Raising Standards in Early Years Provision and Care

local government

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:30

Wednesday 31 January 2018

Prospero House- etc Venues, Central London

This Forum provides attendees with an opportunity to learn lessons from the pilot areas and Early Innovators who have been trialling, and researching the implications of, the extended hours offer for early years care. Sector leaders will explain how these experiences will influence the national implementation of the 30 hours free childcare. Participants will also hear about how the new funding formula will work alongside these changes, and explore how the new inspection process will affect the standards they must adhere to.


This Forum is specifically designed for the Early Years Education Sector and Local Authorities including Headteachers, Nursery Managers, SENCOs, Early Years Leaders, Foundation Stage Leaders, Heads of Early Years, Curriculum Managers and Directors of Children’s Services. This Forum is also open to Charities and the Private Sector to encourage and foster debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Wendy Ratcliff HMI, Senior Manager Early Years Policy Team, Ofsted
  • Purnima Tanuku, CEO, National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)
  • Ivana La Valle, Co-Author, Evaluation of Early Rollout of 30 Hours Free Childcare and Research Consultant and Visiting Scholar, University of East London
*Click here to see other speakers and detailed programme*


Policy Background

Improving early years provisions means better support for working parents, and according to 2014 research from the Effective Pre-School Primary and Secondary Education Project, can lead to higher attainment levels at GCSE. As such, in September 2017 the government began to roll-out the 30 hours of free childcare allowance across England, doubling the previous offer of 15 hours.

Since September 2016, eight local authorities have successfully trialed this initiative, benefiting from a shared budget of £13 million to help with the initial implementation, with uptake surpassing the 5,000 target by at least 10%. A further £4 million has been shared between 25 Early Innovator regional areas, tasked with identifying ways to make the extended childcare offer work effectively for all stakeholders. An evaluation of this roll out was published in August 2017, highlighting challenges as well as practices key to facilitating success.

Alongside this, in December 2016 the Department for Education (DfE) introduced a new Early Years National Funding Formula, with funding for the additional hours to be based on the January 2018 census, although concerns have been raised that childminders will lose out under the new plans. In addition to these changes, since April 2017 Ofsted have brought all early years inspection and regulatory work back under its direct oversight, making the inspectorate more accountable to parents and the sector at large. Furthermore, in December 2017, good early years education was named as the cornerstone of social mobility in the government’s new strategy to improve social mobility through education, Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential.

As such, the quality of early years provision and care needs to be improved, if children are to reap the benefits later in their educational lives, and for the 30 hours roll out to be successful for both parents and providers. Therefore local authorities, nurseries and children’s centres must now form effective partnerships to maintain an inspection-ready approach that ensures allocated funding is used in the best possible way for all stakeholders.

Media Partnership

National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is the national charity representing children’s nurseries across the UK, the voice of the 20,000-strong nursery sector, an integral part of the lives of more than a million young children and their families.

They provide information, training and advice to support nurseries and the 250,000 people who work in them to deliver world-class early learning and childcare. Working closely with local and national governments in England, Scotland and Wales, NDNA campaign on the cost, choice and quality of childcare to benefit nurseries, families and the economy.

Visit: www.ndna.org.uk | Follow @NDNAtalk

Media Partners
View the Agenda


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Morning Chair’s Welcome Address

Kathy Sylva, Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Oxford, and Researcher, Effective Pre-School Primary and Secondary Education Project (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Outcomes and Lessons From the Early Implementation and Early Rollout of the 30 Hours of Free Childcare

  • Summarising the key outcomes of the August 2017 Evaluation of Early Rollout of 30 Hours Free Childcare: Looking at what worked in the eight pilot areas and the further 25 areas tasked with finding innovative ways to increase access to free childcare
  • Understanding the aims of the amended Free Early Education Entitlement: Improving child development, and supporting parents to work more flexibly
  • Advising local authorities on effectively promoting and implementing the extended hours scheme across all early years providers, and supporting providers to ensure the scheme is a success

Ivana La Valle, Co-Author, Evaluation of Early Rollout of 30 Hours Free Childcare and Research Consultant and Visiting Scholar, University of East London (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: 30 Hours in Action – Chaos or Success

  • Roll out of 30 hours
  • Political and economic factors influencing the sector and cost of childcare
  • Provider perspective
  • Long term vision for the workforce

Purnima Tanuku, CEO, National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Developing an Enquiry-Based Learning Approach to Early Years

