Northern Lights Early Years Stronger Practice Hub 

As a Department for Education designated Early Years Stronger Practice Hub (SPH), we directly with the sector to provide advice, share practice through local experts, and offer evidence-based professional development for all early years practitioners of children from birth to reception. 

An Early Years Stronger Practice Hub is ‘A strong provider of pre-reception early years education with sound expertise and knowledge of the evidence base on what works to support child outcomes – trusted local experts that other early years providers can look to for advice and support’ 

  • The SPH works directly with the sector to identify priority needs and provide responsive professional development 
  • The SPH will create opportunities for collaboration and practice sharing across the whole EY sector through   
  • The SPH will work with the sector to identify strong settings who will become a base for bespoke support. 

The DfE’s overarching aim for the hub is To help pre-reception early years settings adopt evidence-based practice improvements to address key Covid recovery issues, and build trusted networks for sharing effective practice. 

We aim to do this by: 

  • Providing high quality professional development to practitioners to improve outcomes for pupils in disadvantaged areas and our young and vulnerable children who have been impacted by Covid 
  • Creating networks of support across the sector to provide evidence informed practice to improve outcomes for children     
  • Working with LAs and the expert and mentors programme to identify settings to support with bespoke support, advice and sharing best practice.   

Vision of the Northern Lights Stronger Practice Hub 

Our vision is to work with the whole Early Years sector with children from birth to pre reception and practitioners from childminders, the PVI sector, maintained nursery schools and early years settings within primary schools.  

This will unite the workforce to create a successful Stronger Practice Hub which will support our young, vulnerable and disadvantaged children as we recover from the impact of Covid-19.  

Our SHP will provide a ‘buzz’ of regular activity within the sector as we work towards uniting the workforce to overcome current challenges through engaging and responsive social media, online learning portals and face-to-face events. We will work in collaboration with our SPH partners and associates to provide high quality professional development that is based upon local intelligence and is responsive to the needs of the communities we serve.  

We will proactively share best practice examples of evidenced informed practice which will support practitioners to improve outcomes for our children. Through the delivery of our EEF programmes, we will educate the Early Years workforce by providing quality professional development which is aimed at supporting children’s learning and development in the areas that have been significantly impacted by Covid. 

We appreciate how difficult it can be for practitioners to engage in professional development. Our aim is to provide accessible opportunities for everyone. 

We aim to provide a range of learning platforms from face-to-face events, online learning, blogs and case studies, regular and engaging social media posts, webinars and video exemplification material that will support practitioners to apply evidence to practice. 

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