Early Years and Childcare experts attend city conference

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Early Years and Childcare workers have attended a conference at the Everglades Hotel hosted by The Western Area Childcare Partnership examining the importance of early intervention and prevention in young children.

Last Friday’s conference was part of the organisation’s contribution to the City of Culture.

The event, “Nurturing an approach to Early Intervention and Prevention in the Early Years and Childcare Sector”, was aimed at supporting Early Years and Childcare Workers in developing a better understanding of the importance of relationships for babies and for their brain development during their early years.

Speaking at the conference, Gerry Conway, Commissioning Lead for Early Years and Family Support at the Health and Social Care Board said: “I am delighted to welcome our Early Years and Childcare experts to the city. This event is only one of many in a series of Early Years learning activities organised for the city in 2013. This opportunity to raise the profile of Early Years Intervention and Prevention in the Early Years and Childcare sector during the City of Culture celebrations reflects our pride in supporting this very important year for Derry/Londonderry.

“I would like to thank staff from Sure Start and all Early Years and Childcare organisations in the Western area for their participation and contributions which will undoubtedly ensure this event is a great success.

“Their high level of commitment to learning and development is evident in the high demand for places reflected in over 140 applications to attend today.

“This event shows how statutory agencies and voluntary and community organisations can work and learn together to ensure that the foundations for learning are laid for both the professionals and children alike.”

Guest speakers at the event included Robin Balbernie, Clinical Lead, Secure Start Infant Mental Health Team, Gloucester; Maurice Leeson, Children’s Services Planning Professional Advisor; and Margaret Gallagher, Campaigns Co-ordinator with NSPCC in Northern Ireland.