The Hidden Risks of Banter in Day Nurseries, Pre-schools and Out of School Clubs

Within a Day Nursery, Pre-school or Out of School Club the camaraderie among staff members plays a critical role in maintaining a nurturing environment. However, a seemingly harmless conversation known as “banter” can, if left unchecked, sow discord in this otherwise harmonious setting. What is banter? Banter, the light-hearted exchange of teasing remarks often brushed […]

Help, my setting will be used as a Polling Station

In England and Wales, a returning officer gets to choose where to put a polling station for elections. Schools, particularly primary schools are a popular choice, the school can’t charge the returning officer and it will be determined by the Headteacher whether the school is to close. Day nurseries and pre-schools and Clubs are often […]

Does fresh air help employees to be happy at work?

I write this watching the league one playoffs where Oxford United face Bolton Wanderers to see who will be in the Championship next season. Its a beautiful day in Wembley and I’ve just observed that I hope for the players sake, this doesn’t go for penalties as it looks like a warm one. Watching football […]

The rise in team problem solving

Nursery Owners and Managers all share one thing in common, they are often time poor. Time is not infinite and we can make it much harder to manage our workloads when we expect to be the one that solves all of the problems that might need solving. Don’t get me wrong there is a time […]

The Importance of Recalculating Statutory Maternity Pay Post-Alabaster Case

Background The landmark Alabaster ruling has set a significant precedent in the calculation of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), emphasising the importance for employers to meticulously review whether SMP needs recalculating whenever there are pay rises. Understanding this ruling and its implications is crucial for both compliance with employment law and the support of equitable workplace […]

Supporting an employee with an ectopic pregnancy

Background An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of a woman’s womb, usually in one of her fallopian tubes. The egg can continue to grow and can cause the fallopian tube to rupture; this in turn can lead to internal bleeding and frequently requires surgery. It is a life-threatening condition with […]

Be careful with empathy : A word of warning to managers in Early Years

We often talk about how many managers and owners in Early Years are heart led. When we say this it’s not a criticism, its merely and observation. We feel for you. You see when we lead with empathy it can affect the ease in which we make decisions involving people. This is particularly true when […]

Give your employee your full attention

When it comes to management one of the greatest offences we can commit as a manager is to give our employees only half our attention. It is both an offence to the employee and to ourselves. So what do I mean by ‘give your employees your full attention’. Great relationships are build on great environments. […]

Employment Relationships have changed

employment relationships

I talk a lot about the changing employment relationship because its an area that fascinates me. As you may know I turned 50 last March and I find myself increasingly thinking about how things were “different in my day”. You know you are old when that sentence comes out of your mouth, I can tell […]

Avoiding Binary Questions

Binary Questions are ones that is are firmly closed question, that can only be answered yes or no. They may seem assertive and efficient to the party that proposes to use them. Unfortunately, they have a nasty knack of landing poorly. Let me give you an example of a binary question in the context of […]

The value of candid conversations

candid conversation

In today’s dynamic workplaces, the art of communication is more than mere exchanges of information. Among the different forms of dialogue that can occur between managers and their reports every day, candid conversations stand out as pivotal tools for fostering a culture of trust and transparency. These open exchanges, where colleagues feel empowered to express […]

Before you start – Get your paperwork in order!

We often get asked what should we do when we start hiring people before an issue occurs. Our number one piece of advice is to get your paperwork in order. All HR folk love a nice fat personnel file afterall. Having the info in one place Our first tip on this subject is to have […]

“Here you can have my badge” – Handling a Heat of Moment Resignation

heat of resignation resignations

From time to time we get asked what to do when someone leaves with immediate effect. These might be described as a the “here, you can have my badge” moments. Sometimes accompanied by a lot of ‘huffing’ and “I’m not putting up with s*** this! ” comments. These circumstances are never pleasant for any of […]

Enhancing Paternity Leave: What to Expect from April 2024

Big changes are on the horizon for fathers and partners as the Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 come into effect. These regulations make paternity leave more flexible and accommodating for new parents. In this article, we’ll delve into the upcoming changes and discuss how employers can prepare for these adjustments. Key Amendments to Paternity Leave […]

The Introduction of Carer’s Leave in the UK

As of April 6th, 2024, significant changes will be brought in with the introduction of The Carer’s Leave Act 2023. These changes are aimed at improving the support system for employees with caregiving responsibilities. In this article, we will explore these changes and offer guidance to help managers prepare for this evolving landscape. The Carer’s […]

What can we do about the CBA attitude that we see in our nurseries?

