Early Years Employment Research Hub


The Early Years Employment (EYE) Research Hub is based at Leeds University Business School. The hub is a membership-based consortium made up of actors with an interest in early years education and care, including policymakers, providers and professional associations, and researchers.

The aim of the EYE Hub is to support the development of research and evidence-based policy and tackle the workforce challenges faced in this area through connecting and proactively developing long-term partnerships between sectoral actors from a wide range of perspectives.

The Hub intends to bring those actors into conversation and create opportunities for coordination and collaboration on research into early years employment and to provide networks and resources.


  • Connect EY actors with researchers and relevant EY workforce research
  • Provide members with access to state-of-the-art data and data analysis
  • Support and provide research and consultancy
  • Share information
  • Facilitate knowledge exchange through events such as webinars and conferences, and publicising affiliate events

Core principles

  • Cross-sectoral collaboration and cooperation
  • Robust research which upholds high ethical standards
  • Evidence-based policy development.

Key bodies

The EYE Research hub is made up of two key bodies – a Steering Committee, which oversees its activities, and a Research Network for research dissemination and knowledge exchange, with a website to publicise and share its activities.

EYE Steering Committee

This is a small, decision-making consortium comprised of key sector and policy actors and academics, which can be drawn upon for:

  • advice and co-production on research bids
  • peer-review
  • dissemination of research to sectoral constituencies
  • joint submissions (e.g. parliamentary inquiries, etc)

The board will meet at least twice a year. Once in-person in London with a hybrid option, and once online. The focus will be on discussing priorities for EY workforce scholarship and the content would be timed to facilitate discussion of submissions to, e.g. Spending Reviews, or other important calls for evidence.

Research network

If you would like to join the broader research network, please get in touch with Professor Kate Hardy (k.r.hardy@leeds.ac.uk).

Current research projects

Founding members of the EYE Hub are currently undertaking a research project into workforce issues, working conditions, and recruitment and retention in the early years sector.

We have surveys for staff and managers, in which you can also sign up for paid participation in interviews and focus groups.

Survey for managers

Survey for staff

Related research projects

Childcare during Covid, funded by the ESRC/UKRI.


The EYE Research Hub is a sponsor of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Early Education and Childcare.

Publications and outputs



Visit the EYE Research Hub.