Published 24.10.2022
by Kids’ Own

Kids’ Own seeks researcher on play-based early years project

Kids’ Own is seeking a researcher to measure the impact of a play-based, creative arts project with early years Traveller children and their parents/guardians.  

Kids’ Own is working on a new play-based, creative arts project with early years Traveller children and their parents in partnership with Waterford Childcare Committee and Waterford Traveller Interagency Group (the steering group for this project comprises of Coiste Curám Leanaí Phort Láirge, Mincéirí Port Láirge, St. Brigid’s Family and Community Centre, and Dungarvan Traveller Health Project).

One of the primary aims of the project is to support young children and their parents from the Traveller community to engage in a play-based arts intervention that builds confidence and resilience and aims to address the inequalities that hinder children’s learning and development.  


Project Aim

This project aims to open up a space for parents from the Traveller community and their very young children to have a unique experience that foregrounds the arts, through a process-led engagement with a professional artist. The project will also have a focus on play in the outdoors, exploring environments together. Outputs from the project will include a creative publication, exploring the process and experiences of those involved in the project.

 A significant part of this project is the research and evaluation that will take place throughout the duration of the project. We want to share learning and build a community of practice that recognises the importance of arts and play as central to young children’s learning, particularly those experiencing disadvantage. The embedding of research within the project will provide a layer of learning that will be key in continuing work in this area. 

Kids’ Own is therefore seeking a suitably qualified researcher to explore and measure the impact of the project with participants. We hope that the research from this project will positively impact, inform, and add to current research in the Early Years sector and that it will bring the learning from this project to a wider, national audience, so that it may inform ongoing work addressing inequality in this area.  

Kids’ Own has a strong advocacy agenda (but rooted in our practice-based approach) and we want the research to reflect this approach. Our vision is for an approach that is primarily qualitative. The researcher will lead this research by communicating primarily with the project participants: participating pre-school children, and their parents/guardians/family members, as well as with project artists, and project partners, and other stakeholders.  

Project Details

The project will take place in two locations in County Waterford: Waterford city and Dungarvan. Initial consultations with families and children will take place in November 2022 and the project will continue until May 2023. The final research report will be due at the end of June 2023.  

The scope of the research will be agreed with Kids’ Own and project partners but some of the key points to consider are: 

  • the impact on participants of being part of a collaborative, play-based, open-ended, arts project  
  • the potential of the arts in ensuring young children’s voices are heard, respected and acted upon 
  • How a professional arts and play-based approach can support meaningful parent-child interactions and strengthen educational and developmental outcomes for children, particularly in the context of disadvantage 
  • The identification of key areas of learning from the project in order to make evidence-based recommendations that might inform further practice-based interventions at a national level. 
  • how this work sits within the wider context of current practice with early years children and their parents (through a rights-based, arts-based and sociological lens). 

We welcome applications from experienced researchers who have relevant expertise and a good knowledge of the early years sector, arts, and children’s rights sectors. 

How to apply: 

Applicants should send a detailed CV, along with a cover letter outlining their interest in this piece of work, with reference to relevant experience, their research/evaluation ethos, methodological approach, rationale for application, and any other relevant details. 

Criteria for selection will be based on, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Previous research/evaluation experience. 
  • Experience or understanding of the early years arts context and vision/ethos for this particular project. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of the contextual framework for this project, both theoretical and practical. 
  • Proposed methodology. 

Timeline: the research will take place between November 2022 and May 2023. The final report should be submitted end of June 2023. 

Fee: there is a set fee of €11,200 for 32 days of work on this project. There will be additional funds available for travel and other expenses to be confirmed with the successful applicant(s).  

Deadline: Monday the 7th November, midnight.  

How to apply: please send a cover letter detailing your experience, approach, and interest in the role, along with a CV to [email protected]   

Funding for this role has been provided by RTÉ Toy Show Appeal and the Community Foundation for Ireland.