Firm Foundations Early Childhood Conference

Joining the Dots

Challenging Conceptualisations of Child Development

“Joining the Dots” is an unmissable conference exploring all aspects of practice in the early years. Keynote speakers and workshop leaders will examine and challenge conceptualisations of early child development. They will draw together policy, research and practice to illuminate existing rounded and holistic approaches to young children’s care, learning and development. This conference is designed to be an inclusive practitioner led event, focused on sharing ideas and building supportive networks.

Keynote speakers include Neil Leitch who, as CEO of the Preschool Learning Alliance, has advocated for the early years sector during a series of changes in government policy. Workshops will focus on diverse topics, including wellbeing, phonics, outdoor pedagogies and men in early years. This is the second early years conference organised by the ‘Firm Foundations’ team – a group of early years educators who originally met via Twitter, drawn together by a love of all things early years. After the success of the first Firm Foundations conference at the Early Excellence Centre in London, the team are delighted to bring you this follow up event in collaboration with the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (REaCh) at Bath Spa University. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn, to share good ideas, and to make some new early years friends.

Overview of the day

Coffee from 10am

10:30am – Welcome and Introductions

10:45am – Speaker 1

11:15am – Speaker 2

11:45am – Break

12:05pm – Workshop 1 (55 mins)

1:00pm – Lunch (During the lunch break there will be Poster Presentations of Research)

2:15pm – Workshop 2 (55 mins)

3:10pm – Break

3:25pm – Speaker 3

3:55pm – Speaker 4

4:10pm – Closing remarks and thanks

4:20pm - Ends

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Neil Leitch - CEO of the Preschool Learning Alliance
  • June O'Sullivan MBE - Chief Executive of the London Early Years Foundation
  • Laura Henry - Early Years Consultant and Founder of @EYTalking #EYTalking
  • Jan Dubiel - Head of National and International Development, Early Excellence

Confirmed Workshop Speakers

  • Dr Lala Manners - Physical Development Specialist, Active Matters Ltd
  • Dr Sue Gifford - School of Education, University of Rosehampton
  • Dr Helen Williams - Independent Teacher Educator
  • Kate Irvine - Lead Teacher, SLE, North Bristol Children’s Centres
  • Nicky Clements - Head of Early Years at Victoria Academies Trust, West Midlands
  • Milie Colwey - Outdoor Childminder
  • Shaddai Tembo - Postgraduate Researcher at the University of the West of Scotland
  • Jamel Campbell - Practitioner, London Early Years Foundation
  • David Cahn - Early Year Professional, Leeds
  • Neil Coleman - Play Mentor, OPAL Ltd
  • Jan Dubiel - Head of National and International Development, Early Excellence
  • Leanne Ridgeway - Montessori Teacher and Early Years Researcher
  • Dr Pam Jarvis - Reader in Childhood, Youth and Education, Leeds Trinity University


Visit Eventbrite to buy your ticket

Cost: £25