Kent Child Development Unit

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Photo of a child playing

Kent Child Development Unit

  • How do children learn language?
  • How do children learn about social conventions?
  • How do children develop conversational skills?
  • How do children know what others see and believe?
  • How do babies learn to recognise faces?
  • How do children learn to respond contingently?
  • How do children learn to reason logically?

At the University of Kent, we are looking at how children learn about their world, about other people and about the language they hear around them. We run a variety of studies with various age groups of children between 5 months and 14 years. We are always looking for parents who might be willing to bring their child in for a one-off session at some point in the future.

If you sign up your child’s details, we wait until your child approaches an age suitable for a particular study. At this point, we will contact you and explain to you all there is to know about that study. If you decide to join in, we will make an appointment for a time that is convenient for you and your child.

Some studies are online via Zoom and some are in person. If you come in, we offer you refreshments in a relaxing, child-friendly environment. Studies are generally short and children usually really enjoy taking part. Your child leaves with a ‘Young Scientist’ certificate. This is a fun, interesting and maybe educational experience! There is no obligation once you have signed up, and you have the right to withdraw your details at any time.

All studies have received ethical clearance from the Faculty of Social Science Ethics Committee at the University of Kent and all Child Development Unit staff have received clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau to work with children. If at any point you change your mind and wish to withdraw from taking part in a project, this is totally acceptable and can be done immediately.