Minding the Gap 2017
took place on Saturday 25th March 2017 at the University of Brighton with the aim of providing a unique, affordable conference for
Childminders and all Early Years Childcarers. The feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive and we would like to thank everyone who attended for their support and enthusiasm
To complete our feedback survey please click here
We are delighted to announce that Alison Featherbe and Rebecca Martland, organisers of Minding the Gap 2017, have been announced as finalists in the category 'Trainer of the Year' in the 2017 Nursery World Awards
The overarching themes of this conference are:
Supporting children to overcome disadvantage through the provision of high quality, nurturing care and education
Filling the gap in the provision of training and support for Registered Childminders and other Early Years childcarers
This conference was originally created to be a dedicated conference for registered childminders, however it soon became apparent that other early years practitioners were also struggling to access high quality, affordable professional development.
As a result we have extended our programme to ensure we are inclusive and have made this conference relevant and open to all Early Years practitioners. Although our settings may differ in size our ultimate aim of ensuring the best possible outcomes for all the children in our care is the same.
Why 'Minding the Gap'?
Considerable cuts by Government to Local Authority budgets have resulted in a dramatic reduction in the support available to Registered Childminders and other early years settings. Many Local Authorities used to offer regular CPD events such as conferences, often free or heavily subsidised. Budget and staff cuts have seen such events virtually disappear, with the availability of training opportunities reduced and face to face courses increasingly difficult to access. These reductions come at a time when there have been extensive changes in legislation and other requirements which affect early years providers. Although Local Authorities are working hard to mitigate these issues, financial constraints have made this a difficult task and it is becoming more and more the responsibility of individual settings to seek out their own training. Rebecca Martland (Children at Heart Registered Childminder, Early Years Training and Consultancy) and Alison Featherbe (Orange Caterpillar) met with members of the Worthing Childminding Association, 'Magic Minders' to discuss how they might be able to support Childminders and other childcarers to access CPD and from this the idea for 'Minding the Gap' was born.
Sponsors and supporters
'Magic Minders' Worthing Childminding Association
Pre-school Learning Alliance
Transition Story Books
Hattie and Friends
My Local Helper
Children at Heart
Jack and Jill's Story Sacks
Bexhill, Hastings & 1066 Childminding Association
Eastbourne Childminders Association
Please see the Marketplace page for full information about our exhibitors, sponsors and supporters