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Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Early years stronger practice hubs


Early years stronger practice hubs provide advice, share good practice and offer evidence-based professional development for early years practitioners.

They are part of the early years education recovery support package, which also includes the early years experts and mentors programme.

The programme is supported by the Education Endowment Foundation and the National Children’s Bureau. It is funded for 2 years, until late 2024.

More information is available on the National Children’s Bureau website.

Early Years child playing

What the hubs do

Each Stronger Practice Hub will support settings to adopt well-evidenced practice improvements by:

  • Establishing local networks of settings to share knowledge and effective practice. 
  • Proactively sharing information and advice on evidence-based approaches, for example, through newsletters, blogs and social media. 
  • Acting as a point of contact for bespoke advice, and signposting to other funded support. 
  • Working with the Education Endowment Foundation to select evidence-based programmes to fund and make available to settings. 

Our nearest hubs are:


Thames Valley Early Years Stronger Practice Hub

Local authorities covered:

West Berkshire Council, Wokingham Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Reading Borough Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Milton Keynes Council, Slough Borough Council, Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council (flexible arrangement with Kent SPH for Isle of Wight delegates to join us for events)

Lead setting: Blagdon Nursery School - Reading



Kent Early Years Stronger Practice Hub (KEYSPH)

Local authorities covered: 

Kent, Medway, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and Isle of Wight

Lead setting: Discovery Day Nursery




Kent Early Years Stronger Practice Hub Newsletters

 KEYSPH Newsletter February 2024

Stronger Practice Hubs were set up by the Department for Education as part of their Early Years COVID-19 Covid Recovery Programme. Kent Early Years Stronger Practice Hub (KEYSPH) aims to:

‘Empower practitioners through Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) evidence-based practice, networking opportunities, setting to setting and school to school support, building and fostering a lasting legacy and commitment to improving outcomes for all children.’

Welcome to our February Newsletter in which we share the latest details and information about the KEYSPH.


All our webinars are provided free to all working in the early years sector and are available to those in Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, The Isle of Wight, Medway, Surrey, Brighton and Hove.

Communication and Language – In Tune Interactions

4 March at 4pm and repeated on 6 March at 7pm (priority for childminders)

This Communication and Language virtual webinar with focus on ‘In Tune Interactions’ will be presented by the Evelina Speech and Language team from Guys and St Thomas’s. Please use this link to access the form to book a place (limited places available).

14 March 7pm and 21 March 7pm

We are keen to have your thoughts about the Communication and Language webinar and what you feel the impact has or will be. Please join us at one of our ‘Let’s Talk About’ sessions. An email invite will be sent to all participants.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and Trauma Informed Practice

11 March 4pm and repeated on 18 March at 7pm (priority for childminders)

This webinar will be delivered by Jill Ansell from Five Acre Wood School and follows on from the Self-Regulation and Executive Function webinar. Please use this link to access the form to book a place.

Brilliant Babies to Terrific Toddlers – A Tool for Reflection

5 March 4pm, 7 March 7pm, 18 March 4pm, 25 March 7pm and Saturday 23 March 9.30am.

We are proud to introduce our new ‘Brilliant Babies to Terrific Toddlers – A Tool for Reflection’ document. Every setting working with babies under two years will receive a copy of the document in the post in the spring term (those from local authority areas outside Kent may have different arrangements). If you are considering setting up baby provision, but are not currently open for babies, we may be able to send you a copy of the document. If this is the case, please email to request one. These 45-minute introduction webinars will bring the document to life and further webinars are planned throughout the year. Please use this link to access the form to book a place.

Shining a Light on Evidence Based Practice

The KEYSPH is hosting four face-to-face events. Do come along and listen to our amazing speakers and find out more about KEYSPH and upcoming webinars, training and our social media presence. Find out how you can benefit from this short-term funded project ‘Ask the Team’. We will also have refreshments and a prize draw for all attendees. You are welcome to join us at any event regardless of where you are located.

  • Saturday 16 March at Eastgate, 141 Springhead Parkway, Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 8AD.  10am – 12pm. Our guest speaker, Stella Nalini will present ‘Fundamental Family Foundations - Essential footsteps to forging fruitful relationships with families

  • Wednesday 20 March at St Augustine’s College, 125 Canterbury Road, Westgate, Kent, CT8 8NL 12pm - 2pm. Our guest speaker, Jan Dubiel will present ‘What is a curriculum in early years?' This session will untangle some of the myths and misunderstandings about curriculum.

  • Wednesday 20 March at Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0LH 7 - 9pm. Our guest speaker, Jan Dubiel will present ‘What is a curriculum in early years?’ -This session will untangle some of the myths and misunderstandings about curriculum.

  • Tuesday 26 March at Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel Hollingbourne, Maidstone, ME171RE, 5 - 7pm. Our guest speaker, Ben Kingston-Hughes will present ‘Early Years Heroes - The Vital Role of the Early Years Practitioner.’

These are small events, so places will be limited. Please use this link to access the form to book a place. Shining A Light on Evidence-Based practice

NELI-Preschool or Emotion Coaching

If you work in an early years PVI setting or maintained nursery you may be eligible to access the NELI-Preschool or Emotion Coaching programme. These research, targeted intervention programmes are supported by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and begin in September 2024. If you are interested, please check you are eligible as for both these programmes strict criteria is set for participation which includes:

⦁ 14 or more children who attend nursery for 15+ hours (NELI-Preschool)

⦁ 17 or more 3–4-year-olds who attend 10+ hours (Emotion Coaching).

If you would like to find out more or have a question, please email The Hub at


Useful Information and Resources

Department for Education COVID-19 Recovery Programmes

Early Years Professional Development Programme - Phase 3 (PDP3)

Experts and Mentors Programme

Childminder Mentor Programme

Early Years Online Child Development Training


Email the National Children’s Bureau’s stronger practice hubs team at