Tanya Richardson

Affiliated researcher
Affiliated researchers , School of Education and Communication


Tanya holds a PhD from University of Northampton.  She is also an affiliated researcher for Jonkoping University.  When Tanya owned her nursery, it was fortunate enough to have a forest school as part of its ethos and Tanya became very interested in the impact that this environment had on children’s speech and language development.    She therefore is lucky enough to have the practice wisdom that she is able to apply to her research and her PhD researched the impact that different learning and play environments have on young children’s speech and language development.  This research has continued beyond the PhD and she continues to study the impact of different environments on young children’s speech and language, including the home learning environment.

She is also particularly interested in the student experience for those studying Early Childhood Studies and researches aspects with the aim to enhance this experience and produce professionals who will be excellent advocates for children and their families.


Dr Tanya Richardson has been a Senior Lecturer in Early Years at the University of Northampton, England since 2013 and is Programme Leader for the Early Childhood Studies programmes.   She is the Professional Lead for Childhood, Youth and Families.  Prior to working at the University, she managed and led her own “outstanding” Early Childhood day nursery and out of school club.  

Tanya is the co-chair of the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN), a UK network which supports universities delivering Early Childhood Studies degrees, with the aim of raising the profile and professional status of those working in the field of Early Childhood.   This has involved being part of the working group which implemented and piloted the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies, a national initiative to raise the professionalism of the workforce.

Tanya is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and also a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for speech and language.  She chairs the special interest group at the University of Northampton for Early Childhood Education and Care and is a member of the British Academy for Early Career Researchers.


Richardson, T., Waite, S., Askerlund, P., Almers, E., Hvit Lindstrand, S. (2023). How does nature support early language learning?: A systematic literature review. More information