E4Kids is a 5-year study that will follow a large group of three and four year olds as they participate in childcare, kindergarten and preschool programs. We will continue to track children and analyse the programs they attend through to the early years of school.

The research will examine the contributions made by different programs to children's learning and development over time. Children in both home-based and centre-based environments feature as a part of the study.

This is the first Australian study to assess the impact of participation in a range of early childhood education programs, as well as outcomes for children who do not attend programs.

The E4Kids study is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project (LP) Scheme (Grant LP0990200) in partnership with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Queensland Department of Education and Training.

What we know about the early childhood programs children attend

The experiences children have within Australian Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) programs vary widely. These experiences impact directly upon children's educational and social development.

Higher quality programs have been shown to enhance children's development and have long-lasting effects on adult productivity and social participation. In contrast, the absence of an ECEC program predicts poor developmental progress over time.

What we don’t know about the early childhood programs children attend

We know that quality matters, yet we do not know what components of ECEC result in a quality program.

E4Kids will identify these components and how they can be provided to optimise upon children's development.

The study will provide evidence of how best to invest the $3.6 billion invested annually in ECEC by Australian governments.

What is E4Kids Asking?

This study is designed to answer fundamental questions about Australian ECEC programs – questions that, to date, have not been studied firsthand.

  • In what ways do ECEC programs contribute to the learning and development of Australian children?
  • Which components of ECEC programs work and which components don’t work in promoting children’s learning, development and social inclusion?
  • Which environments and which children result in positive (or negative) learning experiences?
  • How much does it cost to achieve these positive effects?


The Victorian and Queensland Governments are providing combined funding of approximately $3m. They will support the implementation of the study and have a major role in ensuring that research findings are translated into policy, program and workforce reform.


The E4Kids study is conducted by The University of Melbourne and Queensland University of Technology. It is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project (LP) Scheme (Grant LP0990200) in partnership with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Queensland Department of Education and Training.

Press Releases

A collection of the latest E4Kids Press Releases from Universities and Partner Organizations:


Keep up to date with all the latest study news in The E4Kids Express:


Collette Tayler

Prof Collette Tayler

+61 3 8344 0992

Research Interests:
Early Childhood Care and Education Policy and Provision, ECEC curriculum and Pedagogy, Integrated EC Service Provision, Social & Human Capital Development.

Caroline Cohrssen

Ms Caroline Cohrssen
PhD Candidate (APAI)

+61 3 8344 0959

Research Interests:
Mathematics in Early Childhood, Impact of Language on Maths Learning, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.

Amelia Church

Dr Amelia Church

+61 3 8344 0957

Research Interests:
Communicative Competence in Early Childhood, Peer Interaction, Developmental Pragmatics, Ethnomethodology in Early Childhood.

Sally Thornton

Ms Sally Thornton
Research Assistant

+61 3 9035 4289

Research Interests:
Language and Literacy Development, Early Childhood Education.

Leanne Hallowell

Ms Leanne Hallowell
Research Assistant

+61 3 8344 0956

Research Interests:
Early Childhood Pedagogy, Children's Engagement, Health and Wellbeing,
Children in Health Care, Early Childhood Educator Training.

Cath MacBean

Ms Cath MacBean
Operations Leader

+61 3 8344 0955

Research Interests:
Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Special Education, Emergency Medicine, Mental Health.

Frank Oberklaid

Prof Frank Oberklaid
Partner Investigator - Royal Children's Hospital

+61 3 9345 5350

Research Interests:
Paediatrics, Mental Health, Family Care, Community Child Health, Indigenous Health.

Ann Sanson

Prof Ann Sanson
Chief Investigator

+61 3 9345 4517

Research Interests:
Child Health and Well-being, Mental Health, Preventative Medicine, Community Child Health.

Iram Siraj-Blatchford

Prof Iram Siraj-Blatchford
Partner Investigator - Institute of Education, University of London

+44 20 7612 6218

Research Interests:
Early Childhood Education, Pedagogy, Curriculum, Assessment and the Impact of Learning in School and Home.

Liz Waters

Prof Liz Waters
Chief Investigator

+61 3 8344 3183

Research Interests:
Paediatrics, Nutrition and Dietetics, Mental Health, Indigenous Health, Health Promotion.

Gordon Cleveland

Dr Gordon Cleveland
Partner Investigator - University of Toronto

+1 416 287 7317

Research Interests:
Economics of Early Childhood Education and Care/Child Care.

Ray Adams

Prof Ray Adams
Chief Investigator

+61 3 8344 2898

Research Interests:
Large-scale Sample Survey Methodology, Large-scale Student Testing and Assessment, International Comparative Assessments, Item Response Modelling.

Patrick Griffin

Prof Patrick Griffin
Chief Investigator

+61 3 8344 8205

Research Interests:
Outcomes Based Education, Performance Assessment, Learning & Achievement Assessment, Profiles of Achievement, Judgement based assessment.

Karin Ishimine

Dr Karin Ishimine
ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

+61 3 8344 0952

Research Interests:
Assessment in Early childhood, Quality Measurement, Quantitative Analysis.

