National Institute for Christian Education Research (NICER)

Nexus researching church toddler groups


Nexus researching church toddler groups

This research project emerged from previous NICER research projects looking at the spiritual development of secondary-age students and the spiritual nurture of primary school pupils in the Nexus. The study investigated Church Toddler Groups as a centre of connection between home, toddler group, and church, exploring the following research questions:

  1. What does spiritual flourishing look like among very young children?
  2. How do Church Toddler Groups support spiritual flourishing?

The research was carried out over three main phases. The first phase investigated the most effective methods of researching the spiritual flourishing of young children in a church toddler group. During the second phase, two researchers visited three toddler groups for four consecutive sessions undertaking a detailed multi-method study; this involved observing the children’s engagement, holding informal conversations with parents, volunteers, and leaders. In Phase 3, the research team undertook further analysis, consultations, and investigation of initiatives that intentionally paid attention to nurturing the spiritual well-being of young families.

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