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

  • Nursery children playing with teacher in the classroom, photo by Teddy at rawpixel.com/Adobe Stock


    Understanding policy and practice to promote early childhood development in France

    A range of formal childcare options are available in France, but provision and use are far from universal. Additionally, despite a growing emphasis on holistic early childhood development in the first three years, preschool priorities follow a different trajectory.

    08 Sep 2022

  • Tool

    An overview of five case studies in the field of early childhood development

    This Lessons Map is a matrix that describes common themes and elements across five case studies for achieving impact at scale in the field of early childhood development, despite the different contexts of the case studies.

    07 Apr 2022

  • Group Of Elementary Age Schoolchildren In Music Class With Instruments


    European Platform for Investing in Children identifies 'practices that work' across member states

    Reflecting the European Commission’s policy focus on children at risk, EPIC evaluates and disseminates practices that improve outcomes. RAND Europe's latest EPIC policy memo examines juggling work and childcare during the pandemic.

    29 Dec 2021

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


    Case studies examine early childhood development interventions at scale

    Researchers developed case studies on ‘what works’ in early childhood development at scale in the Netherlands, Israel, Peru, and Brazil. They ensured that efforts were systematically captured, assessed and available for other governments, practitioners and foundations to use.

    23 Dec 2021

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


    Evaluating language skills outcomes in Group Triple P

    Triple P, the Positive Parenting Program, offers individual and group interventions in early years settings. Nursery staff and parents perceived a reduction in problem behaviours and a modest improvement in children’s language ability because of parent participation.

    27 Jul 2021

  • 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

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

    23 Jun 2020

  • Preschool teacher and student in classroom


    Developing the OECD TALIS Starting Strong Survey

    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.

    12 Dec 2019

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


    Early childhood services across EU member states still fall short

    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.

    10 Oct 2019

  • Children reading in a park


    Evaluating the impact of a program to promote early childhood development

    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.

    20 Nov 2018

  • 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

    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.

    12 Oct 2018

  • Teacher and children in school


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

    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.

    20 Aug 2018

  • 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

    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.

    08 Aug 2018

  • Preschool children and teachers


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

    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.

    27 Oct 2017

  • 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

    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.

    31 Oct 2016

  • Young German girl plays alone


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

    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.

    17 Feb 2016