The title for the 2022 Herts for Learning National Early Years Conference taking place online on Wednesday 2nd March 2022 is “Child development: A fresh look at the curriculum”.


A child whose fifth birthday falls in the summer of 2021 will have experienced more than a quarter of their life in the shadow of coronavirus. A generation of children are entering school believing the protocols and limitations that characterise our daily lives are not a new normal, but the only normal they have known. What is more, we know the impact of the pandemic has fallen disproportionately on marginalised and disadvantaged families. At a critical time in a child’s development, a generation of children may have their future life chances significantly affected.

In this context the debate about changes to the statutory requirements in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage), in particular the Educational programmes, becomes even more crucial. Now is the time to re-think what constitutes an effective curriculum. One that keeps child development at the core of supporting the learning and development needs of all children, regardless of background or circumstance.

In response to this, Herts for Learning (HfL), the UK’s largest schools’ company and a leading provider of school and EYFS improvement and business support services, is delighted to announce a major online Early Years conference for 2022:

Child development: A fresh look at the curriculum

Wednesday 2nd March, 2022 – online


This timely event is for everyone working in the Early Years sector interested in child development and creating an engaging and effective curriculum that keeps child development at the core of supporting the learning and development needs of all children, regardless of background or circumstance. 

Participants will hear from some of the country’s leading Early Years specialists who will share their first-hand experience, knowledge and expertise to explore these crucially important aspects of Early Years provision.

The programme of keynote addresses and workshops will provide delegates with the opportunity to explore the important interconnections between child development and a responsive curriculum matched carefully to children’s needs.

Keynote speakers include:

  • June O’Sullivan, MBE, CEO, London Early Years Foundation
  • Penny Tassoni, MBE, Education Consultant and author
  • Greg Bottrill, Author and childhood advocate
  • Wendy Ratcliff and Phil Minns, Ofsted

Workshop leads include:

  • Dr Julian Grenier, Sheringham Nursery School, Director of East London Research School
  • Shaddai Tembo, Lecturer, Doctoral student, Writer for Critical Early Years.
  • Penny Tassoni, MBE, Education Consultant and Author
  • Ben Kingston Hughes, Managing Director of Inspired Children
  • Dr Sally Neaum, Lecturer and Author

The conference is open to all but would be especially suitable for anyone working in EYFS: including teachers, practitioners, leaders, managers and support staff.

“There has never been a more important time to reflect on the learning experiences we provide young children. The reformed educational programmes in the EYFS statutory framework now provide greater specificity across each of the seven areas of learning which is helpful in curriculum planning, it is equally important to keep child development at the heart of practice to ensure well planned and appropriate curriculum delivery that enables every child to reach their full potential.”

Mireille MacRaild, Education Services Director – Early Years, Herts for Learning


Further information, including additional guest speakers to be announced over the coming months. 

The Herts for Learning 2022 National Early Years Conference

Child development: A fresh look at the curriculum

Date: Wednesday 2nd March 2022 – online

Cost per delegate: £99

Recordings of sessions will be available to all delates for 28 days after the event.

For more information and to book places, please visit: hertsforlearning.co.uk/national-early-years-conference

For exhibitor enquiries at this event, please contact Rowan Mansell at


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