Welcome to Critical Early Years, I have created this blog as a space to address critical, contemporary issues in Early Childhood Education and Care. My site will cover a range of topics close to my heart, with a particular focus on addressing the inequalities in the formative years.

Explore the site, read my blog and follow me on Twitter to keep updated. I hope Critical Early Years will inspire, provoke, ignite your interests and encourage you to reflect on your practice.

Shaddai (pronounced Shad-eye) (He, him, they)

Latest papers
Tembo, S. (2021) More work to do: thinking through equalities with young children in Scotland. In: Palmer, S. (ed.) Play is the Way. Paisley: CCWB Press. Download here and full book here.
Tembo, S. (2020) ‘Black educators in (white) settings: Making racial identity visible in Early Childhood Education and Care in England, UK’, Journal of Early Childhood Research. doi: 10.1177/1476718X20948927.
Tembo, S. (2020) ‘‘Hang on, she just used that word like it’s totally easy’: Encountering ordinary racial affects in early childhood education and care’, Ethnicities. doi: 10.1177/1468796820963960.
Other bits and bobs
Tembo, S. (2021) The MITEY UK and Other Methods: How to Get More Men to Join the EYFS. Blossom Educational Interview – Available here.
Tembo, S. and Pemberton, L. (2020) Foregrounding racial equalities in the Birth to 5 Matters guidance. Available here.
Tembo, S. (2020) Interview with Freddie and Hannah. Available here.


Shaddai Tembo speaking at #EqualPlay Conference. City Hall, London. 29th October 2018.

Shaddai is a lecturer in Early Education & Childhood Practice at Perth College UHI. He is also currently studying LGBT+ inequalities in early years practice as a postgraduate research student at the University of the West of Scotland, Shaddai received an MSc with Merit in Social Science Research Methods (Sociology) from the University of Bristol. His undergraduate degree is a First Class BA (Hons) Education: Early Years from Bath Spa University.

Shaddai is a trustee for Early Education, a national charity supporting early years practitioners with training, resources and professional networks, and campaigning for quality education for the youngest children.

He was formerly part of the steering group for the ESRC funded study ‘Gender Diversification in Early Years Education’. The group acted as a forum for overseeing the progress of the project, was a space to reflect on how far the project was meeting its aims and supported planning the training and dissemination phase of the project.

Shaddai Tembo
Shaddai Tembo speaking at Tiger Gender Equality Community Exhibition. Bristol, 24th May 2018

Shaddai is also part of the steering group for the MITEY campaign which aims to celebrate, support and increase the numbers of, men working in early childhood education in the UK. It is a virtual resource which aims to connect like-minded individuals and organisations doing their best to make Britain’s early years education workforce more gender-diverse.

Shaddai also co-convenes the Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA) Early Years Network.

In October 2018, Shaddai featured on the BME Power List 2018, showcasing Bristol’s 100 most influential black and minority ethnic people. You can see the full list here.

He was formerly part of the leadership team for the Bristol Men in Early Years (BMIEY) Network for over three years. A key element of his role involved networking with others both in the UK and further afield in Europe with a view towards creating a cohesive voice around tackling the gender imbalance in the early years and gender inequality as a whole.

Shaddai’s experience working in the early years is varied, most recently he was part of the family support team within a children’s centre in central Bristol. He has worked as an early years practitioner in a range of PVI nurseries. You can read his learning story, as part of his learning ambassador role for Bristol Learning Cities, in full here.

During his time studying at the University of Bristol Shaddai was a community liaison ambassador, you can read more about this here,

Shaddai Tembo at #ACareerInEarlyYears Event, The Studio, Glasgow, February 2019

On a personal note, Shaddai was once a child himself. He now lives in Glasgow with his partner, Martha, and likes to handstand whenever possible.