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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
Read more

Latest news

Webinar Series Events

TACTYC are delighted to announce a new series of webinars which will be free to members.

As the pandemic continues to impact all our lives, we continue to support the sector through offering free temporary membership, so please share this information within your networks.

Our first webinar, entitled ‘Do Better- Tackling Racism in Early Years Education and Care’ will be led by Diane Garrison- winner of last years student reflections award.

Join TACTYC and join us at our first webinar on Thursday the 25th of March at 6:30pm.

Booking details coming soon.

On 3rd February a new campaign will be launched to raise awareness of the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on babies and their families. #LittleGoodDeed will encourage communities to reach out to families with young children and will also signpost the professional support available to families. You can read more about the campaign here, […]

It is time to have your say on Draft 2 of Birth to Five Matters here is the link 

The survey will close on 26 Feb – plenty of time to ensure that we get lots of feedback!

Have you responded to the consultation yet? We are urging all our TACTYC members to have their say!
The deadline is Monday 11th January 2021.
Here is the link

An online survey is being launched today by the Early Years Coalition (EYC)*, a group of sector representative bodies, to find out practitioners’ views and needs for guidance to support the revised EYFS. This is the first stage of a process to help shape a revision of the 2012 EYFS non-statutory guidance Development Matters in […]

Dear All As you will all by now know, the Chancellor has cancelled this year’s budget. Instead, he announced on Twitter that he would announce a “Winter Economy Plan” to Parliament today. The centrepiece is expected to be a government subsidy of the wages of workers returning to work after being furloughed. The impact this […]

Letter from the NCB: #GiveUsAChancellor – Giving children and young people a voice in the ‘Comprehensive Spending Review’ TACTYC are supporting this important initiative and hope you will get involved – thank you! Dear Colleague Thank you for the amazing support for #GiveUsAChancellor so far. It is fantastic that we are able to come together as a sector […]

Coalition of Early Years Sector Organisations
Read our press release: Statement on the new non-statutory guidance for the EYFS here

The EYFS Coalition propose to work with the sector over the next six months to develop guidance for the sector, by the sector: Birth to Five Matters. This is an opportunity to revise existing guidance to develop an evidence-informed document for our times that addresses practitioners’ needs and concerns about doing what is best for children. Priorities are likely to include children’s wellbeing and key skills and knowledge for every child growing up in the 21st century such as digital literacy, sustainability and citizenship. The process of developing the guidance will give practitioners opportunities for active involvement in producing guidance and resources that support practice, that reflect their pedagogic principles and that bring together research and practice knowledge.

In this context, we invite all stakeholders (practitioners, parents, the public, policy makers and others) to engage with us in producing guidance for the sector, by the sector, through a public process of consultation over the coming months. More details about the consultation will be made available via the members of the coalition, or sign up for further details at

Please do feel free to get in touch with us here at TACTYC for further information. We would like all our members to get involved [email protected]

We are delighted to announce the results of the year’s Student Reflections Award with two very timely and personal responses to current concerns. The winner is Diane Garrison from Liverpool John Moores University writing about countering racism whilst the runner-up, Sarah Bennet-Leyh from the University of Sussex shares her experience of how the lockdown shaped […]

New resources to support  younger children’s social and emotional development during the challenging times of Covid-19. The activity cards are free to download and are designed for parents, carers and family members of children aged 3-5 years to support their transition back to nursery/childcare or starting school.  The activities are divided into the following topics:  Feelings, communication, friendship, solving problems, change & loss and moving forward. More information about the project here.

TACTYC and Early Education are busy lobbying for key recommendations to support transition into settings and schools – read the press release here.

As the two leading early years charities, TACTYC and Early Education feel that returning to existing nursery or school provision in the autumn will provide children with the best transitions. We are recommending that entry into nursery, reception and Key Stage 1 should be delayed by up to a term to help children settle, build confidence and be resilient. Read the Transition recommendations and Transition Letter colleagues, Transition Letter parents and carers.

