Eva Lloyd

Professor Eva Lloyd


, School of Education and Communities, Department of Early Childhood and Education

Eva Lloyd OBE is Professor of Early Childhood in the School of Education and Communities and the Director of International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare   (ICMEC). Eva's research focuses on the marketisation and privatisation of childcare and its relation to child poverty and social exclusion.


  • PhD

Areas Of Interest

  • National and international early childhood education, and care policies and systems
  • Marketised systems, and their impact on children growing up with disadvantage
On This Page


Eva Lloyd has been a Professor of Early Childhood in the School of Education and Communities at UEL since 2013, having joined UEL in 2007 as Reader in Early Childhood. She is the Director of  The International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare which she co-founded in 2007 with Professor - now emerita - Helen Penn. For over three decades Eva has specialised in the study of national and international early childhood education and care policies and systems, particularly marketised systems, and their impact on children growing up with disadvantage. 

Eva has extensive experience working with national and international policymakers at central government level and with non-governmental organisations. She co-authored a range of UK government commissioned policy studies and evaluations. Currently she advises the Irish government on funding models for Ireland's childcare strategy.  From 2019 to December 2021 Eva was a member of an independent Expert Group commissioned by the Irish Government to develop a new funding model for its early learning and care and school-age childcare systems. See this website.

Funders of research and evaluation projects that Eva Lloyd has led or been part of in recent years include: the British Academy the Department for Education, Eurofound, the Nuffield Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Office of the Children's Commissioner for England, the Department of Health and Social Care, HMRC, London Borough of Newham, the Resolution Foundation and Ipsos-MORI.

Previously Eva Lloyd held academic posts at Bristol's School for Policy Studies, University College London's Institute of Education and the University of London's Bedford College, alongside honorary positions at Cambridge University and the Queen's University Belfast. In 2017 she spent a semester as Visiting Professor at the University of Muenster, Germany. Fifteen years of Eva's career were devoted to working for British NGOs. She held policy and research positions at Save the Children UK and at Barnardo's and was CEO of the National Early Years Network.  Eva holds the post of Visiting Professor at University College London and is attached to its Thomas Coram Research Unit.

Eva has extensive experience of advising civil servants in the Department for Education and Department of Health on the development and implementation of early childhood policy.

Between 2010 and 2012 she was a member of an expert panel advising NICE on the development of its public health guidance on social and emotional wellbeing in the early years.

Eva Lloyd is a regular contributor to the practitioner press. She is frequently interviewed on national radio and television and quoted in the local and national press. She is also a media spokesperson for the British Psychological Society on early childhood. In a 2021 podcast for the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health she talked about major influences on her career to date.

In 2013 Eva Lloyd was awarded an Honorary OBE for services to education.

External roles


Eva Lloyd researches national and international early childhood education and care systems and policies and their impact on children, families and communities. Her primary focus is on marketisation and privatisation of early childhood care and education and their consequences for children growing up with disadvantage. Much of her international research is comparative. As part of her research she explores evidence for policies, strategies and childcare business governance models that can help to improve access, affordability and quality within marketised early childhood services by building on childcare market strengths. She regularly adopts a systems-theory based theoretical approach in her work.

Creating research impact and promoting public engagement with science are key aims for Eva Lloyd as evidenced by her most recent publications, which include blogs and other contributions to the practitioner press and wider media to share findings from the research she is involved in. 

Eva also shares her research through lecturing widely to a range of academic, policymaker and practitioner audiences at home and abroad, most recently in Singapore and Hamburg.

The work programme of the International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare, ICMEC, which she directs, reaches out to the childcare industry, particularly via its international seminar series. Since 2007 this attracts wide-ranging representation from the childcare business sector, local and central government, unions, journalists, think tank staff, academics and students. ICMEC has lively contacts with childcare market researchers across the world, including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Southern Africa, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Brazil, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the USA.

In 2012 The Policy Press in Bristol published a volume edited by Eva Lloyd and Helen Penn which reflected the scholarship of the wide range of academics associated with the ICMEC research centre, who are doing research into marketised early childhood education and care systems. Childcare Markets - Can they deliver an equitable service? continues to attract a global readership; it was issued in paperback in 2013.

