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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

TACTYC: the voice for early years professional development 


Title – Back to the future in early years – inspiring connections between people, places and times

Themes – This years conference brings the opportunity to explore how we as early years advocates are able to:

*Develop and support professional confidence
*Advocate for children and families
*Inform policy and practice

Dates – Friday, 2nd and Saturday 3rd November 2018

Venue – University of Derby

More available information available here.


Now that we are more and more moving to web-based communications, it has been decided to send you the Latest News by Member e-mail (rather than Newsletter) so do please ensure that we have an up-to-date email for you. Contact us here.

Our bank account system has changed so … please check that you are paying membership fees into the correct account (the old account will soon be closed). If you’re unsure, please contact Janet MoylesAnd do email/contact us if you have a change in your details (address, email, phone, etc.) so we can be sure to keep you updated regularly.


Arts Council England is refreshing its 10 year strategy, and wants to find out what is important for arts, museums and libraries in the future. Please sign up here if you are interested: and if you have any questions please email


TACTYC has made a submission to the Select Committee for Science and TechnologyInquiry into Evidence-based early-years intervention. It can be found here.

TACTYC has written a response to the QTS Consultation which you can find here. (Thanks to Viki Veale for her efforts).

Our response to ‘Strengthening level 2 qualifications‘ has also been submitted.


There have been a number of new moves regarding our campaign to rid the early years world of Baseline Assessment once and for all.  There is a great video made by More Than a Score to view here and a supportive booklet.  There’s also been some useful press coverage – see TES, Nursery World and the Independent!   Hear, hear!!

Our Vice- Chair, Nancy Stewart, spoke out against the return of Baseline at a recent conference.  She urged all school leaders who do not agree with the introduction of the new reception assessment should refuse to take part in a pilot due to take place in 2019-20. Find the write-up here.


TACTYC Exec and members are outraged at the recent OfSTED Report ‘Bold Beginnings’. Read our response here. And do let us have your views on the issues raised in the Report.

Early Education has joined the debate and published a short article –  What’s wrong with Bold Beginnings? A summary for school leaders .

Nancy Stewart (our Vice Chair) and others met with OfSTED inspectors, the agreed outcome document being found here.

Di Chilvers from Watch Me Grow has written a challenging piece responding to ‘Bold Beginnings’ which she has allowed us to use in our Reflections pages.

Professor Colin Richards (a previous President of TACTYC and ex-HMI) has also followed up his previous open letter with this one, well worth a read.


An interesting article worth reading appeared recently in the New York Times, showing us in the UK and beyond how early years practitioners are under-valued in societies in general.

BASELINE ASSESSMENT – the campaign continues

Our Vice- Chair, Nancy Stewart, spoke out against the return of Baseline at a recent conference.  She urged all school leaders who do not agree with the introduction of the new reception assessment should refuse to take part in a pilot due to take place in 2019-20. Find the write-up here.

And NAPE has written an open letter regarding Baseline Assessment – have a look here.

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

You can now access all information about our exciting series here. We now have four books published, the latest being Places for Two-Year-Olds in the Early Years edited by Jan Georgeson and Verity Campbell-Barr. Two more will follow this year.  Further information and opportunity to order your copy here.


“TACTYC’s conferences have a different feel, as they attract participation from across the sector. All are welcomed, and a sense of belonging created”.

“TACTYC’s conferences are very accessible, enable broad participation across the sector, and are a great opportunity to listen and learn.”

Another successful conference – brilliant reviews and excellent speakers.  Something different from past conferences but equally worthwhile. You’ll be able to read all about it here soon when we have completed the evaluations.

2018 AGM Papers can be found here.


This year we are repeating our popular Student Reflections Award – download a flyer here.


In the latest Reflections paper Amy Perkins challenges zero-tolerance approaches to weapon play and suggests there are more helpful and effective ways to tackle this sensitive topic. Read her thought-provoking paper here.


Read here all about Viki Veale – a very enthusiastic member of TACTYC, who responded to our appeal at the Conference for more Member Profiles.  Do remember to send yours to Janet

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.


A new review here of the first book in a series specifically devoted to under 3s. Edited by E. Jayne White and Carmen Dalli, this explores pedagogy and policy across many different contexts.


You can read the full Report of our Latest Research. It makes very interesting reading as does the associated Occasional Paper 9.


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


Prof. Peter Moss has written about the OECD’s IELS study in which he suggests that, although progress seems to be floundering because very few (possibly only 2) countries appear to have signed up, the OECD seems not to be acknowledging this weakness in the programme’s intended reach/sample.  Read more.

Closing Gaps Early: The role of early years policy in promoting social mobility in England is a new report from The Sutton Trust which explores how ‘early years childcare and education touches on many aspects of social policy, from education to the labour market to the benefits system’. Click on the title to read more.

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