BE UNIQUE #JustQuality

Be unique 

What would you say to your younger self if you ever had the chance... apart from the usual things you would say like make life count as you have no idea what’s round the corner

For me I know I would say….

Always be true to unique

Being unique can mean one thing so nobody can compare themselves to you. You are an individual and with that comes your quirks and your  idiosyncrasies that enable you to be you.. just you 

Being individual..why is that important? 

Every child is different, just like every early’ s practitioners and settings. So let’s take this as an advantage and show how we can shine in our setting 

The #JustQuality ADDING IMPACT  Accredited Award will enable you to just do that.

We will never prescribe a certain way of doing things just as long as you are able to show the IMPACT you are making on children’s learning and development including all areas of teaching and learning, personal development behaviour and welfare and outcomes for children. 

Not only with our children do we need to show the journey but also with our practitioners and the setting itself. This award is a holistic way of writing your own learning story. 

These will be shown in the 6 IMPACTS







Your uniqueness will make you 

#JustQuality ADDING IMPACT Accredited Award 

With 52 CPD credits ❤️

You will work through your own journey with guidance from our #JustQuality Assessor as your mentor and in month 12 you will receive a visit where your assessor will inspect your setting to see if you have achieved the award.



Team work makes dreams work

 We get very anxious on the day we get ‘The call’ to let us know we are going to be inspected the next day…. 

You are much more able to perform well in your setting if you work more effectively as a team. This will create a vibe of energy, inspiration and motivation to ensure you are making an IMPACT on children’s lives. 

 So how do you ensure that your team are all on board with the process of your inspection. It is not a one-man band event… your whole team have to be a part of the process to SHINE on the day… but one recommendation is that if you were doing it naturally as part of your day to day routine it would not be a struggle 

So, you’ve read the #1 best-selling book ‘Are you ready for your inspection?’ and now the new ONLINE programme for the whole team is ready to be launched on November 14th. 

This programme will take you through the process of the day step by step and give you tips and help on how you can show IMPACT. It is all about your evaluation and a great tool to show you actually do know how to reflect on your setting and your practice and give yourself targets to improve. This is not just for preschools or day nurseries but also for childminders too. 

What better way to help you SHINE! 

Message us to book your space… we will then allocate logins for all staff to have their own.

Are you ready for your inspection ONLINE programme

Are you ready for your inspection ONLINE programme

Having just registered my newest setting and knowing inspection is imminent, it was the perfect time to access the Are You Ready for Inspection online program. I am blown away at how informative and knowledgable vanessa is. This is her forte and her passion shines through. I cannot stress enough how her experience as an inspector is invaluable. This program tells you exactly what to expect (down to the finest details) and provides you will effective strategies to reflect and evolve your setting. I love that this program will work no matter what your ethos and truly promotes the importance of your setting being unique and celebrating everything you do. I’m feeling so much more prepared and confident now. Thank you so much vanessa ❤️
— Roseville Childcare
With all the worries of what an Ofsted inspections brings I signed up for Are you ready for your inspection? programme. I am so pleased I did! The programmer talks you through everything you need to be ready for an inspection. It works perfectly with the book also written by Vanessa. I loved the fact that the programme had been written for everybody in the team and is perfect for Childminder’s too. There are loads of added bonuses with each module, quizzes, group time and a work book. This is my new go to bible, I literally love everything about it.
— Tinklebugs childcare

IMPACT - What does it mean?

Welcome back to the new term

Where did that most amazing summer go ?

New children?

New staff?

New environment?

What ever has changed in your setting one thing can be sure is that your practice needs to show the IMPACT it has on children’s development. We need to evaluate what we do in our setting and how this is constantly improving on helping children’s learning to help them achieve better outcomes… this is what it is all about. FACT

The reason behind the book was to show how easy it is with the right team and ethos on board, you can achieve this. You do not have to follow a particular way of delivering in your setting but you DO—FACT— Do have show the IMPACT this has on children!


