In the UK, a pilot study funded by What Works in Children’s Social Care and implemented by a team from Cardiff University, University College London and the Tavistock Centre, investigating the feasibility of evaluating Watch Me Play! for babies and children referred to early years and children’s services across the UK, began in June 2022. The study aims to find out how feasible it is to provide Watch Me Play! support for babies and children aged from 0 to eight years and their caregivers in early years and children’s services in the UK, and whether providing this support online helps to improve access for families.

Quantitative measures used are: the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ); (Goodman, 2001); the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach, 1991, 2001); Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale 3 (Sparrow, Cicchetti & Saulnier, 2016); Being a Parent (Gibaud-Wallston & Wandersman, 1978); Parenting Stress Index Short Form (Abidin, 1990); Child-Parent Activity Index (Totsika V, 2015); Child-Parent Relationship Scale (Pianta, 1992); Mother’s Object Relations Scale-SF (Simkiss, MacCallum, Fan, Oates, Kimani & Stewart-Brown, 2013); Mother Object Relations Scale-child (Oates & Gervai, 2005); and the Emotional Availability Scales (Biringen et al.,2014), based on a 20-minute videotaped free play interaction between the caregiver and the child. Qualitative feedback and interviews with caregivers and practitioners will also be analysed.

For more information on this project, please contact: .


Also in the UK, research projects are assessing the feasibility of providing and evaluating WMP online to families with a child with developmental delay under the age of seven, finding out about caregivers’ and professionals’ experiences of Watch Me Play! with young children with emerging neurodiverse development; and exploring parents’ experiences of the contribution of Watch Me Play! to assessment for autistic spectrum disorder or developmental disability

For more information on these projects, please contact .


In Italy, the Associazione Italiana di Psicotherapia Psicoanalitica (AIPPI) Milan training group has formed a research collaboration with colleagues in the Università Cattolica of Milan to evaluate Watch Me Play! training and therapeutic support. A jointly organized conference, ‘Tra dire e fare: giocare’, exploring theory and practice in Watch Me Play! took place in Milan in May 2022.
For more information on this project, please contact:  or .


In Japan, Research funded by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Nippon Foundation to evaluate Watch Me Play! with children and carers in foster families and adoptive families and in children’s homes is under way at the Waseda University Research Institute for Children’s Social Care, Tokyo.

Measures used include the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scale (Sparrow, Cicchetti & Saulnier, 2016); Being a Parent (Gibaud-Wallston & Wandersman, 1978); Parenting Stress Index Short Form (Abidin, 1990); Child-Parent Activity Index (Totsika, 2015).

A presentation on the research was given at a conference of the Japanese Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect in 2022.

For more information on this project, please contact: .




Hunter, C. (in preparation) How do parents experience Watch Me Play! alongside the multi-disciplinary assessment of their under-five year old’s social communication difficulties? An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.


 Randell, L., Nollett, C, Henley, J., Smallman, K., Johnson, S., Meister, McNamara, R, Wilkins, D., Segrott, J., Casbard, A., Wakelyn, J., McKay, K., Bordea, E., L. Totsika, V., Kennedy, E., (2024) Pilot and Feasibility Studies Watch Me Play!, Protocol for a feasibility study of a remotely-delivered intervention to promote mental health resilience for children (age 0-8) across UK Early Years and Children’s Services.


Wakelyn, J. (2019) ‘Developing an intervention for infants and young children in care: Watch Me Play!’ In: Supporting Vulnerable Babies and Young Children, edited by Wendy Bunston and Sarah Jones (Jessica Kingsley).


Wakelyn, J. (2020) Therapeutic Approaches with Babies and Young Children in Care: Observation and Attention (Karnac/Routledge). ISBN 978-1-782-20438-1


 Koenig, A., Westlake, A., Abraham, T., Wakelyn, J., Scior, K., Lecchi, T., Scior, K. and Totsika, V., (submitted for publication) A feasibility study of Watch Me Play! for parents of young children with a developmental delay.