In recent weeks, the debate around reducing childcare costs and improving quality has been confused. This has been most evident in the More Great Childcare proposals to increase adult:child ratios in nurseries and to change them in childminding settings. This is the clearest indication yet that for the Coalition government, cost is the biggest driver for change, not quality.
Scotland wants to be the best small country in the world for children to grow up in. It's a great aspiration to set but as new figures show an increase in the number of children on child protection registers, with more than half under the age of five - is Scotland getting any closer to giving its children the very best start in life?
I thought it might be a good time to share one of our team's "Day in the Life of..." blogs. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did, and I hope that it also highlights the positive experience that the right person, with the correct attitude, knowledge, experience and training, can bring to a child's day at nursery.
My instinct tells me that if I want a baby it will come naturally or if it doesn't maybe it is not meant to be. Others have a different vibe about the whole thing and are comfortable with fertility treatment, IVF or other procedures. But for me and for many of my friends the cost was getting too high. It made me sick, frustrated, anxious and most of all I lost me.
While some media might have us believe that most single parents are shunning work in favour of a 'lifestyle' on out-of-work benefits, the reality is starkly different. Single parents are highly motivated to work. After all, they're the sole breadwinners for their families - families which face twice the risk of living in poverty than those headed up by a couple.
I had always expected I would have kids. As a child you dress dollies and give them names. Mine were two girls, just like my sister and I. Charlotte and Helena. Then you start dating boyfriends and imagine what your children would look like. Then life happens. Career, divorce, loss of a parent, sadness.
Research by American psychologists, published earlier this month, studied the sleep patterns of 1,200 children from birth to three years. Marsha Weinraub, professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, said that alongside regular bedtimes, it was best for parents to not respond when their children call out or cry, especially after nine or 10 months of age.