NMT Nursery Agenda North East

NMT Nursery Agenda North East was a huge success on 2nd April 2019 at the gorgeous Slaley Hall, Hexham, Northumberland. Thank you to all our wonderful Suppliers and Providers who attended! 

NMT Nursery Agenda North East marked our first foray into the Newcastle area, and this well-attended event introduced us to many more new faces brimming with enthusiasm for the opportunity to meet suppliers in a neutral setting, network with their peers and have a bit of fun at no cost to them. There aren’t many opportunities like that.

The Hot Topics Q&A session, chaired by Dr Richard Hawkins, gave directors and owners the opportunity to share their opinions on everything from Brexit and funding to sustainability – and much more in between. And, as always, the discussions continued at lunch, the drinks reception and at dinner (all free). Concern about Brexit wasn’t high. Rather, the focus was on the impact of the 30 hours entitlement on sustainability, with a consensus on the time- (and money-) saving nature of the almost universally used digital invoicing programmes, nursery management software and tablets used for observations. Discussion then moved on to single settings as opposed to groups. As Jackie Hyde, MD from dot2dot, said, it was becoming increasingly difficulty to run single setting nurseries, as many key people are leaving the industry and recruitment is sluggish. Spring Nurseries by Action for Children agreed, citing more network support and centralised purchasing, and concluded that a group can flourish under 30 hours, as, while some settings struggle, others thrive. So, it balances out across the company.

In view of the recruitment crisis, it was surprising that only half the room claimed to use an apprenticeship scheme. Why don’t more participate? According to Shine Childcare, it’s not only hard to find good apprentices, but a challenge to find the right training provider. There was general agreement that apprenticeship schemes can push people through too quickly and that skill levels do not match the qualification. On a final note, it was clear that many people in the room are now rethinking their use of plastics, preferring natural products and more loose parts for play.

Thank you to our Drinks Reception Sponsor, Redwoods Dowling Kerr!

We were especially excited to have a very special mead tasting as part of our Drinks Reception, sponsored by Redwoods Dowling Kerr!  The mead was provided by local supplier Lindisfarne Mead We tasted their Traditional, Spiced and Dark meads, as well as two wines – Strawberry and Elderflower. The perfect way to relax after a day of meetings!


Thank you to our Raffle Sponsors!

Community Playthings donated a Classic Sink, part of their Outdoor Mud Kitchen – won by St Gabriel’s Nursery Heaton & Gosforth

Early Years Direct donated a U-NU Creative building set – won by Serendipity Nursery/Preschool Group

eyLog – Early Years Log donated a one year subscription to their nursery management software, eyMan – won by Shine Childcare 

Hope Education donated a Classmates Stationary Bundle – won by Child’s Play Private Nursery 




Many thanks to our spectacular venue, Slaley Hall, Hexham! Click on the image below to view their website: 


Get in touch with the team!

  • If you are a nursery owner / managing director / operations director and would like to attend future agendas, please contact Caroline Bowern, email: [email protected]
  • If you are a supplier and would like to book space or a sponsorship package for future agendas, please contact Caroline Bowern, email: [email protected]


Date published: November 16, 2018