Early Years

Our research in early childhood education and care provides insights into the factors that influence a child’s wellbeing and development during these important years

Research, commentary, and events

  • A group of six multi-ethic children, 3-4 years old, standing in the park together, laughing and shouting, photo by kali9/Getty Images


    The Five Common Myths About Inclusive Education

    23 Jun 2020

    Rising levels of social inequality and diversity in Europe have made social inclusion a priority for the European Union. However, it remains a challenge to ensure access to quality early childhood education and care for all children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • Little girl pointing to world globe, photo by Konstantin Postumitenko/Adobee Stock


    Case studies examine ECE interventions at scale

    27 May 2020

    Researchers are developing case studies on ‘what works’ in operating early childhood education at scale, ensuring they are systematically captured, assessed and available for other governments, practitioners and foundations to use.

  • Preschool teacher and student in classroom


    Developing the OECD TALIS Starting Strong Survey

    12 Dec 2019

    RAND Europe led the development of a survey for the OECD which aimed to fill key international and national data gaps on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) staff, their professional development, pedagogical practices, the ECEC environment and the impact that staff can have on children in their care.

  • Preschool children making art with their teacher, photo by damircudic/Getty Images


    Early childhood services across EU member states still fall short

    10 Oct 2019

    Large differences exist between EU countries in access to early child education and the quality of child care. Bridging the gap would require more efforts at the EU and national levels to guarantee that each child has access to services that will have lasting effects on their development.

  • Business people talking at group meeting, photo by Igor Mojzes/Adobe Stock


    Evaluating language skills outcomes in Group Triple P

    12 Apr 2019

    Triple P, the Positive Parenting Program, offers individual and group interventions. Researchers are evaluating how the group interventions influence language skills in children whose parents are randomly assigned to the intervention.

  • Children reading in a park


    Evaluating the impact of a program to promote early childhood development

    20 Nov 2018

    RAND Europe is undertaking a three-year independent evaluation of the impact of a philanthropic ECD programme in France. Researchers will assess the extent to which the programme-level objectives have been achieved, and understand how and why they were achieved.

  • A multi-ethnic group of five preschool children holding hands, running down a hallway in the school building


    The Potential for Early Years Programmes to Close the Disadvantage Gap Is Under-Examined

    12 Oct 2018

    Many schools are looking to close the disadvantage gap in their communities, but they need more evidence about what actually works. Research that helps policymakers and practitioners understand how early years interventions can promote equity and close the disadvantage gap is needed.

  • Teacher and children in school


    How Early Childhood Education and Care Can Help to Tackle the Impact of Childhood Disadvantage

    20 Aug 2018

    Disadvantaged children underperform educationally partly because on average they experience more risk factors. Interventions to address multiple causes of underperformance for disadvantaged children may have a better chance of success. The calibre of early childhood education and care professionals also likely matters.

  • Female teacher with a multiracial group of preschool children, sitting around a table and playing a game


    Teaching, pedagogy and practice in early years childcare

    08 Aug 2018

    Disadvantaged children in England are more likely to fall behind academically, so researchers identified the knowledge gaps concerning effective early years practice. As most of the available data comes from the US, more UK research is needed.

  • Preschool children and teachers


    In Britain's Approach to Free Child Care, Lessons for the U.S.

    27 Oct 2017

    If public school in America is free for kindergarten through high school, why not extend the same guarantee for the earliest years, when the potential impact is greatest? The United States can learn from Britain's experience in this area.

  • A teacher conducts a German lesson for children of a welcome class for immigrants from Syria, Egypt, and South Korea at the Katharina-Heinroth primary school in Berlin, Germany, September 11, 2015


    Why Being a Migrant Is Not the Biggest Barrier to Education in Europe

    31 Oct 2016

    Migrant students tend to have lower performance and are more likely to leave school early. But factors other than migrant status, such as language barriers, can explain these differences.

  • Young German girl plays alone


    Are the Effects of the Economic Crisis Still Impacting Children in Europe?

    17 Feb 2016

    If EU member states do not invest in early childhood education and care now, negative long-term effects may follow in future years. Unfortunately, it might be the case that the fallout of the economic crisis is blocking some of the investments that need to be made.