The early years agenda in Scotland's Parliament has advanced rapidly in recent years.  Early childhood is now recognised as the formative time in a person's life for future health and well-being.  Yet while policies such as 'Getting it Right for Every Child' have received wide acclaim for their focus on early childhood, there are concerns for their effective implementation in practice, which may not support the natural abilities of younger children.

This programme of advanced seminars and events will develop philosophical, scientific, and practical understanding of the needs and virtues of babies and young children in their families and communities.  It will draw on multi-disciplinary academic scholarship to support and improve practices in all early years agencies in Scotland and for all our youngest children.

Based on new philosophical and psychological research about the nature of early childhood, the seminar series addresses the importance of relations between younger children and their social, artificial and natural environments, and draws implications for multi-agency work in the early years sector.  It will stimulate cross-disciplinary discussion helping agencies and institutions working with the early years in Scotland to compare their practices.  By clarifying the nature of children's development it will encourage common understanding and coherence of purposes across the bodies committed to strengthening services for early years.

Programme Team

Dr Jonathan Delafield-Butt, Lecturer in Early Years, University of Strathclyde
Professor Aline-Wendy Dunlop, University of Strathclyde
Dr Karen M. Ludke, University of Edinburgh
Dr Ingela Naumann, Lecturer in Social Policy, University of Edinburgh
Professor Colwyn Trevarthen, University of Edinburgh
Mr Kenny Spence, Gilmerton Child and Family Centre & Men in Childcare

Ms Julie Wild, Scottish Government Early Years Task Force
Gill McKinnon, British Association for Early Years Education
Barbara Robertson, British Association for Early Years Education

Final Report


The Child's Curriculum (Oxford University Press)