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!

Parent and a child aged 3-5 years old

The Children’s Technology Play Space are running a 4-week program focusing on quality digital experiences. Topics will include using digital technologies: to complement and supplement learning experiences; for exploration and imagination; for letting your child take a lead in play; and for building important digital citizenship and safety skills.

Each week you will get access to some short materials related to the topic (to review at your convenience), and then you and your child would join us for a 30-minute playgroup session to transform that information into play, facilitated by researchers from the Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child. This first iteration of this series is part of an Early Start research project, so we will also ask you to attend digital free play sessions before and after the program to collect information on you and your child’s digital interests and play.

If you would like to participate in this session and its associated research, you can book into your first (free play) session by clicking below.
Joining the program will be on a first come, first served basis, until we reach capacity!
Want more information? Get in touch with the team at [email protected]

Requirements for participation:

  • Parents with a child aged 3-5 years old
  • You are able to commit to a 60 min playgroup session once a week in the following weeks of 7 November, 14 November, 21 November, 28 November
  • You are able to commit to one last 30 min play session in week of 5 December


January 17 and 18, 2023, 9am to 12:30pm

Who: Children aged 6-8 years old

Do you like using technology to learn and play? Do you want to build your very own original digital text? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a researcher at the University of Wollongong?

Children aged 6-8 years old are invited to join researchers at the University of Wollongong to develop a new child centred understanding of how children make digital texts!

Over two days in the new Children’s Technology Play Space you will get to learn what it means to be a researcher and work as a co-researcher by:

  • making your own unique and creative digital text (on any topic you’d like!)
  • asking questions and sharing your own ideas and perspectives
  • collecting data by recording your own work and the work of others by taking photos and videos

Joining the program will be on a first come, first served basis, until we reach capacity!

There are no costs associated with participation in this workshop.

For more information and to sign up, contact Lisa Kilgariff ([email protected]).

Requirements for participation:

  • Children must be aged 6-8 years old
  • Children should be familiar with using digital tools such as a tablet or mobile phone
  • Children will need to commit for both days of the workshop (17 and 18 January)

Participants’ activities will be recorded, and the data will be used in compliance with the UOW Ethics Approval Protocols (2022/173).

Is your child commencing kindergarten in 2023?

The University of Wollongong are running a project called Wellbeing and Mental Health in the Transition to School. We would like to invite families with a child beginning Kindergarten in 2023 to be part of the study.

You will receive two free books as part of participation in the study.

The research includes face-to-face games/activities at the University with a researcher and parents completing a questionnaire. The study will follow up with your family next year to see how the transition to school went. This project has UOW ethics approval (Reference number: 2019/404).  To find out more about the study and register your interest, please click below:

Parents of children birth to 8

“Do you know how much data is being collected of your children on a daily basis? The University of Wollongong and ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital child are running a project called A Day in the Life of Data of the Australian Childled by Senior Professor Sue Bennett and Dr Rebecca Ng. They would like to invite all Australian parents/primary carers with children from birth to 8 to participate in a nationwide survey to help understand how and what data is collected from children in a day.

Find out more by clicking below!


Researchers from Early Start at the University of Wollongong are inviting all NSW Early Childhood Educators working with children ages 3-5 years to contribute to a study examining educator knowledge, beliefs and practices around early child development and the use of formative assessments. This survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and findings will be used to support the development of a formative assessment of children’s language development and the design of professional development for educators.

 This study is part of our ongoing work to support high quality pedagogy in NSW early childhood services. Your voice and views are important to us! If you have time to complete this anonymous survey we’d love to hear from you!


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 educator