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South West College hosts 11th Early Years Conference

South West College was delighted to host its 11th Early Years Conference at the Dungannon campus, with over 100 guests from the early years sector in attendance. The event aimed to support, inspire, and facilitate information sharing and best practices through interactive workshops and thought-leading insights.

The conference offered valuable professional development opportunities for individuals in the Early Years sector in the Tyrone and Fermanagh region, as well as SWC staff and students from childcare and early years programmes. This year's theme, 'The Neuroplastic Mind' – How our early relational experiences shape our biology, featured a comprehensive programme with five professional workshops and a lineup of industry-leading speakers.

Keynote speaker Orla Connelly from Safeguarding Board NI delivered an informative address, exploring trauma, attachment, neuroscience, and child development along with representatives from the Regional Trauma Network. Dr. Joanne Menary, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, co-facilitated the final workshop of the day.

Speaking about the conference, John Moore Head of Department Health, Life and Personal Sciences at SWC, said: We are delighted that this event has become a valuable annual professional development opportunity for employees in the Early Years sector within the South West region. As a college, we take great pride in the quality of the learning experiences we provide for students, and we value the role those in the early years sector play in helping to support and develop their skills and knowledge whilst they obtain their vocational work placement experiences.

Fey Cole Curriculum Manager, Health, Life and Personal Sciences, added:

”The conference aims to support our professional development, and in turn, enhance the provision that we offer to children. We see the conference as a prime event to network with other professionals and build stronger links with the college and local Early Years Services. We would like to thank all of those facilitating workshops, and to our keynote speaker, Orla Connelly, from Safeguarding Board NI.



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