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Experts meet at Children in Wales’ Annual Conference to discuss the importance of the early years, 19/01/15 [W]

A conference will be held in Cardiff on 20 January 2015, looking into the issues relating to early years education and childcare in Wales, against the backdrop of the Welsh Government’s Early Years and Childcare Plan, Building a Brighter Future.

The early years means the period of life from pre-birth to the end of Foundation Phase, or 0 to 7 years of age. These years are a crucial time when children grow rapidly, and both their physical and mental development are affected by the environment in which they grow up.

Lynne Hill, Policy Director at Children in Wales, said:

“We know from research both here and internationally that the experiences and influences of the early years of a child’s life sets the template for the child’s future. The early years influence future health and well-being, educational achievement, and future life prospects.”

Catriona Williams OBE, Chief Executive at Children in Wales said:

“The early years are crucial because we know that if children start school behind their peers it drastically affects their longer-term educational outcomes and life chances. We are eager to contribute to real improvements for young children by ensuring that policy makers and practitioners in Wales have access to quality information to support their work.”

For its annual conference this year, Children in Wales has brought together experts from Wales, the UK and Europe to look at why getting early childhood education and care right is so important.  Delegates will hear from Lesley Griffiths, Assembly Member and Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty at the Welsh Government, who will set the scene as to the aspirations for children in Wales, in terms of putting policy into action. Other speakers include Prof Iram Siraj OBE, Prof Karen Graham, Dr Jane Waters and Dr Gwenllian Lansdown Davies to name but a few, and all will highlight the latest research, issues around well-being, best practice and how the early years affect future attainment.

The conference will be chaired by Dr Sian Wyn Siencyn, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Communities, The University of Wales: Trinity Saint David.


For further information, please contact Catriona Williams OBE, Chief Executive, Children in Wales on 029 2034 2434 or 07721 568084 or email catriona.williams@childreninwales.org.uk


  1. Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for organisations and individuals who work with children and young people in Wales. It aims to promote the interests of children, to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda.  We work closely with our members who comprise professionals, policy makers and consumer groups to improve the lives of all children living in Wales, but especially young children, those affected by family instability, disabled children and those suffering the effects of poverty and deprivation
  2. You can find out more about Children in Wales’ work relating to early years at https://www.childreninwales.org.uk/our-work/early-years/
  3. The conference will be held on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 at the Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff
  4. 4.    Building a Brighter Future: The Early Years and Childcare Plan is the Welsh Government’s 10-year strategy for early years in Wales. It was launched in 2013 and aims to bring together different strands of policy that affect the early years, such as health, education and family support