This page provides a combined list of the resources linked from each section within Birth to 5 Matters.

Promoting voice and inclusion

The UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals – these cite the importance of children’s voices: “…we need to inspire hope across all sections of society, especially among young people, letting them know that their voices will be heard, their experiences will be acknowledged and their ideas will be anchored in the policymaking process.” (p. xvii)

What children’s perspectives tell us about inclusion – a free OpenLearn course from the Open University

A brief history of children’s rights, Aline Cole-Albäck (PDF)

Summary – United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Index for Inclusion: developing learning and participation in schools, Tony Booth and Mel Ainscow, Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE), 2002.


Palikara, O., Castro, S., Gaona, C., & Eirinaki, V. (2018, April). Capturing the voices of children in the Education Health and Care plans: are we there yet? In Frontiers in Education (Vol. 3, p. 24). Frontiers.

Parsons, S., Ivil, K., Kovshoff, H. & Karakosta, E. (2020) ‘Seeing is believing’: exploring the perspectives of young autistic children through Digital Stories. Journal of Early Childhood Research.

Save the Children – children’s voices (blogs from children)

Unicef – Every Child’s Right to be Heard: a resource guide on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child General Comment no.12, Gerison Lansdown

National Voices – My life, my support, my choice: a narrative for person-centred co-ordinated care and support for children and young people with complex lives. National Voices and Think Local Act Personal


DCSF (2009) Learning, Playing and Interacting, National Strategies guidance document

Whitebread, D., Basilio, M., Kuvalja, M. and Verma, M. (The Importance of Play, report on the value of play and policy recommendations

Stages in pretend play, course handout from York Preschool Speech and Language Program

Yogman,, M. Garner, A., Hutchinson, J., Hirsh-Pasek, K. and Michnick Golinkoff, R. (2018) The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children, Pediatrics, 2018 Sep:142

Digital Futures Commission (2020) Panorama of Play literature review,

Gauntlett, D., Ackermann, E., Whitebread, D., Wolbers, T. and Weckstrom, C. (nd) The future of play: Defining the role and value of play in the 21st century, Lego Learning Institute

The role of play in any early years setting, Harvard Center on the Developing Child, video

Schemas, pdf handout

Killen, R. (nd) Building the Foundation for Lifelong Learning: An Exploration into the Development of Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities through Play, project dissertation, St Mary’s University College Belfast

Goldstein, J. (2012) Play in Children’s Development, Health and Well-being, Toy Industries of Europe report

Caring for under 3’s … Play , EYFS guidance, 2007

Messy Play, EYFS guidance, 2007

Playing and Exploring, EYFS guidance, 2007


Resources for Infant Educators (RIE) – website of the RIE Alliance – a network of infant-toddler professionals based in the US

Article: Infant caregiving: How to be responsive, in Texas Child Care Quarterly, Spring 2016 (no author named)

Pikler resources:

Quality improvement and leadership

DfES (2005) Key Elements of Effective Practice (Primary National Strategies),

Babies’ Effective Early Learning (BEEL) – resources on the website of the Centre for Research in Early Childhood

Leuven scale of children’s well-being and involvement – article by Ferre Laevers, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven / Centre for Experiential Education (PDF) (undated)

DCSF (2008) Early Years Quality Improvement Support Programme

Ofsted (2008) Early Years Leading to Excellence

Ofsted (2013) Getting it right first time

DCSF (2010) Challenging Practice to Further Improve Learning, Playing and Interacting National Strategies guidance document


High Quality Transitionsextended article based on the Birth to 5 Matters section on transitions

Transitions case studies – additional material for the Birth to 5 Matters guidance

All about…transitions EYFS guidance, 2007

Child Development

Child development overview – document adapted for Birth to 5 Matters from Principles into
, EYFS 2007

Attachment toolkitBooklet 2 – Attachment in practice – developed as part of the Professional Love in Early Childhood Education and Care project 

The effects of poverty, Child Poverty Action Group, webpage (nd)

Early child development | Inequality: the IFS Deaton Review, webpage (nd)

Funds of knowledge:

Identity and belonging, Aistear Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (nd)

Gauntlett, D., Ackermann, E., Whitebread, D., Wolbers, T. and Weckstrom, C. (nd) The future of play: Defining the role and value of play in the 21st century, Lego Learning Institute

Harvard Centre on the Developing Child – many guides, videos, research reports, e.g.:


Developing Young Children’s Self-regulation through Everyday Experiences – article from National Association for the Education of Young Children

Scaffolding self-regulated learning – Early Learning Consultancy PDF

In Brief: Executive Function, Skills for Life and Learning – video from the Harvard Center on the Developing Child

How adults and children can build core capabilities for life – video from the Harvard Center on the Developing Child

The MEHRIT Self-regulation resource library for parents and practitioners including:

Checklist of Independent Learning Development (CHILD 3-5) – Cambridge University Faculty of Education

De la Riva, S (2015) Effect of Self-Regulating Behaviour on Young Children’s Academic Success 

Self-regulation Strategies, EEF Early Years Toolkit

Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence, Harvard CDC

Characteristics of Effective Learning

Rationale for Characteristics of Effective Learning, Tickell report

Case studies – Characteristics of Effective Learning — what is a child doing, what is the adult role? Birth to 5 Matters document (PDF)

Developing Essential Skills:  Supporting self-regulation in 3-4 year olds Early Years (Sutton Trust 2019)

Bristol Characteristics of Effective Learning document Bristol City Council

Leuven scales Well-being and Involvement in Care Settings. A Process-oriented Self-evaluation Instrument – Research Centre for Experiential Education Leuven University – PDF from Emotionally Healthy Schools

Prof Ferre Laevers keynote, EY Scotland (video)

Learning is learnable – and we ought to teach it, Guy Claxton

The “Soft,” “Non-Cognitive” Skills are Hard, Cognitive and Critical – blog by Rick Ackerley

Belonging, Being & Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia ‘Confident and involved learners’ (PDF)

Understanding Motivation: Building the Brain Architecture That Supports Learning, Health, and Community Participation Harvard CDC

Learning to Learn and Civic Competences paper by Bryony Hoskins and Ruth Deakin Crick, JRC Scientific & Technical Reports (PDF)

Center for Self-Determination Theory: 

Curiosityby Pete Moorhouse

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed + Key Takeaways From Dweck’s Book by Courtney E. Ackerman (blog)

Growth praise – Early Learning Consultancy (PDF)

What are habits of mind? Art Costa video

Habits of Mind website, James Anderson

Don’t help this child, Janet Lansbury video and blog

Building student grit, Blog, Susan Ruckdschel

Persistence is important – some messages from researchHelen Moylett

Developing young children’s creativity: what can we learn from research?, NFER

Examining possibility thinking in action in early years settings

12 tips to raise a competent child

Mindsets – self-theories

Finding and Exploring Young Children’s Fascinations

Play and Self-regulation in Young ChildrenDavid Whitebread

The power of play – an evidence base

Learning, Playing and Interacting

Experiments and Encounters: examples of Characteristics of Effective Learning in action from Sightlines Initiative:

Teaching self-control

Scaffolding self-regulated learning

Executive function: Resources from Harvard Centre on the Developing Child:

Predictors of early growth in academic achievement: the head-toes-knees-shoulders task

Self-Regulation and Academic Measures Across the Early Elementary School Grades: Examining Longitudinal and Bidirectional Associations

How do different aspects of self-regulation predict successful adaptation to school?

Preschool attention span-persistence and age 25 educational outcomes

Inclusive practice and equalities



The Council for Disabled Children has a huge range of resources to support parents and practitioners, as well as signposts to other organisations.

The Early Support website offers a range of resources for practitioners working in the early years.

The Early Support Developmental Journal can help to plan goals appropriate to needs.

Early Support: Developmental Journal for Children with Multiple Needs offers specific support for children who have Profound and Multiple Learning Needs.

The SEND Gateway is an online portal developed by Nasen, offering education professionals free, easy access to high quality information, resources and training for meeting the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The Autism Education Trust has a range of free-to-download resources as part of their modular training programme for professionals in all early years settings. This includes an Autism progression framework linked to the EYFS as well as a set of standards to enable setting to evaluate their own provision.

Autism Transitions: This website is a collaboration between The University of Southampton and Aviary Nursery, Eastleigh, funded by the Froebel Trust.

Inclusion Development Programme: Supporting children on the autism spectrum: Guidance for practitioners in the Early Years Foundation Stage

The Makaton website offers free resources in the Makaton Library. You need to create a free account to access the Library. Topics covered by the free downloads include:

  • Vocabulary
  • Songs and stories
  • Activities and games
  • Reports and guides
  • the opportunity to sign up for sign of the week.

The National Deaf Children’s Society  provides a range of resources for all education professionals working in the early years on deaf friendly teaching and supporting deaf children in the early years. This includes guidance on recognising the signs of hearing loss and helping families of deaf children and those that support them to observe, monitor and record the progress their child makes. Practitioners can also find advice on simple steps that can be taken to improve the listening environment in nurseries, schools, and other education settings.  

The Downs Syndrome Association provides information about children with Downs syndrome for practitioners in early years settings as well as signposting to help with Education Health and Care Plans and Legal issues.

I CAN is the children’s communication charity. Their website offers free downloads that provide information and advice to support any speech, language and communication needs. This includes guidance written by speech and language therapists about what to look for at different stages of language development.

Local resources:

Look out for resources on your Local Offer Website; here you should be able to find information to support for parents but also services and resources for practitioners in general and SENCOs. Many websites enable you to navigate to a lot of local resources in one place, such as:

Surrey local offer A combination of information for parents about processes (such as Education Health and Care Plans) and where to access help at different stages of these processes.

Children’s Health Surrey, another local website that brings together helpful advice sheets, therapy resources and information linked to Speech and language therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy.

Bristol City Council: Differentiated Early Years Outcomes is a resource developed to allow practitioners to show progress within EYFS for children who have additional needs and disabilities.




Building Futures: Developing trust. A focus on provision for children from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller backgrounds in the Early Years Foundation Stage

Parents as partners

Case study: Parent partnership at Harrington Nursery School

Partnership with parents in Steiner-Waldorf settings 

The Impact of Parental Engagement on Learner Success 

Parents as Partners – Effective Practice

Attachment and the role of the key person

Attachment theory

Case study:

The key person approach at Guildford Nursery School

My day at nursery school

Quality framework for under 3’s – International Step by Step Association

Young Children Develop in an Environment of Relationships, Report from National Centre on the Developing Child

Supporting development and learning

Learning, Playing and Interacting

Supporting Learning

Finding and Exploring Young Children’s Fascinations

Wondering and Imagining – a commentary, Adventuring in Early Childhood Education, Sightlines

The Life of an Idea, Refocus Journal article

Learning environments

Case studies: Learning environments in varied contexts

Going out to play and learn leaflet

Treasure baskets, Community Playthings 

Loose parts Early education journal Summer 2017

Ideas on how to engage childrenall babies, toddlers and young children from birth to the en… More in physical active play

Communication Friendly Spaces

Creative woodwork


Froebel principles, practice and resources

Out to Play – creating outdoor play experiences for children: practical guidance

Sightlines materials

UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity

A Good Place to be Two, Community Playthings

Cultural diversity in the early years , Community Playthings

The wider context

The wider context

Rethinking Childhood, Tim Gill website

UN Sustainable Development Goals         

Sustainable Development Goals – Resources for educators

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

APSE toolkit: An analytical framework for evaluating museum spaces for children and families

Early Years Network Resource Kit

Observation, assessment and planning

Explaining the OAP cycle

Observing, recognising and responding to children’s funds of knowledge and interests 

Using the observe-plan-cycle to co-construct the curriculum with children

Professional reflective practice

Case study: Involving other professionals

Case study: Using OAP as quality improvement

Examples of OAP process:

OAP seen in case studies on Characteristics of Effective Learning

A Celebratory Approach to SEND Assessment in the Early Years

Observing Children’s Development Part 1, Early Education Journal  

Observing Children’s Development Part 2, Early Education Journal

Reflecting on the reflective cycle, Sightlines article

The role and responsibility of documentation, Andrea Sully, Sightlines

Teaching and Play in the Early Years – A balancing act? Ofsted

A Know-how Guide: the EYFS progress check at age 2

Creating the Picture

Progress Matters

Realising the Ambitionnational practice guidance for early years in Scotland

Te WhārikiNew Zealand early years practice guidance

Overview of Characteristics of Effective Learning and Areas of Learning and Development

Rationale for Characteristics of Effective Learning, Tickell Review

Rationale for Prime and Specific Areas of Learning and Development, Tickell Review

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Zero to Three website

Educaring, Resources for Infant Educators

Pikler website

BBC Tiny Happy People

Communication and Language

‘Serve and return’ interaction, video from Harvard Centre on the Developing Child

Case studies of practice

Series of identifiable stages

Importance of the early years, video

Supporting Speech and Language fact sheetThe Communications Trust

Speech sounds fact sheet

Early Communication and Language – Listen to my idea!Nancy Stewart, book chapter

Parents’ resourcesThe Communication Trust

Playful interactions, videos and activities – BBC Tiny Happy People

Activities and support materials – Words for Life. org

Musical Development Matters in the Early Years (MDM): A free downloadable guidance written to support the development of music practice and provision in settings

Musical Development Matters (MDM): free online resource to accompany the MDM guidance: videos, questions for reflection, research, information and downloadable resources

Songs, rhymes and finger play pamphlet, Froebel

Evidence Briefing – How can our responses to babies’ gestures help with their language development?

Evidence Briefing – Quantity vs. Quality of child-directed speech: what matters most?

Evidence Briefing – How does shared book reading help boost child language development?

Closing the word gap, article

English as an additional language

Guidance: Brown’s Stages of Syntactic and Morphological Development

Talking with parents about children’s SCL Needs, video

Makaton information, resources and guidance

Physical Development

Short list

Long list

Expressive Arts and Design

Musical Development Matters in the Early Years (MDM): A free downloadable guidance written to support the development of music practice and provision in settings

Musical Development Matters (MDM): free online resource to accompany the MDM guidance: videos, questions for reflection, research, information and downloadable resources

Sound Communities: free online resource exploring music and communication, including videos, resources and information

Soundwaves Network: a collection of musically focused case studies

Music in Early Childhood, Early Education Journal

Podcast with artist practitioners

Theory-led piece on children’s use of materials, Blog Post

Intelligent Materials: Agency and Ethics, article by Debi Keyte-Hartland

Thoughtful planning-strategies to liberate innovative and collaborative learning, article by Louise Lowings

Are you dancing? Are you asking? The duet between the body as a material and the environment, article by Peppy Hills

We Think Everywhere, website on an Erasmus funded project looking atCreative and Expressive uses of Digital media and technology with young children

Makerspaces in the early years: Enhancing digital literacy and creativity (MakEY)

“I have lots of ideas, so many ideas you wouldn’t even think of”: thinking conversations in a nursery school, article by Louise Lowings  

Creative Representation: the child’s unique response to experience, Kathy Ring

Creative Woodwork in Early Childhood

Exploring Clay, Frobel Booklet

100 Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach Film     Poem

Articles from Refocus Journal:

The sounds of leaping – exploring relationships between music and movement

The energy and conviviality of imagination – exploring and developing ideas through dance and music 

Understanding the World

Mirrors Windows and Doors online magazine

EYFS Science for Starters

Laying the Foundations (STEM)

Fostering curiosity in the early years

Tree tools for schools

Summary of evidence on value of nature to development , Dose of Nature

Notes from Prof Tina Bruce to support and encourage children, families, practitioners and carers to engage with nature and understand the natural world

What do Five-Year-Olds Know of the World? Geographical Understanding and Play in Young Children’s Early Learning

Creativity in Science and Mathematics Education for Young ChildrenExecutive Summary

Digital technologies and the early years, National Literacy Trust videos

Makerspaces in the early years: Enhancing digital literacy and creativity (MakEY)

Documentary films BBC iPlayer, David Attenborough


Birth to 5 Matters resource sets:

Symbolic play

Supporting creativity and enjoyment with literacy

Literacy in the community

Early reading

Early writing

Being a writer at age 2  – video

Mark Making Matters

Making books with children


Learning Trajectories, mathematics birth to 8 (USA)

Graphical signs and representations Children’s Mathematical Graphics: Understanding the Key Concept, article by Elisabeth Carruthers and Maulfry Worthington

Shape and space, The Importance of Shape and Space in the Early Years, article by Dr Sue Gifford

Early Childhood Mathematics Group pedagogy statement

Number and quantity Mathematics in the Early Years: What Matters?, article by Dr Helen J Williams

Solving mathematical problems Mathematical Problem Solving in the Early Years: Developing Opportunities, Strategies and Confidence, article by Dr Sue Gifford

Family maths, Everyday Family Math: Supporting Children’s early math learning with fun, everyday activities!, videos

‘Building Firm Foundations’ documents for three age bandsB-2s, 3-5s & 5-7s from Early Childhood Mathematics Group

Mathematical moments, examples of practice from birth to 5, Early Childhood Mathematics Group

Boosting children’s confidence in maths Parents fear (math) no more!, blog with tips for parents, Development and Research in Early Math Education

Early mathematics: a guide for improving teaching and learning , New Zealand government publication

Seeking patterns, Developing Pattern Awareness with Young Children, article by Dr Sue Gifford

Building on mathematical ideas and pretend play, Open Mathematics, open minds, article by Dr Elizabeth Carruthers

Erikson Early Maths Collective (USA), resources, professional development modules

Development and Research in Early Maths (DREME) (USA) , resources for teachers and parents, blogs, professional development modules

Count with me (UK), leaflets with tips for parents from Surrey County Council

Children Thinking Mathematically (UK), National Strategies EYFS guidance

Mark Making Matters (UK), National Strategies EYFS guidance

Early Years Maths , (UK) materials to support reception teachers from National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics

NRICH (UK) EYFS homepage of project aimed at enriching mathematical experiences

Mastery in Mathematics in the Early Years , East Midlands West Maths Hub

How children develop mathematical thinking (UK) , National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics podcast

Using manipulatives in the foundations of arithmetic (UK) Nuffield research and resources for teachers