Six hundred delegates from around the world are taking part in a three-day Global Gathering for Early Childhood at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The event aims to examine ways of supporting young children's well-being, learning and development.
The theme is "Today's children, tomorrow's world, turning points".
The event was opened this morning by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald.
The agenda includes the power of play, stress levels among children and Ireland's recently published proposed Early Years Strategy, called Right from the Start.
The event will also look at 90 research papers covering topics relevant to growing up in Ireland and beyond.