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Minds matter

Pre-school Learning Alliance
Event organized by Pre-school Learning Alliance

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

The Pre-school Learning Alliance's annual conference 2018 will take place on Friday, 1 June 2018 at the Hilton London Bankside, in Southwark, London SE1 0UG.

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 Alliance, to give us different but equally compelling perspectives on their understanding and experiences of mental health.

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.

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.

As well as a busy opening conference featuring our keynote speakers, there’ll be 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.

The afternoon will feature our first ever celebration of the brand new Alliance Outstanding Member Awards, recognising the extraordinary difference made by our members to their communities.

A busy day will be finished off with the choice of two (from a possible four) excellent, practical workshops 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.

We look forward to welcoming you on the 1st of June!