all ages and

abilities. To inform her

work, Joanna draws on her

own experience from her

private and professional life

as well as taking in all the

information she can from the

research archives. Joanna’s

private life includes family

members with disabilities and

neurodivergent conditions and

time spent as a registered

foster carer for children with

profound disabilities.

Joanna has published four

practitioner books: “Multiple

Multisensory Rooms: Myth

Busting the Magic”, “Sensory

Stories for Children and Teens”,

“Sensory-Being for Sensory

Beings” and “Sharing Sensory

Stories and Conversations with

People with Dementia”. and

two inclusive sensory story

children’s books: “Voyage to

Arghan” and “Ernest and I”.

Joanna is a big fan of social

media and is always happy

to connect with people

via Facebook, Twitter and




34 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 35

LGBT History


Winston Churchill famously said: “History is written by the victors” and some

historians have proved him right by writing somewhat biased accounts about

people in power, sometimes ignoring various social sectors and marginalising whole

communities in the process. Last year, we wrote about how Black History Month was

important to try to redress the balance of written history to include the contributions

made over the centuries by Black people. This month we look at how LGBT History

Month can do the same for the LGBT community and why it is important to celebrate it.

What is LGBT History Month?

LGBT History Month runs for the whole

of February every year and is organised

by Schools OUT, a UK-based, LGBT

education charity. The LGBT (Lesbian,

Gay, Bisexual and Trans) community is

one section of society which has often

been ignored or overlooked and much

of the contribution of LGBT people to

society has been overshadowed for

years. Some communities have been

disregarded, ostracised and even

criminalised just for being themselves,

and it has taken a lot of sacrifice,

activism and time for a lot of LGBT

people to be accepted for who they are.

including nursery schools, talking

about LGBT matter is NOT about trying

to influence anyone’s sexuality, in the

same way that teaching the history of

the holocaust is not about promoting

the views of the Third Reich.

However, it IS about:

ܬ‎ normalising language used when

talking about LGBT matters

ܬ‎ not being afraid to mention that

people in current life and history, for

example, Oscar Wilde, were gay, and

this influenced much of their work

These values underpin our very society

and are used to protect British citizens

by creating a sort of ‘code of conduct’

which we aim to adhere to. The last 3

values are vital in accepting, promoting

and celebrating our diversity, so

that people of all creeds, races and

sexualities can feel safe and valued.

The theme for the month is “Poetry,

Prose and Plays” and there are

resources on the website to celebrate

‘The Four Faces Of 2020’, being

playwright Lorraine Hansberry, author

E.M. Forster, William Shakespeare and

biographer Dawn Langley Simmons.

ܬ‎ Ensure all educational places and

organisations are safe spaces

for LGBT people so they can live

without fear of intimidation or

bullying; you could run a general

anti-bullying message for a week

and include LGBT issues

ܬ‎ Promote welfare for LGBT people so

they can reach their full potential

and contribute to society by living

fulfilled and effective lives; if you

employ any LGBT people, make

sure they have access to CPD and

career advancement in line with

their experience and aptitude.

Tips on talking about LGBT in

your setting

One of the things that stops people

talking about LGBT matters, is that that

they may not feel comfortable about

addressing the topic, or they may feel

they do not know how to appropriately

introduce the topic to colleagues or

children. If this is the case, both the

Schools OUT website and the LGBT

History Month website include many

resources to help educational staff with

lesson plans and ideas.

There is no one right way to tackle

these issues, everyone will have things

that they feel more comfortable talking

about. Some people cannot talk to

others about anything related to sexual

relationships, even in a biological

context. So here are some tips to help:

ܬ‎ Practice with your colleagues so

that you feel more comfortable

answering if a child asks you “what

does gay or lesbian mean?”

ܬ‎ Use the language in a normal way.

