Girl Reading

Leaders Are Readers

As leaders, we know the importance of reading, updating our knowledge and maintaining our CPD. But time is precious!



Our Key Team book reviews may help you decide which books to prioritise.  

Self-Regulation Skills in Young Children

Sue Asquith

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Even as an experienced professional, there was so to learn. I really enjoyed the way the book started of very theory based, although in clear and understandable terms, and then went on to practical ideas to put this learning into practice. 

The theory section was well written, referencing lots of up to day research which backed up what we often see in practice. This section is ideal for everyone in the early years sector, as there is so much to discover about child brain development and the concept of self-regulation. 

Taking the learning from this into the practical activities enables readers to put their new knowledge into practice quickly. The activities are well thought through and  can be applied in many different settings.  I particularly liked the exercises around coping strategies, which were simple yet highly effective.  Each activity also has an extension activity to truly help readers take their practice to the next level. 

The concept of the Three I's - Intent, implementation and Impact is also threaded through the activities, enabling readers to get used to this language and embed it as part of their vocabulary. 

Overall, this book is a must have for early years leaders, pop it in the staff room for practitioners to enjoy. Once read it will become a go to resources for provocation and ideas to support many children. 

Highly recommended!

Promoting Emotional Wellbeing in Early Years Staff

Sonia Mainstone-Cotton

This is a lovely book, easy to read and digest with wonderful activities for reflection and practice. 

The book discusses the main aspects of wellbeing, as well  spiritual wellbeing which is often left uncovered in many texts. Ideas such as yoga, prayer and journaling are suggested, and the author offers some great proposals for how these can be implemented within an early years team.

I particularly like the prompts to reflect on how the environment contributes to wellbeing, with examples of how to to be kind to yourself daily, something we all need to remember!  

The text chapters make it an easy reference book to pick up when facing particular challenges and provides some thoughts  on how to support colleagues and teams with their wellbeing. 

This is an ideal text to pop in the staff  room, prompting staff to pick up on breaks and consider how they can promote their own wellbeing and that of their colleagues. Definitely one to purchase! 

Why not take a look at our staff wellbeing resource bundle 

Leadership for Quality in Early Years & Playwork

Debbie Garvey & Andrea Lancaster

This is a great book for learning more about different styles of leadership, and enabling the reader to reflect on their own leadership practice. The book begins discussing very generalised leadership, applicable in most industries, so not Early Years specific, but still quite interesting. It then moves onto how leadership styles can be used within a setting. There are regular reflection case studies which give you a real Early Years scenario; they are relevant, and are the most relatable aspects of this book. The book also touches upon numerous Early Years Development theorists, which took me back to my University days, but not in so much detail that it is overwhelming. It refers to the standards of the EYPS qualification, which could be seen as outdated, but are still pertinent to excellent EYFS practice and leadership.


Although the book is somewhat formally written, it is broken up into manageable chapters and sections, and there are some really beneficial take away ideas for staff meetings, communication with your team, quality improvement, addressing frustrations, giving feedback appropriately and motivation.


This a brilliant book if you are a new Early Years Leader, and still working out which qualities you want to adopt as part of your leadership style. Equally, it could be used a great reflection tool for an experienced leader. A useful read either way!

Why not take advantage of our virtual leadership support?

Building Your Early Years Business

Jacqui Burke

This simple yet informative book is useful for any new leader or business owner. Covering marketing, PR, financial management and more, the book is a great tool in an early years leaders tool box. However, it is important to remember that as this was published in 2017, and therefore some areas may be outdated. For example, the book relates to the SEF, which was removed in 2018 and of course the inspection handbook updated in 2019. Nevertheless, there is lots of useful information that leaders can use to support the development of their business. Whilst the book covers the legislative aspects of leading a staff team, there is a definite lack of advice and guidance on the softer skills required for effective leadership, and a chapter on staff well being would be a useful addition. This is a book that may be used as a quick reference guide on a certain topic however, is rather lacking in humour and humility. Some real life examples and scenarios would lighten it up a little, after all, business management can be fun! 

For further support with building your business, check out our resources here

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