celebrating 25 years with £25 conference tickets on 7 June 2024

Celebrity Speakers announced for 25th Anniversary Nursery Conference

Celebrity guest speakers Ashley John-Baptiste and Elliot Rae will be attending National Day Nurseries Association’s (NDNA)’s conference in June as NDNA celebrates 25 years since becoming a charity.

The NDNA conference 2024: ‘Growing together, championing change for children’s futures’ is sponsored by Hope, Citation and Nursery World. It will bring together experts and educators with leaders and practitioners to inspire and generate new ideas for the future of the early years sector.

In celebration of the 25th Anniversary, conference tickets are available at the special price of £25 for both leaders and practitioners.

Keynote speaker Elliott Rae, presenter, author, and social change campaigner will be talking about his insights into fatherhood.  Founder of the parenting platform MFF (Music, Football, Fatherhood) Elliott will be sharing his knowledge and expertise on engaging and empowering dads and speaking about the importance of nurturing connection and involvement in the early years of fatherhood.   

Joining in with the celebrations, broadcaster and TV presenter, Ashley John-Baptiste will be addressing both Leadership and Practice streams. He promises to be an inspirational speaker, having fronted documentaries including Care Home Kids: Looking for Love in which he shared his own personal experience of growing up in care. Overcoming adversity is close to John-Baptiste’s heart and one motivational speaker not to be missed.

The NDNA Leadership Stream will be chaired by Alpa Patel, BBC London journalist and presenter who will be joined by Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing David Johnston OBE, MP.

The Minister, whose brief includes early years childcare, special educational needs and disabilities, will be delivering an update on the Government’s 2024 funded childcare expansion for two-year-olds (from April) and children of nine months (from September).  In addition, delegates will have the opportunity to put their questions to the Minister in a 15-minute Q&A session.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) said: “This year’s annual NDNA conference will be a very special event as we celebrate 25 years of NDNA becoming a charity.  At a time of great change, challenge and opportunity, it is a great time to come together and use the expertise and inspiration around us to shape our children’s futures.

“We are delighted to welcome our guest speakers Elliott Rae and Ashley John-Baptiste and look forward to hearing their insights and personal accounts that are sure to inspire our delegates.

“The conference day will be a packed event offering a wealth of knowledge and expertise and continue into the evening with our NDNA Award ceremony. We look forward to bringing members and sector experts together to celebrate their professionalism, hard work and achievements.

“We are pleased that Minister David Johnston is taking the time to attend our conference. This is a crucial time for the sector as the government’s childcare expansion rolls out and we welcome this opportunity for attendees to put their questions to the minister.”

The NDNA conference offers delegates an engaging one-day event of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) with industry experts. Practitioners can find out more about the Maths and SEND Champions programmes and take part in hands on activities that are sure to inspire future learning within settings.   

For practitioners, there will be a series of talks and workshops in the practice stream chaired by Dr Sara Bonetti, Interim Director of the Institute of Early Years Education. These will include a session from The Music Workshop Company who specialise in interactive music sessions for early years.  This session will include: an introduction to junk percussion in early years settings, room management when using instruments and activities that can be developed in settings.

Director of JABADAO, Penny Greenland, will be leading a session on the power of movement play to drive well-being and learning. The session will explore what kinds of movement are important and the idea of sensory-driven movement play.  Attendees will take away an observation structure to apply back in their setting.

In addition, Jo Stevenson, a Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher, will be delivering a yoga-led practical session for practitioners titled ‘Your health and well-being: Recharge and relax’.  Practitioners will learn simple yogic skills so they can understand, manage, and improve their personal stress response in a matter of minutes with breathwork, mindfulness and meditation.

Hosted by Ashley John-Baptiste, the 2024 NDNA Award winners will be revealed during a glitzy evening ceremony at the same venue.  

Brand new for 2024 is the Excellence in Additional Needs Award and the Learning Through Play award is returning with a new theme ‘Outstanding Baby Room Practitioner.’

Popular awards returning for 2024 include Practitioner of the Year, Manager of the Year, Outstanding Contribution and Network of the Year and the prestigious Nursery of the year awards for Scotland, Wales and North, Central and South of England.

Find out more about the conference and awards, including prices, at www.ndna.org.uk/conference and www.ndna.org.uk/awards

The Conference is sponsored by NDNA’s nursery resource partner Hope and employment law and health and safety partner Citation.  A range of early years suppliers will be exhibiting to offer the latest in resources, support services and offers to nurseries and providers.

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