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Welcome to TACTYC

TACTYC was founded in 1978 by a group of early years teacher trainers who recognised how isolated they were feeling in their work and how supportive and developmental it could be to come together with others in a similar position on a regular basis. Today, TACTYC has broadened its base to welcome people from a wide range of early years backgrounds; early years researchers, education consultants and professionals working with children and families in day-care, education, health, play work and social service contexts. TACTYC also warmly welcomes students from across these areas.

  • check out the international Journal
  • read other practitioners reflections
  • look out for conferences
  • join in our advocacy and lobbying
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Latest news

CONFERENCE/AGM 2017 – Looking forward to seeing YOU! 

The date is 4th November, 2017 and the Conference Themes are: Young Children’s Worlds; Early Childhood Professionals for 21st Century Children; Challenges and Opportunities in Early Childhood.  Apply HERE. And get 25% off your train fare with a Virgin Trains voucher!


  •  Over recent months the Executive Committee has been undertaking a governance review … After careful investigation of the options, TACTYC’s Executive Committee is recommending to the membership that we become a charitable incorporated organisation.  This will be an important motion to be voted on at the November AGM. so please do attend our Conference/AGM.
  • As part of our thinking, we undertook a membership consultation project which makes interesting and informative reading.
  • There are spaces available on the TACTYC Executive – being a member of the Executive offers a chance to steer a national organization concerned with training early years educators – nomination form here to be returned by midnight, 13th October 2017, together with a 100-word biography/statement from and about the nominee.


Have you seen our past TACTYC President’s (Prof. Colin Richards’) comments about baseline?  If not, have a look here.

And Guy Roberts-Holmes and Alice Bradbury have also been busy blogging about baseline too! See there comments here.  (Don’t forget that these authors also wrote an excellent Occasional Paper for us too.)


The latest Reflections is Jaime-Lee King‘s submission which was a runner-up for the best student paper award. Graduating from the University of Chichester, Jaime-Lee asks  us to consider neurodiversity as part of a child’s unique way of being.


OH NO!  Baseline looks like returning!

We are disappointed that the English government has not listened to the views of early years practitioners and researchers and seems set to repeat its costly and misguided attempts to reintroduce a commercially run baseline assessment scheme in reception. More here.


Prof. Jackie Marsh, needs your help. The MakEY project aims to find out how makerspaces for 3-8 year-olds can be developed in kindergarten and nurseries, schools, museums and libraries in order that young children can develop the skills and knowledge required for the digital age.  The information provided by respondents in this questionnaire will be used for research purposes. This anonymous survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete – find it here.

OCCASIONAL PAPER 10 now online

Julian Grenier has written an excellent new paper which you’ll find here entitled: ‘Collaborative quality improvement’ – a way forward for England’s maintained nursery schools? in which explores one possible future for nursery schools: as the leaders of quality improvement for the whole of the early years sector in England.

STUDENT REFLECTIONS AWARD – read the winning entry here

Congratulations to Emma Bailey (winner), Jaime-Lee King and Amy Perkins (runners up) for their thought-provoking papers entered for the TACTYC Student Reflections Award.


We are always seeking new members with a range of early years skills and talents – why not join us today and be part of this dynamic Association?  Membership Application form here.


There is a discussion-based training day on ‘Quality in Diversity – A Child’s Journey’ in Oxford on 2nd  November,  2017, at the King’s Centre, Oxford. To book, visit:


BERA-TACTYC Early Childhood Research Review 2003-2017:  In 2013, TACTYC: (then chaired by Jane Payler) and the BERA Early Childhood Special Interest Group (then convened by Elizabeth Wood) came together to co-lead a research-focused collaboration which has resulted in revisiting and updating the 2003 BERA research review. Dr. Jane Murray and Dr. Rory McDowall Clark have written an excellent brief Summary of this research for Children and Young People Now

TACTYC BOOK SERIES: Research informed professional development for the early years

You can now access all information about our exciting series here. Two new books will shortly be published so watch this space!


We have a new book review – Gilliam and Gulløv (2017) Children of the Welfare State: Civilising practices in schools, childcare and families, full details of which can be found here.


Our TACTYC colleague, Prof. Margaret Clark, continues her well-informed campaign against synthetic phonics.  She has now turned her attention to the situation in Australia where they are, against all their best early years principles, set to introduce the phonics test like England.  Her latest piece can be found here.


You can read the full Report of our Latest Research. It makes very interesting reading as does the associated Occasional Paper 9.



We have a new call for papers: Early Childhood Policies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (Special Issue).


Prof. Peter Moss has written about the OECD’s IELS study in which he suggests that, although progress seems to be floundering because very few (possibly only 2) countries appear to have signed up, the OECD seems not to be acknowledging this weakness in the programme’s intended reach/sample.  Read more.

Closing Gaps Early: The role of early years policy in promoting social mobility in England is a new report from The Sutton Trust which explores how ‘early years childcare and education touches on many aspects of social policy, from education to the labour market to the benefits system’. Click on the title to read more.

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