Find out what to expect from a visit to the Babylab.

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What is the Essex Child Development Database?

The Essex Child Development Database is a platform where interested parents can register their children for research studies. It is shared by researchers in the Department of Languages and Linguistics and in the Department of Psychology who work on child development.

Upon signing up, you will be asked to provide your contact details and information about your child, such as age, sex, the languages you speak at home, and any developmental difficulties they may have. This information will allow us to determine whether your child is eligible to participate in one of our current studies.

What happens after registering my baby’s details for the database?

Each study has an age range that is specific to a particular stage of development. We will call or email you if your baby is the right age for a study we are running.

We will describe the study, and if you are happy to take part in it, we will arrange a visit to the Babylab at a convenient time for you and your child.

You can decide on a case-by-case basis whether you would like to take part in a specific study. Your participation is always voluntary.

What to expect from a visit to the Babylab?

When you and your baby arrive at the Babylab, we will welcome you to our playroom.

You will be given plenty of time to get comfortable with tea or coffee, and toys for your child. We will explain the study to you again and we will answer any question you might have. You will be given a consent form to sign, so that we know you are happy for your baby to participate in the study.

When ready, we will move to a nearby room to start the study. Your baby will be sitting either on your lap or in a baby chair. You will be with your baby at all times.

Normally, your visit will take about 30 minutes to 1 hour, but the studies themselves are quite short, usually 5-15 minutes.

After the study, you and your child will receive a small gift to thank you for helping us with our research. 

What if I need to change or feed my baby upon arrival?

We have changing facilities and always schedule extra time to allow for feeding breaks during your visit.

What if my child doesn’t want to participate on the day?

If your child is unhappy before or during the study, we usually check whether a feed or nappy change will cheer them up. If that does not work, we can always reschedule your visit.

How will my data be stored?

Your data will be stored on a secure, password-protected university database server.

All of our studies are approved by the ethics committee at the University of Essex. We will never pass on your details to a third party. All data is being stored in accordance with requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

You can ask for your details to be removed from our database at any time.

How do I cancel an appointment?

If you change your mind, you can cancel your appointment at any time.

If you no longer wish to be contacted about our studies please email and we will remove your contact details from our database.