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Study of Early Education & Development

Young girl painted hands
Researchers: Svetlana Speight
Published: September 2018

SEED (Study of Early Education & Development) is a major new longitudinal study into the uptake and impact of childcare on children.

It is following around 6,000 two-year-olds from across England through to the end of KS1 between 2013 and 2021.

We're working with Frontier Economics, the University of Oxford and Action for Children, on behalf of the Department for Education.


We are triangulating a lot of different types of data about the same families. The study involves the following data collection strands:  

  • A longitudinal survey of around 6,000 families with preschool children from the age of two to the end of Key Stage 1 (age seven), and surveys of childcare staff and school teachers working with these children.
  • Around 1,000 visits to early years settings and to around 100 childminders to study the quality, characteristics and process of provision.
  • A value for money study involving the collection of cost data from 166 early years settings.
  • Case studies of good practice in centre-based early years settings.
  • A qualitative study with childminders.
  • A qualitative study about experiences of Early Years Pupil Premium.
  • A qualitative study of early education provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities involving interviews with families and staff at early years settings. 

SEED survey data is available for secondary analysis

  • Data from the first three waves of the SEED survey (when children were two, three and four years old) is available for secondary analysis from the UK Data Service (click here for wave 1 data, here for wave 2 data, and here for wave 3 data)

Find out more  

You can read findings, publications and previous reports or find out more about taking part in this research at the SEED website