This is a subject close to my heart... a strange topic maybe but my daughter didn't get along with print so we tried cursive and she loves it. Cursive is 'old style' lettering that is curly and has a flick to lead into it and a flick to lead out of it. All children will learn a version of it eventually, when they need to join up their handwriting, but most schools teach print to begin with. Print is the type of lettering that you will see in books, newspapers etc. The problem my daughter had with print is that all of the letters start in different places, consider 's' and 'e' and 'l', they all begin at a different place, with cursive, this doesn't happen, as all letters begin at the bottom left, with a lead-in stroke to the letter. This particularly helps when children get muddled up with 'b' and 'd' and 'p'! Cursive also supports children to form the letters properly as they are less likely to draw a ball and a stick for 'p' for example as they understand that it must flow from the left, so bad habits are less likely to be picked up.
Lots of schools are beginning to go back to teaching cursive as a starting point, and this may affect you as a childminder if you find yourself supporting a child with homework that is in cursive, or looking after them in the holidays. Whilst it is accepted that children who learn letters in cursive usually have no problem in reading in print, it is great to be able to meet the needs of all children by differentiating what you do. I searched high and low for cursive resources for two years and then I found this site which is well worth a read as it details soooo eloquently all the best bits about cursive!!!! I am biased I know, but my point is that if you care for children whose school teach cursive (even if those children have yet to begin nursery and you know that they will be going there, you can use one of the fonts from this site to produce titles, captions for paintings, headers for your displays, name tags for the child's coat peg and so much more) The fonts are so affordable and make individualising your planning so easy that it is well worth writing off against tax!!
There will be more to come from this talented lady, as I will hopefully be interviewing her soon!!