The Early Years Professional Development Centre

The Early Years Professional Development Centre

The Early Years Professional Development Centre

The Early Years Professional Development Centre is here for all early years practitioners to support them in their professional practice.

Our indoor environment areas are packed with inspiring and innovating ideas on how to use your own resources and environment to support children’s learning and development. These spaces are designed to support practitioners to reflect on the development of children from birth to 6 years old. The grounds of the centre are ideal for showcasing learning opportunities in the outdoors and are an integral part of our outdoor training sessions.

Each term we enhance the environment to focus on a specific area of children’s development so there is always something new to for you to see. Wander at your leisure, find inspiration and essential information and take photos to record the ideas you might use in your own setting.

Other services

You can also:

  • borrow books
  • purchase publications
  • attend training
  • hire a meeting room

0 to 3 years environment

Our exciting 0 to 3 environment displays include:

  • a space for non-mobile babies, consisting of imaginative, exploratory, physical and comfortable provision
  • examples of continuous provision for toddlers and two year olds

Emphasis is on open-ended resources to meet each child's unique stage of development, sensory and heuristic play and the prime areas of learning development.

Please see the document below for some photos of the environment:

Birth to three matters!

The first three years of life are one of the most extraordinary and critical periods of child development. 

At no other time do we see such rapid changes in progression, with children developing from dependent new-borns, to curious, active learners who have a zest for learning, a quest for independence and a can-do attitude to life.

3 to 6 year olds environment

We create an enabling environment for three to six year olds that is child-centred.

The provision is organised to encourage independence and resourced to provide interest and challenge for children across the age phases.

The seven areas of learning and national curriculum subjects are promoted through provision areas that are inviting and stimulating, where children can learn through play.

Please see the documents below for some photos of the environment:

Environments matter!

Children are unique and holistic learners, thriving within environments that support their individual and diverse motivations, interests and needs.

It is important to give children the space and time to fully discover, test and revisit their ideas and theories.

Outdoor environment

In our outdoor learning environment you'll see a variety of ways in which you can harness your outdoor spaces to provide engaging learning experiences.

The environment includes opportunities for:

  • physical play
  • relaxing quiet play
  • exploration using the senses
  • engaging with nature and the living world
  • experiencing and investigating the elements
  • imaginative and creative play.

We have some defined provision areas such as a mud kitchen, quiet spaces and natural small world areas.

You'll also see a range of storage ideas and collections of open-ended resource ideas that can be easily sourced and used to provide for each child's learning needs.

Please see the documents below for some photos of the environment:

The benefits of outdoor spaces

The outdoors is an exciting, ever changing environment with huge learning potential.

All children can benefit from having extended periods of time outdoors, it is a place where children can experience awe and wonder and spending time in the natural world supports their all-round development, wellbeing and happiness.

Out of school clubs

At the centre you will find an out of school club resource trolley which has a wide range of resources and ideas that you can make available to your children by displaying them on an easily accessible storage unit for independent access. The trolley we use is double sided and easily transportable.

The resource ideas will change each term to provide you with new ideas and inspiration.

Please see the document below for some photos of the trolley:

Plan your visit

We are excited to welcome you back to our Centre in Accrington and can't wait to see you again.

You can book a visit now using the new booking form (below), and select a date/time from the list on the form; our environments are on the ground floor so are fully accessible, and refreshments are available during your time with us.

Visits are free for our SSG Membership holders, but there will be a charge for non-members*, and are only available during term time. You will need to give us 72 hours notice to give us time to confirm back to you as quickly as possible.

Please do not arrive to visit the Centre unannounced, as we will not be able to accommodate you and do not want you to be disappointed! You will need to book your visit so we can make sure there will be someone on hand to let you in or lead a tour**

Evening visits

Unfortunately we can no longer accommodate evening visits, however if you wish to register your interest in an evening visit please complete the booking form and tick the 'Evening visit' option as we will be monitoring interest. Alternatively, we do hold open mornings throughout the year and the dates and more information about them are further down.


  • Free for childminder, settings and schools who hold a membership with us.
  • *All other visitors £11 per person - this does not include a Consultant-led tour
  • **Consultant-led Tours cost £100 for up to 15 visitors in your group

Opening times

We allocate visit requests on a first come first served basis to ensure our exciting environments area does not become overcrowded! 

Please note that visits are only bookable during term time, on the dates listed on the booking form.

You can choose a morning or afternoon visit.




Arriving no earlier than



Leaving no later than

12 noon


Please use the form below to book one of the available dates/times:

Book a visit

Open day - save the date!  Further information available nearer the time.

Saturday 12th October 2024

Training room hire

We are pleased to announce that training room hire is available again. 

We have one training room available which holds up to 25 people; the room is on the first floor but is accessible by lift.  Please let us know if you require lift access or assistance to exit the building in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Included in your booking:

  • Access to interactive learning environment (ground floor, accessible)
  • Room
  • Equipment
  • Refreshments on arrival, mid morning and mid afternoon (and a buffet lunch if requested)

To make an initial enquiry please email:

Without lunch but including tea, coffee and cordial

  • Half day (3 hours) including teas and coffees - £105
  • Full day (6 hours) including teas and coffees - £210

With buffet lunch (minimum 8 attendees) - please let us know of any special dietary requirements when booking.

  • Full day (6 hours) including teas, coffees and buffet lunch (up to 15 people) - £300
  • Full day (6 hours) including teas, coffees and lunch (up to 30 people) - £450