Ko te reo o te tamaiti te tāonga o tōna ao. The language of the child is the treasure of her/his world.

The core purposes of the Centre are comprised in the acronym, LEAD: Promoting Leadership, Equity, Achievement and Diversity in Early Literacy.

These purposes translate into the four main objectives of the Marie Clay Research Centre. These are to promote research and study or practice with young children in the following areas:

  • Early language/s and literacy learning
  • Learning equity through valuing culturally and linguistically diverse whānau/families
  • Teaching innovation
  • Teacher leadership in literacy

The Centre will be developed through projects that are aligned with the four main objectives and their origin can come from any source - an individual idea, a call for proposals, a school or a community of schools. The Marie Clay Research Centre will engage in broad partnerships with whānau/fono/families, iwi/community leaders, educators and researchers to create unprecedented opportunities for children’s oral language/s and literacy learning to ensure that learning-teaching interactions promote the success of all learners, with priority for Māori and Pasifika children.


  • Our people

    Meet the staff, Executive Committee and Partnership Board of the Marie Clay Research Centre-LEAD in Early Literacy.

  • About Marie Clay

    Find out more about Dame Marie Clay, distinguished researcher and developmental psychologist, and the first woman professor at the University of Auckland.

  • Projects and partners

    Find about the collaborative, research endeavours of the Marie Clay Research Centre-LEAD in Early Literacy.

  • News and events

    Find out about the latest news, media and events of the Marie Clay Research Centre-LEAD in Early Literacy.