Dr Caroline Guard


I am a Senior Lecturer in Education specialising in Early Childhood Education and Care. I am Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Top degrees in Teaching and Learning and Education, Leadership in Practice.

I have worked in the Early Childhood sector for my entire career, progressing from practitioner to qualified teacher and manager before becoming a higher education lecturer in 2009. I have extensive experience delivering work-based degree programmes and I am an advocate for supporting the early years workforce to find their voice, feel empowered by the work they do and to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions they make in a young child's life.

I am in the final stages of completing my doctorate in education which seeks to examine how the voices of babies are framed within the adult: baby interactions that take place in nursery provision in England. My PhD is funded by The Froebel Trust.

I was recently involved in the Early Years Coalition Birth to Five Matters: non statutory guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage project where I worked in collaboration with colleagues from across the sector to develop guidance for early years practitioners and those working with young children and their families. The purpose of the guidance was to reaffirm core principles in early education and care that young children should be at the centre of practice.

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education


  • PhD Early Childhood Education (Roehampton University)
  • MA Education: Early Childhood Education (Roehampton University)
  • FHEA
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in FE and HE (Lifelong learning), University of Surrey
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education (Canterbury Christ Church University)

Teaching and learning


My research interests focus on Froebelian education, infant mental health, the rights of very young children (the voices of babies), dialogic interactions and the wellbeing and professional identity of early years professionals. 

My current research which is funded by The Froebel Trust explores how the voices of babies are situated in baby room pedagogy. The ethnographic methodological design promoted opportunity to examine how voice is positioned within the interactions that take place between babies and early years practitioners in nursery settings.  I have created a professional development tool to support practitioners who work with children under two years old to reflect on the dialogic moments they have with babies with the view to improve and empower their work.  I have also developed the term 'Adagio Interactions' to promote slow, rhythmic dialogic interaction between babies and practitioners. 

Areas of specialism

  • Froebelian Education
  • Infant voice and voice
  • Quality interactions in nursery provision
  • Staff wellbeing and professional pedagogy in early education