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Innovative Research

Research and data indicate tackling education inequality and the lifelong economic and other problems that flow from this inequality is a serious issue in Australia. Many reports and reviews identify a lack of high-quality research evidence to inform policy and practice reforms that would improve life chances and opportunities for children living with significant social disadvantage and family stress.

The Australian early childhood education and care (ECEC) program with the highest quality evidence and most positive outcomes to date is the Early Years Education Program (EYEP), which was undertaken as a multi-disciplinary Randomised Control Trial and was the first of its kind in Australia. The trial achieved remarkable developmental and learning outcomes for children who received the intervention1, including large and statistically significant impacts on outcomes relating to children’s cognitive development (IQ), language skills, and social and emotional development.

Our research seeks to enable infants and young children living with significant social disadvantage and family stress to enter school as confident learners who are developmentally and educationally equal to their peers.

Parkville Institute is engaging in two research studies from 2022 to 2026:

  1. Our replication research aims to:
    • Apply EYEP in different contexts to see if the findings of the original Randomised Controlled Trial can be replicated.
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of Parkville Institute’s support to the ECEC centres replicating the model to ensure fidelity.
    • Identify challenges and enablers for implementation of the program.
    • Provide research insights to inform recommendations for stepped scaling up.
  1. The evaluation of the intensive ECEC program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, being codeveloped with Cullunghutti Child and Family Services, SNAICC – National Voice for our Children and Social Ventures Australia, aims to:
    • Build the evidence on Aboriginal community-controlled programs that support strong outcomes in learning and development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
    • Inform Federal and State governments on culturally responsive and appropriate policy and funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood education and care services.
    • Strengthen leadership and workforce capacity in Aboriginal community-controlled services.


1. Tseng YP (2022) Changing the Life Trajectories of Australia’s Most Vulnerable Children - Report No. 5: 36 months in the Early Years Education Program: Assessment of the impact on children and their primary caregivers, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne.