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Research at Goodstart

Rigorous and robust research is essential. Goodstart's priority research areas are focused on what makes the most positive difference for child outcomes.

Goodstart acknowledges that rigorous and robust research is essential to continuous improvement and the delivery of high-quality early childhood education and care. 

Research Priorities

At Goodstart, our purpose is for all children to have the learning, development, and wellbeing outcomes they need for school and life. 

Our research goals are: 

  • To create better early childhood education environments for children and families through evidence-informed practice; 

  • For Goodstart educators to benefit from meaningful participation in research and evaluation; and 

  • To generate and disseminate evidence that leads to better policy and practice. 

Our priority research areas are focused on what makes the most positive difference for child outcomes. 

Information for researchers

Studies on the developing human brain show that a quality early learning experience in the first five years will give a child the best possible start in life. These early learning and positive life experiences can have life-long benefits. Therefore, our organisation’s purpose to ensure children have the learning, development and wellbeing outcomes they need for school and life drives our research and evaluation activities. 

The size and scale of our network means that Goodstart is uniquely positioned to commission and collaborate in research and evaluation that will increase knowledge about how best to support and optimise children’s learning, development and wellbeing – improving our national human capital potential well into the future. 

Research proposals

Goodstart takes a collaborative approach to the research we support and participate in. All proposals to conduct research with Goodstart are initially considered on an individual basis by the National Research Manager in consultation with the relevant business area.

The initial criteria applied to research proposals includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Does the proposed research aim to address Goodstart’s prioritisation of child outcomes; or, support a strategic goal? 

  • Does the proposed research meet Goodstart’s principles and standards for research partnership? 

  • What is the likely impact of research outcomes for early learning policy and the broader sector? 

  • Is there organisational capacity to support the research? 

Prospective researchers who would like to work with us are advised to contact the National Research Manager in the first instance.

A Strong Evidence Base 

As the largest provider of Early Childhood Education and Care in Australia, with services in every State and Territory, we are uniquely positioned to share our evidence and insights about what works best for which cohorts of children. 

We collaborate on research projects that will strengthen the early learning and care body of evidence, including but not limited to the following activities. 

Goodstart Thought Leaders

The Goodstart Thought Leaders is a group designed to fully engage the organisation with the best early learning research and thinking in Australia and around the world. 

Our Thought Leaders meets biennially and comprises leading national and international academics and sector leaders. Each year, group members engage with us around best-available evidence and how it can most effectively inform Goodstart programs and services and how evidence can engage the sector, business and government to drive policy change that supports child development. 

Evidence and Insights 

The research we support and collaborate in reflects our investment in developing the quality of our data and in building our relationships with early childhood practitioners, Thought Leaders and other research experts so we can answer questions about what matters most in improving child outcomes. 

Access our publications, projects as well as open access academic journal articles here 

Goodstart believes all of Australia’s children should have continued access to affordable, high quality early learning and care, and uses evidence to actively advocate to government on behalf of all children and families. 

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