Latest News

  • Birth to Five Matters is launched 


    Following six months of consultation and input from across the early years sector, the Early Years Coalition ( last night launched Birth to 5 Matters. The materials include a core document ava..

  • Developing a qualified workforce – the ongoing success of the CME:EC 


    As the Certificate for Music Educators: Early Childhood course reaches its fifth year, there is much to celebrate! Firstly huge congratulations to the following students who are now qualified as Early Childhood Music Edu..

  • Easter Holidays Closure Notice 


    Firstly, as we pass the 12 month anniversary since the UK first went into lockdown, we would like to applaud all our students for the way in which they have balanced the competing pressures of professional, personal and academic life d..

  • A Workforce in Crisis: Saving our Early Years 


    A new report on the crisis in the early years workforce has revealed that without immediate intervention, the sector is at risk of becoming unsustainable. Produced by the Early Years Workforce Commission, a steering group made up..

  • My PhD Journey - Sharon Colilles 


    In this featured post, Sharon Colilles recalls her thoughts and experiences from when she first embarked on her journey, through looking back at challenges and many revisions, until her recent completion late last year. When Maggie (CREC) as..

  • COVID messages for children 0-5 


    We're delighted to be working alongside Birmingham Early Years Networks (BEYN) to support Birmingham City Council's Public Health division to share and amplify important COVID-19 information to families with children 0-5. We have created a curate..

  • Help us find the Famly Children’s Champion 2020 


    Today sees the launch of Famly Children’s Champion Award 2020 ( . In partnership with CREC and other EY organisations, this new award aims to raise the profile and celebrate unsung early years heroes and, through nomi..

  • Christmas Closure Notice 


    Our dear friends, colleagues and wider CREC community It has been an incredible year; although it has brought a lot of challenges and change, we are proud of how our small team have met those head-on. Thank you to a..

  • Birth to 5 Matters – feedback from CREC’s consultation event 


    A couple of weeks ago, CREC Learning Circle hosted a consultation event which was an opportunity to hear about the Birth to Five Matters project initial survey results from the project lead, Nancy Stewart and contribute to the work of the Early Y..

  • Survey to inform the new Birth to Five Matters EYFS Guidance launched 


    Together with the other sector organisations in the Early Years Coalition, we urge practitioners to have their say about the new Birth to Five Matters Guidance. Today sees the launch of an online survey (htt..

  • COVID-19 Update - Master's at CREC 


    We have been working hard over the past few months to set up our offices and training rooms ready for the new academic year, ensuring that the environment is COVID secure but retains that welcoming and nurturing feel that we’..

  • New academic year at CREC: Message from Directors 


    Dear CREC Students and Colleagues, These last months have given all of us personal and professional challenges that have demanded extraordinary reserves of energy, creativeness, resilience and compassion as we have navigated life d..

  • Statement on the new non-statutory guidance for the EYFS 


    As part of the Early Years Sector Coalition of 13 organisations representing the diverse early years sector, we are disappointed with the new non-statutory curriculum guidance, Development Matters (DfE, 2020). Please read t..

  • Early Years Workforce Review: A joint statement by Prof. Chris Pascal and Prof. Tony Bertram 


    Today sees the launch of the Early Years Workforce Review (, a new report from the Sutton Trust ( and the Centre for Research in Earl..

  • Talking about Ethnic Identity 


    In this guest post, Sharon Colilles (, early years advisor, academic and researcher, explores ideas for developing a space in curriculum frameworks that support children's ethnic identity and invites dialog on ..

  • Being Two Going on Three: A Year of Excitement and Wonder 


    Helen Moylett, lead tutor on our Leading Learning with Two-year-olds MA Pathway, explains a bit about what it means to be two and sheds some light on the importance of this pivotal stage in a child's development. Being Two Going on Three..

  • Music to our ears: Our successful CME:EC course is full 


    We are delighted to announce that our Certificate for Music Educators: Early Childhood (/cert-music-ed-early-childhood) course has reached capacity bookings for the 2020/2021 cohort. The Certificate for Music Educators (CME): Early C..

  • CREC to lead new research project capturing the COVID-19 experiences of young children 


    CREC are delighted to announce that, with the kind support of research grant funding from the Froebel Trust , we will be leading a research project to capture and better understand the experiences and perspectives of young children (aged 2-4) l..

  • COVID-19 Impact: Early Years Research Round-up 


    This week has seen a large number of reports, briefing notes, and campaigns launched to highlight the devastating impact that the coronavirus has had specifically on the Early Years sector in England. This is based upon research un..

  • COVID-19 Impact on the Early Years - Sutton Trust Report 


    Last night, The Sutton Trust published their latest coronavirus impact brief on the early years (, co-authored by CREC Directors Prof. Chris Pascal and Prof. Tony Bertram, al..

  • Play and Language in Transition – Helen Moylett and Nancy Stewart  


    Following the success of our recent Hybrid Pedagogy webinar, we will be holding a second special Virtual Learning Circle event on Wednesday 8th July ( This FREE online event will be hosted vi..

  • Hybrid Pedagogy: From Blogpost to Webinar – the discussion goes on  


    Back in December 2019 (, we wrote a blog about ‘Hybrid Pedagogy’ which has garnered a lot of interest from around the world. In summary Prof Chris Pascal summar..

