The conferences provide an opportunity for wide consultation and ensure that key policies are recognised and implemented across the board.
The agenda of the first round of conferences, which began in February, includes:
* An update on what is happening in Sure Start around the country, including Birth to Three Matters (see panel, left);
* Discussion of the Coram Family training pack, Listening to Young Children. This provides resources to enable children under eight to articulate their experiences and express their views, feelings and concerns in a range of social situations (published by Open University Press; www.openup. co.uklistening). The project will work with trainers in every LEA;
* Consultation about what makes a good early years practitioner, with a view to establishing a baseline for the content and ethos of future training.