In partnership with Early Childhood Ireland’s national seminar celebrating the importance of early childhood education and care for children under three on 27th October in Marino Institute of Education, RECEC hosted a free morning research event. The intention behind this event was to initiate and support a conversation on current Irish research into the lives of Irish children under three and their families.  

Professors Noirin Hayes from Trinity College and Sinead McGilloway from Maynooth University, as well as Josephine Bleach from the Early Learning Initiative in the Docklands presented and shared their knowledge about existing research in this field and possible avenues for future research. The fifty or so participants were invited to respond to these papers and engage in a structured debate. For further information, contact Professor Nóirín Hayes at

In the afternoon, Early Childhood Ireland held their Dublin Conference, facilitating an international dialogue with Aldo Fortunati and Arianna Pucci on the Tuscan Approach to quality early childhood experiences as well as Margy Whalley from Pen Green in the United Kingdom. Over a hundred people attended the conference.

Aldo Fortunati is Director of the Educational Area at the Istituto degli Innocenti in Florence amongst other responsibilities. He is education and policies expert for children and author of numerous books and contributions on the subject, he has directed programmes and monitoring activities on educational child care services on behalf of the Tuscany Region and the Italian government and, through Eurosocial, in areas and countries of Latin America.

Arianna Pucci, pedagogue, has worked as educator and pedagogical coordinator in many education services in Tuscany. Since 2011, she has worked at the Education Area of the Istitute degli Innocenti in Florence where she is involved in the activities of the Tuscan Region Documentation Centre on Childhood. She has collaborated on the most recent publications on the Tuscan Approach to children’s education and to some articles related to ECEC services.

Margy Whalley is well known to all involved in early childhood care and education in Ireland. She has been a frequent visitor and presenter at conference here and has lit up every stage with her presence and her passion for supporting feisty children. She is Director of the Pen Green Centre for under-5s and their families – which also includes a Research, Development and Training base and delivers training and consultancy all over the world. With the Pen Green team, she has been mentoring and developing high quality practice over the last 30 plus years. Their work with the age range birth to 3 years is exception and in this presentation she brought this work to life on the stage with videos, stories etc. 

For further information contact Early Childhood Ireland at