Latest news


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. On our Conference pages you will find an Application Form plus information about applying to take part in: Discussion Forum, Research Briefing and Posters, due in by the 11th September, 2017.  AND a draft programme for the conference.  We also have a Twitter page for the Conference so do have a look – #MeYouUs!

Book your ticket here. AND this year your can pay via PayPal!


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 to produce policy advice (2014) and to revisit and update the 2003 BERA research review. This 2017 review considers research findings from UK research since 2003 pertaining to five themes and their policy contexts;

  • Professionalism: early years as a career
  • Parents and families
  • Play and pedagogy
  • Learning, development and the curriculum
  • Assessment and school readiness

The age range of the 2017 Review is birth-to-seven-years. The review team has drawn on systematic approaches to produce a rigorous academic review that reflects current positions in each of the themes. Click on the title to access the review and a summary document .

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

You can now access all information about our exciting series here. Enjoy


Primary assessment in England: Government consultation – TACTYC’s response to this consultation can be found here.  We have also posted  comment from Better Without Baseline (in conjunction with TACTYC)  here.


Following our latest successful research project, we are left with many questions about practitioners, their qualifications, experience and roles. We would really appreciate you – like several of your early years colleagues – 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.

NEWSLETTER 39 is here


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 your 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.


Nurturing ‘buds of development’: from outcomes to opportunities in early childhood practice (Hayes, N. and Filipovic, K. 2017, International Journal of Early Years Education). Increasingly policy support for early childhood education is built around an emphasis on preparing children for school and preparing future citizens to become productive members of society.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. It is a comprehensive, wide ranging and evidence based review of current practice. It explores the issues and challenges faced by YR teachers and provides recommendations for supporting effective pedagogy and good outcomes for children. 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, with Key Stage 2 results used to hold schools and teachers to account on the progress and attainment of pupils. The committee supports the introduction of an improved progress measure, but the Government must be cautious if a baseline measurement is introduced.

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. Results indicated that, while children’s peer interaction scores were not related to their play scores, children’s verbal skills scores were highly correlated with their language play scores.