Alliance Annual Conference 2018

Little girl close-up

Minds matter: protecting the wellbeing of children and practitioners in the early years

The 2018 annual Alliance member conference will take place on Friday, 1 June 2018 at the Hilton London Bankside, in Southwark, London SE1 0UG.

The event opens at 9.30 and finishes at 5.00pm.

Opening conference (10.30)

Confirmed speakers:

Amanda Spielman — Ofsted’s chief inspector

Alastair Campbell — Author and political aide

Dr Guy Roberts-Holmes — Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education

Neil Leitch — Chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance

Other leading sector experts will deliver equally compelling sessions in the afternoon to explore mental health issues and the latest early years in early years practice.

The theme

With plans to reintroduce the reception baseline assessment – alongside proposed changes to the EYFS Profile – recently confirmed by government, many in the sector are rightly worried about the pressure being placed on young children. We all know the first five years of a child’s life are vital to their long-term development, and that pushing children into stressful testing environments at the start of their educational journeys risks causing mental and emotional harm.

But while the early years sector rightly champions the need to protect the wellbeing of the children in our care, it is just as important to ensure we as practitioners are giving equal consideration to our own mental health. Every year one in six people of working age are diagnosed with a mental health condition in England. This statistic is likely to be unsurprising to many of us working across the sector. With increased funding uncertainty, rising business costs and constantly changing legislation and standards, many providers and their teams are feeling the strain. Inspections too, no matter how well-prepared and managed, can be a real cause of anxiety and stress.

We all recognise the huge importance of and need to create a supportive, positive work environment to promote mental wellbeing.

That’s why this year’s annual Alliance conference, Minds matter: protecting the wellbeing of children and practitioners in the early years, focuses on the importance of protecting mental health for all in the early years: both children and practitioners.

At this year’s event, you will:

* hear encouraging and uplifting stories from those directly affected

* gain further insight and increased awareness of the impact of stress in adults and very young children.

* find out more about latest research, develop useful coping strategies to help you better identify and manage the impact of on-going stress on an individual or team.

Networking lunch and exhibition

There’s plenty of time to meet other delegates, enjoy a lovely lunch and busy exhibition before coming back together for the start of the afternoon’s programme.

Alliance Outstanding Member Awards

We are delighted to announce our new awards celebration for 2018. The Alliance Outstanding Member Awards now recognises not just the amazing support of Alliance volunteers but also the extraordinary difference made by our members.

Practical workshops (3.00)

Delegates will have the choice to register for two workshops from a choice of four (repeated) excellent, practical sessions available after the Awards finish. Each workshop will be delivered by a leading expert in the field of mental health and best working practice. 


Book your conference place now!


Interested in exhibition or sponsorship opportunities at the conference?

View our media pack (pdf) here or contact Jacob Holmes at Fellows Media on 01242 259249 or
A collection of photos from Pre-School Learning Alliance annual conference 2017
01 Jun 2018 09:00