The Observer features the main points here 

‘Put children at the heart of the recovery’

150+ organisations, and counting, are calling on the Government to put children at the heart of the recovery process. The statement to the Prime Minister is here, followed by a full list of the 150+ signatories. The statement was published on Tuesday, 30th June.

The activity on social media is fantastic so far and BBC News online have covered our call here! Thank you and please join in! We encourage you all to respond to the call using #ChildrenAtTheHeart and #PowerOfYouth as well as continuing to promote children and young people’s voices today and beyond.   

Here are some videos promoting children and young people’s voices to the social media pack here.

Thinking about writing an occasional paper? TACTYC wish to invite our colleagues to contribute to our occasional paper series. Please contact Janet Moyles with your proposals. Here is the guidance page on our website. 

On Saturday, TACTYC Trustees are sad to announce that Nancy is stepping down from her role as Chair of TACTYC after many years of dedicated service.  On behalf of everyone involved in the ECEC  field we thank Nancy for her inspiring contribution to the lives of children and families through her influence on policy makers and her work with students as well as with professional colleagues.

We wish her all the very best for the future.

Please do feel free to pass on your thanks to Nancy and fond memories to [email protected] and we will ensure that Nancy sees them. 


Following on from the success of previous commissioned studies, TACTYC invites proposals for a new research project:

Systematic literature review of international research evidence on the impact of staff qualification levels in ECEC on the experiences of and outcomes for children and families.

The project is expected to begin on 21 September 2020 and to reach completion with submission of the final report no later than end April 2021. In light of the Covid-19 situation, TACTYC will consider reviewing dates if necessary.

The maximum funding payable for this work will be £12,000 (inclusive of VAT).

How to bid for this project click here

The deadline for receipt of proposals is 17.00 hours BST on 30th June 2020. An email acknowledging receipt will be sent within 48 hours of the deadline. Proposals received after the deadline time will not be considered.

Further information is here 

New Occasional Paper 15 ready to read and share!

‘The re/constructed role of nursery schools as local community hubs in the current context of austerity’ written by Dr Kate Hoskins, Dr Alice Bradbury and Mr Lewis Fogarty: Brunel University London. 

Early years issues: TACTYC members’ perspectives survey

We have put together this survey to enable all our members to share stories of recent issues that concern you acoss the ECEC sector. This includes how the sector is responding to the outbreak of Coronavirus. 

The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete. All information will be anonymous, and it will not be possible for anyone to identify your responses. We will use the information to select forum topics at our upcoming conference, and shape our response to policy developments and consultations.

We appreciate you taking the time to consider responding to this survey. Your voice matters!

The survey link is here and the QR code is here 

Thank you! 


Today, over 40 leading mental health, family and children’s charities and professional bodies are calling on national and local decision makers to give urgent attention to the wellbeing of babies, toddlers and their parents during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the call to action report here. 

Temporary Membership Offer only available until Friday 3 July 2020

Great news! If you wish to become a member of TACTYC, we have a new temporary membership offer available to you all. 

Membership Flyer is here 

Click here to join. 

Join in with our ‘blog posts’ or contribute a blog post to share with all our members?

If you feel able to write a blog about the big issues / challenges / celebrations that you are facing during these recent unsettling times please do so. Ideally they should be between 500 and 750 words and must not include any names or clues to where in the country you are. If at the end they could include a couple of discussion questions this may support yourself and others to respond and to think or do things differently as a result of the blog. Please choose a title for your blog post. 

In addition to supporting practitioners at this challenging time they may also become an opportunity for the organisation to really see the needs of all kinds of settings during this time in history.

Please send all blogs to Penny Borkett (Trustee) on [email protected] who will check for editing before they become live. 

ITE OFSTED Inspection Framework – TACTYC response to the consultation

Here is TACTYC’s response to the ITE Inspection Framework consultation – please do feel free to comment, share and use, as appropriate. We do hope you will find this useful. 

Childcare Survey

We believe that Government needs to help:

  • 41,000 self-employed registered childminders in England and Wales who are not eligible for the majority of financial support for businesses announced to date.
  • Just under 28,000 childcare on non-domestic premises who may be eligible for government business support but need that help today, not in a month’s time, as their business doesn’t have the cash flow to keep them afloat until government support is accessible.

