Spotlight on the team: Dr Penny Levickis

Penny is a postdoctoral research fellow in the REEaCh Hub. Penny’s research is motivated by a desire to improve early language development, particularly for vulnerable children. She is especially interested in the contributions of adult-child interactions and the effectiveness of preventative interventions as a public health initiative for all children and those at risk of language difficulties.

Prior to her current role, Penny completed a two-year Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship at Newcastle University, UK. The purpose was to promote interdisciplinary research and international collaborations focused on adult-child interaction and child language promotion. As a result of this fellowship Penny further developed and tested the implementation of the Parental Responsiveness Rating Scale (PaRRiS) as a method to assist health professionals to measure parent-child interactions and identify children at risk of language difficulties.

Penny is currently using the PaRRiS in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) settings to test the feasibility of a professional learning program to support quality educator-child interactions. Penny aims to take an interdisciplinary approach, working collaboratively across health and education sectors to support parents and ECEC professionals to promote child language development.