  • CREC: A Unique Learning Environment 


    During the past few weeks, members of the CREC team have been variously working to support local authorities and individual schools as they look to welcome more children back, safely and supportively, over the coming weeks and months. ..

  • Black Lives Matter: A Statement of Support and Solidarity 


    The world these past weeks has been shocked by the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, USA and the overbearing force and violence used against protesters angry at his death and at the response of the establishment, but also at decades, i..

  • CREC COVID-19 update: 10 weeks on  


    Like all organisations and individuals, we have been facing COVID-related challenges. But 10 weeks on, we continue to work for and with our partners, colleagues and students in this new odd reality and here's an overview of our recent activities...

  • Resources to Support Child Wellbeing During COVID-19 


    The COVID-19 virus is having a huge impact on every one of us, impinging dramatically on all aspects of our lives. Our youngest children will be struggling to make sense of the way this extraordinary life event has changed their dai..

  • Directors' message for CREC students and tutors 


    Dear CREC students, tutors and friends, We hope you are all well and safe during these incredibly challenging times. We are well aware that our work, which is at the heart of children and family services, is demanding from us un..

  • Upcoming Teacher Training Events 


    We have reached our capacity for the teacher training starting in September 2020. Applications for SCITT, 2021-22 will open in October 2020. We are holding our next Virtual One-to-ones on 12 October 202..

  • CREC Events – COVID-19 Update 


    Despite currently being unable to host in-person meetings and events at our office and training base in Birmingham, CREC remains open, operational and fully committed to enabling a robust learning and teaching environment for our current ..

  • COVID-19 Updates 


    -Monday 30 November- In light of the latest Government rules for tiers and guidance on continued home based working where possible, and because we know how important a safe environment to learn and interact with you..

  • Early Years Should Be Included in the Refreshed NPME 


    You may have seen that the Department for Education (DfE) has released a call for evidence consultation on Music Education to inform their planned refresh of the National Plan for Music Education (NPME). What you may not know, is that the cur..

  • Considering the Value of a 'Hybrid Pedagogy' for the EYFS 


    Chris Pascal and Tony Bertram in Dialogue with Julie Fisher In a recent fascinating email dialogue with Julie Fisher, she asked us to clarify what we meant by the term ‘Hybrid Pedagogy’, which we refer to in our recent literature rev..

  • Children at the Heart - An Open Letter to Party Leaders 


    We are joining 140+ organisations in a call to all political parties to put children and young people at the heart of this General Election. Our open letter, which you can read in full below, calls on all political leaders to set..

  • Spaces of the Imagination for Early Years – Developing Creativity to Broaden the Curriculum 


    Making and thinking with materials: how can you foster creativity and critical thinking with 0 - 5 year olds though art experiences to ensure progression? How can you link exploration of materials to ..

  • A Highly Qualified Workforce? Issues in Professional Development for the Early Years Sector 


    Following discussion at recent CREC Board of Trustees meetings, the Trustees ( would like to share with you this paper which highlights the current challenges and workforce issues impacting on the EY sector. At ..

  • Early Years Music Project comes to Birmingham: Birmingham Early Years Music Consortium (BEYMC) 


    Young children and families set to benefit from exciting music project for Early Years educators and musicians Birmingham Forward Steps and a group of consortium partners has been awarded £149, 000 by Youth Music Charity to support mus..

  • Attend one of our SCITT events this Autumn 


    Early years are crucial for learning and development and impact on lifelong learning, behaviour and wellbeing. Would you like to help guide and shape lives of our children? By joining our primary SCITT programme with an..

  • OPPORTUNITY: ‘Moonbeams’ Early Years Development Coordinator 


    'Moonbeams' Early Years Development Coordinator Role We're looking for someone/an organisation to coordinate and project manage the development of the ‘Moonbeams’ early years and arts programme through a unique partnership between..

  • Creativity and the Arts in Early Childhood Education 


    Debi Keyte-Hartland, joint lead tutor of our Creativity and the Arts in Early Childhood MA pathway, explores our understanding of creativity in the early years and how we, as practitioners, can effect change in ways that will nurture the creativi..

  • FREE SCITT Taster Event - July 2019 


    If you are thinking about kick-starting an exciting new career in teaching then we have just the event for you! On Thursday 11th July 2019, we'll be hosting a FREE taster event at our teaching base in central Birmingham to offer all those in..

  • The First Five Years - Physical Activity in Early Childhood 


    Pete Sturgess, lead tutor of our Physical Activity in Early Childhood MA Pathway (, looks at why positive early childhood experiences of physical activity, sport and exercise are so importan..

  • Funded places available for BME and/or male teachers - Aspirant Leaders Programme 2019/20 


    Please note enrolment for this course and the funded places opportunity are now closed. If you are interested in running this course for your organisation, please contact us (/contact-us) to discuss this. If you are interested in st..

  • The Unique and Hidden Value of Birmingham's Maintained Nursery Schools 


    In partnership with Birmingham’s 27 Maintained Nursery Schools, we have produced an in-depth report which captures the range of additional activities and vital services the Maintained Nursery Schools in our city offer to children and families, ab..

