Our conference had the feelgood factor

More than 300 delegates gathered to discuss early years practice and policy at NDNA’s national conference.

Wellbeing was a theme which ran throughout the day across both the leadership and practice stream at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth on 28 June. Andy Cope at NDNA conference

The day was chaired for the leaders stream by Jonathan Elliott, an experienced TV journalist and documentary filmmaker with over 40 credits for the BBC, Aljazeera, Discovery and Channel 4. 

Kathryn Peckham, highly acclaimed author and Masters teacher at the Centre for Research in Early Years guided those on the practice stream through the day.  

Some of the highlights included: 

  • Dr Andy Cope – qualified teacher, best-selling author and the UK’s first ‘Doctor of Happiness’
  • Caroline Hounsell – Director of Communities and Content Development at Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
  • Trisha Lee – founder of MakeBelieve Arts and passionate about the art of storytelling
  • Elaine Wylie – founder of The Daily Mile™. 

Amanda Spielman – Ofsted’s HM Chief Inspector – attended the conference to answer questions about the Education Inspection Framework.

NDNA’s Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku OBE gave a presentation of our latest workforce report. She invited Julie Hyde Director of awarding body CACHE onto the where they launched the first two of ten accredited Level 3 courses endorsed by CACHE.

Delegates could enjoy browsing the market place of relevant stands in our exhibition village and grab a bargain. Many also took the opportunity to enjoy networking in the sunshine in the hotel grounds.

A group from Thailand and another visitor from the US were among the delegates. 
Delegates enjoying the NDNA conference

 The informative day was followed by the NDNA nursery awards. The dazzling evening was chaired by broadcaster Katie Thistleton, who is ambassador for children’s mental wellbeing charity Young Minds. 

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “What a fantastic conference it was! We enjoyed so many speakers talking about positive psychology and the importance of staff and children’s wellbeing.  

“We were all so inspired by Elaine Wyllie and her passion for the Daily Mile. We also learned about Artificial Intelligence and how it can support nurseries with the mundane tasks.
“It was also great for our delegates to be able to quiz Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector.

“We are now already starting to plan for next year’s event. Thank you to everyone who supported this year’s conference and awards and well done to all the winners and finalists.”

Headline sponsors for the event were TTS, Citation and Consortium. The Gold sponsor is Pound Gates and media sponsor, Nursery World.  

Find out more here

See photos from the day here