Our Hub is off to a great start!


Engagement with our Hub is off to a great start! Over 300 people have signed up to the Hub so far, with representation from Childminders, Nursery settings, and Private, Voluntary, and Independent settings. We’ve had initial meetings to look at development opportunities for the early year’s sector, and we continue to establish networks of settings to share knowledge and effective practice.


The sector has responded to our questions by detailing the impact of the pandemic, what it has meant to them in terms of professional development opportunities, the areas they would like to develop, and where they feel the gaps are in continuous professional development, with a focus on Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Early Literacy and Early Maths. If you have any specific training requests do email us at SPH@Stedmundsbradford.org.uk

The St Edmund's team has recognised for many years that collaboration and partnerships has the potential to improve working practices and outcomes. We have a history of working collaboratively with parents, practitioners, research partners, universities and health agencies. We work with more than 20 local authorities, creating partnerships to roll out our 50 Things to Do Before You're Five project to a growing number of families, as well as working with our own local authority in Bradford.


When we decided to apply to become an Early Years Stronger Practice Hub for Yorkshire and the Humber, we knew we wanted to apply in partnership with specialists who would bring their expertise to the table and enrich our work with the early year’s sector. Meet our Partners:

  • Co Op Academy Delius bring a wealth of understanding of the needs of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to the table. Their Headteacher Emma Hardaker attends the Partners Group.
  • Children's Place Day Nurseries have a long history of getting involved in consultation and partnership working, and have nurseries across West Yorkshire. Their Director Debbie Burke and Manager Lynn Walton attend the Partners Group.
  • Outstanding registered Childminder Belinda O’Hare has been participating in the running of childminder groups and working with other providers in Leeds for many years. The group benefits from her experience and knowledge.
  • Dixons Academy, Allerton has joined us to represent the nursery provision in mainstream schools. Their Head of Primary Rebecca Greenwood and their Foundation Stage Lead Sophie Robertson attend the Partners Group.


The Partners' Group meets every half term and we anticipate that they will provide a strong guiding voice, taking into account what the sector tells us and our contractual obligations to the Department for Education.

The Hub team is also delighted to have the knowledge of an Advisory Group to provide information, mapping existing training as well as helping us to communicate with practitioners and leaders. Our Advisors are: the Early Years Alliance, the National Day Nurseries Association, Better Start Bradford, and the Bradford under Fives Association. We have growing representation from Quality, Training and Support teams working in local authorities in the region.

The first meeting of each group has already taken place - full of positive, inspiring conversation and ideas, a willingness to work together and lots of offers to share our contact details with early year’s educators, practitioners, leaders and settings across Yorkshire and The Humber.


With a strong, growing team and partners like this we're on a roll - just watch this space!


Co-written by Andrea Layzell (National Early Years Projects Lead) and Amanda Hall (Training and Engagement Lead)