  • Scouts Early Years Project 


    We're delighted to announce that we're working with the Scouts to help them explore their early years provision. We'll be helping them research, pilot, and evaluate different models of reaching young children under the age of 6. You ma..

  • ​Enrol on one of our Early Years MA modules starting September 2019 


    Join one of our part-time postgraduate courses to enhance your career prospects and improve outcomes for children. With only 5-7 face-to-face days where attendance is required, our modules can be fitted around a busy, full-time working life ..

  • Happy New Year - Directors' Message 2019 


    As many of you return to work this week after the Christmas break, CREC directors, Dr Chris Pascal and Dr Tony Bertram, share their New Year's message for the CREC family... Dear CREC Friends and Colleagues, As 2019 begins w..

  • FREE SCITT Taster Event - January 2019 


    If you are thinking about kick-starting an exciting new career in teaching in 2019 then we have just the event for you! On Thursday 17th January 2019, we'll be hosting a FREE taster event at our teaching base in central Birmingham to off..

  • NYMAZ Bursary Launched for CME:EC Course 


    NYMAZ have launched a new bursary for their Early Years Music Network members who wish to undertake our Level 4 Certificate for Music Educators (CME): Early Childhood! NYMAZ ( are offering a very limited number of b..

  • Bold Beginnings: Discussions with HMI's at CREC 


    The Birmingham Branch of Early Education will be hosting a free event at CREC next week to discuss the Bold Beginnings document. HMI Lorna Fitzjon, Regional Director, and Alex Magloire, Senior HMI Early Years, both from Ofsted, will be in ..

  • Call for Contributions ― NPQICL Graduates 


    ( Many of you will be all too aware of the loss of children’s centres across the country and the severe financial constraints faced by those that continue to operate, sta..

  • Learning Circle Reflections: Bridging Home, School and Community - March 2018 


    This month's Learning Circle Reflections were compiled by Kathryn Peckham. Learning Circle Reflections: Bridging Home, School and Community - 14.03.2018 This was another fantastic session that tonight had us looking at ideas arou..

  • CREC Awarded British Academy Grant Funding for New Research Project 


    Prof Chris Pascal, CREC Director has been awarded grant funding by the British Academy ( to support some exciting new research. The project aims to consider how disadvantaged young children and ..

  • ECSDN Event: International Early Learning and Child Well-Being Study (IELS) 


    CREC directors, Professor Chris Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram, are to attend an event next week that will examine the forthcoming OECD International Early Learning and Child Well-Being Study (IELS). Set up by the Early Childhood Studi..

  • Moodle Access - MA Students 


    If you are a current CREC student enrolled on one of our MA modules, you must now use BCU's Moodle platform to submit assignments and access relevant materials and module resources. In order for us to enrol you onto your MA module on the sys..

  • CREC office closure over the Christmas period 


    In celebration of the holiday season, CREC office will be closed 23rd December - 2nd January 2018. From all the team here at CREC, we wish our friends, colleagues and students a very Merry Christmas and we look forward to seeing you and worki..

  • Looking at the Evidence for Play and Participation 


    Creativity and Critical Thinking are central to an effective early years curriculum and pedagogy, argue CREC Directors, Professor Chris Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram, on the Nursery World blog (

  • Our response to Ofsted paper: Bold Beginnings 


    CREC have serious misgivings about the content of Ofsted’s Bold Beginnings paper (published 29/11/17). We note that this paper ignores and contradicts other recent Ofsted papers which highlight the benefits of a play-based pedagogy and a..

  • CREC Christmas Jumper Day 2017 for Save the Children 


    We will once again be taking part in Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day this December! On Thursday 14th December everyone in the CREC office (including our trainee teachers on the SCITT programme and members of the Learning Circle..

  • What does a Teacher Trainee need to Succeed? Advice from a SCITT Student Mentor 


    In the latest of our SCITT blog series, one of our SCITT student mentors shares what she thinks a trainee teacher needs to succeed in their training and become a successful, confident early years or primary teacher! How..

  • Learning Circle Reflections - Data Analysis and Management, November 2017 


    Learning Circle Reflections 16.11.17 – Data Management and Analysis We were a dozen ladies round the table at this Learning Circle, with Chris [Pascal] first sharing with us the positive experiences she and Tony [Bertram] had at their..

  • We’re hiring! Conference and Events Officer – Maternity cover 


    We are recruiting for an energetic, enthusiastic individual to join our team. This is an excellent opportunity for a passionate and creative events and marketing professional who wishes to expand their portfolio of events by taking charge of man..

  • Learning Circle Reflections - October 2017 


    OLearning Circle Reflections - October 2017 Learning Circle - September 2017 This month's session on 10th October focused on Informed Consent. Huge thanks to Linda Shaw for supplying the notes below. Obtaining Informed Consen..



    Pre-registration is now open for anyone interested in studying towards becoming a qualified teacher from September 2018. Enter your details ( to receive notifications of all crucial teacher..

  • Chris Pascal Opens New Goodway Nursery School Building in Great Barr 


    Yesterday, CREC Director, Chris Pascal, had the honour of overseeing the official opening of the brand new Goodway Nursery School building in Great Barr. Goodway Nursery School is a long-standing local authority maintained nursery s..

