Latest news


Following our latest successful research project, we are left with many questions about practitioners, their qualifications, experience and roles. We would really appreciate you putting pen to a brief outline of yourselves to help us understand the training/role situation in a wide range of early years settings. Click here.


Better Without Baseline has responded to the Department of Education released consultation on its latest proposals for Primary Assessment, including another attempt to reintroduce a “baseline assessment” in the Reception Year. You can read our collaborative response here.

ECSDN (Early Childhood Studies Degree Network), TACTYC and SEFDEY have responded critically to the OECD’s International Early Learning Study.  The response outlines key issues and concerns arising from the IELS proposal and offers key recommendations for consideration by DfE and related stakeholders, including parents, professionals and academics who work in Early Years, and Further and Higher Education Institutions.


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.  TACTYC is delighted to present this specially designed conference for those working with early years children. Following on from the highly successful conferences of previous years, we now turn our attention to young children’s identities, diversity and equality in the 21st Century. Delegates will go away with much more confidence about children’s and practitioners’ experiences and understandings about these important issues. We are, by popular demand, back at the ICC in Birmingham again – a brilliant venue as previous delegates will testify. We currently have available on our Conference pages applications for: Discussion Forum, Research Briefing and Posters, due in by the 11th September, 2017.  AND a draft programme for the conference. An application form will be available shortly so don’t forget our ‘early bird’ offers.  We also have a Twitter page for the Conference so do have a look – #MeYouUs!


More Than a Score will be launching the alternative vision for assessment and accountability at an event on 29 March, which will see Nancy Stewart take the lead.  See here for details and how to register for this free event. Those involved in the campaign are also asking people to contact their MPs via postcards which can be found here.  The latest More Than a Score film can be found here.

Our TACTYC colleague, Prof. Margaret Clark, continues her campaign against synthetic phonics.  Her latest piece can be found here.


Members of our Journal’s Editorial Board have been sending in their Profiles for you interest and information. Why not take a look?


We are now able to launch the findings from our latest research, undertaken by Professor Jayne Osgood and her colleagues at University of Middlesex, and the full Report is now available on this website. It makes very interesting reading as does the associated Occasional Paper 9. We are grateful to Jayne and her colleagues for their work and intend to get the outcomes from this research into the public domain over the next few weeks.

The Report has set us thinking about what are YOUR experiences of training, qualifications and professional development in relation to qualifications and we shall shortly be asking here online for you to send in a brief summary of your role and training experiences. It would be great to have a good range of replies!


Hot off the press, here is our latest Occasional Paper which has resulted from our TACTYC funded research into early years qualifications and training.  It provides some food for thought about the issues – you can also read the full report here.


We are offering students at any level the opportunity to submit a ‘Reflecting on Early Years Issues’ paper to TACTYC to appear on its website. The paper should be between 1500 and 2000 words long (no more), which will then be judged by a panel of early years experts. It should be submitted no later than the 15th July, 2017. The chosen student will receive a year’s free membership of TACTYC and a fee of £200. The best two runners-up papers will also be published on the website. More information here.


We have welcomed Helen Bilton, Associate Professor at University of Reading, 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?


Bronwen Cohen challenges us all to think about early years in the context of the EU. Getting its Act Together: Why we need stronger EU leadership in developing a common EU framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) she sets out an argument which, we’re sure, will generate much discussion! (Well .. we hope so, anyway!)


It is with great regret that we say goodbye to Dr. Liz Brooker who has been an Editor for the Early Years Journal for many years.  She will be sadly missed as she has given so much to the Journal and to TACTYC over several years: we wish her well in her retirement.  We’re pleased to say that Dr. Jan Georgeson (a previous Assistant Editor and Book Reviews Editor) has taken over the Editor role and we know the Journal is in safe hands.

And we have a new call for papersEarly Childhood Policies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (Special Issue).  Global attention to the early years has reached unprecedented heights.  As countries scale up early childhood services, what are evidence-based policy strategies to meet the needs of the workforce? To what extent do early childhood policies address or reinforce inequities within and between countries? How are debates around measurement influencing policy efforts to make and monitor progress toward national and international goals? We are interested in papers that go beyond descriptions to include critical analyses of the challenges of formulating and/or implementing policies for young children and their families in low-resource contexts of the global south.

BOOK SERIES – first one published!

The first book in our book series is now published: written by Rory McDowall Clark, it explores in depth ‘readiness’ issues – Exploring the Contexts for Early Learning: Challenging the school readiness agenda (Routledge). It’s a great start to the series and a must for all of those concerned with children starting school.  Four more books are now under contract for our new book series with Routledge and a sixth is in the pipeline.


Practitioners’ constructions of love in early childhood education and care (Cousins, S. 2016) This research explored practitioners’ views and constructions of love within early years settings.

Early Education has launched its own Occasional Paper – Establishing the Effects of Quality in Early Childhood: Comparing evidence from England (Prof. Pam Sammons and her team).  The researchers have scrutinised the controversial LSE paper, Quality in Early Years Settings and Children’s School Achievement, and identified a number of serious limitations in the study’s conceptualisation, research design and research methods. They argue that these limitations are so important that the study’s conclusions and apparent policy implications should be treated with great caution.