Eva Lloyd contributed a successful impact case study on the International Centre for the Study of Mixed Economies of Childcare - ICMEC, the research centre she directs at UEL, to the 2014  and 2021 Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF2014; REF 2021). 

In previous roles Eva also undertook extensive research into other areas affecting young children and their families. These include the impact of parental imprisonment on children's development and wellbeing and the role of prison visiting centres in improving children's experiences, and parenting education and support.

Eva Lloyd is continually involved in research bid preparations with UEL or external academic and independent researcher colleagues. She welcomes approaches from potential PhD candidates and from researchers interested in designing research project applications in her areas of expertise.

Research for the Nuffield Foundation

Eva Lloyd is Co-Investigator on a collaborative research project: 'COVID-19 and Childcare: Local impacts across England' funded by the Nuffield Foundation. See more information on the Nuffield foundation website.
Ivana La Valle, Visiting Scholar at the International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare, directed by Professor Lloyd is one of the two Principal Investigators on this project, which is led by the Centre for Evidence and Implementation.

This study explores the impact of the pandemic on early childhood education and care services. It will also highlight lessons for improvements at both the national and local levels to support a sustainable, high quality early childhood education and care system for the longer term. The study addresses five questions:

  • How is the pandemic affecting children's and parents' needs for and access to early education and care services in different local contexts?
  • How is COVID changing the nature and viability of early education and care provision in different local contexts, and how are services responding?
  • Has local support for early education and care services mitigated the effects of the pandemic, and how is this mediated by local labour market conditions?
  • What opportunities and weaknesses in the early education and care system are highlighted by COVID, and what can we learn from these about building resilience in the system?
  • What should the role of local authorities be, and what tools do they need to support the early education and care system in future?

Other researchers taking part in this study, which runs from late 2020 till summer 2022, are from the University of Birmingham, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Frontier Economics, Coram Family and Childcare and the Centre for Evidence and Implementation.

Research for the British Academy

Since November 2019 Eva Lloyd has held an award from the British Academy the UK's national body for the humanities and social sciences, under its Early Childhood Education Programme. This is supported by the UK Government's Global Challenges Research Fund and is part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA), whose aim is to support excellent research with development impact. The research is due to finish in May 2022. The title of her project is: 'Towards early childhood education by 2030 for all children in Lebanon - Exploring strategies for achieving equitable access to early childhood education for Lebanese children and Syrian child refugees and realising Sustainable Development Goal 4.2'. Dr Katie Wright at UEL and Professor Hiam Loutfi, of Rafik Hariri University in Lebanon are co-investigators on this project.

Since 2011 Lebanon has been hosting approximately 1.5 million refugees from the Syrian conflict, about half of whom are children. In line with the Lebanese government's 2015 Reaching All Children with Education (RACE) policy, children aged 3 to 18 are offered free education, including early childhood education. This project explores the extent to which the early childhood education (ECE) system offers equal learning opportunities to 3 to 5-year-old Lebanese and Syrian refugee children of different ages, genders and abilities. Fieldwork is due to take place in three regions: Beqaa; Akkar and Tripoli in the north and Saida and Tyre in the south. The study also evaluates the role of governmental and non-governmental organizations in achieving an equitable ECE system and develops strategies and policy recommendations to enhance ECE access and maximise the chances of Lebanon achieving Sustainable Development Goal target 4.2 by 2030.These proposals' impact may extend to other child refugee hosting countries. Target 4.2 of the SDGs aims to ensure that, by 2030, all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education. It is one of seventeen global goals that were adopted by UN members in 2015 as part of a universal call to end poverty, foster peace and prosperity and ensure a more sustainable future.

Research for the London Borough of Newham

In 2019/20 Eva Lloyd was part of a UEL team led by the Director of Research at the School of Education and Communities that was commissioned by the London Borough of Newham to evaluate the Newham Keeping Safe programme. This was a pilot led by the Director of Research at the School of Education and Communities that was commissioned by the London Borough of Newham to evaluate the Newham Keeping Safe programme.

