Explore the vibrant world of ongoing research at ECMS.

Our approach

Through our ECMS Pedagogical Framework, we privilege ‘evidence based’ to inform all aspects of our Early Childhood Education and Care work.

As a lifelong learning organisation, research partnerships provide opportunities for ECMS to delight in the practices of our teaching teams, grow our collective thinking, and contribute to the evidence base that various stakeholders can then draw upon to influence policy, decision-making, and future initiatives.

Strategic research partnerships

Our approach to research partnering aligns deeply with our pedagogical framework. In 2024, we have deliberately and purposefully partnered with projects connecting to our purpose and enabling our people to contribute to aspects of practice and pedagogy that matter to them.

Ongoing Research Projects

Birth to Three – Academic Mentorship – Dr Katherine Bussey

Beginning in 2023, this research partnership is co-located in two ECMS Early Learning Centres. With academic mentor Dr Katherine Bussey, the aim is to build internal capability to assess and improve birth to three practices.

The Gift of Place – Anti-Bias Approaches – Dr Red Ruby Scarlet

Beginning in 2022, this research engages with ‘anti-bias approaches’ to reconfigure how our organisation can become ‘critically inclusive’. This whole organisational change research project begins ‘with place’ and is led by Dr Red Ruby Scarlet.

Ngarrngga Project – University of Melbourne 

This is an Indigenous-led research project with a vision of connecting every child in Australia with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems, histories, and cultures. Based on the needs of our people, this research will produce resources and professional learning for teaching teams across the country.

The EDGE Study – The University of Melbourne / The Front Project / Victorian Department of Education

The Educational and Developmental Gains in Early Childhood (EDGE) study is a five-year evaluation of the state-wide rollout of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten in Victoria. It will provide much-needed evidence and research on the impact of kindergarten on children’s outcomes and on how to achieve an equitable and impactful system.

Australian Council of Education Research (ACER)

This research project aims to create assessment tools, including a learning progression, for teaching teams to use in their day-to-day practice. This will help them better understand children’s development, support teaching teams, and communicate children’s learning and growth.


This research is an essential part of the lead up to the Preschool Outcome Measure (POM) being released in 2025.

Early Childhood Professional Practice Partnership Project (ECPPP) – Deakin University

A longstanding research partnership, beginning in 2019 and concluding in 2024, this research will significantly impact the way professional teacher placements are conducted and how, as a sector, we can support both Mentor Teachers and Pre-Service Teachers to ensure best practice and positive outcomes for children.


Read about what the project has discovered over the last four years here.

A word from our Head of Pedagogy

I’m Emma, Head of Pedagogy at ECMS. I absolutely delight in all things Early Childhood Education and have enjoyed exploring practice and pedagogy in New Zealand and Australian contexts over the last fourteen years. I firmly believe (and research backs) that the Early Years are a transformative time in a child’s life. The difference that warm, responsive relationships and meaningful interactions make can be life-changing. And that’s something I want to be a part of.

Emma Forsyth – Head of Pedagogy

Let’s work together!

ECMS welcomes potential research partnership opportunities. Get in touch today.

    ECMS acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands on which we live, learn, work and play. Aboriginal people have a long tradition of teaching and learning through sharing their connections with country, community, language and culture. We recognise their continuing connection to the country, and we pay respects to elders past and present.