Childcare Expo – A nanny’s view by Carolina Martinez
11th April 2017
I am not sure how I came across to this event, but I am so glad that I did. Childcare Expo, a place where early years means business they said. I only attended on Saturday, but it took place in London on the 3rd and 4th of March. A free event created for all those working in Early years such as Nursery Managers and Teachers, Childminders, Nannies, Primary School Teachers and many others working with little ones. Educational seminars, show offers and discounts, competitions, new ideas, workshops, games, materials and educational resources… all this and much more is what you could find at Childcare Expo.
As a Nanny, I think it is a very useful event for all the nannies out there who are not sure about the legal requirements for her job and also to have a fun day exploring a bit about everything related to Childcare. This year, there was a new stand called the Nanny Zone, where you could find information about nanny agencies, offers to join some nanny organisations, advice on getting a Nanny Insurance and also a board with job offers. The exhibitors offered great deals like the BAPN (British Agency of Professional Nannies). It is an organisation for professional nannies that can help you make your CV, that offers a discount on Nanny Insurance, gives you a free introduction to a nannying course, helps you to get in touch with local nannies in your area and other advantages for those who join it. Very interesting! So if you work as a Nanny I recommend you to visit the next Childcare Expo.
As a childminder, Nursery Nurse or teacher this an event that you don’t want to miss. You could find so many offers in educational resources for your setting, including books, games and classroom boards as a little example. I loved all the products from Hope such as the mud kitchen, the potion set and a very cute set of ice-cream (I just wanted to eat them!). Also, YPO had great products at the exhibition like this Gruffalo’s child set including puppets. Very good deals if you have to buy new products for your school, Nursery or as a childminder.
On the legal side for our job they could offer information and advice about getting an insurance or having the Paediatric First Aid, so important when you work with little ones. British Red Cross, Train aid or Tigerlily were some of the exhibitors offering a Paediatric First Aid Course with some advantages and discounts that day. Related to safety, I discovered that day a great product called Baby Mover. It is a waistcoat made to carry three children on it, so in a case of emergency, you could move up to five kids at the same time. You can carry three babies up to 15 kg each so you have free hands for the evacuation. I will definitely keep it in mind!
Something I discovered that day and I found very interesting is the touch table. An amazing product for the education sector. We live surrounded by technology and I think schools and Nurseries have to adapt to it progressively. These products are an amazing way of combining technology and education. They seem very expensive to have them at home, but wouldn’t it be nice to have one so your little ones can share it instead of fighting for an iPad? These kind of touch tables can separate the screen into four, so four kids can play at the same time. They showed me some of the things they can do with them and I found it very useful. They can learn how to draw, write letters, play piano… Technology and education can go together if we know how to manage and supervise them. Definitely worth it for a school in my opinion.
They had very interesting seminars both days from Early Years consultants, language therapists and many other educators to talk about childhood and Early Years topics. This was the only part of the event where you had to pay for if you wanted to attend. Along with this, they had free workshops both days. I attended one that was so educational and fun! It was a workshop done by Hellen Battelley from EYFS Dance and Movement pedagogy. She did a class with some of the people attending as volunteers. The way she mixes sports and movement with Early Years is just amazing. She recreated the famous story `We are going on a bear hunt´ with movement and actions. It was great! We talked about how important it is to make kids move every day with educational activities like this that will improve their vocabulary, bilateral movements, coordination and many other skills that we can work our little ones through movement and fun activities.
A magical place to learn was a corner that transported me to all the magical stories like Cinderella and The Beauty and the Beast. A magic corner with activities to explore and learn with fairytales as the main theme. Making puzzles, making masks and crowns, searching for the witch’s treasure were some of the activities available. This was a great way to show childcare practitioners how to set up an environment that kids find interesting to explore and that has so many sources for all of them to learn from is simply using their imagination.
To sum up, Childcare Expo was a great event full of ideas, new resources, offers, toys, clothes, school and playground materials, childcare careers and courses…So many interesting things! I even had the opportunity to taste a yummy sample from a very nice company that makes nursery meals called Apetito. It was delicious!
If you are involved in childcare then this is an event you can’t miss; it was so well organised and full of helpful people to answer all of your questions. Personally, as a Nursery Teacher and now as a Nanny I think we should never stop learning so we can teach children as best as we can and Childcare Expo is a great place to keep up to date with new ideas. Thank you Childcare Expo, I will see you next year!
My name is Carol and I am a Nursery Teacher working as a Nanny in London. I write a blog in English and Spanish where I speak about all my adventures with little ones and my daily life in London. Please join me on this adventure! Go to www.nannystyle.com. Thank you!