International Conference on Early Childhood Education International Conference on Early Childhood Education
Valerie Sollars, Conference Chair, EECERA 2004

The 14th Annual conference of the European Early Childhood Education Association (EECERA) will be hosted in Malta between 1st and 4th September 2004.  Malta was chosen as the venue for this conference thanks to the efforts of Valerie Sollars from the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta and together with Mario Camilleri as a member of the organizing committee, preparations for this conference have been going on for over a year.
The EECERA is an international organisation which is dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of research in Early Childhood Education throughout Europe and beyond. Apart from providing an academic and rigorous forum at a European level for the development and dissemination of high quality research into early childhood education, another of EECERA's principal aims is to raise the visibility and status of research into early childhood education throughout Europe.

The focus of the Malta conference is Quality Curricula: the influence of research, policy and praxis. About 350 professionals in the field of education are expected to attend this prestigious meeting.  Over 30 countries will be represented including Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ukraine and Azerbajzin. Seven of the 10 countries which have recently gained accession into the E.U. will also be represented.

Five well-known international researchers in the field will deliver keynote lectures during the conference. These include John Bennett from the OECD, Margaret Carr from New Zealand, Pamela Oberhuemer from Germany, Kathy Sylva from England and Ferre Laevers from Belgium. Topics to be addressed include curriculum issues in national policy-making, professional training, recognizing children's learning as well as the EPPE (Effective Provision of Pre-School Education) project which is the first major European longitudinal study of a national sample of young children's development between the ages of 3 and 7 years. Apart from the keynote lectures, there will be over 160 paper and poster presentations dealing with children's rights, progression, continuity and transition, coping with individual differences in early childhood classrooms & settings, professional development of early yearsí staff during pre- and in-service training, cultural diversion, parentsí involvement in curricular issues and the development of national frameworks for early childhood education.

The organizers would like to thank the University of Malta, HSBC, Playmobil, Farsons, Maltacom, Air Malta, APS, Radisson, Delicata Winery & Heritage Malta for their support in organizing the conference.