Children’s Rights in the Early Years (CREY) Network

Children in Wales jointly co-ordinates and facilitates this Network with the School of Education, Swansea University.

The aims of the CREY Network are:

  • To bridge the gap between practice, policy and research
  • To improve accessibility of research, policy and practical experiences by providing a forum for practice, policy and academic communities to meet and work together
  • To develop a forum through which future research activity, that is collaborative and cross-sector in nature may be generated That members learn about children’s rights and are able to deliver a stronger advocacy for the rights of young children across their areas of work
  • To exchange knowledge between professionals who share interests in the rights of young children, making sure that the knowledge shared identifies best practice and pertinent issues
  • To support the development of an evidence-base to better understand young children’s rights in Wales and includes the views of young children

Group membership
Any professional with an interest in children’s rights may become a member. Membership is for as long as the member is interested. All members will be asked to write a brief ‘Pen portrait’ to be shared online.

To reduce the size of meetings, most meetings will be themed so members can attend those meetings which they deem relevant.

For further information, please contact either Anna Westall (Policy Officer), e-mail: or Jacky Tyrie, email:

During 2022, we held five network meetings:

· Welsh Government Children’s Rights Plans

· A number of Children’s Rights resources have been produced this year:

Children in Wales have resources which are aim at supporting Babies and young children’s voices and Rights in general -
Children in Wales | Early Years Resources.

Children’s commissioner office have a range of early year’s resources and training - Early Years - Children’s Commissioner for Wales (

· Jacky summarised and discussed the following paper: Children’s Right to Participation in Early Childhood Education and Care: An Analysis in Finnish Policy.

· Kate Wall and Claire Cassidy from the University of Strathclyde provided an International perspective of best practice surrounding participation for young children.

· Members of the Third Sector Additional Needs Alliance (TSANA) presented an informative overview of the new ALN reform and its impact on young children


We have used your feedback to plan for the year ahead and have a range of topic areas including.

· Welsh Government update and plans

· Children’s commissioners priorities and projects

· ECEC Quality Framework – Children’s Rights posters

· Invisibility of babies in CRC

· ESRC participation in practice

We have also changed our meeting times to 1-2.30pm in response to feedback.

During 2021 we held five network meetings and shared/discussed a range of topics: 

  • ECEC quality framework and Non-maintained curriculum. The NM curriculum has now been released and has a strong focus on rights embedded throughout. Enabling Learning guidance and A curriculum for funded non-maintained nursery settings  

  • Right to Play and Impact of COVID on play; Play Wales shared some interesting research and findings. 

  • Children’s Rights in Participation in Health; this was a new topic for many of us and gave us a good insight into children’s evolving capacities and rights within child health research. 


The recently published strategy sets out the plan on how Welsh Government will raise awareness of the UNCRC in Wales until the end of 2023. 

The CREYN has a specific mention under the Early Years section: 

..Support the children’s rights early years network. We will support this network to bring together key stakeholders to share good children’s rights practice. 

We are keen to build on this and develop stronger links with Welsh Government and allow a more active role for the CREYN.