Media Release: Early Years Scotland welcomes Dollywood


ON Saturday 1 October at the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow, Early Years Scotland, the leading national third sector organisation invested in children under-five, hosts its annual conference in front of a sell-out audience.

Chaired by BBC broadcaster and journalist, Clare English, this year’s event focuses on ‘Early Years Inspection: Challenge or Opportunity?‘, and following the opening address from Mark McDonald, MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, the 300-strong audience – all of whom are directly involved or invested in early years education – will have the chance to hear the views from leaders in the field.

Speakers include Lesley Brown, Education Scotland’s strategic director and Kevin Mitchell, executive director of Scrutiny and Assurance at the Care Inspectorate.

The keynote speech will be delivered by Professor Ferre Laevers from Belgium, the founding father of the innovative ‘Experiential Education’ project which believes that a child’s well-being and the intensity of their mental activity is seen as a key indicator for the ‘power’ of the learning environment and a condition for ‘deep level learning’.

Also addressing the conference will be Angie Harris, director of International Programs with the Dollywood Foundation.

Ms Harris will outline the growth and success of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library which was set up by the singer songwriter, initially in East Tennessee, to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially-selected book each month.

Since the initial programme launch in the United States in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to over 60,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and United Kingdom.

Finally, the day will finish with ‘Confessions of an Inspection’ where leaders and managers from early learning and childcare settings will support delegates by describing their recent experiences of high-quality inspections and will give advice, guidance and practical support.

Jean Harwood-Edwards, CEO of EYS, notes: “As ever, we seek to cover areas which are of most importance to our delegates, who are all fully invested in Scotland’s children under five and their overall and ongoing well-being and development.

“On Saturday, we have a full programme, packed with expert speakers and we will also offer delegates the opportunity to debate and have one to one conversations with our panel.”


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