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It's not raining men in nurseries but a visit to Childcare Expo can help

Article By: Angeline Albert, News Editor

If half the class are boys but it isn’t ‘raining men’ at your nursery, what should pre-school managers be doing to achieve a gender-balanced workforce?

Lots of boys at preschools across the country but only two per cent of the early years workforce are men

That’s just one of the questions many early years practitioners have struggled with but the answers to this and other hot topics can be found at Childcare Expo Midlands 2016 from 30 September- 1 October.

With just two per cent of the early years workforce being male and numerous barriers to recruiting and retaining men, the benefits of doing so and the steps people can take to foster a more realistic world for children, is to be discussed in a talk delivered by Jeszemma Garratt, the head of training and national development at the Fatherhood Institute.

Scheduled for 11.45am–12.30pm, the seminar ‘Getting Men into Childcare’ is part of an issue-packed seminar programme taking place at the two day event in the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

And if the Early Years Pupil Premium, the national living wage and GCSE Maths and English requirements for newly qualified level 3 staff, had your head in a spin, brace yourself for 2017 when 30 hours of free childcare will deliver more challenges to managers and staff across the early years sector. Michael Freeston, director of quality improvement at Pre-school Learning Alliance, will be at Childcare Expo Midlands to talk about how nurseries can meet these challenges in ‘Responding to the Changing Environment across Early Years’.

Past visitors to the Childcare Expo Midlands Credit: Childcare Expo Midlands

Visitors to Childcare Expo Midlands 2016, may have mused over how nurseries can promote ‘risky play’ and achieve safe learning and Fiona Bland, early years advisor at the National Day Nurseries Association will visit the show to give her view in the seminar ‘Risky Play, Safer Learning’.

Thousands of childcare practitioners are expected to learn more about the sector and top up their CPD by attending the event's educational seminars. They can also take part in workshops on best practice and childcare innovations and take a look at the latest early years resources at the free two day event.

Specialist early years books and other resources are available at Childcare Expo Midlands' exhibition stands. Credit: Childcare Expo Midlands

Anyone seeking guidance about an early years-related issue can for the first time ‘Meet the Experts’ at Childcare Expo Midlands 2016. Visitors will be able to get their questions answered by the sector’s industry leaders.

Whether it be learning how to be a forest school in an urban environment, Ofsted inspections or another topic, childcare professionals can book a time across the two days to speak with an expert by contacting

This year also introduces for the first time the ‘Twinkl Inspiration Zone’ where Twinkl early years planning and assessment tools will be available for early years practitioners to use. This includes adult input plans, early years tracking, observation templates and report writing.

The organisers of Childcare Expo Midlands 2016 say visitors will gain fresh insight from the show.

“Each location brings with it new products and ideas; new seminar speakers to influence and provoke thoughts; new workshops to captivate its audience; new feature areas to inform and demonstrate the latest products and an array of industry experts to advise and direct,” a spokeswoman for the event said.

Event director Emma Barrett, said: “Returning for the seventh time to Ricoh Arena, not only do we continue to bring with us the established exhibitors who offer an extensive range of innovative products and services dedicated to the early years sector but we bring new feature areas to inform as well as entertain our visitors.

“The launch of Twinkl Inspiration Zone along with the return of the inspiring Learning Location by TTS aims to provide our visitors with new ideas that they can take home. The educational seminars and hands-on workshops focus on a broad range of key issues in the sector from men in childcare to getting children outdoors.”

Tickets to attend the event are free to all who work in the childcare industry. To get a ticket visit


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