Early Years Network

Who are we?  

The SERA Early Years is network is forum for promoting professional development alongside best practice for the Early Learning and Childcare profession in Scotland. We focus on the interdisciplinary aims of education, health and social care for early education and childhood studies, as well as concerns of social justice and tackling poverty by encouraging innovation within ELC research. We also aim to sustain and forgnew links with policymakers, practitioners and the public 

The members of this network are committed to expanding research-informed practice by building international partnerships: network members have established partnerships in Spain, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. Members are currently involved/working within the SSSC, the Scottish Government, Early Years Scotland and third sector organisations. The network recognises the need to involve current students, as well as graduates working within the early education field, to learn more about the impact of sector developments on children’s outcomes, as well as promoting and critiquing practitioner research. 


Key dates for 2021 

All with an interest in ELC are welcome to eventsincluding those working within relevant policy and working in practice. All ELC staff, as well as all students, including undergraduate and postgraduates are welcome. Those undertaking independent research in settings are particularly encouraged to attend.  

All with an interest in ELC are welcome to events, including those working within relevant policy and working in practice. All ELC staff, as well as all students, including undergraduate and postgraduates are welcome. Those undertaking independent research in settings are particularly encouraged to attend.

Upcoming Events

We are currently seeking feedback and views from Network members to assist with planning for future events.  Ideas so far include

  • Realising the Ambition: pedagogy into practice
  • Psychological perspectives on early years
  • Networking and 3-minute pitch event for members

We are also planning an event as part of the SERA Conference programme for November 2021, focusing on the experiences of early years practitioners working through the pandemic around the world.

If you would like to share ideas, please email us: sera.early.years@gmail.com


Past Events

Summer Symposium: ‘Perspectives on Play’

Wednesday 2nd June 2021

Professor Jayne Osgood (Centre of Education Research & Scholarship, Middlesex University) spoke on feminist new materialist approaches in “Play Matters: exploring worldly connections in early childhood”.  Deirdre Grogan (Principal Knowledge Exchange Fellow, University of Strathclyde) drew on her research and teaching to discuss the implementation of quality play under the title ‘Lights, Camera, Action, Play’.

Professor Paul Ramchandani, University of Cambridge was also scheduled to speak but unfortunately had to withdraw on this occasion.  We hope to welcome Paul to a Network event in the future.

Intersectionality in childhood research

Thursday 29th April 2021

This session will provide an introduction to the concept of intersectionality as a framework for theory and praxis which highlights and challenges the complex structural inequalities of gender, race, class and other categories (Crenshaw, 1989).  We highlight some questions and debates that arise from importing intersectionality into childhood research, and bring in examples from our current research.

SPEAKERS:   Dr Kristina Konstantoni and Dr Marlies Kustacher, Moray House School of Education and Sport, Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) / Childhood and Youth Studies Research Group (CYSRG) /Members of RACE.ED University of Edinburgh

Racism and wellbeing in the early years

Wednesday 24th February 2021

This presentation will consider how the impact of living through the pandemic of COVID-19 and racism has affected the emotional wellbeing of children, families and practitioners in minoritised groups.  We will explore how the culture of our EY spaces enable and foster an anti-racist approach particularly during this time with regards to interactions, language and resources.

SPEAKERS: Jamel C Campbell, Liz Pemberton

Creativity and digital play

Wednesday 7 October 2020

Our October event will feature two presentations of current research into children’s digital play. The presenters will draw on their findings to explore the way in which children and adults can approach digital learning as a creative experience within play environments. Each session will be followed by a moderated discussion with an opportunity for questions.

SPEAKERS: Dr Lorna Arnott, University of Strathclyde, Elizabeth Cole, PhD candidate, University of Glasgow

SERA Connects – Moving in, moving on, moving up: Transitions in the early years

Thursday 30th July 2020, 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Transitions are always important, but especially at the moment.  Three guests join us to explore current transitions issues: Marion will talk about her research on starting school and link this to the Realising the Ambition framework for transitions (0-8 years), Aline-Wendy will talk about an integrative model for transitions through education (3-18 years) drawing from her longitudinal study, and Kathleen will share the work that led to the development of the Northern Alliance’s COVID-19 Transitions Framework (0-18 years).

More details here.

SERA Early Years Network Spring Event: “Evolving practitioner identities” 

Thursday 27th February 2020 –

Guest speakers included Liz Latto on ‘Changing roles and professional identities within Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland?’ and Shaddai Tembo on ‘Gender and Heteronormativity in Early Learning and Childcare’.

More details here.

Want to stay updated? 

Email to join our mailing list sera.early.years@gmail.com  

Or follow us on Twitter and search for ‘SERA Early Years Network’ or join ur Facebook group.