Early childhood education research

We engage in research that values play, place and innovation and enriches the lives of children, families, the sector and the wider community.

Research areas

Research areas include:

  • playwork and loose parts play
  • innovation in early childhood placements children’s agency
  • early childhood educators’ images of their roles and work
  • early childhood experiences of trauma
  • design and development of excellence in mentoring in early childhood contexts
  • play and environment
  • making urban environments child friendly.

Research projects in early childhood

ECP3 project 

Victoria University has partnered with the Department of Education and Training and Goodstart Early Learning to deliver a program supporting pre-service teachers to complete their final professional placement in rural and regional areas of Victoria.

The project includes extra support for mentor teachers and pre-service teachers with the aim of improving the experience of placement and providing further training for mentors.

The findings of the research will inform the ways in which professional placements are delivered by VU in the future. 


Pop-up play spaces in urban environments.

Maddern Square, V-You play, partnerships with local councils

We work in collaboration with local councils and private enterprise to provide pop up play spaces in urban environments. In 2021 we facilitated Mini Maddern, a Pop-Up play space in Footscray, in collaboration with Maribyrnong City Council and Public Realm Lab. We have our own Pop-Up play space at VU Nicholson campus.  

Remote Placements in Early Childhood at VU

In 2020, in response to COVID19, the early childhood team at VU developed an online (virtual) placement program to connect pre-service teachers with families and children. 

See more details about Early Childhood Education at Victoria University.

Mentions in the media

Early Childhood at VU in the Media

Staff & students

Read more about our research staff in their bios, via the links.

Partners, funders & collaborators

  • Goodstart
  • Hume City Council *
  • Maribyrnong City Council
  • Public Realm Lab
  • State Government of Victoria, Department of Education

* Hume City Council - We have partnered with Hume City Council to offer their employees a well-supported and responsive offering of our Bachelor of Early Childhood. Diploma qualified educators working and living in Hume.

Partnerships with overseas universities

We have international research partnerships with Dublin City University, Ireland and Karlstad University, Sweden.