Conferences & AGM

Voices From the Early Years: Children, Families, Professionals

Our 2024 Conference will be taking place at Aston University, Birmingham.

All information and booking is on our eventbrite page here.

Submission of papers is on this link here.

We hope to see you there!

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Celebrating voices from the Early Years and reflecting on why they are so often silenced + AGM

A FREE IN PERSON, thought-provoking, in-person event celebrating voices from the Early Years and reflecting on why they are so often silenced.

More information and booking link available here

We hope to see you there!


TACTYC’s Annual Conference Saturday 14th October 2023 – Save the date!

We are incredibly excited to share that TACTYC’s annual conference is planned for Saturday 14th October 2023. More information is available on our conference leaflet here.

Also, we are delighted to announce the call for papers is now open, further information and the form to submit is available here. Deadline: Friday 8th September 2023

We hope to see you there.

Trustees Presenting at NAPE – Visions for the future

National Association for Primary Education is proud to present a Primary Education Summit ‘Visions for the Future’ over two weeks starting on 15th March 2023. This is intended to promote discussion about the type of rich and engaging primary education which will enable all our children to meet the challenges they face now and in the future. This will include the annual Christian Schiller Lecture ‘Values-based Education – the beating heart of Primary Education’ presented by Dr. Neil Hawkes, eleven pre-recorded guest presentations and four live panel discussions led by prominent figures in primary education. TACTYC are contributing with the below talk:
EYFS : Wendy Scott OBE, Dr. Karen Boardman, Beatrice Merrick & Helen Moylett
This discussion will consider ‘Visions for the Future from an early years perspective’
Wednesday 29th March – 4.30pm Live Stream which will be recorded
More information available here:

TACTYC Annual Conference- 9:30-12:30 Saturday 22nd October 2022

Children as leaders: Whose learning is it anyway?  

Exploring 21st Century practice 

TACTYC presents this special online conference for all those working in early childhood education and care, including practitioners, advisors, EYs leaders, advocates, students and academics. The TACTYC 2022 Conference will focus on ‘Children as knowledge holders and leaders of learning’. Delegates will gain fresh perspectives, critique existing positions and, will be able to create and contribute to dialogues on challenges and opportunities relating to children as leaders of learning in the 21st century  

We have two keynote speakers this year:

Professor Federico Farini: Observing migrant children in communication with adults: Shifting the frame of observation from linguistic deficit to display of agency

Federico Farini is Professor of Sociology at the University of Northampton. From 2015 and 2017 he worked as Senior Lecturer in Sociology of Early Childhood at the University of Suffolk leading the equality and inclusion strategy of the institution. Previously in his career, Federico was a founding member of the Centre for Educational Research and Scholarship while at Middlesex University. Federico received a PhD in Sociology of Intercultural Relations from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, where he worked as a researcher in Sociology between 2008 and 2013. He has published books, chapters, articles and edited books in Italian, English, Croatian and Slovenian language. His research activity includes large scale EU-funded research projects concerning inclusive education, intercultural communication, renovation of urban spaces. Federico’s current interests mainly revolve around issues of inequality in the access to education and social services, as well as around participatory research methods

Migrant children’s participation in interactions with adults and peers in early years settings can be hindered by their limited knowledge of the host language. Mainstream pedagogical literature suggests that education should prioritise improvement of language competence and positive intercultural relationships for the inclusion of migrant children. However,Professor Frederico Farini argues that the focus on linguistic competence positions migrant children in a condition of deficit, limiting the observation of their participation to linguistic production. If the frame of observation shifts from linguistic competence to communication competence, and if expectations shifts from migrant children’s deficit to the recognition and promotion of their agency, a different image of migrant children emerges. This is an image of migrant children as competent participants in communication, who can produce and act knowledge. The contribution concludes suggesting that a shift in the frame of observation from linguistic deficit to display of agency entails two consequences:

1) approaching linguistic difficulties of migrant children by promoting their participation in communication, recognising their agency as legitimate authors of valid knowledge. This may be an alternative to specialised programs of language learning or promotion of bilingualism;

2) emphasising personal expressions and identities that limit the risk of cultural essentialism, therefore promoting more complex social constructions of migrant children’s identity.

Dr Jane Murray: Young Children’s Agency in Learning: Pictures, Problems and Possibilities for Early Childhood Education and Care 

Jane Murray PhD is an Associate Professor at University of Northampton where she co-leads the Centre for Education and Research. Jane teaches, researches, advises and has published widely in the field of education, specialising in early childhood education, pedagogy and social justice. She is qualified as a teacher and head teacher who worked in schools and early childhood settings for two decades before becoming an academic. Jane has worked with government education ministries in countries including Ethiopia, Bhutan, Estonia, Georgia and the UK, and with national and global organisations including The National Gallery and UNICEF. She leads on the Young Children Are Researchers (YCAR) Project. Jane is Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Early Years Education and has been a TACTYC member for many years.

Dr Jane Murray proposes that young children’s agency in building knowledge has never been more important than now. She builds her argument by exploring key features of three pillars in early childhood education and care (ECEC) which, she posits, have potential to leverage or hinder children’s ownership of their learning: quality, professionalism and leadership. Jane invites you to join her in (1) picturing these three ECEC pillars (2) identifying some problems embedded within them and (3) exploring possibilities that may support us in empowering young children as agentic learners for life in a world we do not yet know.

The conference will take place online on Saturday 22nd October from 9:30-12:00.

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Our 2021 one-day free online conference brings together leaders, speakers and early childhood colleagues to debate and discuss transition for the 21st century

Where have we been, where are we now, and where are we going? TACTYC is delighted to present this special online conference for all those working in early childhood education and care, including practitioners, advisors, EYs leaders and academics. The conference will focus on ‘Transitions’: Professional Development for the 21st Century. Delegates will gain fresh perspectives and will be able to contribute to a discussion on challenges and opportunities relating to transitions in the 21st century.

TACTYC – Birth to 5 Matters: Guidance by the Sector, for the Sector


TACTYC – Inclusive Practice in the Early Years


This webinar, led by author and early years expert Penny Borkett, focuses on the ever-evolving notion of inclusion. It will discuss how inclusion has changed since first introduced through the Warnock review.

Penny goes on to suggest that all children are unique and therefore require an individualised curriculum which links to their needs, interests and fascination.

Penny investigates how this idea is challenged as we start to unpick what Government and international policy says about ‘the unique child’.

Finally, Penny considers some of the issues/ challenges discovered through her long career, which early years practitioners may need to consider as they work with individual families.

TACTYC Annual Conference and AGM 2020

Saturday 20th June 2020

Free Online Conference 9.30am – 12.30pm

Featuring Keynote  from Dr Carla Solvason and Dr Rebecca Webb

 ‘You always listen, you never don’t hear’

Here is the conference flyer

The conference opened at 9:45am on Saturday 20th June, 2020 and closed at 12:30pm on Saturday 20th June, 2020. TACTYC’s AGM was held at the conference, from 12:00pm to 12:30pm.

Here is the conference keynote presentation and the conference schedule

Here is the conference link for colleagues who were not able to join us.

2020 AGM Papers: Agenda, MinutesEarly Years Journal Report,  Budget StatementChairs Report, Website Report Membership Report

Exploring Transitions for Children, Professionals and Policy in 2021

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Look out for TACTYC Annual Conference 2021 info soon…

In the meantime, TACTYC are delighted to announce a new series of webinars which will be free to all our members.

As the pandemic continues to impact all our lives, we continue to support the sector through offering free temporary membership, so please share this information within your networks.

Our first webinar, entitled ‘Do Better- Tackling Racism in Early Years Education and Care’ will be led by Diane Garrison- winner of last years student reflections award.

Join TACTYC and join us at our first webinar on Thursday the 25th of March at 6:30pm.

Booking details coming soon.

TACTYC Conference and AGM 2019

‘Happiness and Well-being in the Early Years’

Saturday 15th June 2019

Here is the Conference Report for you to read. It was a fabulous day and most thought provoking! As usual, feedback was exceptional from attendees.

Presentations included Samatha Jane Hulston from Cambridge University: ‘Embodied meaning making: children’s use of physical actions to respond to wordless picturebooks’

Research briefings from Margaret Clark who shared her most recent research on phonics here, including the research summary report.

Deputy Head, Louise Jackson shared her MA research on ‘Mental Health in Early Childhood: Challenging perceptions and changing responses when vulnerable children start school’

Workshops – Rev. Dr Geoff Taggart’s presentation on ‘Building the ‘compassion muscle’ for secure attachments’

Christina MacRae’s The Red Blanket: sensing difference in body play’ was an opportunity to consider the value of sensorimotor intra-action and play of two-year olds’

2019 AGM Papers: Agenda, MinutesEarly Years Journal Report, Website Report.


Reflecting on our


‘Back to the future in early years – inspiring connections between people, places and times.’

The University of Derby Enterprise Centre hosted the TACTYC Annual Conference on Friday 2nd November and Saturday 3rd November for around 65 delegates and guests.

The programme of events featured three inspiring keynotes with opportunities for questions and comments, alongside a ‘Pioneer Panel Discussion’ focusing on key developments since TACTYC was founded in 1978.

In addition, delegates were able to choose from a range of workshop sessions, browse the marketplace stands and view interesting exhibits of children’s porcelain artwork and a display of story cushions.

Friday 2nd November

The conference was opened by Dr Deborah Robinson, Head of the Centre for Educational Research and Inclusion who welcomed delegates to the University of Derby where TACTYC had begun.

Our first keynote speaker was Helen Moylett who spoke about ‘Back to Basics: child development matters’. Helen neatly summarised the development of early years policy over the past changes of government to show how the accountability agenda exerts strong downward pressure on teachers and children. Demonstrating what powerful learners and thinkers young children are from birth, she urged us to resist such pressure and reclaim the curriculum.

Following refreshments, parallel workshop sessions offered research briefings and a discussion forum on a range of issues central to early years education. See below for papers from research briefings.

In the evening a drinks reception sponsored by Taylor and Francis was followed by the conference dinner. Mary Cox gave an after-dinner speech recounting her experiences as the founder of TACTYC in 1978.

Saturday 3rd November

The first session of the day was introduced by Wendy Scott, President of TACTYC. Wendy presented a distinguished panel of founder members who spoke about the early days of the organisation and key developments since TACTYC was founded. The panel was chaired by Professor Tricia David and included Lesley Abbott, Pat Broadhead, Mary Cox, Rosemary Peacocke, Colin Richards and Marian Whitehead. The panel shared stories and experiences demonstrating what we might learn from the past to take into the future. This was followed by a lively question and answer session. Here is the link to the ‘Anniversary Panel Discussions’.

Following refreshments, parallel workshop sessions offered more research briefings central to early years education. These were grouped around two themes: Advocacy for Children and Families and Developing and Supporting Professional Confidence. See below for conference papers.

An exceptionally well-attended AGM was chaired by Professor Sacha Powell whilst members enjoyed a hot buffet lunch. AGM reports are available on-line – see below.

The afternoon keynote was from Dr Elly Singer from University of Amsterdam. Elly’s talk about ‘Emotional security since the 70’s: diversity and similarities in social-political contexts’ drew on her current work on an oral history project that chronicles the development of early childhood education and care since the 1970s. She highlighted those she called ‘modern pioneers’ and shared with us perspectives on pedagogies and practices from across a wide range of different countries.

The third and final keynote was from Professor Julie Fisher speaking on ‘Leading or Following? The role of the early years educator in children’s futures’. Julie called for confidence, commitment and courage. She talked about young children’s need to ‘wallow’ in their learning, warning against the urge to hurry them on to the ‘next step’. Urging us to ‘Wait, Watch and Wonder’ she advised considering ‘I wonder, if I open my mouth now – will it help?’

Dr Jan Georgeson, newly appointed to the TACTYC Chair, concluded the conference with a plenary, thanking conference organisers and delegates.

Research briefings presenters’ papers are here to read: Hiroo MatsumotoJulie KentThamara Bulmer; Mary DyerMartina Street

2018 AGM Papers: AgendaMinutes of AGM 2017Chair’s Report, Membership ReportEarly Years Journal ReportWebsite Report.

 2017 Conference report is here

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