Dan Cloney

Mr Dan Cloney
Research Fellow

+61 3 8344 9534

Research Interests:
Public Policy, Education Economics, Child Development.

Tim Gilley

Dr Tim Gilley
Partner Investigator - DEECD (VIC)

+61 3 9637 3315

Research Interests:
Quality of Life, Child Outcomes, Integration of Research, Policy, Planning and Practice, Longitudinal Research, Evaluation.

Angie Mashford

Ms Angie Mashford-Scott
PhD Candidate

+61 3 9035 4818

Research interests:
Children’s Wellbeing in Early Childhood Settings
Children’s Engagement
Early Childhood Pedagogy
Children’s Perspectives in Research.



This brochure provides a brief overview of the E4Kids study including partners, study aims and key research questions.

E4Kids National Brochure

Research Bulletins

E4Kids Research Bulletin Issue 1 - December 2011 (PDF)

E4Kids Research Bulletin Issue 2 - January 2012 (PDF)

E4Kids Research Bulletin Issue 3 - July 2012 (PDF)

E4Kids Research Bulletin Issue 4 - May 2013 (PDF)

E4Kids Research Bulletin Issue 5 - August 2013 (PDF)

E4Kids Research Bulletin Issue 6 - April 2015 (PDF)

Research Seminars

The E4Kids Team regularly holds Research Seminars in Queensland and Victoria. Upcoming and past events can be found here.

Kevin McGrew – September 2010 "Reflections on 35 Years of Intelligence Testing"

Mona Bekkhus - May 2010 "Optimal care? 9-months fully paid maternal leave, high quality care and associations with Child behaviour at 3 years"

Gordon Cleveland - February 2010 "Selection Effects in the E4Kids Longitudinal Study"

Gordon Cleveland - February 2011 "Quality in Quebec Child Care Centres: What Matters and How Much?"

Iram Siraj-Blatchford - August 2011 "Performing Against the Odds: How working class kids succeed in education

Erin Birch - October 2011 "Indigenous Wisdom for Future Generations"

Bente Jensen - August 2012 "How can we address Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) more effectively"

Iram Siraj-Blatchford - October 2012 "Effective Pedagogy in Primary Schools in English and Maths"

Linda Mitchell - Nov 2012 "Lessons from NZ Policy Approaches"

Prof. Collette Tayler - Nov 2012 "DEAN'S LECTURE; Usage Pattern in Australian ECEC Program

Gordon Cleveland - Dec 2012 "The Determinants of Interaction Quality in Australian Child Care: A Production-Function Approach"

Conference proceedings

The Determinants of Interaction Quality in Australian Child Care: A Production-Function Approach.

Cleveland, G. Tayler, C. & Cloney, D.
  • Presented at: joint International Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) and the Asia Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA) 5 December, 2012.

Economies of Scale and Scope and the Structure of Costs in Australian Early Childhood Services.

Cleveland, G., Colley, S., Tayler, C. & Cloney, D.
  • Presented at: joint International Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) and the Asia Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA) 5 December, 2012.

Playing with maths: does implementation dosage affect children¹s learning outcomes? Preliminary findings and recommendations for future curriculum-based implementation studies in early childhood settings.

Cohrssen, C., Tayler, C. & Cloney, D.
  • Presented at: Biennial Australian Implementation Conference 2012. 26, October 2012

Teacher-Child Interactions in Early Childhood Education and Care: An Australian Study

Tayler, C., Ishimine, K., Thorpe, K., & Cloney, D.
  • Presented at: Society for Research in Child Development (SRDC) 2011 Biennial Meeting; Montreal, Quebec, Canada, March 31 – April 2 2011

Children’s social networks and friendship quality across different early childhood education and care setting in Australia

Staton, S., Thorpe, K., Tayler, C., Dyson, R., & Canning-Ure, A.
  • Presented at: 15th European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Bergen Norway, August 23-27 2011

Adaptation of the Friendship Bus Story for Assessment of Social Bridging and Social Inclusion

Thorpe, K., Staton, S., Bell-Booth, R., Thompson, C., Tayler, C., Cloney, D., Dyson, R., & Canning-Ure, A.
  • Presented at: 15th European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Bergen Norway, August 23-27 2011.


Journal Articles

The Quality of Early Childhood Education and Care Services in Australia

Tayler, C., Cleveland, G., Ishimine, K., Cloney, D., & Thorpe, K. (2013).

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(2).

Other publications and presentations

Assessing the quality of early childhood education and care.

Cloney, D., Page, J., Tayler, C., and Church, A.

Centre for Community Child Health Policy Brief. No. 25 July 2013.

Published Peer Reviewed Journals


Cohrssen, C, Church, A., & Tayler, C. (2016). Play based mathematics activities as a resource for changing educator practice and behaviour, Sage Open, April-June, pp1-14.

