early years Research

CREC is an international player in the early years research arena.

The CREC research community is active, dynamic and operates for young children and families in the very real world of policy and practice. It aims to inform, develop and improve the quality of early childhood provision.

We have been undertaking national and international, large and small-scale research for more than 20 years and have a clear objective to generate knowledge which has applications for early years policy and/or practice.

We are always open to receiving research enquiries and discussing collaborations.

Contact us today to discuss your early childhood research needs  


We have a strong reputation for undertaking reviews, reports, evaluations and consultancy work with many UK local authorities, NGOs and countries, including Birmingham, Gloucestershire, QCDA , OECD , the British Council , Portugal, Qatar and South Australia. 

For the UK Government, CREC delivered the four year  National Evaluation of the Early Excellence programme , a study of Black, Minority Ethnic communities’ take-up of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services and a smaller study on Food and Nutrition with the Schools Food Trust (now the Children's Food Trust).

The output of this research is made available through reports, journal articles and books; a selection of which can be found below:

Recent Early Years Publications & Current Research:


Cross-National Early Years Projects:


Early Years Research and Evaluation Work:

  • Starting Well: Benchmarking early education across the world
  • The National College ‘Leading at the Edge’ project (2011)
  • School Food Trust, ‘Qualitative Evaluation of Impact of School FEAST Network’ (2011)
  • Birmingham City Council, ‘Evaluation into the Impact of Under 2’s Buddying Programme across the City’ (2011)
  • NHS South West region: ‘Evidence from Childminder Focus Groups on Promotion of Healthy Living in Home-Based Childcare South West Region’ (2011)
  • Parkfields Children’s Centre, ‘Report on the Review of Parklands Nursery & Children’s Centre’ (2011)
  • School Food Trust, ‘Evidence for Early Years Food & Nutrition Focus Groups’ (2010) which fed into a report by the DfE commissioned Advisory Panel on Food & Nutrition in the Early Years
  • Torbay County Council, ‘Evaluation of Children’s Centre provision across Torbay’ (2010)


2018-19 MA enrolment poster