The Educational and Developmental Gains in Early Childhood (EDGE) study is a partnership with The Front Project and the Victorian Department of Education and Training for a five-year evaluation of the state-wide roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten in Victoria.
The University of Melbourne (UoM), in partnership with the Front Project and the Victorian Department of Education and Training, are undertaking a five-year evaluation of the state-wide roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten in Victoria. The project is led by UoM, with funding provided by the Paul Ramsay Foundation and the Ian Potter Foundation over the next five years. Delivering two years of high-quality kindergarten before school is vital for our youngest citizens as it provides the opportunity to gain an EDGE in learning and development, narrows the disadvantage gap and sets them up for future educational success. Currently, there is limited Australian evidence on the impact of kindergarten on children’s outcomes and on how to achieve an equitable and impactful system. The EDGE study will fill the gap in evidence by:
- Measuring the impact of two years of universal kindergarten on children’s learning and development and, in doing so, contribute to the international and Australian evidence base for early childhood education.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of implementing universal three-year-old kindergarten across Victoria and opportunities to improve/revise implementation at each stage.
- Highlighting insights for policymakers and decision-makers, reflecting the cycle of policy design, implementation and the evaluation of outcomes, with a focus on equity and quality.
- Providing practical information to the early childhood sector – teachers, educators, centre leaders and providers – on the programs, practices and learning experiences that encompass three-year-old kindergarten programs across Victoria.
- Demonstrating the return on investment of two years of early childhood education, taking into account the educational, social and economic benefits of the policy, and building a case for future investment in children – particularly children experiencing disadvantage – and society as a whole.
This partnership reflects a shared, multi-disciplinary commitment to an evaluation that will deliver rigorous evidence, insights for policymakers, and practical information for early childhood teachers, centre leaders and providers.
The EDGE Study
Victoria is the first state or territory in Australia to introduce funded three-year-old kindergarten for all children. This project evaluates the impact of Victoria’s roll out of universal 3-year-old kindergarten on children’s learning and development. There are strong reasons to expect that two years of quality early childhood education are better than one before starting school. Two years of kindergarten prior to school may have even greater benefits for children who need extra support.
Selection of child care centres and kindergartens
The study has identified child care centres and kindergartens across Victoria that are offering funded 3-year-old kindergarten programs. Ninety-five services in Victoria have been invited to take part in the study. The rooms in these services in which 3- and 4-year olds are enrolled will be identified. Parents of all children in these rooms will be invited to join the study. Teachers in these rooms will also be invited to take part in the study.
Data collection will be completed in 2022, 2023 and 2024 with over 4,000 children and 95 services being visited by the Edge Team. Survey data will also be collected from parents, teachers and service managers. We will continue to follow the study children until 2027, collecting new information each year.
If you have been invited to participate in the EDGE study and would like to contact the study team, you can do so here.
Professor, Early Childhood Education
Senior Research Fellow
Research Fellow (Program Manager)
Get in touch
Phone: (03) 8344 0041
Educational and Developmental Gains in Early Childhood, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Ground Floor, Kwong Lee Dow Building,
234 Queensberry St, Carlton
University of Melbourne