Alliance Annual Conference 2020

Girls hugging

Book early bird rateTogether we can: giving children the future they deserve

Alliance’s annual conference
Friday 12 June, 2020

Hilton Bankside Southwark, London SE1 0UG

What’s it all about?

With so much social, political and climate change happening across the world, it can be difficult for adults to make sense of current events. For our youngest children, it must be overwhelming.

As early years practitioners, we want every child to handle these changes confidently and be able to develop despite the challenges of the modern world.

We know qualities such as kindness and empathy, instilled at an early age, contribute towards helping us as adults to respond well to uncertainty. The sector, in partnership with parents, is already playing a significant role in helping young children become more caring towards the people around them. 

Our annual conference this year Together we can explores ways we can create a better, kinder and happier world for future generations. 

As providers, what does social responsibility look like in practice? How can children and their families take the lead and feel more involved? What best practice can inspire us to make positive change?

Join us and find out more!

The keynotes

Dr Philippa Perry — psychotherapist & author, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

Philippa Perry is a renowned psychotherapist, author and broadcaster. A faculty member of The School of Life, she is also an agony aunt for Red Magazine and has presented several TV and radio documentaries including The Truth about Children Who Lie for BBC Radio 4. Her latest book The Book You Wish Your Parents had read is a Sunday Times Bestseller.

Richard Black — Director, Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit

Former BBC science & environment correspondent and director of the non-profit thinktank ECIU, Richard Black has reported widely on issues including climate change science and politics, clean energy and biodiversity decline. He frequently contributes to UK broadcast programmes and news media, including the BBC’s Climate Change: The Facts presented by Sir David Attenborough.

Helen Moylett — Early years consultant and EYFS specialist   

Independent early years consultant and writer, Helen was head teacher of an early years centre and worked in schools and as a university lecturer. From 2004- 2011 she worked for the National Strategies and was centrally involved in developing the Early Years Foundation Stage and other national guidance. She co-authored Development Matters and has written widely on a range of early years topics.

 Neil Leitch — Chief Executive Officer, Early Years Alliance

Neil is the chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. In 2013, Neil led the Alliance’s Rewind on Ratios campaign, which successfully lobbied against government plans to relax childcare ratios. Neil was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) for his work within the early years sector.

Practical afternoon workshops

Delegates can choose two options from the four workshops below:

The revised EYFS, everything you need to know and more – Melanie Pilcher, Quality and Standards Manager, Early Years Alliance

The changes to the ELGs indicate a possible shift to a less rounded, holistic approach to early years learning – from the decision to increase the number of literacy ELGs from two to three to the removal of real contexts to promote learning. Melanie will share detail of the confirmed revised EYFS and how it is likely to affect the practical delivery of the framework.

Exploring the Curiosity Approach, promoting awe and wonder in young children – Stephanie Bennett and Lyndsey Hellyn, co-founders, The Curiosity Approach

The Curiosity Approach aim is to revolutionise Early Years, to reignite passion, motivation and deep understanding in the wonder of play. Using loose parts, authentic resources and recycled materials, Stephanie and Lyndsey’s dynamic session will support you to motivate and encourage early passion and curiosity in children to help them to become the “thinkers and doers of the future”. 

Promoting Children’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing: Mental Health Matters - Kate Moxley, EYs consultant, qualified mental health first aid instructor and EY Wellbeing week campaign leader

Kate’s session will give you the practical skills and confidence to identify early signs of stress or anxious behaviour in very young children which may impact negatively on their emotional wellbeing. This insight will help you to better support the child’s family and enable you to predict or recognise situations which may cause stress to individual children. Practitioners will have the opportunity to reflect on their own practice and the opportunities they provide for the children in their care and in their statutory role of the key person.

An introduction to Education for Sustainable Citizenship in early years practice – John Siraj-Blatchford and Lynnette Brock, co-founders, Schemaplay

Education for Sustainable Development is no longer a learning area for consideration, it is something many innovative early years settings are embedding as part of their overall practice. This workshop highlights best practice to show how childcare providers can support children to make small but real contributions to create a more sustainable world. The session also explores ways practitioners can introduce serious social, economic and environmental issues to children in a way they can understand in the context of the EYFS.

The day’s programme* 

 09.00 Registration, coffee & exhibition

10.30 Chair’s welcome

10.35 Opening conference with keynote speaker line-up

12.15 Q & A session

12.45 Chair announces Belle Tutaev Lifetime Achievement Award 2020

13.00  Fork buffet lunch and exhibition

14.30 Workshops begin

15.30 Refreshments and exhibition

16.00 Workshops (repeat)

16.00 Exhibition closes

17.00 Seminar programme finishes; event closes

*subject to change


Book at the early bird rate

After the early bird offer ends, the Alliance member price is £59.95 and for non-members £69.95.


For any other questions, please contact our friendly team on 020 7697 2595 or

Take a peek at our 2019 conference...

Collage of pictures from Alliance 2019 conference

The 2019 annual Alliance member conference took place on Friday, 31 May 2019 at the Hilton London Bankside, in Southwark, London.

The theme was: Be the best: sharing early years excellence

Around 350 delegates heard Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch speak about the early years funding crisis, Mary Tutaev speak about her mother Belle's legacy and Lisa Potts shared her truly amazing and moving story about how she saved her nursery children from a knife-wielding attacker.

Ofsted's Gill Jones and Jude Sanders gave delegates plenty of useful information and guidance about the changes to the Education Inspection Framework, Rachel Buckler talked about safeguarding with confidence followed by Alex Grady from NASEN who rounded off a packed day with her talk on removing barriers for children with SEND.

It was a packed programme that people found enjoyable, inspirational and useful.

Early Years Alliance Belle Tutaev Lifetime Achievement Award

Our awards ceremony changed last year and is now the Belle Tutaev Lifetime Achievement Award.

It was won by Virginia Brown from Orpington who has worked at Crofton Early Learners for 20 years.

Virginia was selected by judges for her incredible record of achieving ‘outstanding’ Ofsted results year after year, for her dedication to children with special educational needs and their families, and for being an inspirational leader and mentor to co-workers.


Below is a 60-second photo slideshow of the awards ceremony.


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