The Centre for Research in Early Childhood (REaCH) works to raise the visibility and status of research in Early Childhood education and care through playful relationships, interdisciplinary collaboration, and by influencing policy.

Early years and childhood are significant periods in human life and in human society. The ways in which children and young people develop relationships and identities, and how they participate within global contexts is both defined by and influences culture and society. Education is a key aspect of current culture and society and plays a large role in the lives of children and young people. It is argued that one of the roles of education should be to empower children and young people to become active participants in the transformation of their societies. The learning children and young people engage in should focus on values, attitudes and behaviours which enable people to live together in an increasingly diverse society. In the early years of education this means ensuring children form secure attachments and engage in playful learning to provide them with a secure base from which they can begin to make sense of their worlds.

The Centre for Research in Early Childhood builds on a long tradition of critical inquiry into these important periods, and uses innovative and rigorous approaches to make insightful contributions and meaningful impact within the fields. We adopt a cross-disciplinary approach to investigate philosophies, histories, policies, pedagogies and practices in early years education and youth studies, and conduct interdisciplinary explorations of the construction of childhood. We draw on a diverse range of expertise to develop our existing research themes and interest in social justice, children and young people’s voices, well-being and self-regulation, and play. We also raise the profile of less prominent areas of study which have direct relevance to children’s present and future lives.

The centre aims to:

Raise visibility

Raise the visibility and status of research in the fields of Early Childhood through rigorous, interdisciplinary and collaborative projects across national and transnational contexts.


Contribute new knowledge to the existing body of theory and practice within the fields of REaCH.


Disseminate findings from research through conferences, open access journals, and quality academic and professional publications.


Impact on policy and practice on Early Childhood in a range of settings.

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