Don’t try to use euphemisms or

‘imply’ things – use the words, gay,

lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

ܬ‎ Keep it simple and talk about

love and relationships first and

foremost, and do so in an ageappropriate

way. You could say,

“Gay means two people of the

same gender who love each other

– two women or two men.”

ܬ‎ You might want to give an example

of couples that the children may

know from TV or celebrities. Like

Elton John and David Furnish, who

loved each other and got married.

ܬ‎ Think about introducing genderidentity

into your setting using

appropriate children’s books

like “Red” by Michael Hall or

“Not Quite Narwhal” by Jessie

Sima. These books introduce

the idea of accepting people for

being themselves to children in a

charming and insightful way. There

are many others.

ܬ‎ Sometimes the questions you get

are not really about what gay is.

For example, if a child says to

you “Jess says Billy’s dad is gay,

what’s that?”, consider if you need

to respond with an answer about

what being gay is, or is this a case

of tackling some name-calling or

bullying first?

Whatever you do, let us know by

sending us an email to marketing@

parenta.com with your news and


Homosexuality was only decriminalised

in 1967 and same-sex marriages

were only legalised in England and

Wales in 2013, with the first wedding

in 2014. Acceptance and equality

have been a long time coming, and

even today, forms of discrimination,

fear and misunderstandings exist.

There have been LGBT people within

all communities since the beginning

of time, so isn’t it time that their

contribution was recognised and

celebrated too?

What are the aims?

The overall aim of LGBT History month

is to “promote equality and diversity for

the benefit of the public”, because if

we can accept others for who they are,

then we are more likely to be accepted

for who we are. For all establishments,

ܬ‎ challenging homophobia or

bullying of LGBT people, and

ܬ‎ promoting tolerance and

acceptance of all people as human

beings, regardless of their sexuality

There are five British Values which

are educational establishments are

obliged to teach:


The rule of law



LGBT History

Individual liberty



Mutual respect

Tolerance of those of different faiths

and beliefs



LGBT History Month is a time to:

Increase the visibility of lesbian,

gay, bisexual and transgender

people – not only acknowledging

them, but celebrating their history,

their lives and their experiences

– as ‘agents of change, not just

as victims of discrimination’.

Introducing some of them or

their work to the children in your

setting can promote tolerance and

understanding from an early age


ܬ‎ Raise awareness and increase

understanding on matters

affecting the LGBT community –

see the website for various events

you could attend or set up an

awareness day, perhaps focusing

on tolerance or acceptance

36 February 2020 | parenta.com

parenta.com | February 2020 37

What our customers say

What our customers say



Cassy you are an absolute

star for designing our logo and

website. I have no words to

praise your work.

Raji Bachu, Sims

Childcare Ltd


As we have grown, we have found ‘Abacus’

to be an invaluable part of our business in

terms of reliability, user-friendliness and

adaptability to our requirements. The Parenta

support team are just that, supportive and

responsive, exactly what you need from your

nursery management software provider.

Natasha Kirby, Boys & Girls Nursery

Maidstone to Monaco - 24 – 28 June 2020










The reason for my email though

is to let you know how impressed I

have been with the customer service I

have received from Laura. She has been

an absolute Godsend and has worked

so hard to ensure that my invoices were

correct so that I could send them out for

the start of term.

Jane Hopkins, The Kiddies




To be a part of this adventure, register today at parentatrust.com


Absolutely brilliant. Dawn Fryer was

always available to offer help and

advice. Perfectly fitted to my needs

of progression within my chosen

career. I highly recommend Parenta.

Michelle Carter


Our mission is to raise funds

to build pre-schools in the most

deprived areas of the world.

38 February 2020 | parenta.com

Register today, to help us allow young

children to break out of the cycle of poverty

and look forward to a bright future.

parenta.com | February 2020 39

We’re exhibiting at

Come and find us on

stand B20!

We’d love to speak to you about...

Childcare Websites

Marketing Solutions


Fee Collection

Free Recruitment


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!