This is the section of the website where we will give you information about the projects that we sponsor through TACTYC funds. So far, we have been involved in four main projects, each of which is outlined below with links to the relevant texts.

2016: NEW TACTYC RESEARCH – EY Qualifications and Training

As we are all aware, over the past two decades the qualifications and training pathways available to the early years workforce have been subject to numerous, significant revisions with important implications for public perception, financial remuneration and career progression, not to mention the quality of children’s early childhood experiences. These are the main reasons why TACTYC decided to undertake its own research into the issues involved and, after an invitation to bid posted on our website, we received several tenders. After careful scrutiny and discussion, it was decided to award the project to Professor Jayne Osgood and a team from Middlesex University.

It’s currently early days in the life of the project and below we have summarised the research so that members and readers can get a sense of what the team are trying to achieve. Updates will be posted periodically so keep an eye on our Research section of the web.

Early Years Qualifications and Training Study being conducted by a team from Middlesex University led by Professor Jayne Osgood.  During the 2000s the CWDC, in its attempts to enact the Children’s Workforce Strategy (2005), introduced the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). Considerable government commissioned research was undertaken to establish an evidence base about the effectiveness of EYPS to create positive change in early childhood provision.

By 2013, Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) replaced. A number of issues emerged chief amongst them was that EYTS lacked QTS and all the associated benefits including observation of practice, support during a NQT year and national pay scales. There have been on-going concerns that EYTS and training providers are subjected to the same demands as those in the maintained school sector but enjoy fewer benefits.

Alongside the challenges and tensions to arise from the introduction of EYTS and EYITT pathways are those associated with the Early Years Educator qualifications, introduced in 2014, for practitioners seeking a Level 3 qualification. A significant issue with the EYE route is the requirement for applicants to hold GCSE English and Maths at grade A-C. For many this acts to deter them and presents recruitment challenges to training providers.

These are some of the core issues being investigated within this new research project. Attention is also being given to other concerns frequently cited in debates about training and qualifications including the ‘schoolification’ of early years training content and the erosion of early childhood specialist skills/expertise in the interests of school readiness. The costs of pursuing EY qualifications and the ultimate exchange value they represent within the labour market are also issues to be explored.

The research project aims to set the study within context by reviewing relevant policy and research literature; provide an overview of the nature of courses (delivery, uptake, success); consider the content of the training and its relationship to practice; and identify implications of the training for career/professional development, reflective practice, resourcing and future provision. A range of methods is being used to establish answers to some of the questions raised including a literature review, online survey, telephone interviews and case studies.


2015: Two-year-olds in England.  Dr. Jan Georgeson and team from Plymouth, undertook an investigation into the provision of funded places for two-year-olds using four methods, addressing the following research questions:

  1. What does the research literature tell us about the dimensions of early childhood quality that are important for two-year-old children’s development?
  2. What are the current central and local government policy and frameworks and practices for supporting the two-year-old programme?
  3. What are the practices among settings providing funded early education places for two-year-olds? And who are the staff?
  4. What do key stakeholders consider to be the key components of quality for two-year-olds, and the successes and difficulties of providing this?
  5. What are the implications of 1, 2, 3 and 4 above for policy, practice, resourcing and provision in relation to the two-year-old early education programme?

The final report has been completed.  It makes fascinating reading and give many insights into working with two-year-ods.  We are delighted with the quality and robustness of the research undertaken by Jan Georgeson and her team. The project has resulted in a forthcoming book in our TACTYC Taylor and Francis Series and also Occasional Paper 6. Jan and Colleagues also presented on our two-year-olds research at the Nursery World Conference in July 2015.

2013/1416:  (ongoing): Collaboration with the BERA Early Years Special Interest Group (SIG) to produce some briefing papers to inform early years policies and practices. This has several parts and, as one document, we have now begun distribution to all those in government and elsewhere concerned with young children and their early education and care. The papers also incorporate a research agenda to guide future scholarship in the field. We are very grateful to all of our members for their involvement and support. The papers can be access by clicking on the links below.

UPDATE:  BERA TACTYC collaboration phase 2 update

The next phase of our collaboration is underway for completion late 2016/early 2017. This phase aims to produce an academic review of UK research evidence since 2003 and a professional user review. Theme leaders met at Winchester on 17th June 2015 to scope the process and agree an outline. The theme leaders will draw on the expertise of wider theme reference groups, who will help to review the work and contribute ideas for research evidence references. All will be acknowledged in the final document, which we anticipate being published as an interactive PDF, made freely available through TACTYC and BERA. For more information contact

2012: School Readiness:  Dr. David Whitebread and Dr. Sue Bingham undertook a literature which proved to be a very extensive undertaking, information from which we finally presented at the House of Commons in November, 2012. The main outcome was Occasional Paper 2. We are also now able to publish the FULL REPORT for your information.

2011Reception Class research: we sponsored members of the TACTYC Exec and other invited people to collect observational data on reception classrooms to gain some idea of what children experienced, such as their daily routines, activities and contact with adults. The outcome of this research was Occasional Paper 1.

Published: March 10, 2016 | Print