The book is a practical guide to help you show this with outstanding examples from settings which I have inspected. Sharing is caring and as a workforce we need to join together and ensure those tiny acorns grow into beautiful solid, secure oak trees.

#1 Best seller in 7 categories…. Let the book help you achieve this


Getting it right first time

With the need to achieve good or outstanding in your setting are you putting yourselves under so much pressure to meet the criteria

Throughout research this weekend I was recommended this as a good read. The report describes strong leadership and ways to develop and sustain a high quality provision.  It uses OfSTED reports and  case studies of good practice alongside focus groups. 

Not only does it break it down into small manageable chunks but it gives you a true insight into what high quality need to mean in your setting. 

It discusses about 

How leaders and staff bring in positive change to a setting

How leaders are needed to build effective teams and how settings should share good practice.

Also how settings work with parents and other carers. 

Fab read and although it was written in 2013 it is still so paramount now


Make today the day you want to make CHANGE

Do you ever get those days when you don't know who to turn to for help?

Do you feel when you finally ask for help you don't get the answer but just more confusion than you had before? 

This happens so frequently as there are so many departments with your local Children's services team , which one to call and when you finally get through you are put on hold listening to the music that is just on repeat :-(  

Jigsaw EYC was born to help you with all those questions.

With years of experience in Early Years, knowledge of the inspection process from both perspectives as a setting group manager and as an inspector as well as a qualified instructor in safeguarding, an OUTSTANDING lecturer in FE and HE and now a NEUROSCIENCE CHAMPION we are here to help you with all your questions. 

We deliver exceptionally training which can be bespoke to you and your setting ...please see testimonial in Nursery World regarding our CURIOSITY ignites LEARNING training with the use of our vintage Curiosity Cases which provoke thoughts, discovery and investigation.

What better way to ensure children are being creative and thinking critically!

We also provide the service QUALITY IMPROVEMENT INSPECTIONS. These are not just just the run of the mill MOCK inspections. We constantly advice and ensure that you are ready for that day, we are here to support you so you are ready to show what IMPACT you make to children's lives. 

Want some help? Check out our testimonials on the website.

Book a FREE call to us on 07788474147 to chat about your needs.. we are here to ease the worry. 

Make today the day you want to make CHANGE.. 

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NURSERY WORLD ARTICLE -Curiosity Ignites Learning

Courtmoor playschool and Crookham sunshine were inspired to do this training delivered by Jigsaw Early Years Consultancy . During the Curiosity ignites learning course , staff were taught how to encourage children’s curiosity through teaching. 

Curiosity cases were explored by practitioners as teaching materials for children to investigate 

Read further in this weeks Nursery world magazing

Training Talks - Encouraging  curiosity 

The bad news is time flies... the GOOD news is you're the pilot!

How are you managing your time ?

Ever got to the end of the day and thought what have you achieved today?

We wake up with best intentions to ticking off on our to-do-list and feeling a sense of achievement.

Does that ever happen? If not WHY NOT! 

From the time your day starts to the end do you recognise these things?

Setting up and making sure the rooms looks presentable,checking all staff are where they are supposed to be and rotas are correct. That dreadful phone call of 'calling in sick' will cause a sense of dread and if you are anything like me you would hate to answer the phone first thing in the morning as you know it will be a case of covering or sorting out your ratios. 

Then children start to arrive so it’s speaking to parents/carers on their arrival making them and the children feel welcome and making sure you don’t miss that ‘invisible ‘ child.

You will be pulled from pillar to post between each room asking can you get a bottle, can you cover their breaks, can you make the beds for sleep times, can you call Mrs Jones as little Joshua has a temperature or can you get the sick bucket and/or clean up the accident in the preschool room...


These are just many occasions where your time is found to be disappearing and your tick list is still a tick list but with added items to the bottom. Why do we do that? Are we a tick listing and crossing off society? 

What do we do with our time? Do you think: 

When are you going to do your supervisions?

When are you going to mentor the staff and share good practice?

When are you going to look at the future of your setting and make the improvements it needs?

When are you going to be prepared for the 'call' ? 

Ever thought about completing a time management form to show where you spend you time?

My first thought when completing mine years ago was ‘ I haven’t got time to fill this in’ Tyical isn't it of us to think like that.

If there is one thing you need to do is recognise all the hard work you do and how you can use your time effectively for the benefit on not just you but the whole team. Use the time management log to see where you spend your time.

Do this for a week

Once written you will have a clear focus and learn about your habits. It will show whether you are productive or just busy

Highlight areas of where jobs are repeated? Do they need to be repeated or can you and your staff team come up with a solution. 

Now it’s time to take action for you today. 

Start your new week with a new reflective YOU

Time Management proforma

Need other help with your setting. Give us an email..we are here to help! 

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Nursery World article (9 November 2018)

‘As of 1 April 2018, the optional early years self-evaluation form (SEF), which providers can use to prepare for inspection, will cease to exist. The decision to remove the form follows a review by Ofsted into its effectiveness and whether or not it is needed.

While managers and staff of childcare settings need to be able to evaluate the care and activities their setting provides, and how well they are meeting the learning needs of children to an Ofsted inspector, they do not need to fill in the SEF’

With the ongoing discussions going viral on social media and publications  it is still one of those topics which is constantly being moaned at…What is it? 

Your SEF !

What is reflection and self-evaluation?

We know intuitively that we learn by experience and also that we learn from our mistakes. But research is constantly informing us that without the process of critically thinking about our experiences, and questioning ourselves about what they mean, learning doesn’t really happen. Same for children!

As practitioners we should be evaluating our practice and even ourselves every day to improve. Is there any harm in that? 

What are the issues we have with the SEF?

Is it a TIME issue?

Is it a wording issue?

Or is it both? 

The Early Years Inspection Handbook (2015 ) states that

‘The provider MUST demonstrate how they evaluate their service and strive for continuous improvement’ (pg7)

'The inspector must look at all relevant documentation and see the self-evaluation document if the provider has not already submitted it'(p11)

‘Leaders and managers of settings should have an accurate view of the quality of their provision and know what to improve. This view should be summarised in their self-evaluation. Inspectors will use the self-evaluation to evaluate how well a setting knows its strengths and weaknesses and how it can improve of maintain its high standards’  (pg15)

All the way through this document is confirms that manager and team need to be self-evaluating. So let us embrace we need to do this…let us embrace we WANT to do this.


Why not?

This is your setting and your time to shine. During your inspection  you will be slightly stressed and be very aware of your staff, children, parents and even the inspector on the day so let us use the evaluation to say the following


So What?

Now What?

Thank you Driscoll (1994) for providing us with the simple tool of how to reflect and evaluate.

Looking at what you do, what was the impact and now what are you going to do to change it to improve.

Whatever way you evaluate and reflect, please make sure you do it!

Do not be afraid of your evaluation? We need to reflect to improve!

If you need a little guidance and want some examples on how you are able to show how you evaluate then please clink on the link for the FREE download



Collins Dictionary states that ‘If you say that someone has fire in their belly, you are expressing approval of them because they are energetic, enthusiastic, and have very strong feelings.’

When was the last time you had that?

What made you have those feelings of being energetic and excited to share, learn and influence more?

Do you still have those feelings now?

If not, why not?

What do you feel you need to get it back again?

Is it motivation?

Is it time?

Is it training?

Or is it all of the above?

Do you need some help with giving you back that FIRE IN YOUR BELLY?

HONESTY ALERT.... I know I sometimes I do ... it’s not a sad thing to own up to... but it is a sad thing to not recognise you are needing help to get your mojo back. There are only 2 ways which gives me that feeling.

1.     Training and igniting those feelings to others

2.     When I am able to talk to people who inspire, enlighten and enthuse me to I get that feeling back again

So why do we not do that all the time would be the simple answer?

