University of Winchester lecturer co-leads latest research-based guidance on future of education and care for young children

Through a new project collaboration, education policy leaders in political parties and key organisations throughout the UK now have access to extensive research, paving the way to higher quality care and education for young children.

The Association for the Professional Development of Early Years Educators (TACTYC) and the British Educational Research Association (BERA) joined forces for the project, co-led by University of Winchester lecturer Dr Jane Payler, which culminated in the publication of new specialist policy advice documents.

More than 50 academics and leading early years professionals shared research findings during seminars and consultative groups, beginning at the University of Winchester in 2013.

“Our aim throughout was to enhance the quality of provision for young children from birth to six years so that their learning, wellbeing and confidence can grow,” said Dr Jane Payler, project co-leader, Chair of TACTYC and Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education at the University of Winchester. “Armed with the results of rigorous research, we are now able to offer strategic suggestions to those developing policies and election manifestos.”

Dr Payler and co-leader of the project, Professor Elizabeth Wood BERA Early Childhood SIG convenor, called on contributions from a wide group of academics and leaders in early years to look at six themes.

“Our key areas were professionalism – early years as a career; parents and families; play and pedagogy; learning, development and curriculum; assessment, transitions and school readiness; and broader policy issues,” added Dr Payler. “We intend to offer the final documents to those who need them most – the leaders shaping the UK’s education and early years policies of the future. We also hope they will be valuable resources for students, practitioners and scholars.”

The documents, Early Years: Policy advice and future research agendas, are published via the BERA and TACTYC websites.

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