Froebel Trust invests £450k in Froebelian Futures

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A major new Froebel Trust funding programme designed to increase understanding of a Froebelian approach to early education is launching this summer. The programme aims to foster collaboration in the early years sector and provide Froebelian training for more early years educators.

The new initiative will see a £1 million investment in Froebelian education in the UK, including £450k in The University of Edinburgh and Cowgate Under 5s flagship partnership Froebelian Futures (2021-2024).

Dr Sacha Powell, Chief Executive, Froebel Trust said, “This funding will give more young children and their families the opportunity to access a Froebelian approach to early education – with plenty of outdoor play, creativity, learning through nature – and the myriad of benefits to learning a Froebelian education can bring.”

Two project teams have been chosen by the Froebel Trust to undertake intensive research, Froebelian practice development and community engagement projects over the next three years.

In Scotland, the Froebelian Futures team will be led by Dr Lynn McNair (University of Edinburgh) and Lian Higgins (Cowgate Under 5’s Centre). The team will work in collaboration with local authorities across Scotland and colleagues in the Czech Republic and Greece with a particular emphasis on the development of Froebelian leadership.

Dr McNair says, “It feels more necessary now than ever to celebrate children’s multiple childhoods and drive forward child-centred practices. We are particularly interested in the entanglement and complexity of children’s lives, believing that diversity matters.”

In England and New Zealand, the Froebel Partnership team will be led by Sally Cave (Guildford Nursery School and Family Centre), Professor Chris Pascal (Centre for Research in Early Childhood) and Anne Denham (AMA Associates, Auckland). The team will work in collaboration with schools and settings across England, the European Early Childhood Education Research Association, early learning organisations including Kindergarten Associations across New Zealand and the New Zealand Ministry of Education.

Sally Cave comments, “As Froebel said, ‘I wanted to educate people to be free, to think, to take action for themselves’ (Froebel in Lilley 1967:41). Has there ever been a time when Froebel’s principles have mattered more? His principles and pedagogy can guide us all as we build together a more equitable early childhood education (ECE) for our young children, their families and ECE staff.”

Mark Neale, Froebel Trust Chair of Trustees says, “The early years sector has been under intense pressure during the pandemic and this investment should give a real boost to those who have been working so hard to support and care for young children in nursery schools and kindergartens.”

The Froebel Trust and its partners will share the outcomes of these two projects in a series of reports, evaluations and events designed to share learning, robust evidence and results from this innovative and collaborative programme.

For more information about The Froebel Trust, visit