Latest news


As you will now know, our new research project – Early Years Qualifications and Training – with Middlesex University under the direction of Professor Jayne Osgood is progressing well.  So far the team has achieved a great deal and they are looking for your help with a very brief survey – click here to complete.  It’s really quick and simple – please help.

Middlesex has also set up a website relating to the research – a webpage for information has been set up at Middlesex University.   An overview of the project can also be found here.


We have yet another new reflections article – our fifth of the year so far.  Thank you to all our contributors.  In the new article, Gareth Betts-Davies, a new co-opted member of the TACTYC Executive, reflects specifically on ‘Who owns the ‘rights’ to early development?’ – if you’re wondering what that’s all about, read it here.


Gina Houston is one of our newer co-optees on the Executive and has written about herself on the Member Profile page.  She clearly has lots of experience and will make a great contribution to our work on behalf of members.

CONFERENCE/AGM 2016: Note the date!

We’re busy planning our next Conference full details of which will appear shortly.  Meantime, here’s the basic information:

Title:  Principled Early Years Practice: Valuing our past, debating our present, inspiring our future

Date: Saturday 19th November 2016

Venue: London (still being negotiated)

Keynote speakers will be Julien Grenier and Jools Page. Professor Jayne Osgood will also share with us the results of the research into qualifications she is conducting for TACTYC.


The Better Without Baseline coalition (which includes TACTYC) welcomes the decision from government not to use Baseline Assessment as an accountability measure but continues to be concerned that the emphasis has been on the lack of data comparability, rather than the impact on child wellbeing. The EYFS was carefully developed over time to 1) support children’s learning through observation; 2) nurture their unique talents and interests; 3) best meet their needs.

We note that the DfE intends to begin a process of engagement with ‘stakeholders’ around issues of early years assessment. We look forward to participating in these discussions but will continue to treat with caution any statements that lack an appropriate recognition of the importance of developmentally informed practice and the holistic nature of early childhood development. See the BWB joint press release and the BWB open letter.


Our new Executive Committee was formed at our March meeting. We have a number of new co-options which is reflected on the list of Exec members. We welcome them all and look forward to working with the new Exec during the coming year.  We have also set up a small group of people whose role will be to advise on consultations and responses when this is needed by the Executive. This is as a result of our appeal for new co-optees, particularly those who could support specific aspects of our work on behalf of members.


We are delighted that a TACTYC/BERA collaboration paper has been selected as one of just five keynote symposia at BERA later this year and has also been submitted to EECERA as part of a symposium. Congratulations to all involved.


Now that book reviews no longer appear in the Journal (yes, you’ll have noticed!) we shall be updating our Book Reviews section of the website regularly.  Keep your eyes open here for new books that might interest you. There’s currently a review of Julie Fisher’s new book.


In 2012 TACTYC commissioned a report from Dr. David Whitebread and Dr. Sue Bingham on children’s readiness for school.  We are pleased to say that this is now published online here under our Projects page..


As you’ll perhaps notice, alongside the LinkedIn and other links at the top of the main website page we’ve added the Twitter emblem so you can now go direct from this site to tweet us!  Enjoy!


Relationship based pedagogies with babies and toddlers: Issues from teaching and implications for learning.  Sheila Degotardi Associate Professor in EC Education, Macquarie University, Australia.  Sheila notes that relationships play a central role in human existence. As individuals, we define ourselves with reference to these relationships – as a friend, a partner, a colleague, a parent, a teacher, a learner, a community member and so on. Read more in our new Occasional Paper.


We are pleased to tell you that four books are now under contract for our new book series with Routledge and a fifth and sixth are in the pipeline. More information will be available shortly: we expect the first book (Rory McDowall-Clark on ‘Readiness’) to be published later in 2016.  Watch this space for further news.

NEWSLETTER 36 is here


There are three new reports posted here: learning spaces, childcare funding and phonics check results.  Check them out here!