Welcome to Early Years Staffroom

The Early Year’s Staffroom was founded in 2017 by Katherine Houghton. At the time Katherine had struggled to link with likeminded teachers with a passion and understanding of Early Years, she wanted to reach out to others who shared her passion for play. She set about creating this special community which has helped so many others working in the sector. The Early Years Staffroom is a virtual staffroom for anyone working in the magical Early Years.

The Early Years Staffroom has been created by experts with a shared pedagogy. Providing training and creating resources and planning based around play and having fun. Early Years is a specialist area, therefore, it needs people with specialist knowledge of Early Years and expertise to lead development and that is why many of the contributors are Specialist Leaders in Education.

Play provides exciting opportunities for children to acquire the characteristics to be effective learners in the future and provides the best foundations. We know children can be independent, takes risks and work things out for themselves. Therefore, we want them to develop their collaborative and higher order thinking skills so that they can reach their full potential. Our aim is to help other practitioners create learners develop a lifelong passion and motivation for learning.

Teacher’s vary in their teaching style in the same way children vary in their learning style. There are many approaches to Early Years; some teachers like to follow children’s interests with no forward planning; many use the ‘Planning in the moment’ approach to Early Years. Other teachers prefer to use ‘objective led planning’, while many use a mix of adult and child led activities while following children’s interests. Whichever your teaching style, whatever your philosophy, you will be able to find resources on the website to help you save time and reflect on your practice.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to help teachers teach effectively by providing a work life balance. When teachers are happy and have high levels of wellbeing, they are better teachers. Teachers can build those strong relationships with children which are key to effective learning. We want teachers to have the time and energy to focus on the dispositions of learning so that they create lifelong learners. We also want to reduce mental health issues among teachers and children. We want to lead the way to continuous provision from Year 1 all the way to year 6 as we believe this alongside adult led teaching will provide the very best education for our children.

Our Services


In the Early Years Staffroom we have gathered and created relevant resources and planning needed in Early Years. We have also put them in an easily searchable form so that you save your precious time. Plus, if you don’t find what you are looking for, we will create it for you! Our dedicated resource creators will continue to produce the most relevant resources, so please tell us what you need and we will make it.


The Early Years Staffroom will keep all Early Years Practitioners up to date in the ‘Early Years World’ with the latest relevant research, articles, book reviews, case studies, blogs, and news. This isn’t just one industry expert’s ideas but many so you can get ALL the information.


With the Early Years Staffroom Calendar, you will never have to worry about missing an important date, waste time trying to find out when something is or find out about a Celebration you are not sure of as we have all this information at your fingertips.

Learning Journey

Your Learning Journey is a secure place to document and reflect on your Early Years practise. The idea is born from a child’s learning journey through Early Years. The Learning Journey starts at your starting point and goes on a journey through your career. You can add ‘professional developments’ along the way including photos, PowerPoint's, videos, spreadsheets, notes and have space to reflect on your learning and how you have adapted your pedagogy. The Learning Journey documents everything that you would need to apply for a job, for example, your DBS number, QTS number etc. as well as your qualifications, employment history and references all in one place. The journey finishes with a future goals board. All of this information collates into an easy to download document ready to use to present to future employers giving you the optimum head start at interview or it can be used for ensuring you have successful, purposeful and reflective appraisals.


We provide training videos by Early Years advocates which is included in the subscription price.   Thank you for taking the time to find out about us. Team Staffroom

Katherine Houghton
Managing Director


Katherine is a passionate and experienced Early Years enthusiast with 14 years experience working in Early Years. After eight years of working in the corporate world as a Project Manager, she had her first child which, as the cliché goes; changed her life. She began researching parenting techniques which led her to the amazing book 'Unconditional Parenting - Moving from Rewards and Punishments' by Alfie Kohn. Following this she realised she wanted to make a difference in the world of Education in particular, Early Years. While working as a Childminder, Katherine gained a Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and then went onto to do her Early Years PGCE at Oxford Brookes University.  During her 14 years’ experience in Early Years Katherine has taught Internationally and in Buckinghamshire where she has had the privilege to work with and learn from some amazing and inspiring teachers from various countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, America, China and Sweden. As well as teaching Katherine’s career highlights include writing a phonics program for phase 1 which is now published on Amazon and used in many Schools and Nurseries in the UK and internationally, working in a bilingual school and writing award winning blogs and articles about Early Years in her website www.earlyyearsstaffroom.com. Katherine is currently completing her master’s in Early Childhood at the University of Sheffield with a focus on ‘curriculum’. Katherine is dedicated to research in Early Years and stives keep play at the forefront of Early Years and make a difference to the world of Education.


Katherine’s time away from work mainly involves looking after her three young children. She enjoys swimming, relaxing at the spa and has a love of good food! A glass of prosecco in the sun never goes amiss either, especially when joined by friends and family.