  • Learning Circle Reflections - May 2017 


    The May 2017 instalment of Learning Circle Reflections comes from Helen Lyndon: Elisabetta Biffi joined us from Italy to share her research; her visit was part of an Erasmus exchange organised through Ioanna Palaiologou. There are further n..

  • Praise for the CREC Early Years Partnership Teacher Training Programme 


    As we near the end of another academic year, our current cohort of SCITT students have been reflecting on their teacher training journey and have begun to look to the future, graduation, and the start of their NQT year in September. We tho..

  • Learning Circle Reflections - April 2017 


    The April 'Learning Circle Reflections' come from Donna Gaywood. This month's session on 26th April focused Children's Rights and was led by Alison Moore and Aline Cole-Albäck. During this session, we were able to look ..

  • #studywithCREC - Learning Outdoors Module Returns 


    We're delighted to announce that our popular Learning Outdoors in Early Childhood MA module is back from this September! The renewed module will be led by Kathryn Peckham who shares some of her thoughts on the importance of Outdoor Learning be..

  • Learning Circle Reflections - March 2017 


    The March 'Learning Circle Reflections' come from Faye Stanley. This month's Learning Circle on March 23rd focussed on preparing for a PhD viva (defending your doctoral thesis). Doctor Jenny Worsley from Wolverhampton University offered..

  • How to Get Your First Teaching Job: Advice from CREC's Successful Teacher Trainees 


    Find out what it takes to secure your first teaching job from two of our trainees that have done just that, before they've even completed their teacher training! Clair Sammons, CREC SCITT Trainee, 2016/17 ..

  • Learning Circle Reflections - February 2017  


    This pre-BECERA ( session, held on 16th February, was run by Faye Stanley. The February 'Learning Circle Reflections' come from Aline Cole-Albäck ( In preparation for the BECER..

  • CREC joins forces with Scalechemy to run EEL and BEEL for more settings  


    Scalchemy Training and Development ( are working in partnership with CREC to offer more settings the opportunity to undertake the Effective Early Learning (EEL) and/or Baby Effective Early Learning (BEEL) ..

  • Action to 'Save Our Nursery Schools' must intensify! 


    Newspapers and websites across the UK have been reporting on the imminent threat to our nation's maintained nursery schools for the last few months: The Sun - 22/09/16: Hundreds of nurseries to shut if Government’s free childcare plans go ah..

  • Cheers to 21 Years! 


    Next week the team at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood are celebrating 21 years of raising the quality of early childhood education and care through research, training and consultancy. To mark such a wonderful occasion, we’re reun..

  • Train to become a teacher with CREC Early Years Partnership 


    Recruitment for all the teacher training courses starting in September 2017 is well underway and we’re thrilled to have already received a lot of interest in our school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT). Why study with us? Ou..

  • Becoming a teacher - a personal perspective 


    If I had to sum up my experience of the programme, I would say it was very much hands-on. Being in placement each week allowed me to build connections between theory and practice, and develop a better understanding of the profession. A w..

  • Learning Circle Reflections - December 2016 


    The session on Informant Groups, held on 13th December, was run by Paola Pedrelli. The December instalment of 'Learning Circle Reflections' comes from Aline Cole-Albäck ( "At tonight’s Learning Circle..

  • BECERA Advent of Play 


    This December, to highlight the upcoming BECERA conference ( on the topic of Play, we created a special advent calendar to highlight and celebrate the importance of play in early childhood. Everyday in the run up to..

  • Connecting All Children to High-Quality ECE: Promising Strategies From the International Community 


    Commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ( (RWJF), American Institutes for Research ( (AIR) approached our directors, Professor Chris Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram to ga..

  • We're taking part in Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day!! 


    We've just signed up to Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day! On Thursday 15th December everyone in the CREC office (including our trainee teachers on the SCITT programme) will be donning their favourite festive knitwear ..

  • School Direct Teacher Training with CREC - Trainee Blog 


    Onkar, one of our wonderful trainee teachers enrolled on the School Centred Initial Teacher Training course at CREC (, shares his experience since starting his training in September 2016... Before..

  • ​Help Us Save Our State Funded Nursery Schools! 


    We NEED YOUR HELP! The government is proposing drastic funding cuts for all state run Nursery Schools ( across th..

  • BECERA 2017 - Call for Papers NOW OPEN 


    The 'Call for Papers' for the BECERA 2017 conference is now open! All interested parties are invited to submit an abstract ( in line with this year's theme: PLAY-BASED PEDAGOGY: (http://www.becera...

  • Leadership Development Programme - Funded Places for BME and/or Male Teachers 


    We are pleased to announce that the Teachers Leadership Development Programme that we ran last November, in partnership with the Birmingham Nursery Schools Teaching Schools Alliance, will be running again in January 2017. The DfE is once aga..

  • Learning Circle Reflections - October 2016 


    The second Learning Circle meeting of 2016/17 was last Thursday and we were delighted to welcome some new members to the group. This month's meeting focused on 'Publishing Platforms' and we heard from a number of Learning Circle members about..

