The beginning of March saw the Childcare and Education Expo return to London, bringing workshops, discussions, resources and ideas to those working in the early years and primary education sectors. Our CEO Sarah Mackenzie and Head of Education Shanti Flynn had the pleasure of attending and leading discussions at the event.
âWeâre not just babysitters â Shifting the Perception of Early Educationâ (Panel Discussion featuring Sarah Mackenzie, CEO)
The schedule for the day began with the panel discussion titled âWeâre not just babysitters â Shifting the Perception of Early Educationâ. This saw Sarah accompanied by five other industry thought leaders to discuss the view of early education in the eyes of parents, providers and the wider community.
A childâs early years are the most pivotal period of brain development. The experiences they have during these years impact their cognitive and emotional development throughout school and into adulthood. In their discussion, the panel explored just some of the ways that we can communicate this understanding within our wider community.
A variety of suggestions were discussed including the way that we brand our nurseries and the language that we use to value our team. We can also inspire change through the partnerships that we build within our local community and through communication with families at our nurseries.
Creating Optimum Conditions to Boost Communication and Language (Seminar led by Shanti Flynn, Head of Education)
As the event continued into the afternoon, SMĀĻ°ķâs Head of Education, Shanti Flynn, led a seminar discussion on communication and language, and how we create optimum conditions to support childrenâs development in our nurseries.
To begin, Shanti explored how communication and language is a prime area of learning and development. As such, a focus on these skills is especially crucial in a childâs first three years. Speech, language and communication are often described as central life skills. Therefore, while we often think about these skills as preparing a child for school, they equally lay the foundation for good communication well into adulthood.
Shanti explained how as educators, it is important that we create environments and opportunities for communication and language to take place. It is about prioritising this and not just hoping that it will happen naturally. This could be identifying areas in your environment that lend themselves to spark good conversations, or encouraging discussions at mealtimes. It is also helpful to involve families and support them with ideas to promote the development of their childâs communication skills at home.