Introduction Diabetes management in very young children remains challenging. Glycaemic targets are achieved at the expense of high parental diabetes management burden and frequent hypoglycaemia, impacting quality of life for the whole family. Our objective is to assess whether automated insulin delivery can improve glycaemic control and alleviate the burden of diabetes management in this particular age group. Methods and analysis The study adopts an open-label, multi-national, multi-centre, randomised, crossover design, and aims to randomise 72 children aged 1 to 7 years with type 1 diabetes on insulin pump therapy. Following screening, participants will receive training on study insulin pump and study continuous glucose monitoring devices. Participants will be randomised to 16-week use of the hybrid closed-loop system (intervention period) or to 16-week use of sensoraugmented pump therapy (control period) with 1-4 week washout period before crossing over to the other arm. The order of the two study periods will be random. The primary endpoint is the between group difference in time spent in the target glucose range from 3.9 to 10.0mmol/l based on sensor glucose readings during the 16-week study periods. Analyses will be conducted on an intention-to-treat basis. Key secondary endpoints are between group differences in time spent above and below target glucose range, glycated haemoglobin, and average sensor glucose. Participants’ and caregivers’ experiences will be evaluated using questionnaires and qualitative interviews, and sleep quality will be assessed. A health economic analysis will be performed. Ethics & dissemination Ethics approval has been obtained from Cambridge East Research Ethics Committee (UK), Ethics Committee of the University of Innsbruck, the University of Vienna and the University of Graz (Austria), Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig (Germany), and Comité National d’Ethique de Recherche (Luxembourg). The results will be disseminated by peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.