  • MERYC England (formerly MERYC-UK) awarded charitable status - confirms CREC as headquarters 


    Music Educators and Researchers of Young Children (MERYC) UK (, now MERYC England, has recently been awarded charitable status (

  • Learning Circle Reflections - September 2016 


    The new academic year is upon us which can only mean one thing... The CREC Learning Circle ( is back! The first meeting of 2016/17 took place last week and it was great to see everyone again after, what w..

  • CEYP SCITT 2017/18 Pre-Registration Now Open 


    The CREC Early Years Partnership School Centred Initial Teacher Training Programme for 2017/18 is now open for pre-registration. If you would like to express your interest in enrolling on our SCITT programme in the school year 2017..

  • CREC & HAWWC Boys on the Early Years Podcast 


    CREC directors, Chris Pascal and Tony Bertram, joined the folks at the Early Years Podcast ( last month to talk about the HAWWC Boys Research Project (h..

  • #studywithCREC - Multilingualism in the early years 


    We continue our exploration of the exciting new MA modules at CREC ( , with this piece from Rose Drury. Rose will be heading up the Leading Multilingual Settings module and has a wealth of experience studyin..

  • Cardiff settings embed CREC EEL Programme to improve practice 


    Multiple Cardiff settings to embed Effective Early Learning (EEL) Programme to improve practice Last month we had the pleasure of hosting an EEL training session for a group of dedicated practitioners from Cardiff. We were approached by ..

  • #studywithCREC - Leading Literacy and Phonics 


    The third instalment of our #studywithCREC series comes from Sally Teare, who will be delivering the new Leading Literacy and Phonics MA module, starting in September 2016. Year 1 Phonics Screening Check - What does it really test and how use..

  • Embrace Euro 2016 with these Early Years Resources 


    Well, it's been a week since the Euro's kicked off in France and with England currently sitting top of their group there's no sign of 'Football Fever' dying down any time soon! But far from being a distraction for the kids in your class, Euro..

  • EYN Partnership: Panel of Experts - Chris Pascal 


    The Early Years Nutrition (EYN) Partnership ( has been established as an independent social enterprise with the ambition that every child in England aged under five will have access to expert nutrition support within their ea..

  • #studywithCREC - Digital Technology in the Early Years 


    To highlight some of the exciting new MA modules on offer at CREC (, we've asked a few of our fantastic tutors to tell us a little bit more about the modules they'll be teaching to help you decide whether you..

  • GCSE Requirements for Level 3 EYE's - Our View 


    CREC’s view is that the best early years system, which has the highest outcomes for children, is one which supports and develops a highly qualified workforce. There has been much discussion recently about GCSE Maths and English requirements ..

  • IEA ECES Early Childhood Policies and Systems in Eight Countries 


    Since 2013 CREC has been working with the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) on an international study on early childhood education (ECES). The first ECES report (Early Childhood Policies and Systems in E..

  • All Party Parliamentary Group on Nursery Schools and Nursery Classes 


    The next APPG meeting on Nursery Schools and Nursery Classes has been booked for Tuesday 17th May at Westminster! We received the following invitation from the secretariat: Dear Colleagues and friends, There has been an enormous flur..

  • Educational Excellence Everywhere – White Paper Response 


    As I’m sure many of you will have already seen, today the Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan has presented the white paper – ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’. The paper sets out the government’s plans ..

  • Tune Into Listening - Nicola Burke 


    Tune into Listening was a Mac Makes Music ( yearlong action research project involving Hillfields Children’s Centre in Coventry and Allens Croft Children’s Centre in Birmingham. Early Childhood..

  • BECERA 2016 Round-Up 


    Well it's been just over a week since the BECERA Conference wrapped for another year and we're just about coming down from a jam-packed day of early years conversations and lively debate! We would like to extend our thanks, once again, to ou..

  • Recruitment for 2016/17 SCITT Now Closed 


    Please note that recruitment for our 2016/17 SCITT course has now closed. This is due to the fact that we have filled our quota of available places. The scheduled open evenings that were advertised for Monday 29th February & Thursday 17th Ma..



    Having had feedback from quite a number of regular BECERA attendees regarding the increasing difficulties of attending conferences due to finance and work commitments, we have for this year only, decided to condense the programme into one intensive d..

  • How can we use recorded music effectively in Early childhood settings? 


    Ex-CREC MA Student and Early Childhood Music Specialist, Nicola Burke, has led a yearlong piece of research into auditory environments in early childhood settings and the use of recorded music (CD’s, MP3 players). The overarching question h..

  • CREC Office Closed for Christmas 


    The CREC office will be closed over the Christmas period from Wednesday 23rd December and will re-open on Monday 4th January 2016. From all the team here at CREC, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas and we look forward to seeing C..

  • What makes a powerful outdoor environment for young children? 


    Learning through Landscapes and CREC present: What makes a powerful outdoor environment for young children? This high-level course, which will run in April 2016, is a special development day to enhance and extend your current qualific..

  • Birmingham Nursery Schools Teaching School Leadership Development Programme 


    Are you a male or BME teacher working in the early years in Birmingham or Solihull? Interested in a free, fully accredited leadership programme to develop your career? We are currently accepting applications for a new Leadership Devel..

  • Enabling Environments: Outdoors - In full swing 


    Sue Duglan, an MA student who studied Physical Development at CREC, has had her action research project featured in Nursery World this month. The project helped to develop a nursery garden to better provide open-ended opportunities for learni..

