Researcher biography

Karen Thorpe is Group Leader in Child Development, Education and Care at the Institute for Social Science Research. Her research examines the effects of children's early life experiences on social, learning and health trajectories across the lifespan. Her particular interest is early childcare and education environments including parenting, parent work, quality of care and education, and the early years workforce. She was Foundation Psychologist on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children at the University of Bristol, UK; led the evaluation of the Preparing School Trial for Queensland Government; led the Queensland team of the E4Kids study of quality in Australian Early Education and Care and; in partnership with Queensland Government, Goodstart Early Learning and the Creche and Kindergarten Association, led a study of the Australian ECEC workforce (ARC Linkage). In 2013 and again in 2019 she was named by the Australian Financial Review as among Australia's 100 Women of Influence for the impacts of her research on educational and family policy.Karen chairs the Australian Early Years Reference Council,whose remit is to build a strong evidence base for translation into policy and practice in early chidhood education and care.