Early childhood education


Our researchers tackle a variety of complex issues affecting young children, including:

  • early years' literacy and numeracy
  • role of child care and playgroup programs
  • sustainability education
  • early childhood education policy and practice.

For example, current research is assessing the effectiveness of early childhood education and care programs in Australian communities and investigating the professional beliefs and practices of child care workers.

Our strength in early childhood research is recognised both nationally and internationally.

Nationally, our research has informed the:

  • Queensland Early Years Curriculum Guidelines
  • Queensland and New South Wales Commissions for Children and Young People
  • Council of Australian Governments Early Years Framework.

Internationally, our research has contributed to the development of ethical guidelines for the conduct of child research in eight countries.


Evidence of research quality

ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) 2015 score:

  • 4 (above world standard) -
    • Education Systems (FOR 1301).

ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) evaluates the quality of research undertaken in Australian universities against national and international benchmarks.


International linkages


  • Link√∂ping University, Sweden
  • Gothenburg University, Sweden

United Kingdom:

  • London School of Economics; Loughborough University
  • Institute of Education, University of London


  • Hong Kong Institute of Education

Significant corporate partnerships

  • Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
  • Parenting Research Centre
  • Playgroup Queensland

Cross-disciplinary engagement

  • Linguistics
  • Psychology
  • Public Health and Health Services
  • Sociology


Evidence of impact

  • A corpus of research into ethical research with children is being used in eight countries, to shape research training agendas and to inform codes of ethical conduct in research with children.
  • This work has contributed an Australian dimension to the sociology of childhood paradigm, and the conversation analysis approach.

Our research:

  • informs and is reshaping national and international agendas in early childhood education and sustainability education through its call for pedagogical and curriculum research in the emerging field of early childhood education for sustainability
  • was cited in Advice to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations from The Queensland Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
  • tracks impact of disadvantage on health and wellbeing of Australian children and youth
  • delivered an early intervention program to 2000 vulnerable families across Victoria Early Home Learning Study. This is the Early Home Learning Study – Smalltalk that has recurrent funding to deliver early childhood intervention services through supported playgroups and home visiting.

Research degree enquiries

Education research office

Commercial research enquiries

Faculty of Education - consultancies

  • Level 3, B Block
    Victoria Park Road
    Kelvin Grove 4059

  • Postal address:
    Faculty of Education - Development Office
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001