You are here

Annual National Conference 2019 Session Descriptions

Growing up in the age of austerity: understanding the impact of poverty and policy on low-income families and children

Professor Tess Ridge OBE, Facss

20 years ago we had a new and vital focus on children in poverty in the UK. The child poverty pledge, the Childcare Act and the growth of Sure Start and Children’s Centres signalled a significant increase in support for low-income children and their families. The Child Poverty Act and national and local Child Poverty Strategies bought the issues and concerns of disadvantaged children in from the margins of policy to the heart of policy and practice provision. However, 20 years later we find ourselves living in a world of austerity policies, rising child poverty, insecure work and family life, increasing debt and food banks.   Austerity policies have disproportionately affected low - income children and their families and the loss of financial support and cuts in service provision have been unprecedented. In my talk I hope to bring some understanding of the impact of these changes on the lives of children and their families.

Warm relationships build resilience – which is why we need to demand relationship-led practice in the early years

Dr Suzanne Zeedyk

Over the past several decades, science has learned a tremendous amount about the power of relationships.  We now know that babies enter the world already tuned into the rhythms and attention of other people.  How those people respond to them shapes the development of babies’ brains, bodies and behaviour.  The challenge now is to ensure that this knowledge sits at the core of practice and policy for all those working with and caring for young children (and older children too!).  This presentation by Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk will weave together insights from diverse fields including trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences, inter-subjectivity and attachment – all with the aim of helping staff become confident in their ability to create relationships with children.  Indeed, we need to get confident enough to demand relationship-led practice where that is prevented or overlooked by policy or cultural norms.  You need bring nothing more than your curiosity to this fascinating and challenging session.

Playful learning can support cognitive skills in the early years

Dr Sara Baker

Cognitive skills in the early years set the foundation for children’s learning and development.  Teachers who understand what these skills look like can tailor their support to individual children’s needs.  In this session we will learn to identify a core set of self-regulatory skills in young children, known as executive functions.  We will also explore playful ways that teachers can support these in their everyday classrooms, using resources they already have, in the context of their usual activities.

Supporting Early Years Practice Through Significant Challenges

Andrea Layzell and Sharon Hogan

This presentation will invite you to "Notice", "Reflect" and "Interact" on factors that influence our children's lives, in an age of continuing austerity, stretched budgets, and political uncertainty, where many families face significant challenges . We will talk not only about real lives and experiences, but suggest possible ways to give these children the best chances: by considering wise practice and workforce development.

Back to conference programme and booking page