Early childhood academic joins Goodstart
Making a difference in early childhood practice is the goal of a leading early children academic from Charles Sturt University.
Dr Sandie Wong has joined Goodstart Early Learning for three years to enhance high quality early learning and care practice.
Dr Wong plans to build on Goodstart’s evidenced-informed practice and strengthen the organisation’s research and evaluation capacity to foster continuous practice improvement and outcomes for children’s learning, development and wellbeing.
The opportunity to work for Australia’s largest early learning provider represented an enormous opportunity to make a real change for more than 71,500 children across 643 Goodstart centres, Dr Wong said.
“This is a fabulous opportunity to make a difference to early childhood practice,” she said.
“I was attracted to Goodstart’s social purpose and scale as Australia’s largest early learning provider. It offers immense scope to transform the lives of children particularly those from vulnerable backgrounds.”
Research shows high quality early childhood programs produce short and long term positive effects on children’s cognitive and social development.
“The benefits of high quality early learning are real and long-lasting and makes a fundamental difference to children from vulnerable backgrounds.”
The research fellowship will see Dr Wong working across the organisation and directly with educators to translate multidisciplinary national and international evidence into everyday practice within centres.
“I’ll be working in collaboration with Goodstart educators to draw on their experience, build on their practice and bridge the gap between pedagogical research and theory and early childhood practices,” she said.
“By building educator capacity, making existing practice wisdom visible, and fostering professional reflection skills and enquiry it will support the creation of innovative practice.”
She said Goodstart’s Practice Guide was a great tool that connected the Early Years Learning Framework with the evidence on child development, pedagogical theory and practice.
While supporting Goodstart in embedding evidence-informed practice, Dr Wong said she would equally gain from the experience.
“I will be working with Goodstart educators, drawing on their knowledge, experience and practice wisdom to inform research, literature and the broader early childhood sector.”
This research and literature will benefit the sector in improved provision of high quality early learning. Dr Wong will develop external national and international relationships with academics and researchers in early childhood education, government agencies and sector bodies.
Dr Wong has a PhD in early childhood education and has worked as an academic, manager, researcher, evaluator, educator, consultant and nurse, within a range of early childhood, academic and health organisations. Her research is driven by a concern with the role early childhood education and intervention has in ameliorating disadvantage and reducing marginalisation.