Being and belonging – early years conference

The RSE’s early years conference will focus on placing the needs of children, their being and belonging, at the heart of early learning.

This conference will take a comprehensive look at placing the needs of children at the heart of their learning, rather than focusing on early learning and childcare (ELC) as a means to an economic or practical end.

It will consider how children’s lives are centred around being and belonging: connecting them to their family, community, culture and place. It will aim to challenge societal conceptions about ELC in the context of overall childhood development. It will also prompt decision-makers to think differently and help promote a narrative that honours the needs and experiences of children. The conference intends to make an important contribution to the national discussion on rethinking Scotland’s approach and practice regarding children’s learning.

The day will comprise a series of plenary sessions and interactive workshops, including a showcase session and will take place entirely online. As the plenaries and workshops progress, the day will move from identifying problems to finding solutions, and will culminate in a final session to establish where we want to be in ten years from now and the steps we need to take to get there.

Though rooted in Scottish policy and practice, it will be suitable for those working across the UK, from national and local government to early childhood educators, support workers, and community workers. Opportunities will be provided to network with all attendees.

The RSE looks forward to welcoming you to this important event, where you will have the opportunity to voice your opinion and help shape Scotland’s future policy on early learning and childcare.



Dr Alison Cumming, Director for Early Learning and Childcare, Scottish Government

Poster session

As part of the conference, there was a showcase (poster) session featuring examples of innovative and high-quality early years practice from across Scotland. We send out thanks to all who shared their knowledge.


With thanks to our generous supporters:

Logo, Edinburgh College
Edinburgh College
Logo, Education Scotland
Education Scotland
Logo, Scottish Government
The Scottish Government
Logo, University of Dundee
University of Dundee


Wednesday March 2nd, 2022 09:30-17:00