Westminster Education Forum

Key issues for early years - funding, building workforce capacity and extending free childcare

Wednesday, 29th March 2017

Royal Over-Seas League, Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James’s Street, London SW1A 1LR


This timely seminar will bring together policymakers with stakeholders from across the early years sector, as well as local and central government, to discuss key issues for early years education as preparations are made for the extension of free childcare for three and four year-olds from 15 to 30 hours a week to be rolled out nationally from September 2017.

With government confirming that 20% of local authorities will see a decrease in funding, and announcing a minimum hourly rate, in its response to consultation on funding for 3- and 4-year-olds, delegates will discuss what the changes will mean and the way forward for the provision of services.

Attendees will also examine implementation so far and lessons that could be learnt from the series of pilot schemes which began trialling the extended childcare offer from September 2016 - as well as implications of the Government’s support for 15 hours of free childcare a week for 3-4 year olds and disadvantaged 2 year olds.

There will be discussion of ongoing concerns regarding recruitment and retention in the early years workforce following the publication of the Government’s Early Years Workforce Strategy, which announced the abolition of the requirement for Level 3 Early Years Educator staff to hold GCSEs above grade C in maths and English.

Further sessions assess Ofsted’s plans to bring early years inspections in-house from April 2017, including how this is likely to work in practice and potential implementation issues going forward.

Guest of Honour

Alex Magloire

Senior Manager, Early Education and Policy, Ofsted

Guest of Honour

Alex Magloire

Senior Manager, Early Education and Policy, Ofsted

Keynote Speaker

Councillor Neill Young

Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, Portsmouth City Council


Baroness Perry of Southwark

Rt Rev the Lord Bishop of Durham

Co-Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Parents and Families


Joanne Elsey

Head of Early Years and Director of Early Years Initial Teacher Training Programmes, Institute of Education, University of Reading

Dr Gillian Paull

Frontier Economics, Senior Associate

Neil Leitch

Chief Executive, Pre-School Learning Alliance

Julia Hinns

Managing Director, Trio Childcare Connections

Dr Andy Fisher

Audit Manager, National Audit Office

Tracey Messer

Strategic Manager, Childcare and Business Support, Hampshire County Council

June O’Sullivan

Chief Executive, London Early Years Foundation

Sally Panayiotou

Director, Policy Team, Kantar Public

Valentine Mulholland

Head of Policy, NAHT

Barbara Morton

Childminder Agency Officer, Leap Ahead

Julie Hyde

Associate Director, Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education

Susanna Kalitowski

Policy and Research Manager, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years

Laura Henry

Managing Director, Laura Henry Consultancy