Conference Programme: Celebrate Diversity

The conference recognises that early years services throughout Northern Ireland and Ireland can internationally cater for an increasingly diverse population of young children.  Through keynote addresses and interactive workshops delegates will explore innovative approaches to respecting and celebrating differences and ways of ensuring that the needs of all children are addressed.






Welcome Address and Introduction


Keynote Addresses

Jillian van Turnhout Evolving Identities in a Changing World


Paul Connolly Diversity and Social Inclusion in the Early Years


Refreshments, networking and browsing exhibitions


Interactive Workshops



(please see below for full details)








Live Link-up with the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco Hernando, Florida



Ernest Hooper: Soldiers for Society: The invaluable role of childcare educators


Siobhan Fitzpatrick: Starting Early- Fostering a Culture of Respecting Difference


Lynne Peyton: Understanding Others' Model of the World - a Tool for Appreciating Difference

14.30 – 15.00


Siobhan Fitzpatrick: Starting Early- Fostering a Culture of Respecting Difference. What does this mean for Ireland North and South?

15.00- 15.50

Plenary Session

Feedback from workshops and next steps


Closing Remarks



Participants are invited to register interest in specific workshops in advance of the conference.  We are awaiting confirmation of some speakers. Additional presentations may be added to some workshops.

Please indicate your workshop choices in order of preference (A-E) when booking.  As space in each workshop is limited places will be allocated by conference organisers.  Thank you for your understanding.        



Interactive Workshop Titles and Presenters

  1. A.       Supporting Children – Living in Direct Provision


Liz O’Reilly (Daughters of Charity Child and Family Services) Asylum Seekers: Living and Breathing Diversity


Lisa Moran  (UNESCO, NUI Galway) ‘Hoping for a better tomorrow’: Messages arising from a study of Early Years services and the experience of parents, including those resident in Direct Provision, in the West of Ireland.


  1. B.      Supporting Children -  Prioritising the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities


Anne Fitzpatrick (Newry Early Years Children and Family Centre) Making Young Children’s Rights Real – The Inclusion Pathway at Newry Early Years Children and Family Centre



  1. C.      Supporting Children – Diverse Families and Cultures


Una Turbitt (Public Health Agency )  Child protection as a Priority  - Female Genital Mutilation


  1. D.      Supporting Children - Managing Diversity in Early Years Settings


Denise Morgan (NICIE) Valuing and Respecting Diversity in the formally Integrated Pre-School in Northern Ireland 


  1. E.       Supporting Children - Family Support


Sinead McGlacken and Sheila Garrity (UNESCO, NUI Galway) And so say on the bus! Exploring the role of early years’ services for families with English as an Additional Language in contemporary Ireland: supports, barriers, interaction and participation