This was a complex 2-generation intervention to support children and families who are at-risk of becoming involved in violent crime and/or criminally exploited. One of several components of this intervention was a programme of positive diversionary activities for children designed to build confidence, resilience and improve communication. Another component was peer mentoring plus education and support for parents. This included Non-Violent Resistance session, support through Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to improve parenting capacity and classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Research for the Department for Education

Between 2016 and 2018 Eva Lloyd was an academic advisor to the national and all previous evaluations of the Conservative Government's flagship early years policy for England, the 30 hours free childcare policy. These evaluations were all commissioned by the Department for Education and carried out by a team led by the research agency Frontier Economics. Ivana La Valle, who is attached as Visiting Scholar to the International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare (ICMEC), was co-author of each evaluation.


  • Lloyd, E. and Simon, A. (2022) Large for-profit nursery groups are becoming more common – with negative consequences for parents and the sector. The Conversation, 16 February
  • Lloyd, E. (2021) 'Why the UK childcare system is at breaking point'. The Conversation, 27 September
  • Lloyd, E. (2020) 'Towards a public ECEC system' in C. Cameron and P. Moss (Eds.) Transforming early childhood in England: Towards a democratic education. London: University College London Press, pp.83-99, Available at UCL Press.
  • Lloyd, E. (2020) 'Ensuring fairer access to early years learning and childcare after the COVID-19 lockdown'. London: Nuffield Foundation. Available at Nuffield Foundation.
  • Lim, S. and Lloyd, E. (2019) Editorial. Special Issue: Leadership as Practice in Public and Private Settings within Marketised Early Childhood Systems. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 20(1), 3 – 6. 
  • Lloyd, E. (2019) 'Reshaping and reimagining marketised early childhood education and care systems – Challenges and possibilities', Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 65(3), 89 – 106
  • Lloyd, E. and La Valle, I. (2019) 'An unequal entitlement', Nursery World, 4 March. Available on Nursery World.
  • Lloyd, E. (2018) 'Underpaid and undervalued: The reality of childcare work in the UK.' The Conversation, 18 April. Available on The Conversation.
  • Lloyd, E. (2017) 'Early childhood education and care: poverty and access. Perspectives from England,' in Miller, L, Cameron, C., Dalli, C, and Barbour, N. (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Early Childhood Policy. New York/London: SAGE. pp.268-286
  • Lloyd, E. (2016) 'Early years provision and children's life chances' in J. Tucker (ed) Improving children's life chances. London: Child Poverty Action Group, 25-37 
  • Lloyd, E. (2015) 'Evidenzbasierte Politik und Praxis in der Früpädagogik in GroẞBritannien,' in A. Schmitt, M. Morfeld, E. Sterdt and L. Fischer (Hrsg.) Evidenzbasierte Praxis und Politik in der Früpädagogik. Halle (Saale): mdv Mitteldeutscher Verlag GmbH
  • Lloyd, E. (2015) 'Early education and care policy under the Coalition Government,' London Review of Education, 13(2), 144-156.  https://www.scienceopen.com/hosted-document?doi=10.18546/LRE.13.2.12
  • Lloyd, E. (2014) 'Co-Producing early years policy under the Coalition Government', Management in Education, 29 (4), 130 - 137. 
  • Lloyd, E. and Potter, S. (2014) Early education and childcare and poverty - Working paper prepared for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. London: University of East London http://roar.uel.ac.uk/3865/
  • Lloyd, E. (2014) 'Can government intervention in childcare be justified? Comment: we need to change the childcare subsidy system,' Economic Affairs, 34 (3), 402-405.
  • LaValle, I., Payne, L., Lloyd, E. with Potter, S. (2014) Review of policies and interventions for low-income families with young children, London: Office of the Children's Commissioner for England.
  • Lloyd, E. and Penn, H. (2014) 'Childcare markets in an age of austerity,' European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 22 (3), 386-396.
  • Penn, H. and Lloyd, E. (2014) 'How can government ensure that early care and education is of high quality in a market system? Learning from international experience.' In: T. Wolfe (Ed.) 'Childcare' - business or profession? Dublin: Start Strong.
