Local support with Alliance Connect

A meeting

Supporting early years practitioners is a priority for us and we do this through our national network of nine Service Hubs.

Through our Hubs we offer practitioners a wide range of services including:

  • specialist training and workshops
  • business support services
  • payslip services
  • opportunities to meet and network through our Alliance Connect events.

You can find your local Service Hub and the relevant contact details further down the page.

Alliance members get some strands of support for free and some at reduced rates.

Important notice — Alliance Connect events and Covid 19

Because of restrictions due to Covid-19, Alliance Connect events are currently taking place online.

We want to ensure you will still receive important face-to-face support and advice from us at this difficult time.

You can find out about our online events below and book directly using the relevant links.

Thank you for your understanding and please be assured we are doing all we can to keep you connected locally.

What is an Alliance Connect event?

Alliance Connect offers free online networking sessions.

We have sessions for different groups involved in the early years such as baby and toddler groups, childminders, leaders and managers or parents.

Each session will have a topic but they also provide a chance for practitioners to come together, be updated where appropriate and network and share experiences and commonality.

Alliance Connect online sessions for Autumn 2020

The next round of networking meetings for September and October can be booked by clicking on the link for the relevant date/time:

Meeting the needs of children from day one

Where are children now in their learning and development?

This discussion will focus on: Settling children back into your provision, sharing practice and top tips with other practitioners about specific issues such as attachment, safeguarding, and the impact on children who might not have had the best experience of being at home and maintaining the momentum of the home learning environment and building on the positives of parents as prime educators during lock-down.

Tuesday 8 September - 3.30pm

Focus on Childminders

All early years providers are welcome to any session that we host, but we also know that some of the challenges are different when you are working out of your own home. With this in mind, we holding a dedicated Alliance Connect event for home-based childcare. Come and join other childminding providers and share your experiences and ideas.

Working with children with EAL - Top tips and advice

Join us for a focus discussion where we will look at simple and useful top tips and strategies to support children in your setting who have English as an Additional Language. We will share resources and give ideas on best practice. We can refresh you on how this links to the EYFS requirements and give practical examples and actions for supporting children and their families.

Grant Funding - Thinking outside the box

This networking event will have a focus discussion about best practice when applying for grants and where to look for small grant opportunities. We will explore factors that need consideration and share top tips for writing a successful application.

Making the Most of Digital Marketing

The Alliance's Marketing Team joins us to support the discussion and give practical advice and top tips on best ways to use digital marketing to improve your occupancy through websites, Facebook and external childcare search sites. FREE Digital Marketing Mini Guide for every attendee.

What's new for SEND?

This networking event will have a focus discussion relating to the impact of Covid-19 on children with SEND, and their families. Explore with us practice challenges and talk through different ways settings can offer support. Engage with other providers, share ideas and find out more about other support networks.

Let’s Talk committees, AGMs and voluntary managed early years settings

This networking event will have a focus discussion about the challenges facing committees

We will explore concerns, issues and share best practice and important considerations regarding AGMs, working together, your responsibility and consider what is the new normal. FREE Top Tips Mini Guide for every attendee.

Operating a viable early years provision

This networking event will have a focus discussion about the challenges around operating a viable, sustainable early years setting. We will explore concerns, issues and share best practice and important considerations.

Post-Covid Ofsted Inspections

Are Ofsted Inspections currently pushed to the back of your mind? Haven't thought about the 3 I's or the Learning Walk since March? If your answer is YES please be reassured that you are not alone!

January 2021 will soon be here so join us, and other providers to discuss how Ofsted Inspections might look in the 'new normal'. This is a great opportunity to network, share ideas and ease yourself back into the thought process of being Ofsted ready.

Baby and Toddler Connect

We will be running 7 FREE online Baby and Toddler Connect sessions in September 2020.

These events will aim to cover all aspects of returning to running your groups, address your concerns, what you need to consider and some ideas to make your groups as fun and interactive as possible. All of these sessions will last approximately an hour and are free for to attend! Numbers are limited so book early to avoid missing out!

Welcome back pack - preparing for opening

Join us to discuss how operating after lockdown and welcoming back families into our baby and toddler groups may look. We will be looking at the most current government guidelines and items to consider whilst completing your action plan/risk assessment

Risk assessments/health and safety in groups

To explore together what processes and procedures need to be in place to minimise the risk for families attending the group

Monday 14 September - 11.00am

Promoting positive behaviour in groups

Join us for an open discussion with Baby & Toddler group leaders about promoting positive behaviour within our community groups. We'll be looking at what behaviour is, how it functions, how we can positively influence it, whilst addressing any issues we may have along the way.

Tuesday 22 September - 2.30pm

Process rather than product activities

To explore together the importance of the process of play and how this supports learning and development

Thursday 24 September - 2.00pm

The importance of play

Explore and discuss the importance of play for children and how it helps their learning and development. Discover how parents and carers can support children’s learning at home.

Monday 28 September - 2.00pm

Early Years Alliance Service Hubs


Central England Service Hub 

(Covering Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire)

Visit the Central England Service Hub website

East Anglia Service Hub

(Covering Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex)

Visit the East Anglia Service Hub website

East Midlands Service Hub

(Covering Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, South Yorkshire)

Visit the East Midland Service Hub website

Lincolnshire Service Hub

(Covering Lincolnshire)

Visit the Lincolnshire Service Hub website

London and Kent Service Hub

(Covering London, Kent and Medway)

Visit the London and Kent Service Hub website

North of England Service Hub

(Covering County Durham, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Cumbria, Bradford, North Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, East Riding, West Yorkshire, Isle of Man)

Visit the North of England Service Hub website

South East Service Hub 

(Covering Wiltshire, Hampshire, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex, Southampton, Portsmouth, Dorset and Isle of Wight)

Visit the South East Service Hub

South West Service Hub

(Covering Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Bristol)

Visit the South West Service Hub website

West Midlands Service Hub

(Covering Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire)

Visit the West Midlands Service Hub website