  • Encouraging children to construct their own learning opportunities through play and exploration
  • Sharing the unique language developed at the nursery for use in the curriculum and to instil and inspirational learning experience for children
  • Shaping children’s mental, moral and social capabilities by actively listening to their ideas and opinions, and demonstrating this to the children on a daily basis
  • Engaging parents in the philosophy of the nursery to encourage a holistic approach to developing inquisitive children

Caroline El-Semman, Director, Little Jungle Nursery (CONFIRMED)


Key Supporter Session


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Using Status as a National Teaching School to Support Local Early Years Providers

  • Sharing teaching and learning expertise
  • Creating regular opportunities to share best practice methods among local schools
  • Advising on raising standards of early years care

Dr Julian Grenier, Headteacher, Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre and National Leader of Education (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Providing Outstanding Early Years Teaching and Learning

  • Developing a child-initiated learning environment, to build independent and robust learners
  • Disseminating key elements of the school’s best practice early years teaching, including innovative learning through play activities and creating an environment where there is high expectation of early literacy
  • Advising teachers on how to effectively encourage children to articulate the next steps in their learning, and assisting them to act on and implement these
  • Highlighting the importance of early years incidental learning, where children are using and applying knowledge, understanding and skills

Silvia Latorraca, Nursery Teacher, Fitzjohn’s Primary School (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Creating Innovative Solutions for Childcare Access

  • Sharing findings from being part of the Early Innovators group; focusing on the sufficiency of places and developing high-quality flexible provision
  • Raising parental awareness and managing expectations; the extended entitlement provision is not one size fits all
  • The use of data to promote partnership working and the importance of developing  transition standards to support children’s welfare, learning and development
  • The development of fair and transparent admission arrangements for oversubscribed provision
  • Provider experiences and future support needs

Jan Batchelor , Childcare Support Lead Officer, Gateshead Early Years and Childcare Services (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Chair's Welcome Address

John Fowler, Policy Manager, LGiU (CONFIRMED)


Afternoon Keynote: Reviewing the Implications of In-House Ofsted Inspections

  • Cementing further accountability in the inspections process by bringing selection, training and management of inspectors back to the direct control of Ofsted
  • Building on the work of previous inspection contractors and reviewing key areas of focus, including around planning, preparation, safeguarding, and academic and emotional progress
  • Sharing the myth-busting guidance, published in April 2017 to compliment the inspection guidance, and highlighting some of the key misconceptions around early years inspections
  • Aligning inspection criteria across all of Ofsted’s inspections remit and what this means for the early years sector, including helping to promote good practice and informing parents of the care options available for their child

Wendy Ratcliff HMI, Senior Manager Early Years Policy Team, Ofsted (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Delivering More Inclusive Early Years Provision

  • Sharing findings from being part of the Early Innovators group and the extended hours pilot including to ensure each child is funded appropriately for their needs
  • Understanding how the new extended hours initiative can be used as an opportunity to make early years care and provision more inclusive, better adapting to the needs of all children

Andrea SedgewickHead of Early Years, Education and Skills, North Yorkshire County Council (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Improving Early Years Provisions and Care – Lessons from the Pilot Phase

  • Disseminating recommendations for the national roll-out of the 30 hours offer to ensure that a high quality of care is maintained during the extended hours
  • Advising local authorities on forming effective partnerships with providers, sharing experiences of building on successful relationships developed as a pilot area for supported childcare places for two-year-olds
  • Understanding how to link the extended hours offer to broader plans for local improvements, such as The Deal for the Future which encourages growth and investment, creating more employment opportunities for families
  • Ensuring that the needs and priorities of providers are considered during the wider roll-out, and mitigating any financial challenges they could potentially face

Jo Platt MP, Labour and Co-operative MP for Leigh and Parliamentary Private Secretary to Shadow Education Team, and Former Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, Wigan Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effectively Developing and Challenging Children in an Early Years Setting

  • Inviting infants to engage in a range of open-ended activities that provide age-appropriate physical and intellectual challenges, as well as ensuring emotional and social support
  • Working through Philosophy for Children to deliver an education and care provision that enables depth and breadth to all interactions
  • Providing children with the opportunity to conduct their own experiments maths, science and literacy learning, and sharing lessons in effectively resourcing this provision
  • Developing a child-centred approach to post-early years schooling: Creating a flexi-schooling system within the community to allow children to begin at a feeder school when it is right for them

Emma Harwood and Hayley Staniforth-Room, Managing Directors, Dandelion Education, Nursery World’s Nursery of the Year 2017 (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close

*programme subject to change


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