  • EEL & BEEL Training Featured 


    This week our EEL & BEEL training has been featured on the Astec Solutions blog, where they discuss it's value for early years settings. The folks from Astec Solutions attended our two-day training earlier this year and have been busy..

  • High Achieving White Working Class (HAWWC) Boys Project Update 


    The HAWWC project aims to addresses the policy of how we might enhance the educational achievement of young, white working class boys to close the gap in their attainment on entry to compulsory schooling, improve access to the free early educatio..

  • 2016/17 SCITT Open Evening 


    The CREC Early Years Partnership will be holding an Open Evening on Thursday 15th October, 4.00-6.00pm. This is a great opportunity to find out more about the Early Years Teacher Training on offer for 2016/17, ask questions and meet s..

  • CREC Post-election Statement 


    Read CREC's Post-Election Statement here (

  • Early Education Open letters asks for Quality not Quantity in Early Years 


    In an Open Letter from Early Education yesterday, Early Years experts including CREC Co-Director Tony Bertram (Early Education President) ask for Quality not Quantity in Early Years. You can read the letter here (

  • CREC wins DfE Grant 


    We are pleased to have been awarded a grant for £97,00 by the Department for Education to undertake a national 12 month project to identify how the achievement levels of white working class boys can be improved. At the end of the proje..

  • Leading Localities Training - 21st April 


    21st April 2015 Centre for Research in Early Childhood, St Thomas Children’s Centre, Birmingham, B15 2AF 9.30. – 3.30 Leading Localities – challenges and chances This day will be facilitated by Mike Gasper an..

  • CREC EYP Open Evening 


    The CREC Early Years Partnership will be holding a second Open Evening on Monday 9th March, 4.00-5.30pm. This is a great opportunity to find out more about the Early Years Teacher Training on offer, ask questions and meet some of the ..

  • EEL/BEEL Training - Book your place! 


    Are you an Early Years practitioner who wants to become a practitioner researcher in your own setting? You can now book your place on the next EEL/ BEEL Training, being held at CREC on 3rd & 4th March 2015. For more ..

  • BECERA Abstract Book online 


    You can now view the BECERA Conference book online (here ( to view the timetable of the conference and read abstracts in order to decide which presentations you would like to..

  • Early Years Teacher Training Open Evening 


    The CREC Early Years Partnership will be holding an opening evening on Tuesday 27th January, 4.00-5.30pm. Come along to find out more about the Early Years Teacher Training Programme on offer. This will be held at the St. Thomas Centre N..

  • CREC office closed for Christmas 


    The CREC Office will close over the Christmas period from Christmas Eve until Monday 5th January 2015. We look forward to seeing CREC friends and colleagues in the New Year. Merry Christmas to everyone!..

  • BECERA 2015 Conference 


    The BECERA 2015 Conference will be held at MAC Birmingham on 17th & 18th February 2015 Conference theme: We are now accepting papers for presentation at the conference - the deadline is 31st December 2015. Yo..

  • CREC Early Years Partnership SCITT launched 


    CREC are delighted to announce that St Thomas Centre Nursery has gained DfE accreditation to be a School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) provider and that from September 2015 up to 50 Teacher Trainees will be able to gain Qualified Teach..

  • Integrated early years services must go back to the top of the agenda 


    Press release taken from: Wednesday, 5 November, 2014 A literature review by leading early years experts has found that curren..



    National Centre for Research Methods is organising the 6th ESRC Research Methods Festival, once again at the St Catherine's College in Oxford. The Festival offers a varied programme ( with over 50 sessions a..

  • Joint response to Michael Wilshaw's letter to Early Years Inspectors 


    Last week (20th March 2014) Sir Michael Wilshaw issued a letter to Early Years Inspectors. The content of this letter was of concern to many in the sector, so CREC, Early Education, and TACTYC have issued the following joint response . ..

  • Pre-order Chris Pascal's & Mine Conkbayir's book  


    Having a good grasp of theories of child development and what these look like in practice, can make a positive difference to how you understand babies and children and the ways in which they learn. This guide offers easy access to a wide range of..

  • Win copy of Jan White's book 


    We are running a competition on twitter. All you need to do is follow us and tweet an original photo about learning outdoors using the hashtags: #janwhite and #learningoutdoors. Jan is one of the MA in Education (Early Years) tutors at CREC...

  • ESRC day was a success 


    The 'Participatory Research Methods in Early Childhood' seminar, part of the Festival of Social Science was a success. The group met in Birmingham and the session was led by Professor Chris Pascal, Director of The Centre for Research in Earl..

  • What makes for great early years education? New study seeks to find out 


    This week sees the launch of an exciting new partnership project for the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) working together with NFER and IEA in Hamburg to develop the ‘Early Childhood Education Study (ECES)’ – an impor..

  • FREE event on Participatory Research Methods  


    CREC and the ESRC co-organised an event on participatory Research Methods in Early Childhood, part of the Festival of Social Sciences. This is a seminar for Early Years Practitioner Researchers who want to learn more about participatory resea..

