Morning, Thursday, 18th June 2020
THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED
***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will examine the ongoing development of the new Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) quality framework in Wales.
We expect a key focus on the day to be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early years provision in Wales, now and into the future, including:
- the makeup of the early years workforce and future planning, in light of childcare being one of the Welsh Government’s list of critical sectors,
- how the sector can continue to be supported by the Welsh Government through the immediate crisis; and
- The long-term direction of the Childcare Offer, prioritising funding and how to support families with a range of backgrounds - following the Welsh Government closing the Childcare Offer for new applicants for an initial three-month period, so that funding can instead be spent on provision for vulnerable children and children of key workers.
Key areas for discussion:
Quality of provision, and investment and funding:
- defining and delivering high-quality early years provision in Wales, and addressing the challenges for achieving consistency,
- improving education outcomes and addressing the attainment gap - and the principles underpinning the new quality framework, and
- how investment can be used to have the greatest positive impact - with discussion expected on capital projects and investment from small grants.
Support for staff, and Welsh-medium provision:
- latest thinking on tackling challenges for achieving a sustainable early years workforce for Wales and supporting staff to deliver care and education,
- developing staff language skills and smoothing the transition from early years into Welsh-medium education,
- assessing best practice and progress made to date, and
- priorities for enabling the widening of Welsh-medium provision.
- the potential impact on the joint inspection framework for childcare and play on early years care and education in Wales, and
- issues for implementation.
Access and flexibility, and involving families:
- the flexibility of ECEC provision, and making childcare environments inclusive - particularly for children with additional learning needs or physical disabilities,
- innovation in education approaches and settings, improving their availability, and integration in education and care, and
- improving support for families and parents in preparing children for education beyond ECEC - including on understanding and an awareness of the system and the support that is available.
Developments that are relevant to the discussion:
It takes place with:
- Defining quality provision for both early years education and care;
- Challenges for delivering high-quality provision and prioritising child development;
- Ensuring consistent quality in ECEC - investment, workforce and closing the attainment gap;
- Set Up and Succeed - progress and future priorities for Welsh-medium provision;
- Improving access, flexibility and information - integration, innovative settings, and making care and education work for families; and
- Developing the new Early Childhood Education and Care quality framework - lessons learnt and next steps.
Policy officials attending:
Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government.
This is a full-scale conference taking place online***
- full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
- information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
- conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
- speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
- opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
- a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
- delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
- networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!
Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference