NMT Discussions: The importance of EY online communities during a crisis

NMT Discussions: The importance of EY online communities during a crisis


Dr Helen Edwards, co-founder and director, The Foundation Stage Forum and Tapestry
Steve Edwards, co-founder and director, The Foundation Stage Forum and Tapestry

Remote working has now become our new normal and even though many nurseries are open to more children, online communities are becoming more important for those across the early years sector.

Our panellists, Dr Helen Edwards and Steve Edwards are co-founders and directors of The Foundation Stage Forum and Tapestry. The two platforms aim to support those working in early years and also parents wanting to monitor and celebrate their children’s progress.

Tapestry builds a unique record of a child’s experiences and development using photos, diary entries and videos. The Tapestry platform seamlessly enables these experiences to be kept as a permanent record of each child’s journey so that parents are able to view online their child’s progress and how much fun they’re having.

The Foundation Stage Forum (FSF) is a place for educators to come together, to discover, share ideas, ask questions and give support. As well as a virtual room for discussions, FSF also offers a library of articles and podcasts on relevant issues, given by practitioners, academics and advisors.

Educational technology has historically struggled with large-scale adoption and much has been written about the cycles of highs and lows of the ed-tech industry.

Dr Helen Edwards and Steve Edwards discuss Tapestry’s own experience of working with settings as they planned for full or partial closure, the role that education technology has played in supporting the early years sector and how settings might change their use of education technology.

Other webinars by Investor Publishing you may be interested in...

NMT Discussions: Navigating the new reality for early years

Andrew Clifford, chief operating officer, CC Nurseries Group
Carole Edmond, director, Glassmoon
Sarah Mackenzie, education director, N Family Club
Nicole Politis, director, Portico Day Nurseries

For the past four months the early years sector has tried tirelessly to navigate through the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

Despite the changing regulations and an unprecedented situation, the sector has continued to pull together to support each other and share guidance in order to successfully continue re-opening.

Our panellists are all part of a sub-group from the Covid-19 Crisis Response Group and they created an in-depth proposal for a safe reopening.

The proposal carefully details how the group is proactively supporting the Government, families and employees as they step towards implementing solutions to come out of the lockdown and work safely.

During this discussion we will explore how settings have implemented the proposal guidelines, the challenges and successes of reopening, and what needs to happen to maintain growth in the long-term.

View the recorded webinar here

NMT Discussions: What Covid-19 means for the childcare market

Nick Brown, regional director & head of brokerage – childcare, Christie & Co
Jeremy Cashmore, head of valuation – care and education, Christie & Co
Courteney Donaldson, managing director – childcare & education, Christie & Co
Michael Hodges, managing director – care consultancy, Christie & Co

The UK nursery sector has undergone significant growth across the past few decades due to a surge in demand and more accessibility.
The current crisis has certainly slowed activity but it has not brought it to a standstill. Looking ahead as the sector evolves, there will continue to be opportunities for investors seeking a solid market.
Our panel discussion will focus on the early years property sector and the market sentiment during the pandemic, as well as what changes are expected post Covid-19.
After the discussion there will be the opportunity to ask the panellists questions during the Q&A.
This webinar is a fantastic opportunity for providers, suppliers and investors across the early years sector to engage with the present expert thinking during this pandemic.

View the recorded webinar here

NMT Discussions: Food for thought post Covid-19

Jonathan Player, managing director, The Professional Nursery Kitchen


Post Covid-19, UK catering operators will have to grapple with a rapidly changing situation no-one could have predicted.

The food industry now has to step up in its efforts to deliver food safely to nursery settings across the UK as they prepare to re-open.

Jonathan Player, managing director, TPNK and director of Seymour House Day Nurseries  discusses guidance around food supply and safe preparation, as well as the reality of adjusting to a new normal at Seymour House Day Nurseries.

With the Government providing guidance for lifting the lockdown, you may already be starting to plan your new normal. When it comes to food supply, there will be a number of new safeguarding measures to take into account while the sector moves past the pandemic.


View the recorded webinar here

NMT Discussions: How digital platforms can support the early years sector

John Ingham, chief information officer, Connect Childcare


The move to working from home for the majority of us has meant that society has to embrace technology more to keep business and communications open.

John Ingham, chief information officer at Connect Childcare will discuss the role technology plays in supporting and protecting the early years sector during Covid-19.

Using technology has undoubtedly helped the shift to remote working and kept business channels open for nursery settings, however John highlights how digitisation is a double-edged sword. While it can improve transparency and accountability, users must be fully aware of all their software to combat cyber-crime.
View the recorded webinar here

NMT Discussions: The digital route to access childcare

Susan McGhee, chief executive, Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS)

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 the early years sector has had to adapt very quickly. The move to home learning has meant that many parents cannot use their normal childcare services.
Susan McGhee, chief executive of Flexible Childcare Services Scotland discusses a new tool, which is an adapted version of FCSS’s Flexible Pathway toolkit as well as the current situation in Scotland.
The digital tool will assess demand for childcare and available childcare provision. FCSS, the Scottish Government and Local Authorities are working closely together to deliver easy access to childcare and early learning solutions for key worker parents.

View the recorded webinar here

NMT Discussions: Responding to the business impact of Covid-19

Richard Blunden, group managing director, Monkey Puzzle Group
Rosemary Collard, director, Snapdragons Nurseries
Cheryl Hadland, founder and managing director, Tops Day Nurseries
Andy Morris, chairman, Little Garden Day Nurseries


This webinar featured a panel of early years providers who are doing everything they can to steer their nurseries through this crisis.

The panellists shared their ongoing strategies to support their employees, children and parents, as well as the financial strain this has put on the sector and their future plans to re-open fully once the nation has weathered this storm.

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the early years sector is now much more visible to the government and cannot easily be ignored. If too many settings have to close down permanently this will have significant consequences for economic recovery once the lockdown ends.

View the recorded webinar here

NMT Discussions: Policy pain points

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive, NDNA

NMT’s webinar series continued with a live event featuring Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of NDNA.

Purnima discussed the lobbying efforts of the NDNA and its main priorities during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as current Government policies, navigating through the regulations and where it has been falling short for early years providers.

During this difficult period of time it is vital that legislative requirements continue to be met and that Government guidance continues to support the sector. However, recent guidance from the DfE only brings about more uncertainty.

View the recorded webinar here

Don't miss our next digital event...

NMT Digital Nursery Agenda 2020

The team at NMT with our vast experience in the nursery sector are proud to announce the launch of NMT Digital Nursery Agenda on Tuesday 14 July.

Like many organisations, we have had to postpone our events including our highly successful NMT Nursery Agenda events since the lockdown was announced. However, we have missed our NMT community and so we decided that we would bring the Agenda to you. We will be running the digital event from Tuesday 14 July to Sunday 19 July to enable nursery operators to visit the event at leisure and connect with other nursery operators, suppliers and advisors to learn best ways of moving your business forward.

Find out more here

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HealthInvestor UK is part of Investor Publishing, the fast-growing publisher of three market leading titles, HealthInvestor UK, HealthInvestor Asia and EducationInvestor Global. All three titles provide a portfolio of specialist business information and targeted events to advisors, investors and operators within the two sectors.

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Sponsorship opportunities: Michael Dee | +44(0)207 104 2006 michael.dee@investorpublishing.co.uk Caroline Bowern | +44(0)203 746 2617 caroline.bowern@investorpublishing.co.uk Speaking opportunities: Vernon Baxter | +44(0)207 104 2001 vernon.baxter@investorpublishing.co.uk