  • CREC is looking to recruit a Communications & Events Officer 


    CREC is looking to recruit a Communications & Events Officer. The role is full-time and permanent. Some of the duties include: Responsibility for organisation of CREC conferences and training events throughout the year including..

  • Two new fully funded PhD students join CREC 


    CREC in Birmingham (Charitable Trust) is pleased to announce that it has selected two new students who they will support to complete a PhD in conjunction with University of Wolverhampton. The Board of Trustees have selected to fund Menna God..

  • CREC partners with NFER and IEA in major research project 


    The IEA International Early Childhood Education Study (ECES) ( is a new comparative research program of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The purpose of ECES is..

  • The Importance of Physical Development 


    From sitting up on their own to throwing a ball, children gradually develop the physical skills needed for their adult lives. Physical development includes both growth and the ability to use muscles and body parts for particular skills...

  • Why aren't children playing outdoors?  


    A recent report ( by Play England, Play Wales, Play Scotland and Play Board Northern Ireland, found that more than 50% of adults played out at least seven times a week when growing up, compared to less..

  • Comparisons of International Childcare Systems 


    The Department for Education commissioned CREC to produce ‘Comparisons of International Childcare Systems’ drawing on data gathered from an earlier study for the Economist Intelligence Unit entitled ‘Starting Strong: Benchmarking early education ..

  • Ofsted commissions CREC to conduct research 


    In late 2012, CREC was commissioned by Ofsted to evaluate the available evidence (published within the past 10 years) on what Early Years interventions made a proven difference in closing the gap in educational attainment caused by socio-economic..

  • Two PhD places up for grabs! 


    With the support of the University of Wolverhampton, CREC in Birmingham is very excited to announce that we will be funding two more PhD's, following the success of our latest intake . In view of supporting the development of outstanding r..

  • 'Shaking the foundations of quality' 


    Professor Cathy Nutbrown's reflection on the relationship between the final report of the Nutbrown Review and current policy proposals can be downloaded here ( ----- ..

  • 'Different but equal' 


    Following an interesting roundtable discussion led by three UK universities at the recent BECERA conference, Professor Denise Hevey from The University of Northampton has put together a statement in response to the EY Teacher proposal in More Gre..

  • Action Research Day Conference at CREC 


    Over the past few years there has been a massive growth in the number of Children’s Centres which are being operated on a ‘cluster’ or ‘locality’ basis with one leader having responsibility for several multi-agency t..

  • CREC in Birmingham launches PhD bursary 


    We are pleased to announce that CREC in Birmingham Charitable Trust (Reg. No. 1121861) is launching a PhD bursary in the field of Early Years Education. Have a look at this fantastic new opportunity to study at CREC for a full-time PhD or MPhil w..

  • St Thomas Children's Centre responds well to demographic changes  


    Europe is constantly changing and evolving and these developments happen at every level - local, regional, national & European. In the EU the main trends in demographic change include an aging population, low birth rates, changing family and..

  • Our own Professor Chris Pascal wins Lifetime Award 


    CREC's Director Professor Chris Pascal has won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Nursery World Awards 2012. Chris has had an impressive career so far and although the award recognized the achievements to date, Chris says that she certainly h..

  • EECERA Conference in Porto 


    Have you been to the 22nd EECERA Confreence in Porto, Portugal? The theme of the conference was 'Pre-bith to three: identitiies, learning, diversities' and the CREC Directors Professor Tony Bertram & Professor Chris Pascal have del..

  • CREC has new office intern  


    Meet Alice Bennett Currently studying Psychology at The University of Lancaster, Alice Bennett is now on work experience with us for 6 weeks. Alice wants to work as a clinical psychologist or in human resources. Her favourite sport is..

  • Starting Well report - CREC involved in research about preschool in 45 countries 


    CREC has been part of the research programme Starting Well: Benchmarking early education across the world. The report which ranks the preschool environments in 45 countries was commisioned by the Lieu Foundation and managed by the Economis..

  • Ann Gross & Karen Pearson at CREC 


    Ann Gross, Director of Early Years, Extended Services and Special Needs Group, Department for Education & Karen Pearson, Head of Early Years & Service Integration, Directorate of Children, Young People & Families, Birmingham City Coun..

  • CREC re-awarded NPQICL contract for 2012/2013 


    We are pleased to announce that the National College has awarded the CREC consortium the contract to deliver the NPQICL programme in the West Midlands again in 2012/13. The National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leade..

  • CREC Directors provide professional development in Dubai 


    Professors Chris Pascal & Tony Bertram have visited Dubai in June to provide professional development for early years teachers at Little GEMS International. Little GEMS International pre-schools are part of GEMS Education, the world&rsquo..

  • From Inquiry to Impact - Understanding is not enough  


    The University of Wolverhampton is organising its annual research conference on 21st June 2012. This free event at the School of Education Futures, will feature various presentations covering all areas of education delivered by the University's r..

  • Learn more about the NPQH- FREE event at CREC 


    You are invited to attend a FREE information evening at CREC about the NPQH. The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is for aspiring headteachers and principals. You should be highly motivated to become a he..

  • Children & Nature 


    A recent report commisioned by the National Trust, concluded that today's generation of children are out of touch with nature. The report, entitled 'Natural Childhood' by TV producer Stephen Moss, asks parents and grandparents to help reconne..