Because our life is full of challenges, our professional values get overtaken by ‘noise’ of others and our personal values get trodden on by negative vibes. It is all called LIFE. But we can be the only person to change that. We are only responsible for ourselves.

Spending the weekend with a few people who I have never met but have connected with over the past year on social media has had a huge impact on the way I am feeling right now.

Ok I’m tired... we all are right... but it was so worth it.

It started by delivering some training to ignite people’s curiosity, enticing them with Jigsaws ideas for Glory Stories and sparking some enthusiasm in them to do the same for their children.

I always ask people to send me what they think about the training as part of my reflection... How I can improve ...but while driving to the BIG SMOKE.  I received this email from one of the delegates from the training ... Tania Grimwood.. You inspire me too J

Thank you so much for today's training and your wacky/inspirational way of presenting - it was like a breath of fresh air - in fact it was more like a bloody hurricane of inspiration (scuse the swear word as I'm sure you will!!!) and thought provocation on our teaching and development for the children in our care.’

This gave me  BIG smiles ... this is what I was hoping to achieve when I set up Jigsaw, giving ideas, sharing best practice and giving people FIRE IN THEIR BELLY... job done ✅

When I finally arrived at the hotel after an hour at Chiswick roundabout. Don’t ask, I had butterflies like you couldn’t imagine, it was like a first date if you remember that far back...

When Topanga Smith (aka Roseville Early Years Consultancy), Jenny Ainsworth (JA Happy House childminding) and Lisa Amanda (aka Maggie and Rose and Inspire to leap) and I finally first met yesterday it was like old friends who haven’t seen each other for months. We did not stop talking from the moment we met to the moment we said goodbye. In fact at one point we were gently reminded Starbucks was closing and could we kindly leave!

We had a tour of Maggie & Rose in Chiswick which set the scene for the afternoon. The oasis of pure delight for children to experience, the buzz of the staff to ensure children are happy, the design of the setting which was so bespoke and highly thought of....who would of thought you could have double decker bus in the nursery, to the rooftop terrace garden with furniture tailor-made for them just created an awe of wonder and delight from us all...

Roseville Early Years Consultancy shared their thoughts on being able offer a bespoke service to help develop and enhance the child-led learning environment. Their firm beliefs that children learn best when the environment reflects their interests and what goals they have for 2018 incorporating loose parts, authentic materials and open ended resources.

From another perspective Jenny Ainsworth from JA Happy House Childminding  enchanted us with her stories and how passionate she is on delivering OUTSTANDING practice. She has been using authentic resources for years, igniting children’s curiosity way before it became the new buzz word and delights about bringing up children in surroundings where they are able to thrive and be creative.

Lisa Amanda has a wealth of experience within Early Years sector and shared her stories about her life in Dubai and the mission she is aiming for with ‘Inspire to Leap’ group. The fact we were so nervous and excited at the same time was soon resolved by the calming and relaxed influence of Lisa who made us all feel like we were old friends.

We talked for hours about our experiences and how we got to where we were now. We listened to each other’s stories and shared the joys and the woes of the events in our lives which makes us who we are now.


YOU all inspire, motive and enthuse me to be the best I can be.

YOU gave me FIRE IN MY BELLY to improve outcomes in children and teams in settings.  

YOU have helped me on my journey.

So if you are having one of those days when you are feeling blah! Look no further to like-minded people who are there for just this purpose.



Curiosity Ignites learning

Over the past year the word Curiosity has been shared through a variety of media. It is not a new word which has just been introduced and the meaning has not changed. The Oxford English Dictionary (2017) states ‘A strong desire to know or learn something’

Is this not what we all do when we are learning something new, or when we attend training or even read new articles or books...we strive to learn something new where we can use? … This impacts our future life...  

One of the Characteristics of Effective learning is creativity and critical thinking and with children being curious they will endeavour to be able to show how they are thinking and how creative they are. Using our brains is so important.

