BookTrust Cymru Early Years Practitioner Conference

Equality, Diversity and Reading for Pleasure in the Early Years.

Illustration by Erika Meza (2018)

This year's BookTrust Cymru Early Years Practitioner Conference brings together high-profile voices including children's authors and illustrators, early years organisations and practitioners, as well as other important figureheads working in the world of children's books. It will explore why equality, diversity and inclusion are vital in reading for pleasure and what we can do in the Early Years to give young children the opportunity to feel represented and empowered.

We know that learning about the world, your identity and those around you starts in the Early Years, and that books, stories and rhymes are powerful tools that can be used to help children understand their lived experiences. When we talk about diversity, we are championing the need for inclusion in all areas, so that all children and families are represented and valued.

More can be done to ensure that all children are able to see themselves in the books that they are exposed to from an early age and also to provide access to books for all children so they can experience the transformative powers of reading for pleasure.

The conference takes place as a series of online webinars spread over 4 days. These webinars will be in the format of a panel discussion, 2 workshops and 4 practice sharing sessions, with contributions and insights from:

  • Dapo Adeola, Children's Author and Illustrator, and BookTrust's most recent Writer in Residence
  • Connor Allen, Children's Laureate Wales 2021 – 2023
  • Jo Bowers, Early Years Reading for Pleasure Specialist
  • Margaret Holt, Bookstart Coordinator, Cardiff Libraries
  • Natalie Jerome, Deputy Chair of Literature Wales
  • Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language
  • Ruth Morgan, Award Winning Primary Practitioner and Children's Author
  • Lucy Owen, Presenter and Author
  • Cymraeg i Blant, Progamme Supporting Families with young children to bring the Welsh Language Into their Homes
  • Books Council of Wales, National Charity Supporting the Publishing Industry in Wales
  • BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity

When registering for the conference you will receive links to attend each of the webinars detailed below. We would encourage you to attend each webinar but if this is not possible, recordings will be made available soon after the event.

The first 450 attendees to register will receive a BookTrust Cymru Superbox containing a printed Conference Handbook which explores the themes of the event, as well as a collection of 20 early years books to use within your setting and share with families. These will be sent via post soon after the event.

A digital version of the Conference Handbook will also be made available online.

All webinars will take place online via Zoom.

Register here

Illustration by Erika Meza (2018)

Webinar Information

Title: Equality & Diversity and Reading for Pleasure in the Early Years - Conference Plenary Session

Date: Monday 21st March 2pm-3.15pm
Format: Reflections on Equality, Diversity and Reading for Pleasure in the Early Years: A mixture of presentations and facilitated discussions with contributions from all of our keynote speakers
Featuring: Dapo Adeola, Connor Allen, Jo Bowers, Natalie Jerome, Jeremy Miles MS & BookTrust Cymru
Facilitated by: Lucy Owen
Language: English


Title: Diversity and Representation in Children's Books

Date: Tuesday 22nd March 11.30am-12.30pm
Format: Workshop
Featuring: Ruth Morgan, Natalie Jerome
Language: English


Title: Equality of Access to Reading – What Can be Done?

Date: Wednesday 23rd March 1pm-2pm
Format: Workshop
Featuring: Julie Hayward and Claire Taylor, BookTrust
Language: English


Title: Bilingual Books to Explore Diversity and Inclusion with Small Children

Date: Thursday 24th March 10am-11am
Format: Practice Sharing Session
Featuring: Cymraeg i Blant
Language: Welsh with simultaneous English translation


Title: Reaching Communities through Reading

Date: Thursday 24th March 1pm-1.45pm
Format: Practice Sharing Session
Featuring: Margaret Holt, Cardiff Libraries
Language: English


Title: A showcase of Bilingual Books that Explore Diversity and Inclusion

Date: Thursday 24th March 2pm-2.45pm
Format: Practice Sharing Session
Featuring: Ilid Haf, Books Council of Wales
Language: Welsh with simultaneous English translation


Get the handbook

Conference Handbook 2022 Cover Illustration by Diane Ewen (2022)

What 2019 delegates said about the conference

Keynote speaker was excellent. I felt very empowered and recognised the value of my role

Delegate 2019

Enjoyed the keynote speech: ideas + passion = inspiring. Theory behind the practice

Delegate 2019

Great day, well organised, lovely resources, and some fantastic strategies taken for use daily

Delegate 2019

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Pori Drwy Stori

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Pori Drwy Stori is the national programme for Reception-aged children in Wales, brought to you by BookTrust Cymru. It is fully bilingual and is funded by Welsh Government.