The 23rd November meeting was attended by representatives from 20 Local Authorities, as well as the Department for Education, the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) and the National Childminding Association (NCMA).

The theme of the meeting was "Early Years: Past Present and Future" (agenda downloadable here)Faye Linskey and Sandra Mathers from A+ Education Ltd began the day with an overview of ECERS projects across the country, and a discussion on quality data held by the Network and how it might be used. The presentation for this session, reflecting on what Network members have already achieved, can be downloaded here.

Brenda Taggart then led a lively reflection and discussion session titled "Early Years in the Early Days of the Coalition", reviewing the picture for Early Years following the Spending Review and recent policy announcements.

In the afternoon, Anne Nelson and Sandra Mathers led a discussion/active networking session, taking a forwards look to the future along the following themes:

• Strategic planning: what are the priorities in a challenging financial/ political climate and how can we continue to ensure high quality for children?
Strategies for sustaining Environment Rating Scales projects and other Early Years training/support
• What are the possibilities for active networking/inter-authority collaboration and how can the Network best support these?

The day was rounded off by two short presentations from Worcestershire and the National Quality Improvement Network:

Alison Newman from Worcestershire County Council presented an overview of their ECERS Project (downloadable here)
Terri Trask gave an overview of the work of the National Quality Improvement Network (downloadable here)

On 24th November, a smaller group of members stayed on for the first of our Network Professional Development Days, for Local Authorities running ECERS/ITERS projects. This session focused on how to develop a moderation programme, and how to make the best use of Environment Rating Scales data.