2017 TACTYC Conference Report
Focus: ‘Me, You, Us: Young Children’s Identities, diversity and equality in the 21st Century’
Around 80 delegates attended TACTYC’s one-day conference on 4th November 2017, for which we returned to a favourite venue: the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham. Our packed programme featured three inspirational keynotes with opportunities for questions and fourteen workshop presentations alongside poster presentations from academics, practitioners and students. Delegates also enjoyed a good range of marketplace stands and opportunities to network.
Our TACTYC President Wendy Scott opened the conference and welcomed delegates before introducing the first keynote given by Tracy Jackson and Laurie Gayle from Save the Children. Tracy and Laurie spoke to ‘At the Centre: Children’s experiences of migration – understanding and supporting resettlement in the UK’ and shared fascinating – and at times galling – insights from policy and practice undertaken by Save the Children at global and UK levels.
At the morning coffee break, posters were presented on themes that varied from ‘Approaches to Facilitating STEM Without a Screen in the Early Years’ (Francesca Cornwell, Staffordshire University) to ‘Why Empathy Matters: An examination of the correlation between a mother’s empathy and young children’s emotional and behavioural development’ (Freya Howard, Manchester Metropolitan University).
Dr Lynn Ang (University College London) gave our second conference keynote focused on an under-researched area: ‘Understanding Childminding in Diverse Settings: A cross-cultural study of home-based childcare in Japan and England’. Following Lynn’s keynote, Dr Janet Moyles presented the ‘TACTYC Student Award’ to Emma Bailey for her Reflections Paper ‘Placing Trust in Play’. Emma’s reflections paper can be found with other Reflections Papers at https://tactyc.org.uk/reflections/ 
The TACTYC AGM took place over the lunch break, when the marketplace was open and delegates had further opportunities to look more closely at posters and network. During the lunch break non-members also had an opportunity to choose from two additional sessions: ‘Reading the Evidence: Synthetic phonics and literacy learning’ (Dr Margaret Clark) and ‘The importance of utilising children’s local context to embed education for sustainability into practice (ECEfS framework, 2017)’ (Diane Boyd).
Following lunch, the workshops offered research briefings which addressed an eclectic range of issues across three themes: (i) Young Children’s Worlds, (ii) Early Childhood Professionals for 21st Century Children and (iii) Challenges and Opportunities in Early Childhood. Research Briefing papers are available at http://tactyc.org.uk/conferences/ 
A vibrant discussion forum also took place, with presentations focused on ‘Professional Identity Construction as a site of struggle: Resistance in Third Space?’ (Nathan Archer, University of Sheffield) and ‘A discussion based on the key implications from ‘Preventing Radicalisation: A Systematic Review of Literature considering the Lived Experiences of the UK’s Prevent strategy in Educational Settings’ (Laura Taylor and Anita Soni, University of Birmingham). The full poster and workshop programme appears below.
TACTYC Executive member Nancy Stewart then introduced our third and final keynote, which was a thought provoking presentation of ‘Stories in Pictures: Young children experiencing the 21st Century World through Play’, provided by photographic journalist Mark Neville.
Professor Sacha Powell concluded the conference in her plenary before delegates savoured tea and cake and journeyed home.
We look forward very much to welcoming you to TACTYC Conference 2018, which promises to be a two-day extravaganza to celebrate TACTYC’S 40th Anniversary!
Dr Jane Murray and the Conference Team