Writers: Jacqueline Taylor

Jacqueline Taylor

Jacqueline Taylor, mum of two, has been working in Early Childhood Education for 19 years. She currently works for footsteps - a nationwide service offering home-based childcare and free 1:1 learning programmes to give children the best start. As a qualified ECE teacher, she is especially interested in working with under 3s to understand and help them develop a strong foundation for the future.

Keeping your child safe – What to look out for at different stages of development

Keeping your child safe

Sometimes when you start talking about safety, people will say “well you can’t wrap children in cotton wool” or even “they have to learn somehow”. But children being their natural adventurous selves need to be kept safe. Keeping your child safe is not about stopping children from being active and curious it’s about providing the safest environment to explore in. Continue reading »

What’s the best learning environment for my child?

preschool education

Every year, more research comes out that enhances our understanding of children’s brain development, learning and attachments. There is no doubt that the first three years of a child’s life is the most significant time in their lives and that the experiences, both positive and negative, in this time shape a child’s future. A child’s brain goes from about 25% of adult size at birth to an amazing 80% at three years (Brainwave Trust, 2014). Continue reading »

The Amazing Newborn Baby!


Every new born is different; some cute and bald, others with a full head of adorable Elvis styled hair! Each is born with amazing abilities. You may think that all babies do is sleep, cry, poop and eat (with not much of the sleep part going on), but they already have the most amazing brain ready to soak in experiences and learning that will shape their future.

Look at the world through a newborn’s eyes. While in the womb the mother’s body took care of everything for the baby; food and oxygen, and providing a safe cushioned place away from the rest of the world. Once born they are thrust into an environment where everything is new, unknown and different. Suddenly there is light and darkness, air on the skin and movement and noises all around them that are unknown. Continue reading »

Reading, writing and physical play and development.

physical play and development in chlidren

Does jumping on a trampoline or playing in the sand pit help our children to read and write?

Often when we think of teaching children reading and writing skills we imagine reading lots of stories and encouraging children to write their name. The brain plays its part in children’s writing and reading but the body needs to be ready physically too. Little hands and eyes need developing ready for successful reading and writing.   It’s important to remember that the physical play and development skills needed to achieve these are developed in the early years, right from birth. Continue reading »

Arts and crafts for preschoolers

Crafts for preschoolers

The colder months are a great time to get into arts and crafts with your preschooler.  It’s not just fun, they’re learning too.  Whether you love getting messy and trying new things with your children or have never explored art activities at home before, there will be an idea here for new crafts for preschoolers in your house!  Continue reading »

14 ways to Celebrate Children’s Day 2014

Children's Day 2014

This year for Children’s Day, as well as recognising your own little cherub, why not spread the love to other children in your community? In the process you will be sharing an important message with your child about the value of all children and the spirit of giving. Continue reading »

Toilet training without the stress – for all of you

girl potty training

It is a fact that around the time toilet training usually begins, children are starting to strive for more independence and beginning to test limits. This can make toilet training a stressful time for child and adult. Continue reading »

Fun indoor activities for under twos


Children have fun learning and bonding, which develops a sense of confidence and security. As a Footsteps kaiako (teacher) of children in home based childcare, I have learnt that  having fun not only brings joy to your child’s day, but yours too. As a parent or in home childcare provider you should let your inhibitions go, be a bit silly, forget the mess and join in with play wholeheartedly. Here are some fun indoor activities that you can do with your under twos to encourage learning through play: Continue reading »

How does a child’s gender affect their learning and play?

sand pit outdoor play

What sort of toys and gifts did your child receive at birth or their first birthday? If they are a boy it is likely their gifts featured lots of blue, pictures of trucks and slogans on tee shirts such as ‘here comes trouble’ or ‘little dude’. Girl’s gifts are likely to be fluffy, pink and include slogans such as ‘diva’ or ‘princess’. Right from birth children are getting messages, both positively and negatively about what it means to be a boy or a girl. Continue reading »

How to encourage your preschooler to read and write

child development

Why is it that some children love to write and draw and for others it’s a struggle to get them to even pick up a pencil? As a teacher of children in home based childcare I have learnt that they are all unique with their own strengths and interests, and are each individual in the way they learn.  It is important to recognise that there are many different learning styles and many children lean towards one, while also being a combination of others. Continue reading »

Welcome to Kiwi Families

We bring 16,880 kiwi families together to learn from each other.

Join a community raising great kiwi kids: