Alison Dyke, co-founder of the new early years nursery franchise, Nature Trails, was invited to attend a parliamentary reception, 'Celebrating the Early Years Community' attended by MPs and industry professionals.
Alison Dyke, co-founder of the new early years nursery franchise, Nature Trails, was recently invited to attend a parliamentary reception, 'Celebrating the Early Years Community', which celebrated the great work undertaken by early years staff and nurseries in raising the professional profile of the sector in the UK.
The reception was open to select members of the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) and took place at the House of Commons on 18 March.
Opening the event, NDNA chief executive, Purnima Tanuku, said it offered the chance to "do something special to highlight the extraordinary contribution of early years providers, and their workforce, in delivering high-quality care and providing better outcomes for children".
The keynote speaker was childcare minister Elizabeth Truss MP, who used the opportunity to make new announcements about the promise of government help for parents using childcare and for children with specific need in nursery care, as promised in this year's recent budget.
Alison said: "It was very special to be invited to the House of Commons. All the people attending were absolutely passionate about early years and childcare and how they can improve children's lives and outcomes.
"It was a hugely positive event and a celebration of our successes in helping to raise both the qualification profile and the professional profile of early years workers in the UK. Elizabeth Truss was keen to advocate the strong work being undertaken to raise standards across the board."
The reception was hosted by Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, former chair of several parliamentary committees concerned with children and education, and provided an excellent opportunity for key representatives like Alison to meet with like-minded professionals that are passionate about providing high-quality nursery education and childcare.
The depth of the attendees on the day was highlighted through a conversation between Alison and special guest speaker Priti Rao, managing director of Pumpkin Patch Daycare in India, who discussed their similarly held views about how higher-quality day care might be developed in both countries.
Alison has also recently been invited to become an Ambassador for the NDNA and Skills for Care (a joint initiative), helping to raise the profile of the workforce that the NDNA champions and supports and to heighten awareness of career opportunities and career progression in the early years sector.