  • Evaluation & Improvement with EEL and BEEL  


    Last week, Nursery World magazine has published an article about Quality Assurance, where the CREC programmes EEL and BEEL got a great review. EEL and BEEL, developed by Professor Chris Pascal, Professor Tony Bertram and Maureen Saunders (Pro..

  • CREC welcomes new trustee Helen Moylett 


    The Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) welcomes Helen Moylett as a trustee. Helen is an independent early years consultant, trainer and writer. She has been a primary, nursery and home school liaison teacher, a local authority senior ..

  • Learning Outdoors in Early Childhood Module at CREC from September 


    Why does being outdoors matter so much for young children? What does really effective and satisfying outdoor play look like? How can practitioners be supported to provide inspirational learning in the outdoors? Learning outdoors in early chi..

  • CREC hosts visit from the Department of Education 


    David Fitzgerald, Deputy Director, Early Education and Childcare Division at the Department for Education and his colleague, Sophie Faber, who has a particular interest in the 2-year-old pilot initiative visited CREC and St Thomas Children's Ce..

  • Ready for School, Ready for Life!  


    CREC's own Professor Chris Pascal was one of the keynotes in the 'Inspection and Regulation in Early Years' Conference on 18th January 2012 Chris questioned: - How can children be best supported in early learning at different ages? - ..

  • Interesting themes at the BECERA Conference  


    The 2nd BECERA Conference is only a month away and the team is working hard to put together a programme that delegates will enjoy. Following last years success, BECERA prides itself in giving a space to all practitioners to discuss current early ..

  • Only a few spaces left for our January Outcomes training 


    Evidencing Outcomes & Measuring Impact 2 day Training Would you like clear, practical guidance and support on how to measure and demonstrate the effectiveness of your services? Look no further! CREC offers an excellent, bespoke 2 da..

  • Margaret M Clark OBE at the University of Wolverhampton 


    An invitation to an open seminar discussion Tuesday 29th of November 6pm to 7.30pm University of Wolverhampton, School of Education, Walsall Campus, Gorway Road, Walsall, WS1 3BD in room WN002 Margar..

  • Government launches the Early Education and Childcare Consultation 


    The Government has launched the Early Education and Childcare Consultation, which reflects commitments made in July's policy reform statement 'Supporting Families in the Foundation Years'. One of the key aims of this work is the extension of free..

  • CREC Directors on why Practitioner Research is so important  


    Practitioner Research is, as the name suggests, research carried out by practitioners, but importantly it is ‘for the purpose o f advancing their own practice’ (McLeod 1999). It is about those involved in the delivery of a service not j..

  • A 'one stop shop' for all EY professionals 


    Data is now available to all Early Years Professionals on the Foundations Years website, a project led by 4Children and the Early Years Strategic Partnership. The website 'offers professionals who work in the foundation years a 'one stop sh..

  • BECERA Conference Call for Papers 


    The 2nd BECERA Conference is taking place at the Midlands Arts Centre (mac), Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham on 15th & 16th February 2012. You can now submit your proposal and book a place online. To read the call for papers click..

  • Dr Susan Young leads Early Years Music Module at CREC 


    Dr Susan Young from the University of Exeter leads the bespoke Early Years Music Module at CREC. This module is part of the Post Graduate Study Pathway at CREC that allows Early Years Practitioners to gain Post Graduate accreditation whilst worki..

  • University funded bursaries 


    The University of Wolverhampton is planning to invest £1.2M in MPhil/PhD bursaries over the next three years. These bursaries will be invested strategically in areas of research. The University’s aim is to match the very best students..

  • Foundation Years Publications - Department for Education 


    The Department for Education and the Department of Health have published a package setting out the Government’s vision for the foundation years. The foundation years are critically important for children and their families, and these publicatio..

  • Congratulations to our NPQICL students 


    All of us at CREC would like to congratulate the NPQICL students. Here is the end of year video CREC has created! ..

  • BECERA conference is going ahead in 2012 


    The BECERA conference, hosted by the Centre for Research in Early Childhood in February 2011 is going ahead in 2012. BECERA is an independent self-funding organisation run by the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) which has ..

  • Prof Chris Pascal on 'Enhancing Young Children's Play and Thinking Skills'  


    Enhancing Young Children’s Play and Thinking Skills Conference National Conference - Aberystwyth University Campus Friday 01.07.2011 Professor Chris Pascal from CREC is one of the keynote speakers at the 'Enhancing Young Children's Pla..

  • Spaces left for our 'Equality, Diversity & Inclusive Practice' training - Book Now! 


    According to the British Council, the UK's diversity is 'a great asset and part of the fabric of life, but it also brings challenges and recently has given rise to discussion of issues around multiculturalism, immigration and national identity'. ..

  • Some of our training dates have changed 


    Please note that the following training dates have changed: Evidencing Outcomes & Measuring Impact cohort 3: Previously 29/09 and 01/11 now 12/10 and 10/11. Leadership & Management day 2: The Skills and Competencies of Effective Lea..

  • CREC Learning Circle Programme 


    Learning Circle The CREC learning circle is a ‘community of practice’ (Wenger 2002). Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better by interacting regularly. Ov..

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