Early Start is home to world-leading researchers that are investigating real-life challenges that have a transformational impact on the lives of children.

We’re always working with children and families for important research studies. Check out our current research below and get involved!

Receive a $20 Discovery Space Voucher!
The FREE program is focused on supporting parents to foster children’s self-regulation in play, through a series of online sessions, in-person play workshops, and at-home play.

Self-regulation refers to the ability to control our thoughts, behaviours, emotions and social interactions – an ability that develops rapidly in the preschool years. Research has shown that self-regulation is related to important abilities such as social competence, school readiness, and academic achievement. Over the course of 8 weeks, small groups of parents and their children will gather at Early Start Discovery Space to try out some strategies and play activities in a supportive environment. The program includes strategies that are thought to be necessary for self-regulatory development (e.g. encouraging children to lead and make choices, engaging children in challenging play and creating a helpful and nurturing environment).

The 8-week program is intended to guide parents through the use of these strategies without help, to carry on with supporting children long after the project has finished!  

All parents who sign up for the project will need to be able to commit to a 90-minute play session at the Discovery Space in April/May 2021, and another for 90 minutes in June or July 2021, and two 30-minute play sessions at home every fortnight. In addition, some families will need to attend 30 min online parent-only sessions, and four 90 min workshops scheduled every other week across May and June. Those who sign up and participate will receive a $20 Discovery Space voucher at the end of the project!

Want to join Quincey Quokka on his quest? A rhyming picture book to support children’s cognitive development. Join us for a FREE 4-week program, starting in February!

Research suggests that physical activity can facilitate children’s cognitive development. Given early childhood is an important period in the acquisition and learning of new skills, it is important to understand factors that enhance cognitive development. The purpose of this research program is to examine whether physical (e.g. jumping, hoping, running, skipping) and cognitive activities (i.e., activities that require children to help the main character through an obstacle) embedded in a storybook for young children has physical and cognitive benefits.

Wollongong Infant Learning Lab (WILL) at Early Start are looking to better understand the types of activities and conversations happening in Australian homes that could influence 3-5 year old’s early literacy and numeracy development. If you have a 3-5 year old and are interested, follow this link to our 20 min survey. All families welcome!


While we know social interactions are crucial for children’s language learning, we do not know how interactions are enhanced or compromised during digital experiences. UOW Early Start researchers are working to investigate this very issue. We’re inviting educators to share their experiences and feelings about children and technology to help us identify specific characteristics for quality adult-child interactions during digital experiences.

We are looking for parents’ and early childhood educators’ views on how to deliver successful programs for preschool children.

Our goal is to promote quality time with children throughout the day, enhancing their physical and cognitive skills. The results of this survey will improve program design for the preschool environment and training for practitioners.

Our goal is to design programs that require minimal training, are accessible and easy to be applied by both parents and early childhood educators