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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.

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.


Make a date: 4th November, 2017 (at the ICC Birmingham) and the Conference Themes are: Young Children’s Worlds; Early Childhood Professionals for 21st Century Children; Challenges and Opportunities in Early Childhood.  TACTYC is delighted to present this specially designed conference for those working with early years children. Delegates will go away with much more confidence about children’s and practitioners’ experiences and understandings about these important issues. (See also #MeYouUs on Twitter.) Here’s the Application Form. You’ll see that this year you can also pay directly through PayPal.  Here is a draft programme and applications for: Discussion Forum, Research Briefing and Posters: please submit by the 1st October, 2017. 


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 welcomed Helen Bilton to our Executive Committee this year and you can read about her on our Member Profiles pages.  These seem to be popular within the website statistics so why not tell us about YOU?


We are pleased to have two new reflections papers: Linda Withey on observation of rough and tumble play and practitioners’ views about it – When we look, what do we see? and Caroline Guard ‘You’ve got a secret smile and you use it only for me’: infants’ intentional communication within the home.  These are very different but both fascinating papers, well worth a read!


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


Nurturing ‘buds of development’: from outcomes to opportunities in early childhood practice (Hayes, N. and Filipovic, K. 2017, International Journal of Early Years Education). This paper calls for a shift in policy and pedagogical discourse from assessing outcomes towards providing rich, day-to-day learning opportunities.

‘Teaching 4 & 5 years old: The Hundred Review in to the Reception Year in England’ was published on 22nd May 2017. You can read the report here.

Education Select Committee report on Primary Assessment (May 2017). This report from the House of Commons Education Select Committee finds that assessment is closely linked to the accountability system in primary schools.

Pie, fry, why: Language play in three- to five-year-old children (Read, K., James, S. and Weaver, A. (2017) Journal of Early Childhood Research). This study examined the relationship between four common types of language play and their correlations with the verbal and social abilities of three- to five-year-old children.

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