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Early Years Library

Read more about our work with the Early Intervention Foundation to create the Early Years Library, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Why did we do this research?

UK evidence consistently shows that high-quality early childhood education can have a significant impact on children’s outcomes. Despite this, ensuring the delivery of high-quality services among the variety of providers in the UK remains a significant challenge.

Working with the Early Intervention Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation, PEDAL researcher Professor Sara Baker  helped to develop the Early Years Library – a set of free resources designed to help early childhood education practitioners support young children’s development of essential skills.

How did we do it? 

To develop the Library, the team examined the content of 22 early childhood education programmes for children aged 2-5 years old that have robust evidence of having a positive outcome on children’s numeracy, literacy, cognitive and social-emotional outcomes.

This research used an innovative common elements approach to identify the core components of evidence-based programmes that demonstrate good practice. These common elements represent practices, routines, strategies and behaviours that can be integrated into practitioners’ daily interactions with children to positively support their development.

Using these common elements, and in consultation with an expert panel of 15 early years practitioners and a group of early years stakeholders, the team created the Library. It consists of 14 booklets containing practical guidance for practitioners, across three key areas:


  • language & early literacy
  • numeracy
  • social & emotional skills


Each booklet provides practical information about what the target skills are, why they are important, and the common practices and instructional methods used across evidence-based manuals to develop these skills.


You can access the Early Years Library, and find out more about how it was developed, using the links below.

Early Years Library

Read more about the Early Years Library and our latest project to create a toolkit of resources to support its use.

Early Years Library

You can access and download the full Early Years Library here.