About Us

Playwise was founded in 2004 by Katharine Finkill an experienced early years trainer and consultant.  Katharine has been working in the early years sector for more than 28 years and her career has encompassed a variety of roles, as a practitioner and a nursery owner as well as in an advisory/training capacity for large national organisations and local authorities.

Katharine is passionate about the importance of all children being given opportunities to learn and develop within caring environments that offer rich, stimulating, developmentally appropriate experiences, and it is this passion that motivates her to offer support to others.

In June 2008 Katharine published a Planning Guide to support the implementation of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Some of the contents from the guide are now in the Training and Development Area of this website and have been updated in line with the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage.

This planning format has been implemented successfully in many settings throughout the country and has enabled early years practitioners to:

  • Support children’s learning and development effectively
  • Plan effectively in the long, medium and short term
  • Observe, assess, plan and record effectively
  • Develop environments
  • Meet the learning and development requirements of the EYFS
  • Provide child centred adult led experiences
  • Select and organise resources to support child initiated experiences

Many settings using the planning system have found it to be a valuable tool for moving practice forward and have received positive feedback during Ofsted inspections about their approach to planning. Several have gone on to receive outstanding Ofsted judgements (see testimonials).

Katharine has a BA (hons) in Early Childhood Studies.

Our work at Playwise is underpinned by the following Vision and Core Principles:

Our Vision

To empower early years practitioners to effectively carry out the important role of ensuring children’s well-being, learning and development.

The following Core Principles guide us in what we do:

We believe

  • Through knowing each child as an individual and developing reciprocal and mutually trusting relationships with them and their families we will be nurturing children’s well-being and happiness
  • All children are competent, capable and active learners from birth
  • Children learn best through play, and that adults supporting, scaffolding and nurturing children’s learning, is of fundamental importance
  • The environment, both indoors and outdoors, is really important in facilitating children’s play, learning and development
  • Respecting and valuing parents and families is of paramount importance
  • Adults who care for children also need to be respected, supported and nurtured