All too often we hear from Managers and Owners who are frustrated by a Can’t Be A**** (CBA) attitude that they are seeing in their settings from their team. They reflect to us that “it’s never been this bad” and seek our support in what practical steps they can taken to address this for the […]

Encouraging immunisation for staff in Early Years

MMR vaccines day nurseries

Recently we have heard from a couple of nurseries keen to make immunisation against Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) compulsory for all staff. This was in response to a rise in cases of measles in the UK. As a HR Consultancy it drew parallels with us with the mandatory vaccination with the COVID 19 vaccine […]

Changes coming to Flexible Working Regulations

From April 2024, the landscape of flexible working in the United Kingdom is undergoing significant changes. These changes are designed to promote a more adaptable and employee-friendly work environment. Here’s what you need to know as a manager, and what steps you can take to ensure your organisation is prepared for these regulatory changes. The […]

Overcoming the fear of introducing KPIs

Key Performance Indicators Nurseries

Introduction In the dynamic world of small business management, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are like the compass that guides ships through murky waters. They offer clear, actionable insights that can help you steer your business towards success. However, for many small business managers, understanding and implementing KPIs can seem daunting. This guide aims to demystify […]

The Influence of Social Media Backlash: Lessons from Kyte Baby’s Controversy

In today’s digital era, the impact of social media on a company’s reputation has never been more significant. The recent controversy surrounding Kyte Baby, a renowned baby clothing company, highlights how negative attention on social media can sully a brand’s image and affect its financial standing. The public scrutiny began when allegations emerged about the […]

Where a flexible working request is made too far in advance?

We recently had a call from a Nursery Manager asking about flexible working.  An employee was due to go on maternity leave and had requested flexible working as she intended to return in 9 months’ time. The Nursery Manager was concerned, that while the employee had the right to make this request that neither the […]

Mouse-Related Work Refusals: A Reasonable Approach

In a recent incident at a Day Nursery, employees refused to work upon discovering a mouse on the premises, raising questions about the reasonableness of such actions. This article delves into the complexities of this issue, considering employee fears, health and safety regulations, and practical workplace requirements. Understanding Employee Concerns The fear of mice, or […]

The importance of the right of appeal in a disciplinary

In the realm of employment in the UK, the concept of fairness and justice plays a crucial role, especially when it comes to disciplinary actions and grievances. The appeal against a disciplinary outcome is central to this concept. The right to an appeal is embedded in the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance […]

Employing individuals on international student visas to work in your Day Nursery

international students

As an Early Years employer tapping into the diverse talent pool of international students can bring numerous advantages to your setting. However, employing international students can also bring risks if you do not have the necessary right to work procedures in place or if you breach the terms of their visa. Increases in fines from […]

Help, the staff are kissing the children

nursery staff kissing children

We hear this one from time to time. Not because parents have expressed concern, normally because colleagues or management have raised it with us and asked how it should be addressed. So what do we mean by kissing? This can be where a child plants a kiss on the cheek of the practitioner, often at […]

The reliance on the non verbal communication

Rise of non verbal communication

We were talking in the office the other day about a 16 year old ‘dumping’ his then girlfriend by text. Now it’s been 25 years since I was in the dating game, and phones were in their infancy then, but I am glad to say I have never ‘dumped’ or been ‘dumped’ by text. For […]

Are you aware of transferable risk?

transferable risk

We often find Early Years employers are confused about transferable risk. In looking at the KCISE (which is not mandatory in private day nurseries, only maintained ones) its worth noting what its says about transferable risk. Remember the thresholds for LADO are: Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed […]

The real risk of presenteeism in our settings


We speak often both in person and from stages around the UK on the subject of absenteeism. Every setting that we support has a tale to tell about an employee’s absence. But what about it’s less well known brother, “presenteeism”. Presenteeism is where an employee is present at work when they shouldn’t be and often […]