Welcome to the Alliance blog, where you’ll find expert advice, best practice tips and ideas, thoughtful opinion pieces and successful case studies. For everyone who is passionate about the importance of Early Years.

Planning an early years event - Picnic in the Park (part 1)


Claire Viola, County Administrator at the Bedfordshire and Luton Pre-school Learning Alliance office, spoke to us about her experiences planning the fantastic annual Picnic in the Park event in Luton, and shared her top tips for new event planners on running a successful event.Read more

Hungry Caterpillars cooking group — Small Grant, Big Difference

Volunteer Shelley Whitney tells us about how the Small Grant, Big Difference funding enabled her to set up the Hungry Caterpillars cooking group, and explains how this has benefited children and families in the local community.

The children in the local community have benefitted immensely from the Small Grant, Big Difference funding, and I hope this article will explain in further details how, and share some of our ideas for success with other groups.Read more

Case study - An award-winning apprentice

Velda Bartholomew, quality improvement officer at the Alliance, introduces the tailored apprenticeship programme that lies behind Ellie Lloyd’s selection as Apprentice of the Year at the NMT Awards 2016.Read more

Fun and learning for all ages at intergenerational event


After reading an article about a Swedish nursing home joining forces with a pre-school, we were really keen to see how we could extend this activity ourselves at Forest Row Community Pre-School. Our village has a ‘Thursday Club’ for older people in the village. We already visit to sing for them every Christmas, but were eager to extend on this a bit further. I spoke with the Thursday Club Co-ordinator at our Parish Council offices. It was decided we would share stories and some craft activities in our afternoon session.Read more

The Alliance Volunteer Awards – a surprising experience!


In 2016, Nessa Rackham won the Alliance's coveted Volunteer of the Year Award for her work in creating and running the Daisychains support group for parents. Here she tells us all about the experience - what it was like to be nominated, attending the awards ceremony at our Annual Conference in London - and taking home the trophy!Read more