The Early Years Research Lab was established in 2014 within the Institute of Education, Massey University. We are an inter-professional community of researchers, post-graduate students, and research partners. The lab is directed by Tara McLaughlin. Our aim is to conduct and disseminate high-quality, practical research to support teaching and learning in the early years.

Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa.
Let us keep close together, not far apart.

Student Research

Student research is at the forefront of innovative thinking and practical knowledge and applications for teachers and teams in the early learning sector.

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Research Areas

Our research focuses on teaching and learning topics including teaching practices and pedagogy, early intervention, play-based learning, intentional teaching, pedagogical leadership, social-emotional teaching and learning, assessment, and specialised practices for infants and toddlers.
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Resources for Teachers

We have developed a range of resources that may be useful for teachers and teams to support children's learning, social-emotional competence, and well-being. Information about each resource is provided.

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Fostering research to practice & practice to research connections to support kaiako, tamariki and whānau in the early years of life.


The first 1000 days of life are a period of rapid development. Children learn and grow in the context of safe, secure, and nurturing relationships and environments. Responsive relationships with adult caregivers and stimulating environments are essential to children’s lifelong learning, health, and well-being.

Children are competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.

Te Whāriki, Ministry of Education, 2017, p 7.