  • Penn. H. and Lloyd, E. (2013) The costs of childcare. A report for DFE. London: Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre.
  • Lloyd, E. and Penn. H. (Eds.) (2012) Childcare markets - Can they deliver an equitable service?  Bristol: The Policy Press in association with University of Chicago Press.
  • Lloyd, E. (2012) Childcare markets: an introduction, in E. Lloyd and H. Penn (Eds.) Childcare markets - Can they deliver an equitable service? Bristol: The Policy Press in association with University of Chicago Press.
  • Lloyd, E. (2012) 'Poor children's future access to early years provision,' in: L. Judge (Ed.) Ending child poverty by 2020: progress made and lessons learned. London: Child Poverty Action Group.
  • Lloyd, E. (2012) 'The marketisation of early years education and care in England,' in L. Miller and D. Hevey (Eds.) Policy Issues in the Early Years, London: SAGE.
  • Lloyd, E. (2012) 'Centre-based services in the early years,' in M. Hill, G. Head, A. Lockyer, B. Reid & R. Taylor (Eds.) Professionals, Children and the Community: Working Together, London: Longman Pearson.
  • Clarke, A., Lawrence, D., Lloyd, E., Penn, H. & Blackburn, P. (2011) The London Childcare Market. LDA Labour Market Research Series Number 5. London: London Development Agency.
  • Lloyd, E. and Penn, H. (2010) 'Why do childcare markets fail? Comparing England and the Netherlands.' Public Policy Research, 17(1), 42-48.
  • Lloyd, E. and Penn, H. (2010) 'Working with children who are victims of armed conflict.' Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 11(3), 278-287.
  • Speight, S., Smith, R. with Coshall, C. and Lloyd, E. (2010) Towards Universal Early Years Provision: Analysis of Take-up by Disadvantaged Families from Recent Annual Childcare Surveys. Research Report DFE-RR066. London: Department for Education.
  • Lloyd, E. and Hallet, E. (2010) 'Professionalising the early childhood workforce in England: work in progress or missed opportunity?' Contemporary Issues in the Early Years, 11(1), 75-88.
  • Speight, S., Smith, R. and Lloyd, E. with Coshall, C. (2010) Families Experiencing Multiple Deprivation: their Use of and Views on Childcare Provision. Research Report DCSF-RR191. London: DCSF
  • Smith, R., Schneider, V., Purdon, S., La Valle, I., Wollny, Y., Owen, R., Bryson, C. , Mathers, S., Sylva, K. and Lloyd, E. (2009) Early Education Pilot for Two Year Old Children - Evaluation. Research report DCSF-RR134. London: DCSF.
  • Lloyd, E. (2008) 'The interface between childcare, family support and child poverty strategies under New Labour: tensions and contradictions.' Social Policy & Society, 7(4), 479-494
  • Kazimirski, A., Smith, R. Butt, S., Ireland, E. and Lloyd, E. (2008) Childcare and Early Years Survey 2007: Parents' Use, Views and Experiences. Research Report DCSF-RR025. London: Department for Children, Schools and Families.
  • Penn, H. and Lloyd,E. (2007) 'Richness or rigour? A discussion of systematic reviews and evidence-based policy in early childhood', Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 5(1), 3-18.
  • Levitas, R. Pantazis, C. Fahmy, E., Gordon, D., Lloyd, E.and Patsios, D. (2007) The Multi-Dimensional Analysis of Social Exclusion, London: The Social Exclusion Task Force.
  • Lloyd, E. (2006) 'Children, poverty and social exclusion,' in: C. Pantazis, D. Gordon and R. Levitas (Eds.), Poverty and Social Exclusion in Britain: The Millennium Survey, Bristol: The Policy Press.
  • Penn, H. and Lloyd, E. (2006) 'Using systematic reviews to investigate research in early childhood.' Journal of Early Childhood Research, 4( 3), 311-330.
  • Penn, H., Burton, V., Lloyd, E., Mugford, M., Potter, S. and Sayeed, Z. (2006) What is known about the long-term economic impact of centre-based early childhood interventions? In: Research Evidence in Education Library, London: Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.
  • Lloyd, E., Penn, H., Barreau, S., Burton, V., Davis, R., Potter, S. & Sayeed, Z. (2005) How effective are measures taken to mitigate the impact of direct experience of armed conflict on the psychosocial and cognitive development of children aged 0-8? In: Research Evidence in Education Library, London: Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.


Eva Lloyd contributes lectures across UG and PG modules in the School of Education and Communities on a range of subjects, including

  • Systematic reviewing in the social sciences (for doctoral students)
  • Evidence-based policy and practice (for doctoral students)
  • Systems theory applied to early childhood education and care systems 
  • UK and international early childhood policy 
  • Childcare marketisation and privatisation