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Minds matter: protecting the wellbeing of children and practitioners in the...

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Hilton London Bankside

2-8 Great Suffolk Street

London

SE1 0UG

United Kingdom

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Minds matter: protecting the wellbeing of children and practitioners in the early years

The Pre-school Learning Alliance annual conference 2018

The 2018 annual Alliance member conference will take place on Friday, 1 June 2018 at the Hilton London Bankside, in Southwark, London SE1 0UG.

Opening conference

Confirmed speakers: Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief inspector, Alastair Campbell, author and political aide, and Dr Guy Roberts-Holmes, senior lecturer in early childhood education, will join Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance alongside other leading sector experts, to give us different but equally compelling perspectives on their understanding and experiences of mental health.

The theme

With plans to reintroduce the reception baseline assessment – alongside proposed changes to the EYFS Profile – recently confirmed by government, many in the sector are rightly worried about the pressure being placed on some of our very youngest children. We all know that the first five years of a child’s life are vital to their long-term development, and that pushing children into stressful testing environments at the very start of their educational journeys risks causing significant mental and emotional harm.

But while the early years sector rightly champions the need to protect the wellbeing of the children in our care, it is just as important to ensure that we as practitioners are giving equal consideration to our own mental health.

Every year one in six people of working age are diagnosed with a mental health condition in England. This statistic is likely to be unsurprising to many of us working across the sector.

With increased funding uncertainty, rising business costs and constantly changing legislation and standards, many providers and their teams are feeling the strain. Inspections too, no matter how well-prepared and managed, can be a real cause of anxiety and stress.

We all recognise the huge importance of and need to create a supportive, positive work environment to promote mental wellbeing.

That’s why this year’s annual Alliance conference, Minds matter: protecting the wellbeing of children and practitioners in the early years, focuses on the importance of protecting mental health for all in the early years: both children and practitioners.

At this year’s event, you will:

  • hear encouraging and uplifting stories from those directly affected
  • gain further insight and increased awareness of the impact of stress in adults and very young children.
  • find out more about latest research, develop useful coping strategies to help you better identify and manage the impact of on-going stress on an individual or team.


Networking lunch and exhibition

There’s plenty of time to meet with other delegates, enjoy a lovely lunch and busy exhibition before coming back together for the start of the afternoon’s programme.

Alliance Outstanding Member Awards

We are delighted to announce our new awards celebration for 2018. The Alliance Outstanding Member Awards now recognises not just the amazing support of Alliance volunteers but also the extraordinary difference made by our members.

Practical workshops

Delegates will have the choice to register for and attend two workshops from a choice of four (repeated) excellent, practical sessions available after the Awards finish. Each workshop will be delivered by a leading expert in the field of mental health and best working practice. Please give your first and second preference when you book.

1. Making it better for boys, exploring pivotal stages of development
Ali McClure, Author, Education and Parenting Consultant.

Ali's lively and practical workshop explores why ‘physical first’ really is the key to learning, especially for boys. The session will inspire and empower you to overcome damaging and inappropriate expectations developing relevant and appropriate practice through truly understanding how to get it right for boys and girls in your early years environment. Do hormones really influence how boys and girls learn and behave? Can matching children's stage of physical development at this early stage in their lives really unlock their learning and support them positively going forward?’ It most certainly can!

2. Successfully managing work-related stress in your organisation and teams
Roxane Gervais, Senior Psychologist, Health and Safety Executive

This session aims to better equip managers to recognise the signs of stress in their staff, help them to understand what they should be doing to support the individual and the rest of their team, and understand how their behaviour can impact on the people who work for them. Roxane will raise awareness of the advice and support available that will help prevent workplace ‘stressors’ that may lead to stress, anxiety and depression. This will include guidance on how organisations can apply the HSE Management Standards risk assessment approach.

3. Promoting Emotional Wellbeing in Early Years Staff
Sonia Mainstone-Cotton, Early years nurture and wellbeing trainer and early years consultant

Though children's wellbeing is high on the agenda for policy makers, the welfare of the professionals looking after them is often taken for granted. Sonia recognises that in order to enhance children's emotional wellbeing, it's vital that early years professionals are stress-free and emotionally well themselves. Her session offers and overview of the key issues with practical guidance, tips and ideas for those working with young children on how to comfortably manage the pressures of their job, improve their work/life balance, and support the wellbeing of their colleagues.

4. Yoga-inspired activities for the Under Fives
Lisa, specialist teacher, YogaBugs

Yoga-inspired activities for the Under Fives – Lisa Applebee, specialist teacher, YogaBugs

YogaBugs is the largest children's yoga inspired activity in the UK offering classes for children from walking age to seven years and beyond. Lisa looks at the benefits of yoga for young children and will teach mindfulness techniques that practitioners can use to help children focus their minds. This approach promotes a sense of calm, gives children a better understanding of their emotions and encourages more kindness and gratitude to others. This approach also encourages children’s learning and development - combining fun with exercise. Children can go on wild adventures where they may roar like a lion, fly like a bird or blast into outer space!


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Date and Time

Location

Hilton London Bankside

2-8 Great Suffolk Street

London

SE1 0UG

United Kingdom

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