Early Career Teachers: core resources

The Early Career Framework has been designed by the Department for Education in England to support newly qualified teachers in England with a structured package of support in the following five areas: behaviour management, pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and professional behaviours. 

To complement the framework, which may provide more generic support, this page suggests some reading and resources to support Early Career teachers in the early years by providing a specific focus on early childhood education and pedagogy.  We welcome suggestions for other topics you would find useful and other resources that you recommend.


The early years has its own well-established and well-evidenced pedagogy, based on how very young children develop and learn.  You may find the following texts and resources helpful:

  • Birth to 5 Matters – non-statutory guidance by the sector, for the sector to support the implementation of the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework
  • Getting it right in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a review of the evidence – a review of the research literature from 2009 to 2019 setting out which pedagogic approaches in the early years are supported by the most recent research.  
  • How children learn – The characteristics of effective early learning by Nancy Stewart.  This book explores effective early childhood learning through focusing on how rather than what children learn. This is an important theme in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Its content is however, applicable across the range of curricula and frameworks that govern early childhood education across the four UK nations, as well as internationally.
  • Achieving excellence in the Early Years: a guide for headteachers is a useful guide for those new to the early years, It covers enabling environments, indoors and out; the role of the adult; the characteristics of effective learning and teaching; observation, assessment and planning; using data for planning and monitoring; behaviour and relationships; risk and challenge; leadership and management in the Early Years; and issues for governors.  It will help anyone who is not an Early Years specialist to understand how best to lead and manage this distinctive phase of education within their schools.
  • Our pedagogic resources provide summaries of useful information and resources on a topic by topic basis and blog entries written by experts in early childhood education, including practitioners, researchers and consultants.

The environment is a key part of early years pedagogy.  Resources to support this include:

The role of the adult and adult-child interactions within the early years:

Diversity and inclusion


You will find areas of the early years curriculum covered in:


  • Birth to 5 Matters – non-statutory guidance by the sector, for the sector to support the implementation of the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework
  • The Early Education Journal (requires member login) issues 83 and 84 on Observing Child Development

Professional behaviours

We encourage all those working in the early years to refer to the Early Education Code of Ethics or an equivalent document to guide professional behaviour and as principles to inform individual and collective decision making.

Being part of a community of like-minded professionals can give you a chance to exchange ideas and learn from others in your field – especially if you are working in environment where there are few early years specialists, such as within a primary school.  Early Education offers opportunities to continue your professional learning and network through local branch eventsnational and regional events and online.  

There are plenty of options for professional networking through social media and other early years membership organisations which we’d also encourage you to explore.

Use of research tools such as ECERS (more to follow)

Leadership in the early years (more to follow)

Behaviour management

In the early years (and later stages) we often say that “all behaviour is communication”.  Understanding young children’s development is at the heart of supporting children to learn to the cognitive and emotional self-regulation which supports pro-social behaviour.

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