Innovative Research at the Pikler Daycare Centre in Budapest: Verbal Accompaniment in Free Play

Project info

Lóczy Foundation for the Children, Budapest – Hungary
founded in 2014
Research Team: 5 psychologists
Contact Person: Eszter Mózes

Location: Budapest, Hungary

The Lóczy Foundation supports the Pikler Daycare Center in Budapest, Lóczy Lajos utca 3, among others. The aim of the foundation is to support parents, children and professionals by spreading Dr. Emmi Pikler’s world-renowned infant pedagogy.
The Pikler Workshop (Hungarian Pikler-Lóczy Society) for professionals is affiliated with the crèche and offers further training, observation visits, research projects and publications on the development of infants and toddlers.

Project: Research project on verbal accompaniment of children in free play

Our Funding:
Contribution to the costs of the research study amounting to 14,700 €, distributed over the years 2024 to 2026

The Piklerian perspective on free play emphasizes the importance of autonomous and self-initiated play for child development. According to Pikler Pedagogy, children are given space to unfold their play activities spontaneously and without being interrupted.

Free play is seen as an essential part of the childhood experience, allowing children to explore their environment, develop skills, and acquire social competencies,

Infant-toddler educators observe and respect children’s needs of free motor and play activities without directly guiding or teaching, creating an environment that supports and encourages free play.

Pikler-Krippe Budapest. Verbale Begleitung im freien Spiel

The project operator

The “Lóczy Foundation for Children” works in the interest of young children –advocating for their right to play freely, move freely, and learn peaceful coexistence with other children.

The foundation supports:

  • Financially and professionally, the Pikler Nursery, which has been operating since 2006, and where experienced infant-toddler educators look after children. Professionals from many countries visit to experience the Pikler Approach in practice.
  • Professionals working with infants and young children by offering training (seminars, consultations with observations) in Spanish, English, French, German, and Hungarian.
  • Families with young children: psychologists, special education teachers, pediatricians, and other professionals provide consultation services, advice, therapies, and early interventions.

The foundation also facilitates the scientific evaluation of Emmi Pikler’s insights and publishes the results on the impact of Pikler Pedagogy on children for further education.

Innovative Research at the Pikler Daycare Centre in Budapest: Verbal Accompaniment in Free-Play Activities

This research initiative examines the care of children at the Emmi Pikler Nursery in Budapest, Hungary, in collaboration with the prestigious Eötvös Loránd University. The goal is to understand the verbal guidance of play activities by caregivers.

Pikler-Krippe Budapest. Verbale Begleitung im freien Spiel

The research team consists of five esteemed psychologists, including Eszter Mózes, Director of the Lóczy Foundation for Children and President of the Pikler International Association. The methodology is based on analyzing video material from the nursery to gain a deep understanding of caregiving and pedagogical interactions.

Pikler-Krippe Budapest. Verbale Begleitung im freien Spiel
Pikler-Krippe Budapest. Verbale Begleitung im freien Spiel

The results aim to improve nursery care practices and will be published in the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, contributing to the global development of early childhood education.

Why we are committed to the project

Dr. Emmi Pikler’s pedagogy for young children perfectly aligns with our foundation’s mission to support children and youth in their development through self-effective experiences in a prepared environment with adults who engage with them respectfully and with restraint for their own solutions.

This study helps professionals understand how caregivers in the Pikler Nursery enable young children to experience active learning and development through verbal guidance in free play.


We look forward to supporting this unique pedagogy in the next three years in researching the effectiveness of verbal guidance and are eager to see the results!