So PACEY launched our COVID-19 closure survey today to demonstrate the impact of the forced closures across England and Wales. Childminders and other childcare providers are being urged to answer a few vital questions this week. By doing so, PACEY can demonstrate to government how many settings fear that temporary closure of their service to families, is likely to lead to permanent closure in six months to a year’s time

We know government advice to close has been necessary to help slow the spread of Coronavirus. We are urging every childcare provider to follow government guidance. But, we all have to recognise this will have a devastating impact on the long term sustainability of so many early years and childcare settings, services that families rely, services that have been underfunded for many years.

Of upmost urgency right now is support for the 41,000 registered childminders in England and Wales. Most do not qualify for the current government support available to business. They are self-employed sole traders; most do not deliver early education places so will not continue to receive that funding.  Most are on low incomes, many are single parents and, as of today, can only look to the benefit system for support.

PACEY shares government’s priority to support the childcare providers to survive the impact of Coronavirus and the closures it is forcing on so many of their businesses. More has to be done to understand the long-term impact and the support all childcare providers will need, especially childminders, so that there is a strong early years and childcare sector that families can rely on when we are all able to return to our normal working lives.

Please help us by sharing the survey with your staff, on your social media or other networks over the next week. Childcare providers can take part in the survey here …. 

New Blog Posts 

Dear Members,

Over the past few months TACTYC trustees have been posting blogs onto the website in relation to issues in the early years which they have concerns about. However in these very recent days as a committee we are aware that many practitioners are working in challenging circumstances and we would like to hear from you those challenges.

If you feel able to write a blog about the big issues / challenges / celebrations that you are facing during these unsettling times please do so. Ideally they should be between 500 and 750 words and must not include any names or clues to where in the country you are. If at the end they could include a couple of discussion questions this may support yourself and others to respond and to think or do things differently as a result of the blog.

In addition to supporting practitioners at this challenging time they may also become an opportunity for the organisation to really see the needs of all kinds of settings during this time in history.

Please send all blogs to Penny Borkett (Trustee) on [email protected] who will check for editing before they become live.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Chris Dyson, the Head of Parklands School in Leeds calls for canecllation of Baseline Testing:

Please do share a national survey of parents who have 2-4 year old children to try and identify how these children are doing, what affects how well they’re doing and what help families need in the current circumstances.​ Please feel free to complete it and share it with your networks. The link is:

Also, please do encourage parents to take part in the Parentkind survey, which is open until 9am on Monday and can be found here:—parents-how-are-you-doing

Here is Occasional Paper 14 ‘The significance of children’s play and empowerment: An observational tool’ written by Natalie Canning, Open University. 

New to read for Jan 2020 An internal conflict: policy, practice and pedagogy  A new reflections paper written by Lauren Emery

EYFS Consultation  – TACTYC Response

Here is the final TACTYC response, including members input to the EYFS Consultation. Please read and circulate widely to your networks to encourage others to contribute a response!

Join in with our conversations ….. read our blogs here

Here is the briefing paper following the ECSDN/TACTYC Symposium
University of Reading 1st November 2019
‘Professionals working with young children: or just anybody?’

A group of academics, practitioners, professionals and employers from the early childhood sector met to discuss the growing crisis in the early childhood workforce. 

A joint social media campaign began on 8th November entitled #’One voice for childhood’

New research and reports available to read here


Following on from the success of previous commissioned studies, TACTYC invites proposals for a new research project:

Systematic literature review of international research evidence on the impact of staff qualification levels in ECEC on the experiences of and outcomes for children and families.

More information here and guidelines on the submission process here

Here is the link to the latest blog post written by Prof. Helen Bilton “Professionals working with young children: or just anybody?”

Consider contributing to this post here  

EYFS Consultation Launch – have your say?

The Department for Education has today launched a public consultation seeking views on changes to the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (EYFS). The goal of the reforms is to improve outcomes for all children and reduce workload. The EYFS consultation is now live here and will run until January 2020. 

The summary of the EYFS coalition consultation is here.

