As Director of the award winning training network in the cultural and education sectors, Ruth Churchill Dower established Earlyarts in 2002 and scaled it up to have a national footprint in 2009.

Earlyarts' vision is to embed excellent creative leadership practice whether in a school or a corporate setting, so that every leader of learning, whether they are five or fifty five, can achieve outstanding results and fulfil their incredible potential.

To achieve this, Ruth has ensured that Earlyarts works in collaboration with early childhood professionals, artists and cultural organisations, universities and businesses all over the UK and in the UAE. Together, they have a hugely positive impact on the lives of over 20,000 children and families each year.

In 2009, Ruth won the Ogunte Women’s Social Leadership Awards for her work in building Earlyarts to make real change happen in young children’s lives. Ruth also works closely with Baroness Estelle Morris of Yardley (former Secretary of State for Education – 2001, and Minister for the Arts - 2002) on leadership development, and with renowned educational guru, Sir Ken Robinson, both of whom are the patrons of Earlyarts.


    • Churchill Dower, Ruth (2019) Creativity and the Arts in Early Years – Supporting Young Children’s Development & Well-Being, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (to be published).
    • Churchill Dower, Ruth (2018) 'Creativity in early years education' IN: Re-defining Early Childhood: Right from the Start, Eds Preedy & Ball; London, Routledge (in press).
    • Birkett, D; Brice Heath, S; Churchill Dower, R; Craft, A; Duffy, B; Egan, P; Ellyatt, W; Gill, T; Jayatilaka, G; Lammy, D; Rosen, M; Teather, S; Ward, (2010) Born Creative, London, Demos, ISBN:978-1-906693-54-1.
    • Churchill Dower, Ruth (2009) Cultural Entitlement in a Nutshell, Holmfirth, Lulu, ISBN:978-1-4092-8587-8.
    • Churchill Dower, Ruth (2006) Imagination for Life and Learning, Yorkshire, Arts Council England, ISBN:0-7287-1191-5.
    • Churchill Dower, Ruth, Sharon Hogan, Helen Sims, Chris Hoy (2006) Search for Meaning - The Children's Curriculum, Bradford, Canterbury Nursery School and Centre for Children and Families.
    • Churchill Dower, Ruth (2004) International Creative Practice in Early Years Settings, Yorkshire, Arts Council England, ISBN:0-7287-1063-3


    Articles IN NATIONAL PRESS and journals


    Ruth is a prolific writer and media commentator, bringing insight and debate to key issues in creative early education through her Blog. Ruth’s most recent publications can be read freely at: Creativity or Play? Why early arts professional should not have to choose (2012, The Guardian), Born Creative (2010, Demos, ISBN:978-1-906693-54-1); Cultural Entitlement in a Nutshell, (2010, Lulu, ISBN:978-1-4092-8587-8), Imagination for Life and Learning (2006, Arts Council England, ISBN: 0-7287-1191-5), International Creative Practice in Early Years Settings (2004, Arts Council England, ISBN: 0-7287-1063-3).

    Ruth’s position, knowledge and skills enable her to build strategic partnerships with national and international clients with whom she is a regular Guest Speaker, Key Note Presenter, consultant and trainer. A full client list can be seen here but her recent clients have included Frost Science Centre Miami, University of Edinburgh, Sharjah Museums Department, Independent Schools Association, Botin Foundation Santander, Museum of London, National Children's Bureau, Early Excellence, Assessment Foundation, Arts Council Ireland, Arts Council England, UCL Qatar, Pre-school Learning Alliance, National Museums Liverpool and several local authorities, schools and nursery settings.

    Ruth is a fellow of the RSA, a founding member of the Cultural Learning Alliance and the national Early Years Strategy Group for Youth Music, a member of the Social Enterprise Coalition, an associate member of Small Size, and an accredited Relational Dynamics Coach.

    Ruth lives in Yorkshire with her two children and spends any free time in the hills climbing, biking, puddle-splashing and generally having as much fun with her children as possible before tea.



    • Churchill Dower, Ruth; French, Dr Geraldine; Rogers, Dr Margaret; Sandbrook, Ben (7/2013) 'Early Childhood Arts - Three Perspectives', published by The Arts Council Ireland, Young People, Children, and Education department (YPCE).
    • Anderson, Fiona; Caulton, Tim; Churchill Dower, Ruth; Cochrane, Pat; Burke, Dr Catherine (2/2006) 'Cultural Entitlement: the capacities of cultural and creative organisations in the Yorkshire region to deliver a ‘cultural entitlement’ agenda in schools', Arts Council England, Creative Partnerships, Leeds University, Yorkshire Museums Libraries and Archive Service.
    • Cochrane, Pat; Jeffrey, Graham; Churchill Dower, Ruth; Garnham, Jo; and McGregor, Sheila (3/2008) 'The Arts and Community Radio', The report profiles how different art forms are represented in community radio – music, drama, written work, festivals - and also profiles innovative partnerships between radio stations and community organizations including collaborative work with schools, community groups and arts organizations, Cape UK.