If it's nearly Christmas, it must be time for a review of major developments and new research published in the children's sector during the last year. After all, you might have missed some of these the first time around...

It's probably best to start with the DfE, as they've produced a number of important documents this year. January saw the publication of More Great Childcare, which outlined the government's proposals for changes to the childcare sector - a useful summary of the main points was provided by Nursery World. This was followed in July by More Affordable Childcare, which sought to explain how the proposals in the previous report could be implemented - again, Nursery World came to the rescue with a summary of the key points.

Other important publications from the DfE include: the Children and Families Bill 2013 (February); the new National Curriculum Framework for Key Stages 1 to 4 (applicable from next September); the latest version of the Early Years Foundation Stage Handbook. In addition to these, the DfE continues to publish official surveys and reports on various issues - some of the most useful from 2013 include:
One of the consequences of the various debates around how childcare should be delivered and funded, was that a number of reports appeared which debated the current state and future role of nurseries and children's centres. If this is an area that interests you, then some of the following should be of use:
It's probably worth pausing for a moment to note that a couple of new organisations appeared in the sector this year. In March the National Childminding Association rebranded itself as the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), in a move designed to allow nursery workers to become members too. While April saw the merger of the Daycare Trust and the Family & Parenting Institute to form a new body called the Family and Childcare Trust.

On an international note, there were the usual set of annual reports from well known organisations. In April UNICEF published its latest Report Card comparing the wellbeing of children in industrialised countries, while May saw the publication of its annual State of the World's Children report - this year the central theme was 'disability'. In June the OECD released it's latest Education at a Glance figures, and if you were watching the news at all last week you can't have failed to learn a little about the latest PISA results. However, a one-off publication you may have missed was released by the International Bureau of Education (IBE) in April - Early Childhood Care & Education: a List of Resources is a really useful document with hundreds of links to detailed information about early years provision around the world.

Here's a few other really useful publications from 2013 which I couldn't fit easily into any of the categories above!
And to finish, a shameless plug for this site. Here are some of the posts on here which have attracted a lot of attention from search engines / Twitter links in the last year:
 If there's anything significant that you think I've missed, please leave a comment below to let other site visitors know about it. And get in the festive spirit by enjoying the seasonal clip below - merry Christmas!


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