Early childhood is an under-researched area in Ireland when compared to other periods of childhood. It is more complex to research young children, to gain understandings of their experiences and to give them voice. Gaining access, consent and ethical approval can prove challenging. Nonetheless, given the extensive policy attention that early childhood is receiving (DCYA, 2013; Ireland, 2015), the investment in social inclusion initiatives including early childhood education initiatives and the rapidly changing worlds within which young children are growing and developing it seemed appropriate to produce a special issue of the Research Digest on early childhood research in Ireland.