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2022 Laureate Profile: Professor Karen Thorpe

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Professor Karen Thorpe

Professor Karen Thorpe headshot

Administering Organisation: The University of Queensland

Fellowship Project Summary

FL220100137 – 10,000 Hours: Time in early education and care for better life opportunity

Early childhood care and education programs underpin Australia's economic productivity. They enable parent workforce participation. They also present the potential to promote the learning and development of the children who attend. Realising this potential is dependent on the effectiveness of the experiences provided. Children spend up to 10,000 hours in care and education programs. These hours matter. They occur at a critical point in human development in which social, emotional and learning experiences set the neural foundations for lifetime wellbeing and achievement. Understanding the ways in which programs can more effectively contribute to positive life course development benefits Australian families, society and economy. This study applies complex analyses of unique, contemporary datasets and a longitudinal study with linkage to ongoing school records to identify strategies that promote child learning and redress current social inequities. It plans to advance theory, provide multidisciplinary research training and offer new directions for realising the promise of Australia's early learning programs.

Australian Research Council funding: $3,320,000

Find out more information about Professor Karen Thorpe and their research areas of interest to date by visiting their profile page here: Professor Karen Thorpe - Queensland Brain Institute - University of Queensland (

For further information about this funding scheme, please visit the Australian Laureate Fellowships page. 

Image credit: The University of Queensland


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