The Gap Club has recently been invited to the International 2022 Bright Start Conference: Early Years Excellence in Practice. The conference aims to identify and showcase successful, innovative approaches to child-led inclusive play for early years children through sharing good practice examples and tools used across the globe between professionals.
As part of this conference, The Gap Club has been asked to partake in the ‘Voices of Children’ International Gallery. This project will showcase the artwork of 3–6-year-olds, both online and at the in-person exhibition, to offer children across the world an opportunity to express their own experiences. We would like to invite your child to be involved in this exciting project.
The Voices of Children project aims to:
- Support collaboration with parents and educators.
- Enable children to develop a positive view of themselves while understanding others, giving children a ‘voice’.
- Support children to shape their personal identity with the help of family and the community.
- Provide a platform to value and share the voices and ideas of children.
- Recognize children as co-constructors of their own identity and acknowledge that children have agency where their choices and decisions can influence the world.
- Foster creativity with young children.
- Highlight the importance of the arts for children and their families.
The Voices of Children project builds on a large international project started in at the University of Wollongong, Australia (Brown, Lysaght & Westbrook, 2004). This project explored the lives of children in a number of different countries through the images they produced, as well as written responses to questions about themselves, their families and their worlds. The children were encouraged to make meaning of their real-world experiences.
The Voices of Children is an exciting extension to the original project supported by the Bright Start Foundation, the Catherine Mayer Foundation and the University of Wollongong Australia. The project will involve a large number of young children, families, early childhood settings, professional galleries and museums. The Voices of Children project was expanded in response to the Call To Action launched by UNICEF, WHO, and other major organisations in July 2021 to invest in evidence-based initiatives that support parents of young children. These projects are becoming increasingly important in a world of challenge to support parent/child engagement, creativity and connection.