Early Childhood Hub

Welcome to the Early Childhood Hub

The Early Childhood Hub hosts content by and for early childhood education practitioners, with a focus on pedagogy and practice in early childhood education. You’ll find articles and case studies on a range of topics linked to pedagogy, professional learning and child development, plus interviews with expert practitioners, articles from our Research Hub and from our journal, Impact, plus links to resources from across the early childhood education community.

So the Early Childhood Hub is a really brilliant development for the Chartered College of Teaching. It

means that we can provide resources, information, research summaries, articles that are all about

children aged naught to seven. It means that we can enable practitioners working with our youngest

children to really see the evidence of what makes a difference in early years settings.

What makes a difference in terms of working one-to-one with a small child. What kinds of things when you

observe them, what do they mean? What can you learn about how children learn? And how really to

provide the best possible starting points for our children.

So I think the Early Childhood hub is a phenomenal move forward for the Chartered College of Teaching.

And I’m very excited about it. So our Early Childhood Hub is available on our new member website. it’s

available to all our members. But We’re also really hoping to have new members who will join us to

access these resources.

So this may be colleagues who are working in a child-minding situation, or who are working in PVI

settings. We’re really keen to share knowledge about how our youngest children learn, because this is the

start of everything else. And if we get it right in early years, everything else follows, of course. So I would

say early years practitioners are probably the most important people in terms of education. Everything

follows on from early years.

So I believe this hub is really important for early years practitioners because it’s a way of giving them

access to professional learning. That can be quite sporadic, particularly in PVI settings. So having online

provision is one way forward we believe.

We’re including video footage, for example. We’re including case studies. We’re including articles about

theories related to early years practice, so that we can help the busy practitioner, but hopefully pique their

interest, so that they want to read more, so that they want to find out more, because of course, it’s really

important that we understand children’s behaviour, we understand why they do what they do, in order that

we can scaffold their learning and help them to develop further. We really want to make this a rich,

diverse resource for as many colleagues as possible.

So one of the real skills of working with very young children is to observe them closely, and then to really

sort of be clued into, what is it that the child is thinking? What are they engaging with? What’s intriguing

them? And being able to watch and then take the next steps in terms of their learning based on what

you’re seeing through the interactions that’s taking place or the activity that’s taking place or the

behaviours that are taking place that the children are exhibiting.

So I’m very much… I’m very keen that this suite of resources will enable colleagues to do the same thing,

that they will start off in one place reading about something or watching a video about a particular child or

group of children doing something, and then think, “Oh, that’s really interesting. I wonder if I can see more

about how this works.”

We’re very keen to provide an opportunity for early years colleagues to develop and build on their

curiosity about how children learn, because this is something that is an endless pursuit of really trying to

understand the motivation of the child, understand what they’re trying to say to us, or what they’re doing in

a particular environment, and how to move them on and develop their thinking further with the next

activities or the next story or whatever it may be.

We’re never going to know all the answers. So the more that we delve in, the more that we understand

through things like close observation of children’s play. What is it that’s going on? What is it that children

are theorising? What is it that they’re doing when they’re interacting? What are the things that are really

important to them that we can sort of clue into when we’re working with them to really make the


That’s the skill of being an early years educator, it’s really being in tune with the child or the group of

children, and being able to tap into what’s fascinating them at the moment, and how can I extend their

thinking? How can I extend their language?

How can I develop the ideas or take them on to something else that’s connected to this, and give them

another experience that they will also enjoy? There’s a real art to working with young children, and

understanding young children. And I very much hope that this suite of resources will help people on that

journey to develop their understanding.

So We’re hugely grateful for the Montessori Institute for helping us to establish the Early Childhood Hub.

And the first phase of that is literally we’ve kind of gathered all the resources that we could find that we’ve

already published, or that we’ve already got on our website, and drawn them all together into one place.

We’ve also established an advisory group, and we’ve also put out a call for papers, a call for resources,

so that we can build, develop, strengthen all of those resources that are currently there. And We’re looking

hopefully to launch in some time towards the end of May to really give an opportunity for colleagues to

see what was on the site, and then see how much more there will be there.

And it’s my fervent hope that this will be a place that will continue to develop and grow. And over time, we

hope to be able to work with early years educators to enable them to gain Chartered Status. The early

years community is already a very strong community. And we are very, very keen to work with colleagues

across that sector.

Certainly, the Chartered College is not… we don’t presuppose that we are the hero of the hour in pulling

together all of the research, but we do think that actually because it’s a non-political space, it’s a space

where colleagues can communicate with each other around earliest principles and practice, that actually

this is a really important development in addition to everything else that happens in early years.

So how can people get involved? Well, of course, we have a wide range of early years practitioners who

are already members who work in our school settings, who are eminently well placed to contribute

resources in terms of articles, think pieces, case studies, and so on.

We also want to go beyond that, though. We want to include. We want to be as inclusive as we can be,

so that to include other colleagues who will be working with very young children. Even if they’re only

working with them in a setting of perhaps three children that they’re working with. That relationship that

they have with those three children will be formative for those children during those early years.

So we want to work with childminders, PVI settings, we’re very keen to hear from early years academics.

We’re keen to hear from teachers who work in early years settings. Maybe school leaders who are

passionate about the foundation stage in their school.

it’s really about gathering together as much knowledge and expertise as we can. And at the heart of the

mission of the Chartered College of Teaching is all about, how do we build that connection? How do we

create that bridge between theory and practice?

Essentially, I guess what I’m saying is that theory that doesn’t relate to how somebody can interact with

children is probably not as useful as theory that is genuinely about, what can we do differently? What can

we do to learn, understand, really reflect on practice? Theory and practice going in harness together is

really at the heart of what we’re about. And we’re very keen to hear from as many colleagues as possible.

If you’re passionate about young children’s learning, we want to hear from you.

We invite you to submit an expression of interest in contributing an article to the Early Childhood Hub on topic areas that are not already covered. We are particularly interested in hearing from colleagues in private, voluntary and independent settings.