Children of the 2020s Study

The study

The Children of the 2020s is an exciting opportunity for you to help with a study following 8,500 children and their families in England born in the 2020s.

The study has been commissioned and funded by the Department for Education (DfE). It is being led by University College London (UCL), and the independent research organisation Ipsos is collecting the data. The project also involves the University of CambridgeOxford and Birkbeck, University of London who are providing scientific advice and guidance.

The study looks at what it is like for children to grow up in the 2020s, at a time of great change when the country is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and going through a cost-of-living crisis. We can learn a lot by following the same group of children and their families for a number of years, such as how their experiences and circumstances affect their futures. 

We will collect data on children’s language, early development, family environment, health, mental health and early education.

We are very grateful for your help with this exciting study. The information you provide will be used to help improve education and childcare services, so children and families can be better supported to lead happy and healthy lives.

What does the study involve?

We first contacted you when your child was around 9 months old and will be contacting you again when your child is around 2 years old. You will later be invited to take part in surveys when your child is 3, 4 and 5 years old.

BabySteps App

We ask all parents of the study if they would like to take part in a free smartphone app called ‘BabySteps’. This app has been designed by academics to help parents track their child’s learning and development and keep precious memories of them growing up. The version that is used for Children of the 2020s has been specifically tailored for the purposes of this study. 

BabySteps is like a baby diary, but it also allows the research team to better understand how children develop. You will be able to keep all the information you enter into BabySteps, like diary entries, photos and videos, and share them with your friends and family if you wish. Over time, you will also receive information about the results of the study, as well as updates directly from the study team.

For common questions about the app please visit our BabySteps app page.

Future stages

We would like to ask you to take part again around the time your child turns 3, 4 and 5 years old so we can see how your child is growing up.  We will get back in touch with you when it is time to take part again. Please get in touch with us if your contact details change.