The early years sector has played a crucial role in the country’s response to COVID-19 and we know that the wellbeing of staff and children is your top priority during this challenging time.

NCB recently hosted five free Learn – Explore – Debate events focused on putting wellbeing at the heart of our early years practice.

The events brought early years practitioners, local authorities, consultants and academics together with officials from the Department for Education and Ofsted to discuss practical ways to support the wellbeing of children and staff.

The recordings, slides and case studies from the events, including a video from the Department for Education, thanking the early years sector for their work, are now available to view below.

Once you have watched the presentations, you can take some time by yourself or with colleagues to reflect on your practice with the discussion prompts used in the breakout rooms at the events.


Introduction from the National Children’s Bureau

Gill Holden gives an introduction to the event and an overview of NCB’s role as the Department for Education’s stakeholder engagement partner.

Reducing burdens and improving wellbeing in the early years – Department for Education – download the slides.

The Department for Education express their thanks to the early years sector, provide an update on the EYFS reforms and set out how they support staff and children’s wellbeing.

Ofsted update – download the slides.

Ofsted provide an update on their current plans, share findings from their COVID-19 research and remind us of some of Ofsted’s key messages.


Session 1: Introduction to wellbeing and mental health – download the slides.

Gill Holden sets the context for this round of Learn – Explore – Debate events focused on wellbeing and Debbie Garvey provides an introduction to neuroscience.


Session 2: Supporting children’s wellbeing – download the slides.

Debbie Garvey provides a historical timeline of wellbeing in early childhood, gives an overview of the key research and theory and explores what children need, putting theory into practice.

In this case study, Marie Briggs tells us about how she supports children’s wellbeing in her childminding setting by building strong, non-judgmental relationships with parents.


Session 3: Supporting staff wellbeing – download the slides.

Debbie Garvey talks about how we support staff and teams and explores what adults need, including the importance of play.

In this case study, Lucy Pottinger tells us how she supports staff wellbeing in her nursery, including an appearance from nursery empathy dog Frank!


Discussion prompts

Once you have viewed the above presentations, take some time by yourself or with colleagues to reflect on your practice with the discussion prompts used in the breakout rooms at the events.

You can make notes and email these to [email protected].