The consultation includes proposed changes to the educational programmes, the early learning goals and the EYFS profile assessment. It also seeks views on one change to the safeguarding and welfare section of the framework to promote good oral health.

Also, please see the Maths ELG proposals from ELG

Findings from the pilot of the draft revised EYFS framework led by the Education Endowment Foundation, in partnership with NatCen Social Research and Action for Children have also been published today.

Membership Details

Have you recently changed your email details? If, so please can you contact us and let us know. We are currently trying to contact all our members to share some important news and updates with you. 

The old classic bank account is now closed and it is important for all members to check their standing order arrangements.  Please amend your standing orders now and ensure that any bank transfers are made into the new Account (see members only part of the website). Please contact either Viki Veale, our Membership Secretary or [email protected] to change your details. 

Recruiting now!

Do you work with children and young people with toileting difficulties, who also have special educational needs and disability?

We want to hear from you!

We are conducting an online survey with school and social care staff about toileting for children and young people with special educational needs and disability. The NHS wants to improve toileting services for children and young people up to the age of 25 years. We need to hear your experiences of trying ways to improve toileting and how toileting is managed. The results of the survey will help inform health and care services for children in the future. To take part in the survey visit:

Hub and Spoke Expressions of Interest

The Froebel Trust is calling for expressions of interest for its Hub and Spoke programme,

A ‘Hub’ is potentially a partnership between an ECE setting and researchers, although this need not necessarily be the case and applicants can decide how to constitute their proposed Hub, which should do things like explore, interrogate, exemplify and disseminate Froebelian approaches to ECEC. The criteria and objectives are detailed on the website. A fascinating project?

Occasional Paper 12 is now available to read and share. “What is ‘early reading’ for under-threes? A reflection on ‘conversations’ with graduate practitioners in England: A response to Ofsted’s ‘Early reading’ training video”, Karen Boardman, Edge Hill University.  

Baseline: Almost 200 schools drop out of the pilot, having changed their minds about taking part! Read the TES Feature here

‘Getting it right in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a review of the evidence’.  Exciting launch of the report from the Centre for Research in Early Childhood authors Chris Pascal, Tony Bertram, Liz Rouse. Getting it right means looking at the evidence, a sector-led response to the proposed changes to the EYFS.

TACTYC Executive Members have been highlighting relevant issues in Nursery World!

Read the latest from our President Wendy Scott ‘Time to look and listen Minister’. Wendy asks Nick Gibb, minister now in charge of early years, to pay attention to the evidence on effective practice in the latest opinion piece

Helen Moylett and Nancy Stewart call for sector-wide collaboration ahead of the review of Development Matters ‘Its’s time to talk!’ 

TACTYC are also involved in the EYFS Launch Proposed EYFS changes ‘not supported by evidence’

Interesting information from Alice Bradbury’s research commissioned by More Than a Score on Head teachers’ views of baseline.  The coverage includes quotes from our own Nancy Stewart – look out for Nancy on ITV on Thursday!

TACTYC supports Fair Future Funding Action Week 10th June 2019

TACTYC strongly supports the ‘Fair Future Funding’ campaign. High quality early childhood education and care is vital for our children and families. But it needs to be properly funded for all if it is to be accessible and sustainable.   

‘Enough is enough’

Childcare funding rates were set and frozen in 2015 – this means they don’t take into account the subsequent increases to business hikes, minimum wage rises or any other cost increases since then. This has forced providers to put up parent fees and, in some cases, close.

The early years plays a vital role in our communities helping children reach their full potential and enabling parents to get back into work – but the sector is struggling to stay sustainable due to government under funding.

This summer we have a chance to change that.

The Government’s ‘Comprehensive Spending Review’ – where the government sets out its spending priorities – is taking place in the coming months. It’s an opportunity for providers and parents to warn MPs about what will happen to childcare provision in their constituencies unless the government takes action on under funding.

Join in the Early Years Alliance action week from 10 June: write to your MP, invite them to your setting and make sure everyone knows the effects of the childcare funding crisis.

