Six nurseries named as Stronger Practice Hub leads

Victoria Percival and Jess Allen, co-owners of The Barn Day Nursery. Credit: Belinda Grant Photography

The government has named six nurseries which will lead Early Years Stronger Practice Hubs, delivering funded training to early years practitioners and sharing best practice.

The Department for Education launched the Stronger Practice Hub network in November 2022 as part of its £180m early years education Covid-19 recovery package. The network of 18 hubs aims to support early years managers and practitioners by providing advice, sharing good practice, and offering evidence-based professional development.

The six final Stronger Practice Hub lead settings are:

East of England – The Barn Nursery School

East Midlands – Alfreton Nursery School

London – Charles Dickens Primary and Nursery School

North-East – Haltwhistle Primary Academy

North-West – Everton Nursery and Family Centre

Yorkshire and The Humber – Childhaven Nursery School

“This is a huge opportunity for us to support early years settings in the Eastern region,” said Jess Allen, co-owner of The Barn Nursery School along with Victoria Percival. “As a standalone setting we will be building partnerships with other PVIs, childminders and school-based nurseries in the area. We will be working with the existing Stronger Practice Hub which is based in Ipswich, as they are further along on their journey, to support the delivery of evidence-based programmes, share best practice and establish local networks.”

The Early Years Stronger Practice Hubs programme is supported by the Education Endowment Foundation and the National Children’s Bureau. Early Years Stronger Practice Hubs will be funded until late 2024, and will support other nurseries and childminders in their area to adopt evidence-based practice improvements.

Children’s Minister, Claire Coutinho, said: “The early years of a child’s life are so important, which is why we’re delivering a transformational package of support to make  sure that the youngest children can make the progress they need with the basic building blocks of learning like reading and speaking.

“Our Stronger Practice Hubs are an important part of this, helping nursery staff and other early years workers learn from each other and share best practice. I’m thrilled that six more settings have been selected to act as hubs so that more even more areas can benefit from their support.”

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