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Practitioners at this year’s Childcare Expo Midlands will be able to listen to the latest ideas and thinking on risk-taking, outdoor play and toy weapons, shaping early years practice in the UK.
Fears that superhero play and toy guns incite violence and aggression in children has led to some nurseries banning them. However advocates of this role play claim it gives children a sense of control over their world.
Childcare expert John Warren, who is speaking at the event, is concerned that the Prevent Duty introduced in 2015 to prevent radicalisation in children has made early years practitioners even more wary of toy weapons.
Earlier this year, a five-year-old and a seven-year-old were detained by police under the Prevent Duty after bringing a toy gun into school.
Mr Warren, who has worked for kidsunlimited and Asquith Nurseries as well as being an Ofsted inspector for six years, worries that the Prevent Duty is stopping children from playing, exploring good and bad and stifling their creativity. He will be discussing the media and radicalisation and how to create a balance in UK’s nurseries.
Seminars and workshops to enthuse and inspire
Childcare Expo Midlands, which is being held at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on 29-30 September, is hosting a whole range of fascinating seminars and workshops to enthuse and inspire early years practitioners.
Event director Emma Barrett said: “Childcare Expo was created in 2010 to provide a free and exclusive platform for early years professionals to share best practice. As of today, the event has welcomed nearly 20,000 visitors through its doors and continues to grow strength on strength each year showcasing new features to delight and educate.”
Louise Smith who has attended Childcare Expo in the past, recommends attending “if only to remind yourself that you are not alone in this sector, that you don’t need to work in a bubble and that there are lots of people out there just as willing to get covered in glitter, pretend to eat a playdough cake, talk seriously to a puppet and sit on the tiniest of chairs as you are”.
The event will be opened by charismatic writer and early years expert Alistair Bryce-Clegg, who will be taking to the stage to present a seminar on letting children lead the learning.
Early years consultants, Anne Gladstone and Gaynor Rice, will be discussing the popular topic of risk, looking at what is meant by risk, the benefits for children of having the opportunity to take risks in a well-managed environment and the difficulties associated with a lack of experience of risk-taking.
In her seminar, Melanie Pilcher, policy and standards manager at Pre-School Learning Alliance, will be advising practitioners how they can review their practice to ensure they continue to deliver the EYFS effectively and efficiently.
Other seminars will cover language development, inspiring mark making, ‘school readiness’ as well as the Reggio Emilia approach.
Latest trends and innovations
There will also be the chance to discover the latest trends and innovations that have reached the market, with a whole host of early years resources to look at, as well as free interactive workshops.
The Midlands event is free to attend with tickets for each seminar only £15 when booked in advance and early bookings advised due to limited seating.
The show gives those working in the early years the opportunity to network and learn about the new developments in the sector.
For further information please visit www.childcareexpo.co.uk or call 01425 838393 for your free tickets.