London’s Olympia was a hive of activity last Friday and Saturday as early years professionals from across the UK and as far afield as Abu Dhabi, China and Finland descended on the venue for the return of Childcare Expo London.
|Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah kicked off the show with his opening speech where he welcomed visitors and commended early year’s professionals saying “you are part of a big sector that is contributing to the UK economy but more importantly, you are shaping the futures of the next generation”.
He explained that the childcare market is thriving and has “grown by 4.1% in the last year, its value in the UK is close to £5 billion”. The Minister went on to say “as a government we are committed to the early years sector” and commented that the quality of workforce was a very important issue that they were focused on.
He concluded this speech saying “at the heart of this event are lots of things that make a difference to how childcare providers help children develop, stimulate their imaginations but also help them enjoy childhood, which is after all what it should be about”.
The Minister continued his visit at the childcare show by visiting some of the exhibitions stands where he was able to meet Zebedee, the 7ft long boa constrictor from animal encounter company Wild Fangs, who specialise in educational talks about the natural world for childcare settings. He also took the opportunity to purchase some pens for his son at STABILO’s stand, find out about Community Playthings handmade wooden furniture and play with some of SenseToys special needs educational resources.
The tour was commenced with a stop at the shows Ideas Wall which was created by artists and visitors to produce a visual record of where the sector currently is and where it is heading and also used to share tips and ideas with other early year’s professionals.
Childcare Expo will be returning to London on 4 & 5 March 2016 and its sister show Childcare Expo Midlands will be taking place later this year at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 25 & 26 September.
Click here to register your interest for the events and we will be able to let you know as soon as registration opens.