Several pioneers, theorists and approaches from the earliest of years have constantly used the word Curiosity in their ethos. Here are just a few to help us along the way on why we need children to develop and learn through their Curiosity.

REGGIO values children as being strong and capable and insists on children being resilient. So important for their emotional well being. We can promote this through the richness of ‘Awe and Wonder’. Every child is able to bring with them a deep innate drive of Curiosity and this determines their interest to understand the surrounding world.

MONTESSORI believed we as practitioners should focus on the children and not the day to day planning. It is up to us to ask the questions, be able to get children to think for themselves, be able to investigate and discover their Curiosity and creativity which they were born with.

We are the facilitators... WE ARE THE SOURCE in which children learn...FACT!

STEINER believed through direction and instruction children are not able to experience and learn but if children learn to watch us as their role models, they will use imitation and example to grow their development. Through this children will become enthusiastic, motivated and highly active learners.

FROEBEL believed ‘play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the expression of what is in a child’s soul’. His approach was one of the first to express children learning in Early Years to the basis for a solid foundation for their education in later life. Children should be able to choose, explore, create and imagine using their innate Curiosity which surrounds them in everyday life. We as the practitioners needs to give them the experiences to use their critical thinking skills.

ISAACS was inspired by the resources we provide children to experience which were intended to stimulate children’s powers of inquiries and Curiosity, thus then being able to learn. The need for children to be able to be emotionally secure through their engagement of learning gave children the chance to feel at ease, confident and secure. So important for mindfulness.

WALLAS suggests when children are being creative and using their Curiosity in their experiences they develop through different stages; Preparation, Simmering and Illumination.

This is just a snap shot, there are many others who are saying similar.

With each stage children can be curious to learn something new and be engaged in their invitations to play provided by us…the Early Years practitioner.

We need to encourage children to use their brains by being CURIOUS and thinking for themselves.

Think of children’s brains as a muscle… It will waste away without use.

It is up to us to inspire and provoke learning through igniting their Curiosity.

We should be sharing our ideas with each other to encourage children in today’s society to become well developed little people ready for the outside world.

Again, just to confirm Curiosity is not a new word. It is not a new initiative either.

But one thing we should all know and be sure IT IS the way forward. So come lets get together and spark the Curiosity in children's and even ours too. 

Being creative and critical thinkers is one of the players in Characteristics of Effective Learning. Curiosity enhances this.

One thing we can be sure of and we must remember


What are Provocations?

Is provocations the new BUZZ word?

Provocations has been spreading like wild fire over the past year

Do you know what it means?


The term originated from the Reggio approach.


To put into the most simplest of terms provocations means provoking learning.

Enticing children to play and inviting them to be curious, creative and be able to think critically in their learning. All part of Characteristics of Effective learning which we need to ensure we know about within our children’s day and learning

 You may think you do this everyday with making your setting inviting and enabling children to share their interests, however these resources need to open ended so children can decide what they want to do, how they want to do it and when they want to.

Are we too adult led?

As an adult we are the facilitator of children’s learning. We need to make the environment has the resources for children to critically think for themselves. Their brain is like a muscle and it will waste away without use.

Wallas (1926) suggests in The Art of Thought we have 4 processes

·       Preparation

·       Simmering/ incubation

·       Illumination

·       Verification

Preparation – when we are being creative we investigate all areas

Simmering/ incubation – creativity can go two ways..The positive and the negative and it’s up to the artist to find the solutions. Again using our brains

Illumination – after the above two eventually the A-ha or Eureka moment.

Verification – is in the creating the creation!.

Linking to provocations we should be making sure our activities are interesting and original to the child. They need to find the direction they want to go in to make it their original learning.  That’s what it’s all about …simple

Try it… Visit your local scrap store and place the resources around your setting. Sit back and watch what happens… think about what Wallas suggests…. The art is then to provoke communication and language to get children to think for themselves!