Providers (and parents) can sign-up to take part using this link:

Please read TACTYC’s response to Ofsted’s EIF consultation here – this was sent to Ofsted this week by our fabulous President Wendy Scott.  TACTYC also offered further suggestions of contemporary and seminal research to support policy making in the early years. We will keep you posted on progress! Please do share with your colleagues and […]


We are delighted to tell you that we have been awarded Charitable Status as of now.  The Exec will have to get to grips with what all this means in the new year and our committee will be reconsidered then.  Currently we have six Trustees.  More news after our first meeting on the 9th January.

The first Reflections paper of the year…

Read Linda Withey’s paper about a project supporting parents to understand the role they play in young children’s language development through ‘Chit-chat’ everyday.


We have a new ‘Call for Papers’ on Early Childhood Education and Care in Latin America here and on our Journal’s pages.  And we say goodbye to one of our long-standing editors:  Professor Pamela Oberhuemer has recently retired and we wish her well in her retirement and thank her most sincerely for all her work on behalf of the Journal and TACTYC.


What a wonderful Conference … the hotel was magnificent and the Enterprise Centre Derby just brilliant! See the full report here.

Why do so few men work in the UK early years sector…and why should we care?

Dr Jo Warin and Dr Jeremy Davies have launched their two-year study GenderEYE (Gender Diversification in Early Years Education) – an international and UK based study, with a focus on recruitment , retention and support for men in the early years education workforce. This coincides with International Men’s Day on 19th November. Worth a look ….? 

Quality Assurance of CPD for Teachers

The Chartered College of Teaching, alongside the Teacher Development Trust and Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University are undertaking a project jointly funded by Wellcome Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation to design and test a system to quality assure the provision of continuing professional development for teachers. The online consultation closed recently but if you would like to respond, further information is available here.


We shall be closing the TACTYC Current Account on the 31st March, 2019. This means that any subscriptions paid to that account MUST be changed to the Treasurer Account before that date.  We do want you all to be part of our campaigns and help us sustain pressure on governments and institutions to make excellent provision for early years professional development and young children, so WE NEED YOU!   Please amend your standing orders now please and ensure that any bank transfers are made into the new Account (see members only part of the website).


Mimi Tatlow-Golden (Open University) has written an excellent paper entitled ‘Big, strong and healthy’? Children, food and eating in the early years, and the role preschools can play, in which she encourages all practitioners to ‘support children and their families to grow not-too-big, very strong, and definitely healthy, by engaging in the evidence-based strategies’ outline in the Paper.  A must read.


We are delighted to announce the winner of this year’s Student Reflections Award is Megan Taddeo, a post-graduate student of the University of Winchester with a paper entitled ‘Listening to children creates Better Beginnings‘. Runner-up was Rachel Hingston from the University of Plymouth with ‘Two birds with one stone: How putting the value back into mealtimes can improve children’s communication and long-term health’. Megan’s paper can be read here.


The notes available here describe some of the main discussion points between colleagues from TACTYC and the DfE at a meeting held on  13th July 2018 in response to the current draft ELGs being piloted over the next academic year.


We have a new book review about outdoor play with under 3’s – read it here.


Please read this recently published article ‘The views of teachers, parents and children on the Phonics Screening Check: the continuing domination of politics over evidence’ by Margaret M Clark OBE Also see Education Journal (10 July 2018)  ‘Evidence based policy?’ BERA has just released its Report on Baseline Assessment, which is very well formulated – read it here. Early Education has made a strong comment on the revised EYFS and ELGs – read it here.

MEMBERS:  Do read our Latest online NEWSLETTER HERE 


TACTYC’s Book Series has added a sixth book to its collection: recently launched is Gina Houston’s book: Racialisation in Early Years Education: Black Children’s Stories from the Classroom. All the books in the series are available from Routledge.

Young children as guinea pigs TACTYC STOP PRESS Read the latest TACTYC paper, entitled ‘Young children as guinea pigs: the Reception Baseline Assessment Framework’.  This paper criticises the government’s planned national pilot of reception class baseline testing, released by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA). Education experts from TACTYC state that the STA framework fails to address […]

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