Personal profile


Declan first joined the University of Huddersfield in October 2022 at the age of 23 as a part-time hourly-paid lecturer teaching on the part-time Early Years BA (Hons) degree, and subsequently acquired a full-time lecturing post in September 2023 at the age of 24. During his time as a part-time hourly-paid lecturer, he was working full-time in early years practice as an Early Years Practitioner in a charity-run day nursery in South Yorkshire where he was the room leader of the pre-school room.

Declan’s teaching responsibilities are varied and currently include teaching and module leading across a range of modules on both the full-time Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) BA (Hons), and the part-time Early Years BA (Hons) degree courses. From January 2024-March 2024, Declan also held interim course leadership responsibilities for three undergraduate degree courses (the Early Childhood and Education BA (Hons) Top-up, Education BA (Hons), and Education with Psychology BA (Hons) degrees).

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Declan supervises final year undergraduate students and postgraduate master’s students with their research. Currently, he is in the process of developing his PhD research proposal on the topic of practitioner mental health and well-being which he hopes to have submitted before November 2024.

Declan has previously worked in a Further Education (FE) college in South Yorkshire as both an FE Teacher and a HE Teaching Associate in Childcare and Education. During this time, he taught and held course leadership responsibilities for the distanced learning CACHE Level 3 Children and Young People’s Workforce (CYPW) course which was delivered in evenings in partnership with Wakefield Council to large cohorts of mature students. Alongside this leadership position, he also taught on the full-time Level 3 T-Level in Education course, Level 3 Access to Higher Education: Childhood Studies, and the Foundation Degree (Levels 4 and 5) in Supporting Children, Families and Communities.

Prior to entering the lifelong learning sector, Declan held several roles working in both public and private Early Years practice across South Yorkshire from 2016. Namely, as a full-time Early Years Practitioner (EYP) supporting the learning and development of babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, a relief Teaching Assistant (TA) based in EYFS and KS1, and a holiday cover EYP working with children aged 3-11 years. 

At present, Declan is also the research assistant for a study led by Dr Dimi Kaneva entitled: Listening through play-based methods (LIME): Young children’s experiences of family life in the aftermath of a global pandemic (2023-2025); British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grants Scheme 2023 (SRG23\231850). 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Professional Love
  • Ethics of care
  • Mental health and wellbeing in education