Niklas, F., Nguyen, C., Cloney, D., Tayler, C. & Adams, R. (2016). Self-report measures of the home learning environment in large scale research: Measurement properties and associations with key developmental outcomes. Learning Environments Research Journal

Tayler, C., Cloney, D., Adams, R., Ishimine, K., Thorpe, K., Nguyen, T.K.C, (2016). Assessing the effectiveness of Australian early childhood education and care experiences: study protocol. BMC Public Health 16, 352. DOI


Cloney, D., Cleveland, G., Hattie, J. & Tayler, C. (2015). Variations in the availability and quality of early childhood education and care by socioeconomic status. Early Education and Development. DOI: 10.1080/10409289.2015.1076674 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10409289.2015.1076674

Cohrssen, C., Niklas, F. & Tayler, C. (2015). ‘Is that what we do?’ Using a conversation analytic approach to highlight the contribution of dialogic reading strategies to educator-child interactions during storybook reading in two early childhood settings. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, DOI: 10.1177/1468798415592008. http://ecl.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/07/02/1468798415592008

Cohrssen, C., Tayler, C. & Cloney, D. (2015) Playing with maths: implications for early childhood mathematics teaching from an implementation study in Melbourne, Australia, Education 3-13, 43:6, 641-652, DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2013.848916 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03004279.2013.848916

Gilley, T., Tayler, C., Niklas, F. & Cloney, D. S. (2015). Too late and not enough for some children: Early childhood education and care (ECEC) program usage patterns in the years before school in Australia. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, 9 (1). doi: 10.1186/s40723-015-0012-0 http://ijccep.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40723-015-0012-0

Hildenbrand, C., Niklas, F., Cohrssen, C., & Tayler, C. (2015) Children’s mathematical and verbal competence in different early education and care programs in Australia,. Journal of Early Childhood Research. DOI: 10.1177/1476718X15582096 http://ecr.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/05/21/1476718X15582096

Niklas, F., Cohrssen, C. & Tayler, C. (2015). Home learning environment and fluid reasoning: A family intervention study with kindergarten children. Early Childhood Education Journal, DOI: 10.1007/s10643-015-0726-1 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10643-015-0726-1

Niklas, F., Cohrssen, C. & Tayler, C. (2015). Improving pre-schoolers’ numerical abilities by enhancing the home numeracy environment. Early Education & Development. DOI: 10.1080/10409289.2015.1076676 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10409289.2015.1076676

Niklas, F., Tayler, C. & Schneider, W. (2015). Home-based literacy activities and children’s cognitive outcomes: A comparison between Australia and Germany. International Journal of Educational Research. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2015.04.001, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883035515000270

Tayler C., Cloney, D., & Niklas, F. (2015). A bird in the hand: understanding the trajectories of development of young children and the need for action to improve outcomes. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 40 (3), 51-60. http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/our-publications/australasian-journal-early-childhood/index-abstracts/ajec-vol-40-no-3-september-2015-2/a-bird-in-the-hand-understanding-the-trajectories-of-development-of-young-children-and-the-need-for-action-to-improve-outcomes/

Tayler, C., Ishimine, K., Cloney, D., Cleveland, G and Thorpe, K. (2013). The quality of early childhood education and care services in Australia. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38, (2), 13-21. http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/our-publications/australasian-journal-early-childhood/index-abstracts/ajec-vol-38-2-2013/quality-early-childhood-education-care-services-australia/


Cohrssen, C., Church, A. & Tayler, C. (2014.) Pausing for learning: Responsive engagement in mathematics activities in early childhood settings. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. 39(4) 95-102. http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/our-publications/australasian-journal-early-childhood/index-abstracts/ajec-vol-39-no-4-december-2014/pausing-learning-responsive-engagement-mathematics-activities-early-childhood-settings/

Cohrssen, C., Church, A., & Tayler, C. (2014). Purposeful pauses: Teacher talk in early childhood mathematics activities. International Journal of Early Years Education. DOI: 10.1080/09669760.2014.900476. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09669760.2014.900476#.VsvkSE3VyUk

Pattinson, C., Staton, S., Smith, S. Sinclair, D, & Thorpe, K. (2014).Emotional climate and behaviour management during sleeptime in early childhood education settings. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29, 660-668. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0885200614000805


Cohrssen, C, Church, A., Tayler, C., & Ishimine, K. (2013). Playing with maths. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. 38(1) (95-99). http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/our-publications/australasian-journal-early-childhood/index-abstracts/ajec-vol-38-1-2013/playing-maths-facilitating-learning-play-based-learning/

Ishimine, K. & Tayler, C. (2013) Assessing quality in early childhood education and care, European Journal of Education: Research Development and Policy, DOI: 10.1111/ejed.12043. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejed.12043/abstract.


Davis, E., Eivers, A. & Thorpe, K. (2012). Is quality more important if you’re quirky? A review of the literature on differential susceptibility to childcare environments. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(4), 99-106. http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/our-publications/australasian-journal-early-childhood/index-abstracts/ajec-vol-37-4-2012/quality-important-youre-quirky-review-literature-differential-susceptibility-childcare-environments/

Fun stuff

Book Reviews

Read reviews of new and classic children's books - the E4Kids Team reviews their favourites!

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Kids in the Kitchen

Cook up a storm with the latest, tastiest recipes from the E4Kids Kitchen.

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Play Based Learning

Learn more about play-based learning and find creative and imaginative ideas to help children become active learners and investigators.

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