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"Free childcare"– at what cost?
Fri 16 June 2017, 09:30 – 17:00 BST
“Free childcare” – at what cost?
Pre-school Learning Alliance annual conference 2017
This year’s annual Alliance member conference takes place on Friday, 16 June 2017 at the Hilton London Bankside in Southwark in London SE1 0UG.
Caroline Dinenage, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Women, Equalities and Early Years, Neil Leitch, Alliance Chief Executive and Karyn McCluskey, Community Justice Scotland Chief Executive and leading advocate for investment in early intervention join the line-up and will ensure a dynamic opening conference.
Over recent months, there has been much discussion about the provision of so-called ‘free childcare’ - and yet, those of us who work in the sector know that what you deliver isn’t just ‘childcare’, and it certainly isn’t ‘free’. This year’s event will look at what we can do to challenge these perceptions, particularly in light of the implementation of the 30-hour offer in September.
The early years sector deserve to receive recognition for its valuable contribution and believe that raising the professional status of providers is in everyone’s interests. Most importantly, evidence shows that there is a clear socio-economic argument for investment in the early years: research shows that for every pound spent in the early stages of a child’s life, £7 would need to be spent in adolescence to have the same impact.
We believe that funding for the early years must cover the cost of delivering high-quality early education places. While the government increased funding support for the sector to support the roll-out of the 30 hours ‘free’ entitlement late last year, we know it’s not enough to make a real difference for many providers.
The government must invest sufficient funds over the long-term in the early years. Only then, can we realistically improve a child’s life chances and positive contribution to society in the long-term.
The rest of the day
After enjoying a networking lunch and busy exhibition, the ever-popular annual Alliance Volunteer Awards starts off the afternoon programme. Kate Garraway, TV broadcaster hosts this important celebration to highlight the huge contribution made by Alliance volunteers. Practical afternoon workshops will follow, giving delegates a chance to benefit from two great sessions.
Of course, you can also enjoy amazing networking and exhibition opportunities over the day.
This year delegates can choose two (from three) strong, interactive practical workshops. You can update your skills and understanding of key areas of policy and best practice – covering SEN, children’s behaviour, learning and development.
You can choose two workshops from three choices.Please ensure you give a first, second and third preference when you book.
Workshop choices as follows:
1) It’s not fair – understanding challenging behaviour.
Tasmin Grimmer, Early Years Consultant. In this practical workshop Tamsin will explore children’s behaviour in the context of their social and emotional development. She will consider the importance of having realistic expectations for children, the impact of minor conflict on children’s brains and share effective strategies on how to help guide children to resolve their own conflicts and develop self-regulation.
2) Magical outdoors, turning ‘urban’ into Forest School
Tracy Betley, Forest School leader, Forest School Learning Initiative. In this workshop, Tracy shows how an outdoor space (even if it's quite limited) can be used to create an inspiring Forest School experience. Many settings can find it challenging to create an outdoor space which is both stimulating and safe – particularly in urban environments or areas where green space is shrinking. Drawing from case studies in Buckinghamshire, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark. Tracy shares plenty of examples that sparked off ideas and shares best practice.
3) Implementing policy changes to obtain better outcomes for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Philippa Stobbs, Assistant Director, Council for Disabled Children. In April 2017, government introduces changes to the 3 and 4 year old early years entitlement and national early years funding formula.
These changes include the introduction of a new Disability Access Fund and a SEN Inclusion Fund. Philippa Stobbs, Assistant Director, Council for Disabled Children, explores these changes within a SEND legal framework and guides delegates on achieving better outcomes for children with SEND.