"My aim with the Early Year Staffroom is to help Early Years Professionals by providing support and a community. I hope this site can help you save your precious time so you can spend more with your family".

Ian Houghton
Operation's Director


Ian worked as a Project Director for an exhibition company gaining many skills before embarking on a career at the Early Years Staffroom. Ian manages Social Media, Digital Marketing and the Technical team.


Ian's hobbies include playing football, hiking, travelling and going to the gym as well as spending time with his family.

"Working at the Early Years Staffroom has been extremely rewarding for me and I am excited about growing the business and helping those working in Education".

Sarah Detheridge
Resource Creator and Blog Writer


Sarah has been teaching in Early Years settings and schools for over 20 years with some management experience along the way. She has also spent time working with a range of children and needs through intervention work. Sarah managed her own childcare business from home when her children were very young. She is a qualified Forest School Leader and is therefore passionate about outdoor learning.


Outside work Sarah enjoys spending time with family and socialising with friends. She takes  her dog Archie for walks and likes to keep fit on her son's VR headset. Sarah has a love for travelling and can't wait to book in the next holiday.

"I am excited to be working for The Early Years Staffroom so I can continue to be creative and contribute towards making life easier for other practitioners, who are equally passionate about teaching and learning in the Early Years"

Billie Martin
Resource Creator


Billie has been teaching for 5 years in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. She is currenlty the maths lead for her school and Early Years Lead from September 2022. As part of her Maths leadership she has worked directly with the NCETM and White Rose Maths and loves to develop her expertise and continue learning. During her time at Bishop Grosseteste University while completing a degree in Primary Education with a specialism in ages 3-7 Billie also worked part time in a nursery.


Outside of work I love to walk and enjoy long walks like going up Mam Tor and Helvellyn as well as keeping fit at the gym (and the occasional run). I enjoy being with my friends and family as well as holidays and relaxing.

"Working at the Early Years Staffroom supports me a lot in my own teaching by giving me new ideas and especially now becoming the early years lead for my school. I am passionate about sharing my expertise and I love to create resources and share my ideas with others".

Dan Williams
Website Development


Dan Williams created YostratO Ltd around the vision of simplifying the process of implementing website solutions, SEO, Website Analytics and Paid For Advertising for start-up businesses and SMEs. From a previous role, Dan and his team offer over 15 years industry experience implementing successful solutions for clients looking to improve and grow their online presence and helping them win more business. The essence of YostratO is the business journey with the intent is to simplify your success by providing cost-effective websites and digital marketing strategies that work for their clients.


Outside of work Dan enjoys socialising with friends and family, festivals and live music and travelling – especially when it involves snow and snowboarding. To keep fit, he is a keen mountain biker and runs. A new venture to get outdoors more is taking on a small piece of land to grow organically grown fruit and vegetables.

"I really enjoy working with the team at EYS, it is great to work with a team so focused on developing a website that considers their users as the number one priority. The work is varied and at times challenging, which is always a positive for someone that enjoys getting into the detail with the end game of making the user experience better".

Ann Whytewood
Adviser and Resource Developer


Ann has a Bachelor of Science with and Advanced Major in Psychology (University of Kings College) and Bachelor of Primary Education (St. Francis Xavier University)  and also QTS in England! She came to teach in the UK 12 years ago and has since become a truly converted Early Years Teacher! Ann has had some amazing experiences in her Early Years teaching career that include representing the British Council on a research trip to Japan, her provision being published in Kirstine Beeley's amazing EYFS books, and opening a brand new school as the Early Years Phase Leader 6 years ago. Currently, she has just been designated as a Specialist Leader in Education for Early Years and Phonics.  Ann is passionate about everything EYFS, especially phonics, open-ended play and loose parts!


When not working, Ann enjoys playing football, traveling to and from Canada (and elsewhere)spending time outside with her husband Paul, 3-year-old son, George and chocolate Labrador, Major Paws. She can often be found with her nose in a book and has a vast collection of children's books. Her favourite at the moment is 'The Darkest Dark' by Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield.

"I am delighted to be part of this very exciting opportunity to support the Early Years Staffroom and to help other Early Years Teachers to develop their practise!"

Adele Stuckey
Resource Creator


Adele lives in Cornwell with her family She has worked in the Early Years for 8 years and is currently a Nursery Lead in a school based EYFS unit. Adele has a first-class degree (BA Hons Professional Practice Early Years) which she achieved 3 years ago alongside full-time work and a family. In September Adele began her Early Years Initial Teacher Training too! Adele loves the Early Years and especially likes creating her own resources @craftymissearlyyears. During the pandemic Adele began making fun learning videos for her Nursery class and has been told she should be on CBeebies!


Adele's hobbies include jewellery making (@cornishfindsdesigns) using hand collected sea glass which she loves looking for – She can often be found on the beach, bent over, looking as though she has lost something!

"I am now enjoying creating resources for the Early Years Staffroom".