Researching Early Childhood Policy and Practice. A Critical Ecology


  • Mathias Urban

Mathias Urban,University of East London, Cass School of Education and Communities, Stratford Campus, Water Lane, London E15 4LZ, UK,,


This article examines the renewed interest in early childhood education and care in European politics, and the implications for research in changing policy contexts. Based on the policy analysis, it argues for a radical reconceptualisation of how, with and for whom, and to what end we design, conduct and interpret research in early childhood in present-day Europe. The article argues that the role of research in these contexts is much more than that of a provider of data and information that underpin evidence-based policies. Instead, as part of a critical ecology of research, practice and policy, it is an inherently political practice.