We are Educators: Early Years Alliance announces stellar line-up for first ever online Annual Conference

To request a media pass for the event contact pressoffice@eyalliance.org.uk

Leading early years membership organisation the Early Years Alliance has today revealed the line-up for its first ever virtual annual conference. The event, entitled We are Educators: Putting early years at the heart of education policy, will take place from 6pm – 8.45pm on Tuesday 15 June 2021, and will examine the need to ensure that the early years is valued as education and not just ‘childcare’, and that it lies at the centre of both education policy and government thinking more widely.

Chicago-based Nobel Prize-winning economist and academic James Heckman, creator of the famous Heckman Curve, will lead the line-up, discussing how investment in early childhood development can impact social, economic and health outcomes.

He will be joined by Sir Kevan Collins, who is leading the government’s Education Recovery Programme and will provide an update on how the programme will support the early years sector; Guilaine Kinouani, critical psychologist and author of Living While Black will offer insights into race and diversity in early childhood; and the Alliance’s chief executive Neil Leitch will also address attendees.

The event will explore what steps can be taken to ensure that the early years is seen as an integral part of the education sector in England. Despite research showing that the first five years of a child’s life are critical to their long-term learning and development, government funding per child is lower in the early years than in any other part of the education sector: the Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that in 2019-20, the government spent £3,800 per child in the early years, compared to £6,100 per school-aged child and between £4,600 and £6,100 per college-aged student.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend one of three practical seminars: Implementing the revised Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, hosted by teacher, consultant, trainer and project lead for Birth to 5 Matters, Nancy StewartPrioritising play, hosted by Dr Yinka Olusoga, programme director of the University of Sheffield’s BA (Hons) Education, Culture and Childhood; and Early years inspection update, hosted by Wendy Ratcliff, Her Majesty’s Inspector and principal officer for early education at Ofsted.

Commenting, Early Years Alliance chief executive, Neil Leitch, said:

“I am delighted that we have been able to announce a truly stellar line up for this year’s conference. After an incredibly challenging year, there is no better time to reflect on the vital role that the early years plays in a child’s educational journey, and to explore how we can ensure that the sector receives the respect, recognition and – crucially – the investment it deserves from those in power.

“We know that in the coming months, early years settings will play a pivotal part in supporting the development of the young children who have lived through this unprecedented situation. I really look forward to hearing the contributions of our speakers and to incorporating their critical insights into our important work as we look to support the sector in its transition to the new, post-Covid normal.”

The full agenda:

Chief Executive’s welcome: Neil Leitch reflects on the sector’s most challenging year

Keynote speakers:

James Heckman, Noble Prize-winning economist and academic will speak about how investment in early childhood development can impact social, economic and health outcomes.

Sir Kevan CollinsEducation Recovery Commissioner, will provide an update on how the government's Education Recovery programme will support the early years sector.

Guilaine Kinouani, critical psychologist, founder of the website Race Reflections, and author of Living While Black will discuss racial equality and discrimination in the early years.

Keynote speaker Q&A: Attendees questions will be put to all four speakers

VIDEO: Recognising our dedicated early years workforce

Break

Seminars (choice of one):

Implementing the revised Early Years Foundation Stage Framework – Nancy Stewart, teacher, consultant, trainer and project lead for Birth to 5 Matters.

Prioritising play – Dr Yinka Olusoga, programme director of the University of Sheffield’s BA (Hons) Education, Culture and Childhood.

Early years inspection update – Wendy Ratcliff, Her Majesty’s Inspector and principal officer for early education at Ofsted.

 

Attending conference:

Tickets for We are Educators: Putting early years at the heart of education policy are free to Early Years Alliance members and priced at £15 for non-members (refundable to anyone who joins the Alliance within 48 hours of the event).

Those interested in attending can book their place here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/we-are-educators-putting-early-years-at-the-heart-of-education-policy-tickets-150894965905